Market Insights


March 2022

By: Tony Minopoli, President & CIO of Knights of Columbus Asset Advisors

It is with such a heavy heart that I write the essay for this month. I do not know if I have the best job in the world, but I am sure mine is pretty darn good. When I first joined the company in 2005, a very good friend commented to me that it must be wonderful to manage money with a purpose that is greater than simply having a goal of making more money. Indeed, it is wonderful! I joined the company in the days right after Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans and the Knights were present in the area with food, water and Visa gift cards before Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) arrived. I knew I was in the right place. I saw this again and again throughout my time here with this wonderful Order stepping up to help people in need. We were on the ground in Haiti after their devastating earthquake and we created a clinic to supply prosthetics to the many children that required amputations as a result of being wounded. Today is no different. The Order has stepped up and is providing charitable relief to the Ukrainian people and we have donated and collected matching gifts from our membership of over $2.2 million. I always tell people in sales presentations for KoCAA, that if we can provide compelling performance, competitive fees, Catholic compliant investment portfolios, and knowledge that we support the many things that are important to our Catholic client base that, we believe, it should earn strong consideration for their business. As we approach our 140th anniversary, the Order will continue to be here to help the needy and the outcast.

As I write this at 3:00 PM on March 2nd, the S&P 500 is down about 8.0% this year and the 10-Year Treasury is yielding 1.88%. Inflation has grown by 7.5% over the last 12 months, as measured by the Consumer Price Index. Oil is trading at $111 per barrel today1 as measured by West Texas Intermediate Crude. Yes Virginia, there is inflation! Unemployment remains low and we are seeing job creation and a modest improvement in the labor participation rate. Other economic statistics such as Industrial Production, Capacity Utilization and Durable Goods Orders are all providing a positive backdrop to the economy. The tug of war is between the geopolitical crises and global inflation on the one side being challenged by the continued positive news from the economy. Over the short term, we believe, the geopolitical strife will certainly win. In our view, the strong economic factors can prevail if there is a resolution in Ukraine and we can get inflation heading in the right direction. This is no small task; however, my point was to help clarify the offsetting factors currently facing investors.

The stock market, as measured by the S&P 500, moved out of a formal “correction” today, however stocks are off their recent highs and, we believe, the downward movement is tied to geopolitical events at this moment. I learned many things from my dad and I am blessed to still have him with us. One of the things he always said, in the context of geopolitical struggles, is to never fight with someone who has nothing to lose. In a great sense, that is how it seems with Vladimir Putin and Russia.

As I wrote in a special note published about a week ago, the giant question remains “Why did Russia do this?”. In any conflict, trying to understand the perspective of one’s adversary is important. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) started in 1949 with 12 original members. The end of the Cold War saw greater expansion to the current number of 30 members and the list of member states now includes Poland, a neighbor of Ukraine. Putin seems to revel in his view of the “glory days” of Russia and has lamented the actions of his predecessors in allowing former Soviet satellites to exist as independent countries. I don’t represent that I have any unique insight into the workings of Putin’s mind. However, it is pretty logical to reason that having NATO expand to include the Ukraine was too close for comfort for Putin and he wants a reasonable buffer. From some things I have read, it seems that Putin feels Russia has been disrespected by the West since the fall of the Soviet Union and wants safety and security for Russia. No matter how warped one may think he is, when you put his actions into that context, I can at least understand what Putin is up to. I think it will ultimately backfire on Putin and Russia and it is an absolute tragedy for the innocent people killed, hurt and displaced. The pain for Russia from the economic sanctions may be quite devastating for an already economically challenged country.

Our Asset Allocation Committee met this week and we are essentially at our neutral position on equities, meaning we are not seeing a reason to overweight any segment of the equity market versus any other. We also discussed that not making significant asset allocation changes until this is all sorted out seems to be the most prudent option. For example, the market rallied today because Jerome Powell, Federal Reserve Chairman, said that he believes the strength of the U.S. economy can withstand interest rate hikes and also indicated that the Federal Reserve would be thoughtful in removing stimulus. Imagine, if this announcement were met with a Russian agreement to withdraw from Ukraine with an agreement that Ukraine would not join NATO. This combination, we believe, would send the stock market soaring and oil prices plummeting. I am not predicting this as an imminent outcome, however, it is for this reason that trying to time an exit and entrance back into the market is a very tall order. One other issue that has arisen in the geopolitical category is that China is not condemning the Russian aggression and is maintaining normal relations. One must ponder if this is their own precursor to an adventure into Taiwan.

