Insights Blog

Study of Independent Schools Key Findings [Infographic]

Posted by Commonfund Institute on Mar 12, 2019

Topic: Industry Knowledge

Schools participating in the Commonfund Benchmarks Study® of Independent Schools (CSIS) for the 2018 fiscal year reported an average return (net of fees) on their endowment assets of 7.4 percent. The 2018 fiscal year covers the period from July 1, 2017, to June 30, 2018. In this infographic, we have highlighted the key findings from the study.

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The Fallacy of Manager Diversification – How “Horse Races” Can Increase, Not Reduce Risk

Posted by Keith Luke on Mar 5, 2019

Topic: Investment Strategy

On the surface, hiring two (or more) multi-asset managers to manage an entire portfolio may seem like a good idea. Intuitively, it would seem to...

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Getting Started in Responsible Investing

Posted by Deborah Spalding on Feb 25, 2019

Topic: Investment Strategy

The biggest challenge in implementing any type of responsible investment program is in clearly defining and prioritizing those issues most relevant to an organization. Although it may seem a straightforward exercise, there are often several challenges that prevent boards from taking this crucial first step. These include . . .

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Chart of the Month | One Reason Investors Are Feeling Uneasy

Posted by Commonfund on Feb 25, 2019

Topic: Market Commentary

Investors of all types, including those that represent institutions, are clearly feeling more uneasy than they have in years. It isn’t just the spike in stock market volatility that buffeted investors in the fourth quarter of 2018 (after a prolonged period of abnormally low volatility), but the magnitude of the swings that may be the culprit. We researched the worst and best S&P 500 performing Decembers and Januarys since 1928...

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5 Steps to Success in Private Capital

Posted by Commonfund on Feb 19, 2019

Topic: Private Capital

Investors participate in private capital markets for two main reasons: to pursue increased investment return and to add portfolio diversification. Even well-informed investors who are experienced in publicly traded equities can be uncertain about private market investing. In addition to possessing good public markets knowledge and expertise, they often need an effective resource to help them respond to questions from others involved in the investment process. This blog is the first in a series that focuses on the fundamental principles...

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Are Investors Counting Their Eggs Before They Hatch?

Posted by Ryan Driscoll on Feb 11, 2019

Topic: Market Commentary

Beginning in January and now continuing into February, stock markets have rallied on positive news in areas of concern – mostly on the policy front. We remain cautious as in our view, policy risk tends to be the most difficult to price, but also the most likely to surprise...

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Stormy Markets, Steady Institutional Investors

Posted by Net Assets on Jan 25, 2019

Topic: Investment Strategy

Investment guidelines enable institutions to weather market volatility better than individuals, on average, and a crisis playbook can provide additional assurance. The 2017 calendar year saw just eight trading days where the stock market lost or gained more than one percent in a single day. 2018 had 64 such days. That makes the current market seem volatile, but it’s in line with historic volatility....

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What’s in the Data? HEPI 2018 Highlights

Posted by Commonfund Institute on Dec 26, 2018

Topic: Governance and Policy

Commonfund Higher Education Price Index (HEPI) 2018 shows that inflation for colleges and universities was 2.8 percent for fiscal year 2018, a decline from last year’s 3.3 percent but higher than the average for the preceding five fiscal years. Additionally, costs rose in all eight components tracked by HEPI. HEPI is an inflation index designed specifically for use by institutions of higher education. Compiled from data reported by government agencies and industry sources, HEPI measures the average relative level in the price of a fixed market basket of goods and services purchased by colleges and universities each year through current fund educational and general expenditures, excluding research. Highlights of the 2018 Study ....

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Bah Humbug…No Presents from the Fed This Year

Posted by Ryan Driscoll on Dec 19, 2018

Topic: Market Commentary

But at least it’s not the Grinch Who Stole Christmas...Recent volatility in the financial markets and a bit of softer inflation data had investors hoping for a holiday season treat from the FOMC in December. An immediate pause in interest rates was very unlikely, but some guidance towards a slower pace in...

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Identifying an “E” Factor

Posted by Commonfund on Dec 11, 2018

Topic: Responsible Investing

Over the past year the Commonfund investment teams have undertaken research to identify and isolate a new factor associated with the environmental sustainability of a stock (or a portfolio of stocks). Identifying and valuing the impact of ESG factors on performance and risk is particularly difficult. There are two important reasons to pursue this objective...

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