U.S. Bancorp (USB), headquartered in Minneapolis, also finished the period as one of the Fund’s top five performance contributors. While the quarter remained challenging for many other banks locked into low-margin banking activities, U.S. Bancorp advanced 6.09% for the period, with a solid performance advantage relative to its peers. While many of its competitors contend with defensive measures and diminished growth prospects, U.S. Bancorp’s principled adaptation of risk management controls following the financial crisis of 2008-2009 has placed it ahead of the competitive and regulatory curve. Recognized by both their current commercial customers and financial regulators for its integrity and financial soundness, U.S. Bancorp enjoys one of the highest credit ratings available. Over the years, U.S. Bancorp has quietly cultivated and expanded its lucrative commercial lending operations, as well. We have been steadily acquiring and holding the company’s stock for some years, purchasing at attractive prices when the market does not recognize its value.