State’s finances safe from market fluctuations

By Quinn Fitzgerald
TheStatehouseFile.com

INDIANAPOLIS ­–The recent stock market plunges has instilled fear in investors nationwide, but Hoosiers can breathe easier knowing Indiana’s investments have not been affected by the fluctuations.

That’s because the state doesn’t invest in stocks.

Instead, the state invests in government bonds, U.S. agency bonds, and banks deposits with a maturity of five years or less.

“All of that is to help safeguard changes in the stock market because we don’t invest in stocks,” Catherine Seat, communications director for the state treasurer, said.

The State Treasurer’s office handles about $5 to $7 billion on a daily basis, but they are not part of the budgeting process or even what money is spent where. The state’s $31.7 billion two-year budget is set by lawmakers, as is the decision to keep nearly $2 billion in reserve.

“Our role is just to make sure our money is there,” Seat said.

The decision to invest in bonds and bank deposits was made by the General Assembly, which determines what Indiana State Treasurer Kelly Mitchell can invest in.

“They have never given us the ability to invest in stocks, because [bonds and deposits are] safer investments,” Seat said.

Not only are bonds and deposits safer investments, but they have proven to be successful investments as well. For the 2017 fiscal year, the State Treasury made $52 million on its investments, which is $6 million more than they made in 2016.

So while the stock market’s fluctuations are worrying investors and even President Trump, Hoosiers can know their state’s investments are doing well.

 Quinn Fitzgerald is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.

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