The Investment Scientist

Reading tea leaves from Harvard’s portfolio changes

Posted on: May 20, 2009

The Harvard Management Company, which oversees the $26 billion Harvard University Endowment, recently filed a 13F-HR quarterly report with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) disclosing its portfolio of publicly traded securities as of the end of Q1 2009.

Here are the most significant changes to Harvard’s portfolio:

Three dropouts

IShares MSCI UK Index Fund, iPath MSCI India Index Fund, and Western Asset Claymore Inflation-Linked Opportunities & Income Fund are no longer in the top 10. In fact, Harvard completely sold its UK index fund holding during Q1 2009.

Three additions

Vanguard Emerging Market ETF, iShares South Korea Index Fund, and China Mobile ADR are additions to the top 10. Moreover, both iShares South Korea and China Mobile are new Harvard holdings.

One U.S. holdout

Nine out of the top 10 holdings are in emerging markets. There is only one U.S. holdout – Stoneleigh Partners.

Two stocks, eight ETFs

Stoneleigh Partners is one of two stock holdings in Harvard’s top 10; the other stock (ADR) holding is China Mobile. All other holdings are emerging market ETFs.

Conclusion

It appears that Harvard is even more bullish investing in emerging markets than last quarter.

Table: Top 10 holdings in Harvard University Endowment’s public portfolio

Rank Names 3/31/09 (x1000sh) 12/31/08 (x1000sh) Change
1 iShares E. Mkt 8276 9005 -729
2 iShares Brazil 3170 1667 +1503
3 iShares China 3162 2027 +1135
4 Vanguard E. Mkt 2289 17 +2272
5 iShares S. Korea 1737 0 New
6 iShares S. Africa 1222 832 +39
7 iShares Mexico 1380 570 +810
8 Market Vectors Russia 1762 882 +880
9 Stoneleigh Partners 2626 2626 0
10 China Mobile 376 0 New
Drop iShares UK 0 1136 Sold Out
Drop iPath India 446 404 +42
Drop WA-Clay US Infl-Lnk 1123 1090 +33

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2 Responses to "Reading tea leaves from Harvard’s portfolio changes"

YOUR REPORTS/ARTICLES ARE MOST INTERESTING AND HELPFUL TO NOT-VERY-SAVVY STOCK INVESTORS. I SHALL APPRECIATE YOUR PUTTING ME IN YOUR EMAIL LIST.

Julio,

I will put you in my email list.

Michael

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Author

Michael Zhuang is principal of MZ Capital, a fee-only independent advisory firm based in Washington, DC. He is also a regular contributor to Morningstar Advisor and Physicians Practice. To explore a long-term wealth advisory relationship, schedule a discovery meeting (phone call) with him.



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