President Donald Trump’s Twitter posts represent an investment risk for the nation’s second-largest public pension fund, according to a report from the California State Teachers’ Retirement System’s top investment official.
“President tweets” are listed along with trade wars, Iran aggression, consumer sentiment, Brexit and other “key risks to monitor” in a presentation that Chief Investment Officer Christopher Ailman is scheduled to make to the CalSTRS board at its monthly meeting Friday.
The effects of the president’s Twitter posts on markets have been documented, analyzed and studied, with the latest high-profile instance coming in May, when his tweets on Chinese tariffs shook previously calm markets.
The Twitter activity didn’t stop the teacher pension fund from seeing a 9 percent return on its investments in the fiscal year that ended in June 2018. The return exceeded the fund’s annual 7 percent target.
CalSTRS likely will release its performance for the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2019, soon. Ailman’s report said the fund’s value had reached roughly $234.8 billion by that date, the highest value in its history, but the report didn’t give the return-on-investment rate.
A year ago, CalSTRS’ portfolio held about $225 billion.
Last time CalSTRS reported its funded status — the percentage of its present and future liabilities it has the money to pay right now — the number stood at about 63 percent.