SAN FRANCISCO — Despite a challenging environment for public funds investors, most California county investment pools continue to manage their funds conservatively, according to a Standard & Poor’s research survey released this week.

The survey found that, on the whole, the investment pools are maintaining slightly longer average maturities and bond durations in the face of historically low federal funds rates. Longer durations bring potentially higher rates of return, but also increased volatility, said the report’s author, analyst Gabriel Petek.

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