Harvard Heavy on International ETFs (EEM, ECH, EPI, FXI, IDX, EWW, EWY, EWZ, EZA, VIP)
Though the Harvard Endowment includes major investments in alternative assets like real estate, investors can get a sense of Harvard’s strategy by looking at its U.S.-listed, equity holdings. These have tended to be quite diversified and biased internationally thanks to ample use of a variety of ETFs, and the endowment’s activity in Q2 was no exception.
Looking at Harvard’s top U.S.-listed holdings at the end of Q2, which were recently disclosed to the SEC, the largest U.S.-listed, equity holding was ETF iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index Fund (EEM), where Harvard was upping its stake during Q2.
Elsewhere, Harvard was also increasing its exposure to individual emerging and overseas markets by increasing stakes in iShares MSCI Chile Investable Market Index Fund (ECH), WisdomTree India (EPI), iShares FTSE Xinhua China 25 Index (FXI), and Market Vectors Indonesia Index ETF (IDX). Meanwhile, Harvard was trimming its exposure to other areas, via lowered stakes in iShares MSCI Mexico Index Fund (EWW), iShares MSCI South Korea Index Fund (EWY), iShares MSCI Brazil Index Fund (EWZ), and iShares MSCI South Africa Index Fund (EZA).
Among the few individual equity holdings at the top of the Harvard portfolio was Russian telecom VimpelCom (VIP).
Harvard continues to unwind the damage done to its endowment during the market downturn. The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month that Harvard is in talks with China’s sovereign wealth fund to unload roughly $500 million worth of investments in property funds. Laden with real estate and other illiquid, alternative investments, the value of Harvard’s endowment fell by -27.3% in the year ended June 30, 2009, according to Bloomberg.
Looking at tickerspy.com’s graph charting the performance of the Harvard’s end-of-Q1 holdings so far in Q2, one can see that the holdings have stayed well ahead of the market. If you want to see how your performance stacks up to Harvard’s or see some of the other stocks and ETFs it’s invested in, visit tickerspy.com to see Harvard’s top holdings and a chart of their combined performance.
Pro portfolio performance is based on institutions’ top-15 holdings as disclosed in quarter-end filings with the SEC. Pro performance does not take into account additional holdings beyond the top 15 nor does it include positions that are not required to be disclosed by the SEC. As such, Pro portfolio performance should be considered an approximation and not a precise record of how an institution has performed over time.
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