The Globe and Mail

A Fine Balance Leads to Successful Long-Term Investing

In the 1990s, it pioneered a strategy that has since become the preferred approach for the endowments of many of the continent’s top universities and foundations. The Yale model consists of pouring money into opportunities that aren’t as thoroughly picked over as public stock and bond markets–areas such as timberland, hedge funds and private-equity deals. In theory, this makes sense. Investors should derive a reward for taking on the additional work and risk that goes along with venturing into the dimmer corners of the financial markets. But in practice the Yale model has been inconsistent. It beat a 60/40 approach during its early years; more recently, it’s looked strictly ho-hum. In fact, over the past 10 years, the endowments for Yale and all the other Ivy League schools in the United States failed to match the performance of a standard 60/40 portfolio, according to a recent study by (MPI), an investment research and software firm. Read the full article here. (subscription required)

Why Low-Cost, No-Frills Portfolios Are Beating the Geniuses at Harvard and Yale

“Even Harvard and Yale, which have expert teams of academics and Wall Street managers overseeing their multibillion endowments, have been unable to do much better over time than a simple blend of index funds,” says Ian McGugan of The Globe and Mail. “In fact, an utterly standard index fund blend of 60% stocks and 40% bonds would have outpaced the returns most Ivy League endowments have achieved over the past decade…according to a recent report by Markov Processes International, an investment research firm (subscription required to read article). Read the MPI report here.