Harvard Endowment: Underperformance or a Solid Return?

by Elaine Schwartz    •    Sep 12, 2010    •    304 Views

I thought you might want to see how The Wall Street Journal and the NY Times had different interpretations of the same facts on the same day about Harvard’s endowment fund performance:

From The Wall Street Journal: “Harvard Endowment Gets Middling Grade”

Harvard University’s endowment posted an 11% return for the 12 months ended June 30, underperforming markets but reversing a big decline in the year-ago period.”

From the NY Times: “Harvard Endowment Reports 11% Return for Year”

“A year after a disastrous 27 percent decline that prompted layoffs, salary freezes and a halt to some campus expansion, the Harvard endowment on Thursday reported a solid 11 percent increase in its $27.4 billion portfolio for the fiscal year ended June 30.”


The Economic Lesson

The group that oversees Harvard’s endowment funds is called an institutional investor. Associated, for example, with pension, hedge, and mutual funds, institutional investors manage large pools of money for firms and groups of individuals.

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