Alaska Digest

Posted: Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Permanent fundreturns 17.1 percent

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JUNEAU - The Alaska Permanent Fund's investments returned 17.1 percent for fiscal year 2007, a 13.8 percent real return after inflation, according to the Alaska Permanent Fund Corp.

The fund ended the year on June 30 with an unaudited value of $37.8 billion.

"We saw some remarkable milestones in fiscal 2006, and we're pleased that the fund continued to show significant growth through fiscal 2007," Chief Executive Officer Michael Burns said. "This year is a little bit unusual in that all of the Fund's portfolios had solid positive returns."

Fiscal 2007 started with the stock and bond markets on a low note, but turned around in August as inflation concerns eased and the Federal Reserve held interest rates steady, sparking a rally that lasted through the winter. Continued economic expansion in Europe and strong performance from emerging markets allowed the fund's non-U.S. stock portfolio to provide even greater returns than the domestic portfolio.

A correction in late February that began in China sent world stock markets into a downward slide, but they recovered and turned up again at the end of March for a rally that held until June.

The bond market's positive performance continued into May before heading downward. For the fiscal year, the fund's U.S. stock portfolio returned 19.2 percent and non-U.S. stocks returned 31.6 percent. The fund's U.S. bond portfolio returned 6.2 percent, while the non-U.S. portfolio returned 2.8 percent for the year.

The fund's real estate portfolio had strong growth for the first three quarters of the fiscal year before falling off slightly in the final months, producing an 18.1 percent return.

Trail Mix names new executive director

JUNEAU - Trail Mix announced Monday the selection of George Schaaf as the organization's new executive director. Trail Mix is a partnership of local volunteers and government agencies dedicated to improving and expanding Juneau's world-class trail system.

Schaaf brings to Trail Mix a diverse background in law, journalism and outdoor recreation. As a trail crew leader for the Colorado Fourteeners Initiative, he supervised the construction and rehabilitation of alpine trails throughout the state. More recently, Schaaf worked for the Tongass National Forest as a wilderness ranger at Admiralty Island National Monument. Schaaf also has extensive land-use law experience, and served as the executive director of a nonprofit organization serving more than 1,200 families on the Kenai Peninsula and Kodiak Island.

Schaaf obtained two bachelor's degrees from the University of Florida before attending Lewis & Clark School of Law in Portland, Ore. Schaaf replaces James King, who was executive director for nearly 10 years. King was appointed director of Alaska State Parks by Gov. Sarah Palin in June 2007.

For more information, call 790-6406, or visit the Trail Mix Web site at

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