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Wilshire Trust Universe Comparison Service(R) Reveals Double Digit U.S. Equity Returns Power Third Consecutive Quarter of Solid Returns for Institutional Investors

SANTA MONICA, Calif., May 7, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Double digit U.S. equity returns powered a solid first quarter for all institutional plan types with all asset owners above the 5th percentile showing positive returns, according to the Wilshire Trust Universe Comparison Service® (Wilshire TUCS®), a cooperative effort between Wilshire Analytics, the investment technology unit of Wilshire Associates Incorporated (Wilshire®), and custodial organizations. Considered the most widely accepted benchmark for the performance and allocation of institutional assets, Wilshire TUCS includes more than 1,700 plans representing in excess of $3.41 trillion in assets.

"The first quarter performance spread for median plan return types was significant with a low return of 2.98 percent for the conservative Taft Hartley Health and Welfare Funds to a high return of 5.98 percent for Taft Hartley Defined Benefit Plans," stated Robert J. Waid, managing director, Wilshire Associates. "The median quarterly return for all plans was 4.77 percent," he added.

"The spread can be primarily attributed to different exposures to the U.S. equity market," noted Waid. "The Wilshire 5000 closed the quarter with its 16th all-time-high in 2013, resulting in a quarterly return of 10.91 percent. This almost matched the median U.S. equity plan return of 10.92 percent. Despite the Barclays U.S. Aggregate falling for the first time since 2006 with a -0.12 percent return, the median U.S. fixed income plan return was 0.28 percent."

Even though these were the best plan returns since the first quarter 2012, all measured plan types underperformed the simple 60/40 (U.S. Equity/ U.S. Bond) default asset allocation.

A graph accompanying this release is available at http://media.globenewswire.com/cache/31/file/19532.pdf

The median ten-year return moved above 8.0 percent for all plans for the first time since June 2007. Only the Taft Hartley DB Plans and Taft Hartley Health and Welfare Funds categories had ten-year median returns below 8.0 percent with median plan returns of 7.34 each.

About Wilshire Associates

Wilshire Associates, a leading global, independent investment consulting and services firm, provides consulting services, analytics solutions and customized investment products to plan sponsors, investment managers and financial intermediaries. Its business units include Wilshire Analytics, Wilshire Consulting, Wilshire Funds Management and Wilshire Private Markets.

The firm was founded in 1972, providing revolutionary technology and acting as an early innovator in the application of investment analytics and research to investment managers in the institutional marketplace. Wilshire also is credited with helping to develop the field of quantitative investment analysis that uses mathematical tools to analyze market risks. All other business units evolved from Wilshire's strong analytics foundation. Wilshire developed the Wilshire 5000 Total Market IndexSM and became an early innovator in creating the industry's integrated asset/liability analysis/simulation models as well as the industry's practical models in risk budgeting through beta and active risk analysis. Wilshire has grown to a firm of more than 300 employees serving the investment needs of institutional clients around the world.

Based in Santa Monica, California, Wilshire provides services to clients in more than 20 countries representing more than 500 organizations with assets totaling approximately US $7 trillion.* With ten offices on four continents, Wilshire Associates and its affiliates are dedicated to providing clients with the highest quality counsel, products and services. Wilshire®, Wilshire Trust Universe Comparison Service® and Wilshire TUCS® are registered service marks of Wilshire Associates Incorporated. Wilshire 5000 Total Market IndexSM is a service mark of Wilshire Associates Incorporated. Please visit http://www.wilshire.com/.

*Assets are as of December 31, 2011, based on published data in the December 24, 2012 issue of Pensions and Investments.

CONTACT: Kim Shepherd +1-773-252-9986 kshepherd.ext@wilshire.comSource:Wilshire Associates Incorporated