Ivy League endowments continued their strong performance in fiscal 2018 (ended June 30), with all but one registering double-digit returns and all beating a 60–40 U.S. stocks-and-bonds portfolio, the research and analytics firm Markov Processes International reported last week.
However, for the first time in the 20 years of available Ivy endowment returns data, the 60–40 portfolio outpaced all Ivies in terms of 10-year performance. For 15- and 20-year performance, the Ivies still maintained an edge on the benchmark.
Following are the Ivies’ 2018 fiscal year performance, compared with the previous year:
- Princeton: 14.2% vs. 12.5%
- Brown: 13.2% vs. 13.4%
- University of Pennsylvania: 12.9% vs. 14.3%
- Yale: 12.3% vs. 11.3%
- Dartmouth: 12.2% vs. 14.6%
- Cornell: 10.6% vs. 12.5%
- Harvard: 10% vs. 8.1%
- Columbia: 9% vs. 13.7%
The report said Columbia’s single-digit return was unexpected given its apparent asset class exposure, and suggested this may have had to do with the endowment’s 2016 change in management.
According to Markov, Columbia and Princeton reported the top performance over the 10-year period to June, each with a return of 8% against the benchmark’s 8.1%. Harvard, with by far the biggest endowment in the Ivy League at $37 billion, generated a return of 4.5%, below its annual payout target of 5% to 5.5%.