Market Insights


November 2020

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

Everyone answers to someone. In my case, it is God, Carl Anderson, Karen Minopoli and Joe Novak. For those familiar with the Knights of Columbus, Carl Anderson is our Supreme Knight and CEO (and my boss) and by the last name you can likely figure out that Karen is my wife. So, God is always number one and Mr. Anderson and Mrs. Minopoli switch places in the order depending on the time of day and the circumstances. Joe Novak is a valued member of our marketing and client service team, and he will hound me mercilessly if I am late with this essay. I asked Joe for a few extra days because of the election. Alas, the election will last longer that Joe’s patience…so here we go!

The “Blue Wave” did not happen and the pollsters now have worse reputations than weather reporters as they completely botched the election call. According to the polls and most mainstream media, Trump was to lose and lose big. As I type this on November 5th at 10:00 AM, we are still waiting for the results of Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Georgia and Nevada. It appears that Joe Biden has a clearer path to the White House, although there are certainly some court challenges and charges of late ballot acceptance. I think I am comfortably in the majority when I say all Americans just want a fair election where real ballots were cast and counted; I hope we are better than Venezuela. For those old enough to remember we may have wistful remembrances of the “hanging chads” in Florida. Likely less contentious than what is in front of us.

In October, the S&P had a total return of -3.2% as a resurging coronavirus and some uneven economic releases cause the markets to pull back[1][1]. As of  November 5th, the total return for the S&P was 7.6% month-to-date, mainly led by technology stocks. I have a few suppositions as to why. First, the market is generally happy that it appears that we will have a split Congress with the Republicans retaining control in the Senate and the Democrats retaining control in the House.  The market’s happiness is focused on a split Congress which will likely be unable to get any serious legislation passed. Also, with the Senate not having a filibuster proof vote, there is a much smaller likelihood of Supreme Court packing, the removal of the filibuster and statehood for Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico. Sad that a hog-tied Congress is viewed as good thing.

There will be further drama played out in Congress, in my view, in the form of the election of the Speaker of the House. Nancy Pelosi had to so some serious arm twisting to win the gavel the last time around. In this election, a number of moderate Democrats lost their seats to Republicans. Essentially, the country is not exactly ready for the hard, leftward lurch loved by Bernie and “The Squad”. In my opinion, many in the Democratic party are troubled by the embrace of the hard left. The significant percentage of the people that voted for Trump tells me that at least near half the country is not signing on the dotted line for a socialist slide and I’m sure a significant amount of Democrats feel the same way. The mores and desires of the small percentage of people in the streets, hankering for a socialist revolution in Portland, Seattle, Chicago and New York, in our view, do not speak for the country as a whole. 

My guess and hope are that we know the winner of the Presidential election by early next week and that we have consensus that the election was fair and honest. I believe, our country needs to know that there is not a thumb on the scale when votes are counted. 

Back in the real world, COVID-19 cases are rising with over 100,000 infections in a single day[2]. We will hopefully see this as a crest before we have some path to a vaccine and further medical advancements on the treatment front. Countries in Europe are rolling back some of the capacities at restaurants and gatherings to try and stop the spread. In Connecticut for example, we have also rolled back such capacities.

In the economy, initial jobless claims and continuing claims are both trending lower which demonstrates some resilience in the labor markets despite the ongoing pandemic[3]. We are waiting on the economic releases this month to see if the trend continues positive or if there is a slide back in economic activity due to the rising COVID-19 cases. The cases have been more geographically diverse then when the disease first hit us early in 2020. Again, we ultimately believe that true economic healing will not be able to occur until a safe vaccine is broadly available.

A final word on the nation. I am a huge believer in America and though we are not perfect, I firmly believe, this country has done more to lift up a greater number of people than any country or empire in the history of the world. In my opinion, America needs to continue to strive for a more perfect union. It is my hope, although it’s perhaps a pipe dream, that we would see Senator McConnell and Senator Schumer arm in arm at a podium simply explaining that they don’t hate their  political opponents. A statement such as, “I do not wish my opponent harm or distress, although I disagree with his and his parties’ views on how to run the country” in my opinion would bring us back to a place where we as Americans can disagree politically without it causing riots in the streets. As a person who has been involved with the financial markets and economics for over 30 years, I do truly believe a broader economic base that provides a path forward for people that want to work hard and succeed is our best chance to put America back on its path once again. Truly, may God bless and protect America.

