Harvard And Yale Endowments Clobbered


Harvard’s endowment shrank 27% in the year ending June 20, or $10.9 billion.  Now the university only has $26 billion left.

Yale, meanwhile, got hit even worse: A 30%, or $7 billion, drop that shrank its nest egg to $16 billion.

Both results were worse than the average endowment plunge, because both universities were heavy on illiquid private investments (which haven’t rebounded with stock prices).  Harvard and Yale’s long-term endowment returns are still likely far better than average, however.

Harvard: Harvard University’s endowment declined 27.3 per cent during the fiscal year ending June 30, 2009, one of the most challenging periods in modern times for financial markets.  The fiscal year return is expected to be largely in line with Harvard’s major university peers.  The overall value of the University’s endowment at the end of the fiscal year was $26.0 billion.

As the WSJ reports, “Harvard’s overall investment loss of 27% dwarfed the 18% drop of the median college endowment calculated by Wilshire Associates.”

Meanwhile, Yale said it lost  $7 billion — dropping its endowment to $16 billion — which is $1 billion worse than they’d expected. President Richard C. Levin admitted that because of the university’s position in illiquid assets, the school hadn’t seen any benefit from the rebound in stock prices.

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