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Brethren Foundation Funds
Investment Options

Tactical Funds

These funds-of-funds are managed by an investment adviser. 
Read more about them here.

Strategic Funds

Short-Term Fund. The Short-Term Fund seeks to provide current income and minimal price volatility by investing primarily in short-term instruments, excluding U.S. Treasuries. 

BFFI’s Investment Guidelines specifies that 100 percent of this Short-Term Fund’s assets shall be invested in instruments that have a final stated maturity of 24 months or less.

Community Development Investment Fund. The Community Development Investment Fund is designed to support community development lending in local communities and, as a result, may achieve lower returns than other investment options. The CDIF currently invests in interest-bearing community investment notes issued by the Calvert Social Investment Foundation (Calvert Foundation). For additional information regarding the notes and their risks, please request a copy of Calvert Foundation Community Investment Notes’ prospectus. This Fund represents a mission-based component of an asset allocation plan and assumes a long-term commitment of funds.

BFFI’s Investment Guidelines specifies that all of CDIF’s investments shall be in established community-focused investments. Because CDIF’s investments are not diversified, this Fund may be subject to greater risks than diversified portfolios.

Bond Core Fund. The Bond Core Fund seeks to provide current income.

BFFI’s Investment Guidelines specifies that the maximum maturity of any bond purchased may not exceed 30 years. The duration of the portfolio is limited to a 30 percent range above and below the Fund’s benchmark index. Assets of the Bond Core Fund may be invested in U.S. Treasuries, as well as other fixed income securities. The balance of the Fund is invested in cash equivalents.

Bond Fund. The Bond Fund seeks to provide current income.

BFFI’s Investment Guidelines specifies that the maximum maturity of any bond purchased may not exceed 30 years. The duration of the portfolio is limited to a 30 percent range above and below the Fund’s benchmark index. Assets of the Bond Fund are invested in fixed income securities but may not be invested in U.S. Treasuries. The balance of the Fund is invested in cash equivalents.

Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities Fund. The Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities Fund seeks to provide protection against inflation with low correlation to the Bond Fund and Bond Core Fund.

The Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities Fund currently invests in shares of the Vanguard Inflation-Protected Securities Fund Admiral Shares (the “Vanguard Fund”), a mutual fund.

The Vanguard Fund invests in bonds that are backed by the full faith and credit of the federal government and whose principal is adjusted quarterly based on inflation. The risks of the Vanguard Fund are similar to the Bond Fund and Bond Core Fund and are low relative to other BFFI Funds. For additional information regarding the Vanguard Fund and its risks, please request a copy of the Vanguard Fund’s prospectus.

The assets of this Fund will be invested in a fund vehicle until the Fund is large enough for active management by BFFI. The Fund may not be in compliance with BFFI’s socially responsible investing guidelines as long as it is invested in a fund vehicle.

High Yield Bond Fund. The High Yield Bond Fund seeks to provide higher yield in an aggressive and risky investment strategy which has low correlation to the Bond Fund and Bond Core Fund.

The High Yield Bond Fund currently invests in shares of the Principal High Yield Fund Institutional Class (the “Principal Fund”), a mutual fund. The Principal Fund invests primarily in high-yield, high-risk, below-investment grade fixed income securities (sometimes called “junk bonds”), which may include foreign investments. These securities have significant risks. For additional information regarding the Principal Fund and its risks, please request a copy of the Principal Fund’s prospectus.

The assets of this Fund will be invested in a fund vehicle until the Fund is large enough for active management by BFFI. The Fund may not be in compliance with BFFI’s socially responsible investing guidelines as long as it is invested in a fund vehicle.

Domestic Stock Core Fund. The Domestic Stock Core Fund seeks long-term capital growth by investing in a portfolio of equity securities that has limited diversification by company size. This Fund employs a core style of investment management, which means it is an actively managed fund that has a risk level similar to its benchmark, but may be adjusted according to the professional judgment of the manager.