Until next month.



[1] Total return is defined as the actual rate of return of an investment over a given evaluation period, inclusive of  interest, capital gains, dividends, and distributions realized for the period.

[3] Data to support our statements regarding initial jobless claims (INJCJC Index GO) and continuing claims (INJCSP Index GO) is from Bloomberg.

Core Bond Fund

One Month
(as of 10/31/20)
YTD
(as of 10/31/20)
1 Year
(as of 10/31/20)
5 Years
(as of 9/30/20)
Since Inception
(as of 9/30/20)
Core Bond Fund-I Shares -0.28% 5.47% 6.11% 4.33% 3.83%
Bloomberg Barclays US Aggregate Bond Index -0.45% 6.32% 6.98% 4.18% 3.72%
Lipper Core Bond Fund Average -0.35% 6.30% 6.90% 4.15% 3.55%
Lipper Percentile Rank 75% 37%

*Lipper Percentile Rank is based on risk-adjusted performance. Lipper Category: Core Bond Funds. Number of Funds in Category: 505 (1 Year) and 411 (5 Year). Gross Expense Ratio 0.84%, Net Expense Ratio 0.50%.

Limited Duration Fund

One Month
(as of 10/31/20)
YTD
(as of 10/31/20)
1 Year
(as of 9/30/20)
5 Years
(as of 9/30/20)
Since Inception
(as of 9/30/20)
Limited Duration Fund-I Shares 0.00% 2.69% 3.31% 2.10% 1.95%
Bloomberg Barclays Government/Credit 1-3 Year Index 0.02% 3.14% 3.73% 2.09% 1.99%
Lipper Short Investment Grade Debt Fund Average 0.13% 2.57% 3.03% 2.28% 2.03%
Lipper Percentile Rank 44% 63%

*Lipper Percentile Rank is based on risk-adjusted performance. Lipper Category: Short Investment Grade Debt Funds. Number of Funds in Category: 371 (1 Year) and 296 (5 Year). Gross Expense Ratio 0.82%, Net Expense Ratio 0.50%

Large Cap Growth Fund

One Month
(as of 10/31/20)
YTD
(as of 10/31/20)
1 Year
(as of 9/30/20)
5 Years
(as of 9/30/20)
Since Inception
(as of 9/30/20)
Large Cap Growth Fund-I Shares -2.65% 17.35% 32.98% 15.72% 12.44%
Russell 1000 Growth Index -3.40% 20.11% 37.53% 20.10% 16.43%
Lipper Multi-Cap Growth Fund Average -2.23% 21.38% 35.61% 16.93% 13.62%
Lipper Percentile Rank 40% 52%

*Lipper Percentile Rank is based on risk-adjusted performance. Lipper Category: Multi-Cap Growth Funds. Number of Funds in Category: 502 (1 Year) and 395 (5 Year). Gross Expense Ratio 1.05%, Net Expense Ratio 0.90%.

Large Cap Value Fund

One Month
(as of 10/31/20)
YTD
(as of 10/31/20)
1 Year
(as of 9/30/20)
5 Years
(as of 9/30/20)
Since Inception
(as of 9/30/20)
Large Cap Value Fund-I Shares -0.62% -14.08% -6.28% 7.35% 4.72%
Russell 1000 Value Index -1.31% -12.74% -5.03% 7.66% 4.92%
Lipper Multi-Cap Value Fund Average -0.83% -13.74% -6.76% 6.07% 3.53%
Lipper Percentile Rank 45% 24%

*Lipper Percentile Rank is based on risk-adjusted performance. Lipper Category: Multi-Cap Value Funds. Number of Funds in Category: 574 (1 Year) and 449 (5 Year). Gross Expense Ratio 1.06%, Net Expense Ratio 0.90%.