Over the next few weeks, we believe that a steady hand and a watchful eye are needed to navigate this turbulent market. We pray for a quick and peaceful end to the conflict in Ukraine and I remain a proud Knight knowing that we are steadfastly here to help the needy and the outcast.

Until next month.



[1] As of March 4, 2022

Core Bond Fund

One Month
( As of 2/28/22)
YTD
( As of 2/28/22)
1 Year
( As of 12/31/21)
5 Years
( As of 12/31/21)
Since Inception
( As of 12/31/21)
Core Bond Fund-I Shares -1.38% -3.47% -0.58% 3.96% 3.24%
Bloomberg Barclays US Aggregate Bond Index -1.12% -3.25% -1.54% 3.57% 2.90%
Lipper Core Bond Fund Average -1.30% -3.32% -1.26% 3.65% 2.93%
Lipper Percentile Rank 17% 30%

*Lipper Percentile Rank is based on risk-adjusted performance. Lipper Category: Core Bond Funds. Number of Funds in Category: 511 (1 Year) and 430 (5 Year). Gross Expense Ratio 0.80%, Net Expense Ratio 0.50%.

Limited Duration Fund

One Month
( As of 2/28/22)
YTD
( As of 2/28/22)
1 Year
( As of 12/31/21)
5 Years
( As of 12/31/21)
Since Inception
( As of 12/31/21)
Limited Duration Bond Fund-I Shares -0.51% -1.20% -0.33% 1.93% 1.61%
Bloomberg Government/Credit 1-3 Year Index -0.44% -1.15% -0.47% 1.85% 1.58%
Lipper Short Investment Grade Debt Fund Average -0.65% -1.39% 0.07% 2.13% 1.82%
Lipper Percentile Rank 66% 67%

*Lipper Percentile Rank is based on risk-adjusted performance. Lipper Category: Short Investment Grade Debt Funds. Number of Funds in Category: 368 (1 Year) and 290 (5 Year). Gross Expense Ratio 0.80%, Net Expense Ratio 0.50%

Large Cap Growth Fund

One Month
( As of 2/28/22)
YTD
( As of 2/28/22)
1 Year
( As of 12/31/21)
5 Years
( As of 12/31/21)
Since Inception
( As of 12/31/21)
Large Cap Growth Fund-I Shares -5.72% -13.89% 19.39% 20.24% 14.68%
Russell 1000 Growth Index -4.25% -12.47% 27.60% 25.32% 19.21%
Lipper Multi-Cap Growth Fund Average -2.55% -14.03% 15.25% 21.90% 15.88%
Lipper Percentile Rank 40% 58%

*Lipper Percentile Rank is based on risk-adjusted performance. Lipper Category: Multi-Cap Growth Funds. Number of Funds in Category: 493 (1 Year) and 410 (5 Year). Gross Expense Ratio 1.00%, Net Expense Ratio 0.90%.

Large Cap Value Fund

One Month
( As of 2/28/22)
YTD
( As of 2/28/22)
1 Year
( As of 12/31/21)
5 Years
( As of 12/31/21)
Since Inception
( As of 12/31/21)
Large Cap Value Fund-I Shares -0.72% -3.61% 28.82% 11.77% 10.03%
Russell 1000 Value Index -1.16% -3.46% 25.16% 11.16% 9.86%
Lipper Multi-Cap Value Fund Average -0.70% -2.37% 26.22% 11.31% 9.43%
Lipper Percentile Rank 27% 39%

*Lipper Percentile Rank is based on risk-adjusted performance. Lipper Category: Multi-Cap Value Funds. Number of Funds in Category: 637 (1 Year) and 538 (5 Year). Gross Expense Ratio 1.03%, Net Expense Ratio 0.90%.

Small Cap Fund

One Month
( As of 2/28/22)
YTD
( As of 2/28/22)
1 Year
( As of 12/31/21)
5 Years
( As of 12/31/21)
Since Inception
( As of 12/31/21)
Small Cap Equity Fund-I Shares -0.31% -7.82% 23.80% 11.21% 9.49%
Russell 2000 Index 1.07% -8.66% 14.82% 12.02% 10.61%
Lipper Small Cap Fund Average 1.12% -5.48% 25.09% 10.65% 9.75%
Lipper Percentile Rank 58% 40%

*Lipper Percentile Rank is based on risk-adjusted performance. Lipper Category: Small-Cap Core Funds. Number of Funds in Category: 842 (1 Year) and 722 (5 Year). Gross Expense Ratio 1.14%, Net Expense Ratio 1.05%.

