Articles for Financial Advisors

Harvard’s Endowment Fund

Harvard’s Endowment Fund

The $33 billion Harvard portfolio is the largest endowment fund in the world. Harvard relies on its endowment fund to cover the costs of more than a third of the university’s operating budget (source: WSJ, June 23, 2014). Despite paying some of its money managers multi-million dollar salaries, Harvard’s endowment fund returns have lagged its peers (see table below).


5-Year Annualized Returns of Elite School Endowment Funds

[ending June 30, 2014]


Columbia  6.8%

Dartmouth  4.4%

Stanford  3.3%

Pennsylvania  5.4%

Notre Dame  4.3%

Cornell  2.9%

MIT  5.3%

Princeton  4.2%

Brown  2.7%

Chicago  4.8%

Yale  3.3%

Harvard  1.7%


Vanguard Balanced Fund  13.7%

                 Source: Charles Skorina & Co.


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