be_ixf;ym_201911 d_14; ct_200

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 | Spending Policy

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 | Investment Strategy | Outsourced Investing | Spending Policy

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: Spending Policy

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

The Misperception of Illiquid Investments

Posted by Timothy T. Yates, Jr., Kent Scott, Paul Von Steenburg on May 15, 2017

Topic: Asset Allocation | Industry Knowledge | Investment Strategy | Outsourced Investing | Real Assets | Risk Management

With many market participants expecting low nominal returns across traditional asset classes in the coming years, investors may be looking to increase their exposure to illiquid asset classes such as private equity and venture capital. This article addresses head-on, investors’ misperception about illiquid investments: they aren’t as illiquid as many fear.

Read Now

What, me? Illiquid?

Posted by Timothy T. Yates, Jr., Kent Scott, Paul Von Steenburg on Oct 1, 2013

Topic: Industry Knowledge | Private Capital

In the wake of the Global Financial Crisis, institutional investors were rightfully concerned about the liquidity profiles of their long term portfolios. Although markets have recovered substantially since the depths of that crisis, illiquidity remains an important topic with lingering concerns about locking up capital for 10-plus years.

Read now

‘What, me? Illiquid?’

Posted by Timothy T. Yates, Jr., Kent Scott, Paul Von Steenburg on Apr 12, 2013

Topic: Industry Knowledge | Private Capital

Although it has been five years since the collapse of Lehman Brothers—an event that transformed a bad recession into a global financial crisis—the scars of that traumatic episode remain etched in the psyche of many institutional investors. We have new worst-case scenarios in our risk models and a greater appreciation for so-called “black-swan” or “left-tail” events. Nowhere is this lingering fear more palpable than in the consideration of illiquid investments as investors continue to think through the amount of capital to lock up in “illiquid” strategies. Because of this recent history and uncertainty about the future, we often hear investors ask, “Why should I lock up capital for 10-plus years? And if I should, how much?”

Read Now