BFFI’s Investment Guidelines specifies that not less than 80 percent of the Domestic Stock Core Fund’s assets shall be invested in equity securities, including unlimited securities of U.S. companies, and not more than 20 percent in American Depositary Receipts of non-U.S. corporations. This Fund is less diversified than the Domestic Stock Fund.

Domestic Stock Mid Cap Fund. The Domestic Stock Mid Cap Fund seeks long-term capital growth by investing in a portfolio of equity securities that has limited diversification by company size. This Fund employs a mid-cap style of investment management. It is an actively managed fund that invests in securities whose shares appear to be underpriced by some form of fundamental analysis.

BFFI’s Investment Guidelines specifies that not less than 80 percent of the Domestic Stock Mid Cap Fund’s assets shall be invested in equity securities, including unlimited securities of U.S. companies, and not more than 10 percent in American Depositary Receipts of non-U.S. corporations. This Fund is less diversified than the Domestic Stock Fund.

Domestic Stock Growth Fund. The Domestic Stock Growth Fund seeks long-term capital growth by investing in a portfolio of equity securities that has limited diversification by company size. This Fund employs a growth style of investment management, which means it is an actively managed fund that invests in securities of companies that exhibit signs of above-average growth by some form of fundamental analysis.

BFFI’s Investment Guidelines specifies that not less than 80 percent of the Domestic Stock Growth Fund’s assets shall be invested in equity securities, including unlimited securities of U.S. companies, and not more than 10 percent in American Depositary Receipts of non-U.S. corporations. This Fund is less diversified than the Domestic Stock Fund.

Domestic Stock Fund. The Domestic Stock Fund seeks long-term capital growth by investing in a portfolio of equity securities that is well-diversified by industry, company size, and company names. This Fund currently employs three different managers, each with a different style of investment management: value, core, and growth.

BFFI’s Investment Guidelines specifies that not less than 80 percent of the Domestic Stock Fund’s assets shall be invested in equity securities, including unlimited securities of U.S. companies, and not more than 20 percent in American Depositary Receipts of non-U.S. corporations. This Fund is more diversified than the Domestic Stock Core Fund, the Domestic Stock Value Fund, and the Domestic Stock Growth Fund.

Small Cap Fund. The Small Cap Fund seeks long-term capital growth by investing in a portfolio of equity securities of companies that have market capitalizations that are no greater at the time of purchase than the largest market capitalized firm that is in the Fund’s benchmark at its most recent reconstitution. As of May 31, 2010, the most recent reconstitution date, the largest market capitalized firm in the Fund’s benchmark had $2.3 billion
in assets.

BFFI’s Investment Guidelines specifies that not less than 80 percent of the Small Cap Fund’s assets shall be invested in equity securities, including unlimited securities of U.S. companies, and not more than 10 percent in American Depositary Receipts of non-U.S. companies. This Fund is typically more volatile than the Domestic Stock Fund, Domestic Stock Core Fund, Domestic Stock Value Fund, and the Domestic Stock Growth Fund. The Small Cap Fund is a different investment style and less diversified than the Domestic Stock Fund. Adding an allocation to the Small Cap Fund expands a participating organization’s range of equity investments.

This Fund is most appropriate for participating organizations that have a long investment horizon and are prepared to accept the volatility associated with equity securities issued by smaller companies.

International Stock Core Fund. The International Stock Core Fund seeks long-term capital growth by investing in a portfolio of non-U.S. equity securities. The International Stock Core Fund employs a core style of investment management.

BFFI’s Investment Guidelines specifies that not less than 80 percent of the International Stock Core Fund’s assets shall be invested in equity securities of non-U.S. companies, including ADRs of non-U.S. companies. In addition, currency futures, forwards, or options may be purchased to hedge currency fluctuations. This Fund is typically more volatile than the Domestic Stock Fund, Domestic Stock Core Fund, Domestic Stock Value Fund, Domestic Stock Growth Fund, and Small Cap Fund. The International Stock Core Fund is a different investment style and is less diversified than the Domestic Stock Fund. Adding an allocation to the International Stock Core Fund expands a participating organization’s range of equity investments.

