Private Equity Fails To Lift University Endowments

A new study reported that the average U.S. university endowment lost 0.3 percent in fiscal 2012, which ended on June 30th, a huge contrast with 2011 when the average endowment gained 19.2 percent. Not only did the average endowment lose money, but it markedly trailed the S&P 500 stock index, which returned 5.5 percent for the year, including dividends.

In the Ivy League, for example, just one university, Dartmouth College, beat the S&P in fiscal 2012. Dartmouth’s endowment earned 5.8 percent for the year, while Harvard University’s endowment, the world’s largest with $30.7 billion in assets, lost 0.05 percent. ...

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