Endowment fell 24.6 percent, University says

The final results are in: Yale’s endowment lost 24.6 percent of its value between July 1, 2008, and June 30.

The endowment’s value plummeted to $16.3 billion, from $22.9 billion, in that period, the University announced Tuesday. But Yale said the return “falls in the range of expected outcomes” in a year when equity markets across the globe fell by some 30 percent.

“If a portfolio produces returns of 41 percent (as Yale’s did in fiscal 2000) and 28 percent (as Yale’s did in fiscal 2007), then there exists the possibility that the portfolio might produce a substantial double-digit decline,” the University said in a statement.

In the aggregate, Yale’s marketable assets declined by just 13.1 percent. But private equity holdings lost 24.3 percent of their value, and real assets, the largest part of the University’s endowment, posted a decline of 33.9 percent.


  • ’98

    You need to correct this misleading headline and story, to clarify the difference between the decline in investment value and the decline in the net value of the endowment, taking into account expenditures from and contributions to the endowment during the year.

    In fact, expenditures exceeded contributions by over a billion dollars, so that the net value of the endowment “fell” by 28.9% – not 24.6%.

    Whereas the value of the endowment was $16.3 billion on June 30, 2009, it had been $22.9 on June 30, 2008.


  • Alum

    It would appear that Yale had an investment performance of negative 24.6%. The endowment fell by 28.8% (using the numbers in this story), the difference being the money that Yale withdrew from the endowment to spend on operations.

  • GRD ’09

    That is quite impressive compared with other endowments and the performance of other institutionally-managed funds, not to manage the performance of the average individual investor’s portfolio — especially when the endowment yields such a high rate of return in good years. Wish they could manage my portfolio.

  • legacylunacy

    No you don’t. One of Yale’s own Eli investment committee members lost his shirt this weekend and it cost the FDIC $850 mil. See: http://www.fdic.gov/news/news/press/2009/pr09174.html

  • Confused

    Is this really that big a deal? I mean we still have 16.3 billion. Isn’t Brown’s endowment like 3 billion?