Minimalist Lifestyle Blog
  • Iowa Public Employees Retirement System IPERS - Part 2 - State of Iowa Representative Dawn Pettengill Responds to Mike Finley
  • Tracy Freese
  • Finance
Iowa Public Employees Retirement System IPERS - Part 2 - State of Iowa Representative Dawn Pettengill Responds to Mike Finley

Sent by Pettengill, Dawn [LEGIS]" <Dawn.Pettengill@legis.iowa.gov on Tuesday, July 15, 2014 3:32 PM forwarded by finley2663@sbcglobal.net Tue, 15 Jul 2014 15:52:33


Mr. Finley,

Contrary to popular belief, you repeating something over and over does not make it so.  We could debate active vs. passive management all day long, but the bottom line is, the passive investment strategy WOULD NOT have paid off for the IPERS plan members or Iowa taxpayers. 

To be responsible, the IPERS staff took the time to do a workup of the actively managed funds to see if there was anything to your claims.  What they found was, there is nothing to your claims.  Let me repeat it, NOTHING.  Due to being actively managed, the IPERS plan had an investment gain of $1.9 billion dollars, NET OF FEES over a 10 year period.  That is $1.9 billion over and above what it would have been if passively invested.

As you can imagine, legislators are approached by many people with concerns.  We learn to assess what we are hearing, gauge the credibility of the person who is reporting and investigate the veracity of their concerns.  I would think it would be the same with the press.  However in this case, you have read a couple of books, have an opinion and somehow have been given credibility.  But you were listened to by IPERS and the Board and because of the importance, your claims were investigated and have been determined to be unfounded. 

Another fact, the active vs. passive investment management strategy is the choice of the Investment Board, not one person.  And because your claims have been proven incorrect, now you are resorting to completely uncalled for personal attacks against the IPERS Investment Board and their Chief Investment Officer.  You denigrate the credentials of the people on the board making decisions and question their collective knowledge, yet you give yourself a made up credential after your name that means 'crazy man in a pink wig'.  How you have been given any credibility at all is beyond me and frankly, with me you do not.  The IPERS staff should not waste one more minute on your unfounded allegations.  They need to get on with the business of managing a pension.

To be clear(er), I will repeat.:

1.  Active vs. Passive Investment Management is a common debate.  The IPERS Investment Board has opted for active management and been more successful than if they hadn't.

2.  Designations and credentialing after your name represent years of in-depth studying and testing.  Those designations give a person credibility that they know what they are talking about.  You obviously think so too, because you made a designation up to go after your name, CMPW.  Crazy Man in a Pink Wig.  However, reading a few books and websites, gives you only an opinion.  In this case, an opinion that has no foundation.

3.  I do not want the IPERS staff wasting any more time investigating or writing answers to your unfounded claims that we would be better off passively investing.  If you have any other complaints or concerns, feel free to contact us.  Might I suggest you attend a board meeting to see what we do?  With all of your concerns, it's ironic that you have never attended.

Rep. Pettengill 

  • Tracy Freese
  • Finance