More depressing pension news...sorry

Good morning everyone,

There's nothing new to report about the weather...it's still stinking hot and humid with no end in sight...well, we like to believe that it cools down after obon, so maybe we only have to put up with this sweltering heat for two more weeks...I hope they're right. I don't know how much more I can take...

Sorry about today's blog. I was hoping to find some fun information about a new flavour of ice cream or something like that. I couldn't find anything and then when I saw the huge loss incurred by the pension fund, I couldn't ignore it. Did you hear? Japan's public pension fund said Friday it logged a loss of  ¥5.31 trillion ($51.2 billion) for fiscal 2015 ended in March, the first red ink in five years, hit by falling stock prices.

The  ¥134 trillion Government Pension Investment Fund, the world's largest of its kind, had shifted its investment strategy in 2014, increasing the ratio of domestic and foreign shares while reducing bonds in the portfolio as part of economic policy reforms by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

The loss was the largest since fiscal 2008 when the fund was affected by the global financial crisis following the collapse of U.S. investment bank Lehman Brothers.

The investment result for a single year will not immediately lead to reducing pension payments, according to the fund.

The return on investment during the reporting year was -3.81%, the GPIF said. The average return for the period since fiscal 2006, when the fund was established, stood at 2.68%.

The GPIF had 37.55% of its assets in domestic bonds at the end of March. Domestic stocks accounted for 21.75%, foreign shares 22.09% and foreign bonds 13.47%.

In an attempt to increase the transparency of its management, the pension fund disclosed for the first time which shares it holds as well as their market values.

The GPIF held ¥ 1.55 trillion worth of Toyota Motor Corp. shares, the biggest in its stock holdings, which also included shares of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc., valued at around ¥ 823 billion. Its foreign shareholdings included those of Apple Inc.

I don't know about you, but  ¥51.8 billion sure would look good in my bank account...heck, I'm not greedy, I'll take just 1% of that...ha ha!

Have a great day! And don't spend too much money, you may need it for your pension some day...


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