Chesterton Tribune



Porter County residents have $164M in government foundation coffers

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The Porter County Council and Commissioners had a joint meeting Tuesday evening of the County Non-Profit Charitable Foundation.

Presenting a third-quarter report of the foundation’s finances were Joe Bill Wiley and Peter Harvey of the Indianapolis-based investment consultant Capital Cities. As of the end of September, Wiley and Harvey said, the foundation’s investment portfolio was valued at $163,986,110.

They then recommended that the foundation switch its index fund from Vanguard to Charles Schwab because Schwab has recently lowered fees and is projected to produce higher returns. The change would save the foundation $1,660 in fees right off the bat, Wiley and Harvey said.

In addition, because Schwab has incentivized its money market accounts with lower fees, Wiley said that the foundation could gain an additional $20,000 in net income by switching from the short-term account that it has now to the money market account, which they would use as a purchasing vehicle.

The current account, which has served as a holding place for money waiting to change hands, is working fine, but purchasing the new account is an opportunity which Wiley and Harvey said they came across while looking for ways to improve the return on investment for the portfolio. “We’re just doing our ongoing due diligence, monitoring the investment universe for the cheapest ways to make your investments,” Harvey said.

Council Vice-President Dan Whitten, D-at large, for his part inquired about the balance of the accounts in the portfolio. Wiley said that three communities--Portage, Chesterton, and Valparaiso--have municipal bonds outstanding to the tune of $3.9 million. Those transactions are expected to start at the beginning of 2018. Harvey also noted that the portfolio is doing well, comprised of 40 percent money for strategic allocation and 60 percent fixed income. He also says active management will likely shield it against rising interest rates. “We’re very happy with the way things have worked out,” Wiley added.

Other Business

Katz, Sapper & Miller has been approved to perform the audit of the foundation for fees not to exceed $20,000 for the first year and $20,750 for the second year. County Auditor Vicki Urbanik expects the audit to be a quick process, with the audit of the 2016 fiscal year likely completed before February.

Mike Jessen, R-4th, welcomed new non-voting member Mark Ritzi.



Posted 11/30/2017




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