Diversification Demystified: Creating a Balanced Portfolio


This post is by MPD from @MPD – Medium


Understanding the Endowment Model: Diversification and Risk Management

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on the endowment model and its significance in managing diversified portfolios, inspired by a deep dive into the topic with Chris Zhang, CIO and partner at Ascend Interplay. This article aims to elucidate the concepts discussed in our recent podcast episode and explore how diversification and risk management play pivotal roles in asset management for ultra-high-net-worth families.

What Is the Endowment Model?

The endowment model, popularized by David Swensen of Yale, is an investment strategy focusing on a diversified portfolio that leans heavily towards alternative assets such as private equity, venture capital, and real estate. Unlike traditional portfolios that predominantly comprise public equities and fixed income, the endowment model seeks to enhance returns by incorporating less liquid but potentially higher-yielding investments.

Why Do Endowments Use This Model?

Endowments, like those of major universities, have well-defined, long-term liabilities. This allows them to invest patiently, capturing the illiquidity premium associated with private assets. The model’s core principle is constructing a portfolio of uncorrelated assets to maximize returns and minimize risk, ensuring stability through varying market conditions.

How Does Diversification Work in the Endowment Model?

Diversification in the endowment model goes beyond the traditional mix of stocks and bonds. It involves spreading investments across various asset classes, geographies, and stages of investment. This approach aims to capture uncorrelated returns, which can reduce overall portfolio risk.

What Are Uncorrelated Assets?

Uncorrelated assets move independently of each other. In theory, combining them should (Read more…)