THE ASANOR ENDOWMENT FUND 2003 REPORT
"If you advance confidently in the direction of your dreams and endeavor to live the life which you have imagined, you will meet with a success unexpected in common hours."
Henry David Thoreau
The figures shown are correct as of Nov. 4, 2003.
Conversion rate: One U.S. dollar equals NOK 7.8
HIGHLIGHTS (and quite high, really)
In the twelve months since the Fund’s last fiscal year report, the Fund’s assets have increased from kr. 391.785 to kr.513.808, an increase of kr. 122.023 or 31%.Including the grants disbursed in 2002, the fund’s gain would have been over kr. 142.000 or 36+%.
Including 2003 to date, the Fund has awarded grants to over 50 individuals for more than kr. 85.000.Grant amounts have increased every year.As always, the current year’s awards (Trondheim excepted) are not reflected in the annual report, but will be tallied in next year’s report, just as the 2002 awards have been included here.
Grants awarded already exceed by several thousand kroner the total amount contributed by ASANOR members to the Sigmund Skard Fund.
Do you remember Lina Lamont’s line in Singin’ in the Rain?
“I make more money than Calvin Coolidge -- put together!”
That summarizes the ASANOR Endowment Fund in 2003.We’ve cracked the half million kroner barrier, and the future looks even brighter.Here’s the great news why:
We have two new funds under the ASANOR Endowment Fund umbrella:
1.Kristoffer Dannevig of Nøtterøy has agreed to contribute his entire U.S. social security pensionto the fund, with a minimum guarantee of kr. 50.000.Payments from the U.S. government will start within weeks of this report.Kris, even if you don’t live to be 120 (and for every reason we hope you do),you can be certain that your generosity will be remembered long after that time in the name of the new Kristoffer Dannevig Fund.ASANOR thanks you with enduring gratitude.
2.Dorothy Burton Skårdal’s scholarship has included a warmth and humanity that distinguishes our discipline and our lives.To recognize her achievements, ASANOR announces a new fund in her name, subscribed to bythose who owe her much more than we can contribute in money.Her fund now stands at kr. 38.083.Dorothy,your named fund will reach kr. 50.000 in 2004 to support your work.You can take that sum to the bank as we celebrate your career with profound thanks in the new Dorothy Burton Skårdal Fund.
THE TOP LINE
The Fund’s strategy continues to be a bit defensive.In equities (through mutual funds) we hold kr. 195.368 in U.S. dollars and kr. 87.637 in Norway for a total of kr. 283.005 or 55% of our assets,5% less than the 60% maximum.In cash and bonds our assets total 230.803 or 45%, 5% more than the minimum we must own.The only significant change in the Fund’s portfolio has been to switch Norwegian government bond holdings to Asian equities (minus Japan), which have returned 14.8% since April.
The exchange rate of the dollar has varied greatly in the past year.To provide a consistent view of assets, the Fund continues to value the dollar at kr. 7.8, a figure it approached two months ago before a recent dramatic retreat.Reporting in dollar value for that portion of our portfolio is almost an academic exercise, since awards are made from kroner holdings, while the dollar investments are long-term.
For up-to-date information on the Fund and all ASANOR activities, please see our new website, asanor.com, after Dec. 10, 2003.
THE BOTTOM LINE
The Fund has labored through a difficult three years of stock market horrors, and yet has lost no ground during that period while continuing to award increased grants. Perhaps our investments will be better rewarded in a new and brighter economic cycle, but be clear on this point: that is a bonus.What makes the ASANOR Endowment Fund grow is the effort and generosity of ASANORians as we help each other and American Studies in Norway.
On behalf of the ASANOR Endowment Fund’s Board,