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  • Sven February 2021
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College Endowment Returns Plummet in Most Recent Year

edited February 2021 in Other Investing
“The study findings, released Friday, portend a long era of muted returns for higher education institutions, which will likely encourage them to have a fresh look at financial and investment strategies in order to meet critical return targets and sustain their mission of providing urgently needed support to students. The new study was based on responses of 705 institutions representing $638 billion in endowment assets, and covers the fiscal year July 1, 2019, to June 30, 2020.”

“Endowments’ average one-year returns were 1.8% as of June 30, compared with 5.3% for the previous fiscal year. The historical target return for endowments has been 7.5%, comprising spending requirements, but in recent years, endowments have been challenged to meet this target, according to the study.”


NOTE - Study may be a bit misleading since it measures the one-year returns as of June 30 - shortly after the pandemic induced selloff. However, 1.8% seems like a dismal one-year return. My sense is that both 2019 and 2020 were pretty good years for most investors - despite the March / April pummeling.


  • Wonder how Yale's endowment has been doing in the same timeframe? Yale endowment is managed by Davis Swenson.
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