International Equity Fund

One Month
( As of 2/28/22)
YTD
( As of 2/28/22)
1 Year
( As of 12/31/21)
5 Years
( As of 12/31/21)
Since Inception
( As of 12/31/21)
International Equity-I Shares -3.07% -5.18% 11.31% 11.38% 7.73%
FTSE All World Ex US Index -1.81% -5.37% 8.66% 10.21% 6.61%
Lipper International Multi-Cap Fund Average -3.03% -6.30% 10.18% 8.96% 5.69%
Lipper Percentile Rank 36% 2%

*Lipper Percentile Rank is based on risk-adjusted performance. Lipper Category: International Multi-Cap Core. Number of Funds in Category: 342 (1 Year) and 269 (5 Year). Gross Expense Ratio 1.33%, Net Expense Ratio 1.10%.

Real Estate Fund

One Month
( As of 2/28/22)
YTD
( As of 2/28/22)
1 Year
( As of 12/31/21)
Since Inception
( As of 12/31/21)
Real Estate-I Shares -1.65% -7.14% 34.82% 16.23%
FTSE Nareit Equity REITs Index -3.13% -9.76% 43.24% 12.64%
Lipper Real Estate Average -3.48% -10.62% 38.42% 13.76%
Lipper Percentile Rank 83%

*Lipper Percentile Rank is based on risk-adjusted performance. Lipper Category: Real Estate Number of Funds in Category: 251 (1 Year) Gross Expense Ratio 1.34%, Net Expense Ratio 1.00%.

Long-Short Equity Fund

One Month
( As of 2/28/22)
YTD
( As of 2/28/22)
1 Year
( As of 12/31/21)
Since Inception
( As of 12/31/21)
Long-Short Equity – I Shares -0.56% 3.18% 16.74% 1.93%
HFRX Equity Market Neutral Developed Index -0.05% 0.42% 0.97% -1.77%
Lipper Alternative Long/Short Average -1.29% -2.99% 13.71% 10.13%
Lipper Percentile rank 40%

*Lipper Percentile Rank is based on risk-adjusted performance. Lipper Category: Alternative Long/Short Equity Number of Funds in Category: 235 (1 Year) Gross Expense Ratio 2.17%, Net Expense Ratio 1.73%.

U.S. All Cap Index Fund

One Month
( As of 2/28/22)
YTD
( As of 2/28/22)
1 Year
( As of 12/31/21)
Since Inception
( As of 12/31/21)
U.S. All Cap Index – I Shares -3.06% -8.82% 27.04% 24.25%
Knights of Columbus U.S. All Cap Index -3.03% -8.80% 27.30% 24.75%
Lipper Multi-Cap Core Average -2.12% -8.16% 23.80% 20.36%
Lipper Percentile rank 30%

*Lipper Percentile Rank is based on risk-adjusted performance. Lipper Category: Multi-Cap Core Number of Funds in Category: 641 (1 Year) Gross Expense Ratio 1.46%, Net Expense Ratio 0.25%.

The performance data quoted represents past performance. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. The investment return and principal value of an investment will fluctuate so that an investor’s shares, when redeemed, may be worth less than their original cost and current performance may be higher or lower than the performance quoted. Investment performance does not reflect the redemption fee; if it was reflected, the total return would be lower than shown. For performance data current to the most recent month end, please call 1-844-KC-FUNDS.

Fund performance for the 1 year, 5-year, and Since Inception periods are annualized. The inception date for Limited Duration, Core Bond, Large Cap Growth, Large Cap Value, Small Cap, and International are February 27, 2015. 1 year and 5-year fund performance is not available for the Real Estate Fund, Long/Short Equity, or the U.S. All Cap Index since the inception dates of the funds are September 30, 2019, December 21, 2019, and December 31, 2019, respectively. Lipper percentile rank is omitted for the Real Estate Fund, Long/Short Equity, and U.S. All Cap Fund given performance is not yet available.

Effective July 21, 2020, the Knights of Columbus Real Estate Fund underwent a change in its Investment Objective and a name change to reflect the new investment strategy as detailed in The Funds’ Prospectus update of July 20, 2020. The Fund was formerly known as Knights of Columbus Global Real Estate Fund. Results prior to July 20, 2020, reflect the performance of the Fund's previous strategy.

