Small Universities Outpace Ivy League in Endowment Earnings

Smaller universities are showing better three- and five-year returns on their endowment investments than their multibillion-dollar Ivy League peers, using strategies that rely more on stocks than on hedge funds and other alternative vehicles, The New York Times writes.

Small and midsize endowments—those with less than $1-billion in assets—”have surged ahead of the largest endowments over the most recent three- and five-year periods,” financial columnist James B. Stewart writes, citing preliminary 2012-13 figures released last week by the National Association of College and University Business Officers.

Mr. Stewart identifies Abilene Christian University in Texas and Spalding University in Louisville, Ky., as two of the top-performing institutions, with five-year returns of 9 percent and 8 percent respectively, compared to 3.1 percent for Yale—long considered the pacesetter for college investments—and an average of 1.1 percent endowments generally.

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