Timothy T. Yates, Jr.

Are You Ready for the Next Crisis?

Posted by Timothy T. Yates, Jr., Deborah Spalding on Sep 18, 2018

Topic: Investment Strategy

Ten years ago Lehman Brothers failed, representing the largest bankruptcy in history, and accelerating a global financial crisis that would knock many non-profit portfolios backward. The good news is that markets have been relatively calm since the fall of 2008. The bad news is that another crisis will inevitably upset the financial markets. And so on the 10-year anniversary of Lehman, we should ask ourselves, are we ready for the next financial pothole? At Commonfund, we are working with clients to develop a road map, or “crisis playbook"...

Read now

Bonds: Unwanted and Unloved but not Unnecessary

Posted by Timothy T. Yates, Jr., Mark J.P. Anson on May 30, 2018

Topic: Fixed Income | Investment Strategy

Well, the party may finally be over. Like the college dean who shuts down the campus party, the Fed has finally taken away the interest rate punch bowl that investors have enjoyed for so long. It may be hard to believe, but we have been in a secular interest rate decline for over thirty years...

Read now

A Gap In Reality

Posted by Timothy T. Yates, Jr. on Feb 13, 2018

Topic: Asset Allocation | Industry Knowledge | Investment Strategy | Outsourced Investing

With the release of the annual NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments (NCSE) comes the obligatory comparison of 1-year returns. “How did we do relative to the 12.2 percent average return” is a question frequently asked at many committee meetings and while it is certainly important to understand what peers are doing, the most recent 1-year return may be the most overrated number in the 127 page study.

Read now

When Leaks Turn into Floods:
Challenges Facing Higher Education

Posted by Timothy T. Yates, Jr. on Jan 19, 2018

Topic: Governance and Policy | Industry Knowledge | Investment Strategy | Operating Assets | Outsourced Investing | Risk Management

2017’s tax legislation is the latest in a growing list of challenges facing higher education. The new excise taxes on endowment earnings of the largest private universities, coupled with...

Read now

Spending Policy: Is Yours Ready for the Next Downturn?

Posted by Timothy T. Yates, Jr. on Nov 7, 2017

Topic: Governance and Policy | Investment Strategy | Operating Assets | Outsourced Investing

In most Investment Policy Statements there is often a reference to two important, but conflicting, objectives: one, to preserve the purchasing power of the long-term portfolio in real terms, and two, to provide a stable. predictable and hopefully growing source of income to the institution that the long-term portfolio supports. Why the conflict? Because in order to generate returns that will sustain real purchasing power in perpetuity, the portfolio must be exposed to risk which often means volatility and thus potential instability or unpredictability in the income stream...

Read now