Investing perspective for the long haul

March 12, 2020 by Anita Clemons

Anita Clemons, Vice President, Managing Director of Investments

We enjoyed a bull market for quite a long while. Now, the stock market is balancing out – and we’re all feeling the effects. Thanks to Coronavirus and oil price wars, we’ve seen a large dip in the past two weeks.

Here at the Presbyterian Foundation, we hold assets for churches, ministries and individuals in trust for generations to come. It’s the very definition of long-term investing – sometimes for a century or more. What do we do when the market tumbles – and furthermore, what should you do?

This answer depends on a lot of factors.

We operate on an Outsourced Chief Investment Officer model, which provides us access to world-class investment managers who can help us make the very best decisions on behalf of our constituents – including you. Our goal, as always, is ensure that funds are available for the work of Christ for years to come.

We’re in touch with Northern Trust, our outsourced Chief Investment Officer, as the markets rise and fall, and they’ve provided some thoughts that you may find helpful as you keep an eye on the markets and your own investments in trust with us here at the Foundation. Their thoughts are below.

Markets are reacting to not just the COVID-19 coronavirus, but Sunday night, Saudi Arabia began a price war in oil to push against Russia. There is more uncertainty as the virus has reduced the demand for crude oil. There is no sense of whether the oil will actually get sold, so just more uncertainty.

That said, however, this also means consumers will benefit from cheaper oil. But because it is coming at a time when markets are fragile, it is causing concerns broadly at this point in reaction to what caused it, which is the COVID-19 virus.

As we work through this fear, markets will be volatile, which will affect supply and demand in the short term.

Things can reverse rather quickly. Medical advances and vaccines could reduce uncertainty and low interest rates are good for consumers. The US economy remains strong. Non-US markets are a bit more concerning.  But again, structural the markets are pricing assets quickly to reflect the uncertainties we are seeing today.

If we hold funds for you or your congregation, and you’d like to talk to us, please reach out to me. You can reach me at or (502) 569-5912.

Additionally, you may find these resources helpful in planning your faith community’s response to the virus.

Preparedness for Pandemics is a helpful resource from Presbyterian Disaster Assistance.

Online Giving program from the Presbyterian Foundation – so that if your church isn’t meeting in person, members can still support your mission and ministry

Statement from the PC(USA) Stated Clerk, J. Herbert Nelson

May God bless you in your service to the PC(USA) and keep you safe and healthy.