Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Guest Lecture by David Swensen Yale's Chief Investment Officer

In the week that Yale reported a 30% loss of their endowment, I thought it would be interesting to look at this guest lecture from David Swensen. It is unfortunate in a way that they lost so much, since his presentation and long run record had been very good. Indeed, Swensen has done very well over longer term windows:

"The Yale endowment is led by David F. Swensen, who has advocated aggressive use of alterative investments like private equity and hedge funds. At the end of fiscal 2008, Yale continued to turn in the best 10-year performance with an average annualized gain of 16.3 percent, which was followed by Harvard with 13.8 percent."
This video was from last year.
YouTube - 9. Guest Lecture by David Swensen:
"David Swensen, Yale's Chief Investment Officer and manager of the University's endowment, discusses the tactics and tools that Yale and other endowments use to create long-term, positive investment returns. He emphasizes the importance of asset allocation and diversification and the limited effects of market timing and security selection. Also, the extraordinary returns of hedge funds, one of the more recent phenomena of portfolio management, should be looked at closely, with an eye for survivorship and back-fill biases."

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