This Fund is most appropriate for participating organizations that have a long investment horizon and are prepared to accept the volatility associated with non-U.S. equity securities.

Emerging Markets Stock Fund. The Emerging Markets Stock Fund seeks long-term capital growth by investing in a portfolio of non-U.S. equity securities from the emerging markets of the world that has lower correlation with the International Stock Core Fund.

The Emerging Markets Stock Fund currently invests in shares of the DFA Emerging Markets Value Portfolio Class I (the “DFA Fund”), a mutual fund. The DFA Fund invests in emerging markets equity securities that the DFA Fund’s manager deems to be value stocks at the time of purchase. The risks of the DFA Fund are significant, given the DFA Fund’s high volatility. This Fund is typically more volatile than the International Stock Core Fund. For additional information regarding the DFA Fund and its risks, please request a copy of the DFA Fund’s prospectus.

The assets of this Fund will be invested in a fund vehicle until the Fund is large enough for active management by BFFI. The Fund may not be in compliance with BFFI’s socially responsible investing guidelines as long as it is invested in a fund vehicle.

This Fund is most appropriate for participating organizations that have a long investment horizon and are prepared to accept the volatility associated with non-U.S. equity securities.

Commodities-Based Fund. The Commodities-Based Fund seeks to provide protection against inflation with low correlation to equity securities.

The Commodities-Based Fund currently invests in shares of the PIMCO CommodityRealReturn Strategy Fund Class D (the “PIMCO Fund”), a mutual fund. The PIMCO Fund predominantly invests in commodity-linked derivative instruments backed by a portfolio of inflation-indexed securities and other fixed income instruments. The risks of the PIMCO Fund are significant, given the Fund’s high volatility. This Fund is typically more volatile than the Emerging Markets Stock Fund. For additional information regarding the PIMCO Fund and its risks, please request a copy of the PIMCO Fund’s prospectus.

The assets will be invested in a fund vehicle until the Fund is large enough for active management by BFFI. The Fund may not be in compliance with BFFI’s socially responsible investing guidelines as long as it is invested in a fund vehicle.

Public Real Estate Fund. The Public Real Estate Fund seeks to provide protection against inflation with low correlation to other equity options.

The Public Real Estate Fund currently invests in shares of the ING Global Real Estate Fund Class I (the “ING Fund”), a mutual fund. The ING Fund invests in equity securities of companies that are principally engaged in the real estate industry as defined by the ING Fund’s manager. The risks of the ING Fund are significant, given the ING Fund’s high volatility. For additional information regarding the ING Fund and its risks, please request a copy of the ING Fund’s prospectus.

The assets of this Fund will be invested in a fund vehicle until the Fund is large enough for active management by BFFI. The Fund may not be in compliance with BFFI’s socially responsible investing guidelines as long as it is invested in a fund vehicle.

Brethren Values Investing

Brethren Benefit Trust makes investment decisions that embody Church of the Brethren values. All of BBT’s separately managed funds are administered this way. Based on the performance of BBT’s investment managers, socially responsible investors are able to generate returns similar to those of the overall markets over the long term.

BBT carries out its SRI functions in three broad measures — through screening, positive investment, and shareholder activity.

BVI Screening

Each year as part of its Brethren values investing initiatives, Brethren Benefit Trust 's Board of Directors adopts two lists of companies that earn significant revenue from U.S. military operations. One list identifies the top 25 publicly traded defense contractors based on the size of contracts awarded by the Department of Defense, and the other list includes all publicly traded companies that generate more than 10 percent of their revenue from Department of Defense contracts. The firms on the lists are screened from BBT’s investment portfolios by all of our investment managers, and the organization avoids being a customer of any of these companies.

Brethren Benefit Trust provides retirement benefits, health and welfare benefits, asset management, and financial advocacy to pastors, employees, and members of the greater Church of the Brethren community.

Building financial security

Bettering the world

Together

Since it began as the Pension Board 74 years ago, BBT has been called to serve its members and clients, and we are thankful for that opportunity.