Endowment Returns Are Worsening

Despite the publicity surrounding the long-term investment performance of certain endowment funds, such as those belonging to Yale and Harvard, little has been known about the overall performance of university endowments until recently.

We are learning more these days, thanks to some solid research, including from Vanguard Group, and it’s not terribly encouraging. Discouraging takeaways about investments at endowments may be growing familiar to readers of my blogs. I’ll review a bit.

Earlier this week, we examined the results of a study that found that simple factor models explain almost all of the performance of endowments. We also learned that any apparent outperformance was explained by the strategic exposure to riskier (and generally illiquid) investments, not by any special skill in investment selection within an asset class.

Read the rest of the article on ETF.com.