Updates for our investors as we face COVID-19


Much has happened in the investment markets since mid-February. The U.S. is officially in lockdown, the Federal Reserve cut interest rates  to near zero, and uncertainty about how long it will take the coronavirus curve to level off has caused a rapid decline in the capital markets, putting us in a bear market for the first time since 2008. We continue to monitor the WELS Funds’ portfolios and, as prescribed in the investment policy statement, are rebalancing the portfolios as needed.

Vanguard Institutional Advisory Services serves as a co-fiduciary for the WELS Investment Funds.  Vanguard’s Global Chief Economist, Joe Davis, issued a statement regarding perspective amid the coronavirus outbreak. A summary of Mr. Davis’ main points are as follows:

Perspective amid the coronavirus outbreak
1. Market downturns and bouts of volatility are not rare events—even those that grow out of health crises such as the SARS virus outbreak in 2003 or the Zika virus outbreak in 2016. The key is understanding that these market conditions do not last forever, and recovery can happen more quickly than one might think.

2. Vanguard remains optimistic about the prospects of an economic and market recovery. Unlike the global financial recession of 2008 that was caused by excess leverage, the current challenge is not the same since the financial system is on much more solid footing. The economy will contract, but we believe the U.S. will rebound later this year and in early 2021.

3. We believe that bold and decisive actions by policy makers are crucial. Policy action should be targeted at immediate virus containment and support for small- and medium-size businesses and households.

The economic and financial market insights are important to watch, but the greatest impact is on families and societies across the world. Please continue doing everything you can to help keep yourselves, your families, and your communities safe. As WELS president Mark Schroeder recently shared, “Events of the recent weeks and days surely remind us that Jesus’ words describing the trouble that we will experience in this world are all too true. But especially in times of trouble like these, we will want always to remember the rest of what he told us: He has overcome the world. Our times are still in his hands. He will never leave us or forsake us. No matter how dark the days, he remains our light and salvation; whom (or what) shall we fear?”

Please feel free to reach out to me at 414-256-3206 or jim.holm@wels.net if you have any questions about your investments. I am available via conference call or video conferencing.

May our God, who remains in control, continue to bless and keep you all!


I hope everyone is remaining safe and healthy!

Market update
Regarding the markets, I have some positive news for a change. The S&P 500 Index is up 11% this week (over 20% the past 10 days), cutting losses for 2020 to negative 15%, which is much better than the over negative 30% we hit in March. Not to say we won’t pull back, re-test, or even set new lows, but the quick rebound is a great reminder to stick to your long-term investment plan and not try to time the market.

How Vanguard’s managers are reacting to the markets
Click here to watch a short video describing how Vanguard managers are managing investment portfolios and reacting to market volatility.

Please check back weekly for timely updates from Bill Burns.



WELS Investment Funds has retained Vanguard Institutional Advisory Services® as its primary investment advisor.


WELS Investment Funds is governed by an independent board whose directors are members of WELS congregations and who are elected by the Synodical Council. The Lord has blessed WELS with a talented group to serve on this board.

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