2020 was an extraordinary year as we experienced a worldwide pandemic and its impact on the investment markets, global economy, labor markets, and our daily lives that few have ever seen. As swift and sharp as the market declines were through late March, the rebound since is just as impressive. The markets have responded favorably to unprecedented government stimulus efforts and the COVID-19 vaccine began rolling out in mid-December giving hope to some return to normalcy in 2021.
In previous updates, we reiterated our focus on the long-term nature of endowments, portfolio diversification, and a disciplined approach which is shared by our investment manager, Wespath Institutional Investments. This disciplined approach allowed us to fully participate in the Q2-Q4 market recovery. Wespath has successfully weathered many market downturns over the past century and will continue to prudently manage our assets, staying true to their long-term investment approach.
U.S. stocks in the S&P 500 gained 12.2% for the quarter and 18.4% for the year. International developed stocks in the MSCI EAFE Index were up 16.0% for the quarter and 7.8% for the year. The Barclays U.S. Aggregate Bond Index was up 0.7% for the quarter and 7.5% for the year.
We remain fully staffed and most of our staff is back in the office. We are working regular business hours and are available via telephone, email, and Zoom. Our telephone system is mobile so you should be able to easily reach us. We encourage you to call if you have a question or just to visit. We are available for in person meetings with appropriate distancing and of course Zoom meetings with boards and committees.
If your church does not have the ability to receive online or electronic gifts, your members can make gifts through our website at https://okumf.org/services/online-giving/. They have the option to make a one-time gift or a recurring weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly gift for a specified time via bank account draft or debit/credit card. At the end of the transaction, there is a Message section where they can designate their gift for their church, ministry, and any special instructions. We will then forward the funds to your church to fund ministry. We do not charge a fee for this service but there is a 2.75% processing fee charged by the bank for debit/credit cards. There is no fee for bank account drafts.
If you are still receiving paper statements and would like the convenience and quicker receipt of statements, please complete the Google form here: Online Statement Request Form. Online statements are generally available on the second business day of each month. You will receive an email notification when they are available. You also have access to the previous 12 months of statements online.
(You can access the pdf file of this letter here.)