In his new book, The Investor’s Manifesto,William J. Bernstein makes a strong case not just for the idea of portfolio investing, but the fact of it. Any one of us, with a modest amount of effort, can build a good portfolio, Bernstein argues. Then he proves it.
Bernstein is not your typical individual investor. A PhD and formerly practicing neurologist, he has a wild passion for investing, and an appetite for dot matrix diagrams that can be a bit intimidating. A bestselling author of four previous books on investing and economic history, in this tome the good doctor set out to write something accessible to the masses. He’s achieved his goal. Continue reading →
The $27.4 billion Harvard University Endowment has put out its annual report. The front page news is that the fund earned an 11% return in the year ended June 30, 2010 — a period during which a simple 60/40 stock/bond split would have earned it 12.6% and the Dow Jones Industrial average rose almost 19%.
The past few years have been challenging for the investment managers who came to fame running large endowments and pension plans. After losing at its low point $100 billion in value, California’s giant public pension plan manager CALPERs is in the midst of a “top-to-bottom” re-think of the asset allocation of its now $200 billion fund. (For more on that, there’s an in-depth piece in the current issue of Bloomberg Markets.)
But that hasn’t shaken Jane L. Mendillo’s faith in her asset allocation. The CEO of Harvard Management Co, which invests the endowment, reaffirmed that the fund will be continuing to move toward a portfolio that is much lighter on fixed income investments and heavier in equities, particularly foreign and emerging markets stocks. Continue reading →