Alaska oil wealth fund reports close of $40.1B

By BECKY BOHRER | August 2, 2011 | 4:29 PM EDT

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — A fund established decades ago to share Alaska's oil wealth with future generations has hit $40.1 billion.

The Alaska Permanent Fund on Tuesday reported a 20.6 percent gain for the recently ended fiscal year, its third-highest return and biggest since 1986.

Chief Executive Mike Burns says it was an outstanding year but that the fund's board and staff don't "chase returns." He says the goal is a positive rate of return over the long run and that's the focus in building a portfolio that isn't changed by short-term market conditions.

Stocks comprise about half the fund's total value and were the biggest contributor to its overall performance.

The fund expects to transfer $800 million for dividend checks, which nearly all Alaskans receive annually.