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Ivy league endowments suffer from soft returns Add to ...

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The big U.S. endowment funds, supposedly run by super smart managers, struggled to generate solid returns last year.

During fiscal 2012, which ended June 30, Harvard’s $31-billion endowment return was basically flat, losing 0.05 per cent, while University of Pennsylvania’s $6.8-billion endowment returned just 1.6 per cent. Yale University’s was a little more promising at 4.7 per cent, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s was actually encouraging at 8 per cent, but overall there was a big drop from previous years. In 2011, Harvard returned 21 per cent and many universities target annual returns of 8 to 9 per cent.

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