Small Cap Fund

One Month
(as of 10/31/20)
YTD
(as of 10/31/20)
1 Year
(as of 9/30/20)
5 Years
(as of 9/30/20)
Since Inception
(as of 9/30/20)
Small Cap Equity Fund-I Shares 0.30% -9.22% -1.86% 4.93% 3.25%
Russell 2000 Index 2.09% -6.77% 0.39% 8.00% 5.12%
Lipper Small Cap Fund Average 2.49% -12.99% -8.16% 4.97% 2.79%
Lipper Percentile Rank 22% 51%

*Lipper Percentile Rank is based on risk-adjusted performance. Lipper Category: Small-Cap Core Funds. Number of Funds in Category: 882 (1 Year) and 704 (5 Year). Gross Expense Ratio 1.14%, Net Expense Ratio 1.05%.

International Equity Fund

One Month
(as of 10/31/20)
YTD
(as of 10/31/20)
1 Year
(as of 9/30/20)
5 Years
(as of 9/30/20)
Since Inception
(as of 9/30/20)
International Equity-I Shares -0.90% -4.67% 4.27% 7.99% 4.27%
FTSE All World Ex US Index -2.14% -6.68% 3.83% 6.81% 3.58%
Lipper International Multi-Cap Fund Average -3.41% -9.54% 1.25% 4.74% 2.24%
Lipper Percentile Rank 19% 1%

*Lipper Percentile Rank is based on risk-adjusted performance. Lipper Category: International Multi-Cap Core. Number of Funds in Category: 361 (1 Year) and 267 (5 Year). Gross Expense Ratio 1.39%, Net Expense Ratio 1.10%.

Real Estate Fund

One Month
(as of 10/31/20)
YTD
(as of 10/31/20)
QTD
(as of 9/30/20)
1 Years
(as of 9/30/20)
Since Inception
(as of 9/30/20)
Real Estate-I Shares -2.52% -13.16% 3.37% - -6.47%
FTSE Nareit Equity REITs Index -2.61% -19.69% 1.44% - -18.16%
Lipper Real Estate Average -3.29% -21.75% 2.33% - -17.50%
Lipper Percentile Rank -

Gross Expense Ratio 1.43%, Net Expense Ratio 1.00%.

Long-Short Equity Fund

One Month
(as of 10/31/20)
YTD
(as of 10/31/20)
QTD
(as of 9/30/20)
1 Years
(as of 9/30/20)
Since Inception
(as of 9/30/20)
Long-Short Equity – I Shares 0.58% -13.95% -5.22% - -14.28%
HFRX Equity Market Neutral Developed Index 0.54% -6.35% -1.94% - -7.49%
Lipper Long-Short Average 0.04% 5.65% 1.33% - 6.25%
Lipper Percentile rank -

Gross Expense Ratio 2.03%, Net Expense Ratio 1.70%.

U.S. All Cap Index Fund

One Month
(as of 10/31/20)
YTD
(as of 10/31/20)
QTD
(as of 9/30/20)
1 Years
(as of 9/30/20)
Since Inception
(as of 9/30/20)
U.S. All Cap Index – I Shares -2.02% 3.08% 9.17% - 5.21%
Knights of Columbus U.S. All Cap Index -1.93% 3.62% 9.19% - 5.66%
Lipper Large Blend Average -1.83% 0.04% 8.24% - 1.97%
Lipper Percentile rank -

Gross Expense Gross Expense Ratio 1.22%, 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 is 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, 2021.

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.

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 164 out of 371 funds measured for the one year ranking period and ranked 187 out of 296 funds measured for the five year ranking period as of September 30, 2020.

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 381 out of 505 funds measured for the one year ranking period and ranked 152 out of 411 funds measured for the five year ranking period as of September 30, 2020.

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 200 out of 502 funds measured for the one year ranking period ranked and 207 out of 395 funds measured for the five year ranking period as of September 30, 2020.

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 260 out of 574 funds measured for the one year ranking period and ranked 108 out of 449 funds measured for the five year ranking period as of September 30, 2020.

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 196 out of 882 funds measured for the one year ranking period and ranked 359 out of 704 funds measured for the five year ranking period as of September 30, 2020.

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 67 out of 361 funds measured for the one year ranking period and ranked 3 out of 267 funds measured for the five year ranking period as of September 30, 2020.

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.