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College Endowments Post Biggest Losses Since Financial Crisis

  • Results contrast sharply with last year’s gain of 27%
  • Larger funds showed increases of 0.9% for year ended in June


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Investments in US college endowments declined the most since the global financial crisis, owing in part to double-digit losses in US equity markets.

Endowments lost a median 10.2% before fees for the 12 months through June, according to data to be published Tuesday by Wilshire Trust Universe Comparison Service. The largest funds -- those with assets of more than $500 million -- fared substantially better, with a slight gain of 0.9%. Larger endowments tend to invest more in alternatives such as private equity funds, which offered a buffer against the equity-market losses, while smaller ones rely more heavily on US stocks.