Endowment Funds

MarketWatch  Sep 30  Comment 
Why the benefit of the investment version of exotic, expensive sports cars is so limited — and you should focus on something else instead.
The Economic Times  Mar 22  Comment 
Among the major funds, Harvard Management Company, the fund with AUM of $35 billion, has been actively participating in the Indian primary market.
newratings.com  Oct 1  Comment 
WASHINGTON (dpa-AFX) - CTI BioPharma Corp. (CTIC) and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center announced Thursday the establishment of a new $1.5 million research endowment fund, The CTI BioPharma International Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, to...
MarketWatch  Sep 23  Comment 
Harvard’s performance for the year ending June 30 beat internal goals, but is the worst showing since 2012 and third-lowest mark of the last decade.
The Times of India  Jun 24  Comment 
The Godrej Group has signed an MoU with the Institute of Chemical Technology (ICT, erstwhile UDCT) for creating an endowment chair ‘Dr. Burjor P. Godrej Distinguished Professor of Green Chemistry and Sustainability Engineering’, on the...
Forbes  Sep 11  Comment 
(Kitco News) - Most university endowment funds throughout North America are fairly secretive about their investment strategies and their investments. However, Kitco News was able to determine that the yellow metal does play a small, sometimes a...
New York Times  Oct 30  Comment 
A move to curtail withdrawals from the $3.3 billion Endowment Fund is a setback for the investor Mark Yusko.
Value Investing  Sep 13  Comment 
Yale Daily News reports that David Swensen, the man responsible for managing Yale University's $19 billion endowment fund, has been diagnosed with cancer. According to the report, students who attend Swensens economics seminar, told the Daily News...


An Endowment Fund is created by transfer of money to a trust by individuals or institutions, with the aim of investing the money and keeping the principal intact forever or for a definite period of time.

US Endowment Funds are non taxable funds since the funding comes from legacies, gifts and ROI[1] and are for non-profitable organizations. They are primarily found in Universities but other non-profit organizations have taken up the idea as well. Famous endowment funds include Harvard University with a fund of US$35.9 Billion and Yale with US$22 Billion in June 2008[2].

Endowment Funds and Universities

Endowment funds are used by Major Universities and Schools around the world, especially in the US, in order to fund expenditure for the pursuits of the institution. The idea was made famous by David Swensen, in 1985 as the Chief Investment Officer of Yale University.[2] He proposed the "Yale Model" which involved breaking up a large amount of capital into many asset classes and investing in them. Typical asset classes involve equities, fixed income, hedge funds, private equity, and Real assets such as commodities, currencies and real estate.[3]

Error creating thumbnail
This is average breakdown of asset classes in a US Endowment fund in 2006.[1]

The rationale behind this approach as explained by Mr Swensen was that by investing heavily in relatively illiquid assets, as compared to publicly traded shares and bonds preferred by shorter-term investors, an institution with an unlimited time horizon would earn a substantial premium.[2] This meant that permanent endowments could ride out market downturns and credit crunches. But such an approach only works with a sizeable amount of capital and with adequate amount of diversification.

These universities have achieved over 15% returns annualized over 10 years for funds with assets of more than US$10 Billion and 11.4% for smaller funds.[1]

Other Notable funds

  • Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
  • National Wildlife Federation


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Frontier: Investing like Harvard or Yale
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Economist: Ivory-towering infernos
  3. Raymond James Team Brochure
Wikinvest © 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012. Use of this site is subject to express Terms of Service, Privacy Policy, and Disclaimer. By continuing past this page, you agree to abide by these terms. Any information provided by Wikinvest, including but not limited to company data, competitors, business analysis, market share, sales revenues and other operating metrics, earnings call analysis, conference call transcripts, industry information, or price targets should not be construed as research, trading tips or recommendations, or investment advice and is provided with no warrants as to its accuracy. Stock market data, including US and International equity symbols, stock quotes, share prices, earnings ratios, and other fundamental data is provided by data partners. Stock market quotes delayed at least 15 minutes for NASDAQ, 20 mins for NYSE and AMEX. Market data by Xignite. See data providers for more details. Company names, products, services and branding cited herein may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners. The use of trademarks or service marks of another is not a representation that the other is affiliated with, sponsors, is sponsored by, endorses, or is endorsed by Wikinvest.
Powered by MediaWiki