The largest U.S. public pension fund debated in December whether to sell more than $50 billion in stocks as global markets raced higher. But in the end, the board of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System decided it was fine to hold more.
Retirement systems that manage money for firefighters, police officers, teachers and other public workers aren’t pulling back on costly bets at a time when markets are rising around the world.
Some public pension funds are adding to traditional allocations of stocks and bonds while both are expensive. Others are loading up on more private-equity or real-estate holdings that are less liquid and sometimes carry high fees.
How much risk to take is a question facing all investors as they enter 2018. “Everything is overvalued,” said Wilshire Consulting President Andrew Junkin, who advises public pension funds. “There’s no magic option out there.”