The investment process begins by determining the asset allocation, or how the funds in the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) are divided among broad asset classes, such as stocks, bonds, real estate and other types of investments. Asset allocation and diversification are key components of long-term investment strategy.
The Core Fund is fully diversified. It includes a mixture of holdings. In addition, the Fund is invested in companies that differ by size, industry and location. Diversification in the Variable Fund, which includes only equities, is achieved by investing in different industries, company sizes and locations. Selecting an optimal asset mix is the starting point in meeting the investment objectives of the WRS. Allocations are reviewed annually to consider adjustments and new initiatives. Asset classes are listed below.
Domestic: primarily common stock in US companies diversified among small-, medium-, and large-sized companies.
International: primarily common stock in foreign companies in developed countries.
Emerging markets: stocks in developing countries as defined by the World Bank.
Public Equities (stocks)
Domestic: US government bonds and corporate bonds purchased in public markets meeting minimum credit quality requirements.
Global: developed country bonds meeting minimum credit quality requirements.
Emerging markets: fixed income securities, mostly government debt, in developing markets as defined by the World Bank.
Fixed Income (bonds)
Commercial real estate investments with SWIB as a sole direct owner or in joint ventures and partnerships with outside managers that are diversified by location and property types and diversified real estate investment trusts (REITs).
Leveraged buyouts and venture capital, mostly in funds or partnerships; direct, long-term loans to Wisconsin companies; and private market investments that offer a current return.
Investments that provide protection against inflation or the rise in prices of goods and services.
An investment strategy that uses a combination of asset classes, which creates a group or portfolio of assets. The types of asset classes and weights will vary depending on the goal of the investor.