Sunday, February 14, 2010

Do Top Endowments follow Ivy Portfolio strategy ?

I am a great fan of Mebane Faber's research paper titled "A Quantitative Approach to Tactical Asset Allocation" using monthly moving averages to enter and exit an underline stock position. It was first published in the Spring of 2007 and his research was so brilliant that it attracted a lot of followers including myself. I didn't know about his paper until late last year and I wish that I could find out about it earlier so I could avoid the "Crash of 2008".

Faber's Ivy Portfolio book was published in early 2009 which he further described the detailed technique and asset allocation using ETFs with different sectors and how to invest like the Top Ivy League Endowments. The technique is definitely a winner disregard what the Ivy Leagues' investment approach will be.

For curiosity, I looked at one of the Ivy League endowment's EDGAR Report filed by Yale University Investment managed by David Swensen. As of Dec 31, 2009, the endowment's stock portfolio contained 10 equities as follow:

1) BIOD, 2) EFA, 3) GRIF, 4) INFN, 5) OEF, 6) OPEN, 7) SPY 8) TDI, 9) WWW and 10) XTXI

The portfolio contained 3 ETFs, 3 stocks with price under $10 and 1 stock that was issued in mid 2009. It seemed that not all equities managed by Swensen following Faber's Ivy Portfolio using 10-month moving average for either entering or exiting of a position. But it really doesn't matter, I am sure David Swensen knew what he is doing with his investment disregard it was an Ivy Portfolio strategy or not. Again, the Ivy Portfolio by itself already has great merit and one should not ignore as stock investor.

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