For 12 years, the IPI Family Performance Tracking Survey has polled the Institute’s 1,200 members, who come from families with $30 million or more in assets, to find out how they are allocating assets in their portfolios. In 2008, according to the Survey, the families had an average of 16.7% in cash, a record high for the group. The study also found a higher allocation to fixed income, at 31.2% on average, another high for the group. These two allocations appear to have cushioned the groups’ returns, which, while down 18.8% for 2008, were much better than the return for the S&P 500, (-37%).

Notably, of the 25% of IPI members who participated, “all but two IPI investors outperformed the S&P in 2008,” according to the Survey.

Even allocations to hedge funds–which have been helpful in past years–did not help for 2008, and the Survey revealed that investors with larger allocations to hedge funds actually fared worse than those with smaller hedge fund allocations. Please click here to see the Survey findings.

Kate McBride is editor in chief of Wealth Manager.