State Employees’ Retirement Fund Market Value Altimeter

April 2004

Market Value
(in billions)
2/29/2004 $9.520
1/31/2004 $9.496
1/31/2004 $9.420
12/31/2003 $9.369
11/30/2003 $9.107
10/31/2003 $9.073
9/30/2003 $8.857
6/30/2003 $8.707
3/31/2003 $8.181
12/31/2002 $8.537
12/31/2001 $9.914
12/31/2000 $10.890
12/31/1999 $11.055
12/31/1995 $6.595
12/31/1990 $3.935

The State Employee Retirement Fund showed eleven straight monthly increases in its bottom line as of February 29, 2004. The increase the past month, lOO million, bolstered the fund to 9.520 billion. Although interest rates continue to fluctuate the yield to the fund the past year would indicate that investments are being well managed.

Observations, Facts and Assumptions

I am AI Trierweiler and I approve the following message:

  1. What is stock? Stock represents part ownership in a company and is traded in units called shares. Dividends periodically may be paid from each share of stock. Not all companies, however, pay dividends. A renewal this past year in some companies either initiating or increasing their dividends has proved a positive sign. Note: Only 2% of stocks will make a person rich.
  2. What are bonds? Bonds are IOUs issued by companies, governments, or other institutions. The issuer agrees to pay back the face value of the bond (known as the principal) over a fixed period of time. In return for this "loan," the issuer also agrees to pay a fixed rate of interest to the bondholder for the life of the bond. Bonds are often less risky than stocks, but may also be less lucrative.
  3. What are mutual funds? Mutual funds are investments that pool together the money of thousands of investors and invest this money in a variety of stocks, bonds, and/or other securities. Instead of purchasing, say, a particular stock, you purchase shares in a whole group of stocks. Mutual funds offer small investors the advantages of diversification.
Did You Know
  1. Election years have historically been good for the stock market. (although not as good as the year before elections).
  2. Define Benefit Plan — A pension plan, insured by the state, that may pay a guaranteed monthly benefit for life to you and your spouse as long as either of you are alive. The benefit is usually based on your age at retirement, rate of pay, and the number of years you worked under the plan. Generally, all or most of the contributions are made by the state.
  3. Define Contribution Plan — A retirement plan in which contributions are made by the state, the employee, or both. The final payout will depend on how much is contributed and the success of the investments that you selected. This type of retirement plan is not insured by the government.
Editor’s note: Al Trierweiter is a former President of the Lansing SERA Chapter, former Chairman of the Michigan SERA Coordinating Council, former Legislative Representative for both the Lansing Chapter and the SERA Council. AI may be reached at 6440 Old River Trail, Lansing 48917; phone 321-0041.

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