SDRS earned 7.94 percent in FY18

The South Dakota Retirement System gained 7.94 percent in fiscal 2018, according to State Investment Officer Matt Clark.

That was more than the capital markets benchmark return of 7.33 percent but less than the state-funds benchmark of 8.55 percent.

Overall SDRS assets rose to more than $12.2 billion by the June 30 end of fiscal 2018. They started last fiscal year at about $11.6 billion, Clark said.

He told members of the Legislature’s Executive Board that the State investment Council was conservatively positioned because stock prices were so high.

The council follows a long-term contrarian philosophy of buying big when prices are low and selling substantially as prices appear to exceed their values.

“Just crazy bull markets,” Clark said in remarks to a subcommittee of lawmakers. “This will probably be an easy-come, easy-go thing at the end of the day. We think 20 percent of this is fake.”

Markets already looked too high and continued to rise anyway, Clark said. They missed some of the gains because they weren’t sufficiently placed this year, he said.

The SDRS trustees hold a quarterly meeting Sept. 6 in the View 34 conference room, next to Hillsview Golf Course on Pierre’s east side along SD 34, starting at 8:30 a.m. CT.

SDRS executive director Rob Wylie told lawmakers Monday he expects the trustees would approve a 2 percent or 2.1 percent cost-of-living adjustment for fiscal 2020 that starts July 1, 2019.