Knights of Columbus Asset Advisors LLC has contractually agreed to waive fees and/or to reimburse expenses to the extent necessary to keep Total Annual Fund Operating Expenses, (excluding interest, taxes, fund brokerage commissions, acquired fund fees and expenses and non-routine expenses) from exceeding the Net Expense Ratio for the respective Funds’ Institutional Shares average daily net assets until February 28, 2022.

Benchmark Definitions



Bloomberg Barclays Government/Credit 1-3 Year Index – benchmark for Limited Duration Fund
The U.S. Government/Credit Index is the non-securitized component of the U.S. Aggregate Index and was the first macro index launched by Barclays Capital. The U.S. Government/Credit Index includes Treasuries (i.e., public obligations of the U.S. Treasury that have remaining maturities of more than one year), government-related issues (i.e., agency, sovereign, supranational, and local authority debt), and corporates. The U.S. Government/Credit Index was launched on January 1, 1979 and is a subset of the U.S. Aggregate Index. The 1-3 year index includes all medium and larger issues of U.S. government, investment-grade corporate, and investment-grade international dollar-denominated bonds that have maturities of between 1 and 3 years and are publicly issued.

Bloomberg Barclays US Aggregate Bond Index – benchmark for Core Bond Fund
The Barclays US Aggregate Bond Index is a broad-based flagship benchmark that measures the investment grade, US dollar denominated, fixed-rate taxable bond market. The index includes Treasuries, government-related and corporate securities, MBS (agency fixed-rate and hybrid ARM pass-throughs), ABS and CMBS (agency and non-agency). Provided the necessary inclusion rules are met, US Aggregate eligible securities also contribute to the multi-currency Global Aggregate Index and the US Universal Index, which includes high yield and emerging markets debt. The US Aggregate Index was created in 1986.

FTSE All-World Ex-U.S. Index – benchmark for International Equity Fund
The FTSE All-World ex US Index is one of a number of indexes designed to help investors benchmark their international investments. The index comprises Large and Mid cap stocks providing coverage of Developed and Emerging Markets excluding the US. The index is derived from the FTSE Global Equity Index Series (GEIS), which covers 98% of the world’s investable market capitalization.

Russell 1000 Growth Index – benchmark for Large Cap Growth Fund
The Russell 1000 Growth Index measures the performance of the large-cap growth segment of the U.S. equity universe. It includes those Russell 1000 companies with higher price-to-book ratios and higher forecasted growth values. The Russell 1000 Growth Index is constructed to provide a comprehensive and unbiased barometer for the large-cap growth segment. The Index is completely reconstituted annually to ensure new and growing equities are included and that the represented companies continue to reflect growth characteristics.

Russell 1000 Value Index – benchmark for Large Cap Value Fund
The Russell 1000 Value Index measures the performance of the large-cap value segment of the U.S. equity universe. It includes those Russell 1000 companies with lower price-to-book ratios and lower expected growth values. The Russell 1000 Value Index is constructed to provide a comprehensive and unbiased barometer for the large-cap value segment. The Index is completely reconstituted annually to ensure new and growing equities are included and that the represented companies continue to reflect value characteristics.

Russell 2000 Index – benchmark for Small Cap Fund
The Russell 2000 Index measures the performance of the small-cap segment of the U.S. equity universe. The Russell 2000 Index is a subset of the Russell 3000® Index representing approximately 10% of the total market capitalization of that index. It includes approximately 2000 of the smallest securities based on a combination of their market cap and current index membership. The Russell 2000 is constructed to provide a comprehensive and unbiased small-cap barometer and is completely reconstituted annually to ensure larger stocks do not distort the performance and characteristics of the true small-cap opportunity set.

FTSE Nareit Equity REITs Index – benchmark for Real Estate Fund – The FTSE Nareit Equity REITs Index contains all Equity REITs not designated as Timber REITs or Infrastructure REITs. Prior to December 2010, the index included Timber REITs and Infrastructure REITs.

HFRX Equity Market Neutral Index – benchmark for Long/Short Equity Fund HFRX Equity Market Neutral Index The HFRX Equity Market Neutral Index employs sophisticated quantitative techniques of analyzing price data to ascertain information about future price movement and relationships between securities, select securities for purchase and sale. These can include both Factor-based and Statistical Arbitrage/Trading Strategies.

