Ivy Losers

Harvard and Yale Take a Hit

More red ink at the Crimson: Harvard and Yale announced Thursday that their endowments—the nation’s two largest—each shrunk by 30 percent for the year ended June 30, for a combined $17.8 billion in losses. Consequently, the schools are cutting budgets and delaying staff hirings and campus expansions. Though other elite universities like Princeton and Stanford are expected to perform just as poorly, most colleges were not hit nearly as badly, as Harvard and Yale had adopted a unique investment strategy that capitalized on assets not available to most investors. After stellar results over the past decade, the colleges’ investments in private equity were pummeled this past year. The plain-vanilla approach that most colleges followed—60 percent of holdings in stocks and 40 percent in bonds—would have generated a loss of about 13 percent.