Knights of Columbus U.S. All Cap Index – benchmark for U.S. All Cap Index Fund Knights of Columbus U.S. All Cap Index Adheres to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Socially Responsible Investment Guidelines. Consists of all common stocks and real estate investment trusts in the Solactive US Broad Market Index excluding companies that are determined by Institutional Shareholder.

Indices are unmanaged and do not reflect the effect of fees. One cannot invest directly in an index.

Lipper Peer Group Definitions



Lipper Short Investment Grade Debt Classification – peer group for Limited Duration Fund
Funds that invest primarily in investment-grade debt issues (rated in the top four grades) with dollar-weighted average maturities of less than three years. The Limited Duration Bond fund ranked 251 out of 374 funds measured for the one year ranking period and ranked 206 out of 293 funds measured for the five year ranking period as of June 30, 2021.

Lipper Core Bond Classification – peer group for Core Bond Fund
Funds that invest at least 85% in domestic investment-grade debt issues (rated in the top four grades) with any remaining investment in non-benchmark sectors such as high-yield, global and emerging market debt. These funds maintain dollar-weighted average maturities of five to ten years. The Core Bond fund ranked 112 out of 500 funds measured for the one year ranking period and ranked 143 out of 416 funds measured for the five year ranking period as of June 30, 2021.

Lipper Multi-Cap Growth Classification – peer group for Large Cap Growth Fund
Funds that, by portfolio practice, invest in a variety of market capitalization ranges without concentrating 75% of their equity assets in any one market capitalization range over an extended period of time. Multi-cap growth funds typically have above-average characteristics compared to the S&P SuperComposite 1500 Index. The Large Cap Growth fund ranked 434 out of 508 funds measured for the one year ranking period ranked and 280 out of 411 funds measured for the five year ranking period as of June 30, 2021.

Lipper Multi-Cap Value Classification – peer group for Large Cap Value Fund
Funds that, by portfolio practice, invest in a variety of market capitalization ranges without concentrating 75% of their equity assets in any one market capitalization range over an extended period of time. Multi-cap value funds typically have below-average characteristics compared to the S&P SuperComposite 1500 Index. The Large Cap Value fund ranked 375 out of 642 funds measured for the one year ranking period and ranked 151 out of 519 funds measured for the five year ranking period as of June 30, 2021.

Lipper Small-Cap Core Classification – peer group for Small Cap Fund
Funds that, by portfolio practice, invest at least 75% of their equity assets in companies with market capitalizations (on a three-year weighted basis) below Lipper’s USDE small-cap ceiling. Small cap core funds have more latitude in the companies in which they invest. These funds typically have average characteristics compared to the S&P SmallCap 600 Index. The Small Cap Equity fund ranked 496 out of 859 funds measured for the one year ranking period and ranked 337 out of 710 funds measured for the five year ranking period as of June 30, 2021.

Lipper International Multi-Cap Core Classification – peer group for International Equity Fund
Funds that, by portfolio practice, invest in a variety of market capitalization ranges without concentrating 75% of their equity assets in any one market capitalization range over an extended period of time. International multi-cap funds typically have characteristics compared to the MSCI EAFE Index. The International Equity fund ranked 9 out of 353 funds measured for the one year ranking period and ranked 4 out of 275 funds measured for the five year ranking period as of June 30, 2021.

Lipper Real Estate Classification – peer group for Real Estate Fund
Funds invest primarily in equity securities of domestic and foreign companies engaged in the real estate industry. The Real Estate fund ranked 161 out of 246 funds measured for the one year ranking period as of June 30, 2021.

Lipper Alternative Long/Short Equity Classification – peer group for Long/Short Equity Fund
Funds that employ portfolio strategies combining long holdings of equities with short sales of equities, equity options or equity index options. The funds may be either net long or net short, depending on the portfolio manager’s view of the market. The Long/Short fund ranked 196 out of 234 funds measured for the one year ranking period as of June 30, 2021.

Lipper Multi-Cap Core Classification – peer group for U.S. All Cap Index Fund
Funds that, by portfolio practice, invest in a variety of market capitalization ranges without concentrating 75% of their equity assets in any one market-capitalization range over an extended period of time. The U.S. All Cap Index fund ranked 117 out of 650 funds measured for the one year ranking period as of June 30, 2021.