The Investment Scientist

Harvard Endowment on US Equity & Emerging Markets

Posted on: July 27, 2011

I asked my PhD analyst John Want to pull the Harvard Endowment 13F filing for the first quarter of 2011 and find out what has changed sinceour last examination three months ago. From the table of the top 15 holdings that is attached, we can see three changes:

1. The iShare S&P 500 Index ETF is no longer among the top 15 holdings. Though there are still a number of individual U.S. stocks among the top 15, their relative weights have decreased. Does that signify Harvard is a tad less bullish on U.S. equities over all?

2. The iShare S&P GSCI Commodity Index ETF has been dropped from the top 15 holdings. This index is dominated by energy.

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3. The iShare MSCI Emerging Market Index ETF has also been dropped from the top 15 holdings, but a number of individual emerging market ETFs have seen their weights increased: Brazil, Russia, India, and South Korea. But China has seen significant decrease, albert still the second largest holding (last quarter it was the largest).

My overall impression is that Harvard has grown a bit cautious about commodities and U.S. equities and more selective in emerging markets.

2011 Q1 2010 Q4
Symbol Shares Value (X1000) Symbol Shares Value (X1000)
EWZ 3,425,653 265,420 FXI 4,719,230 203,352
FXI 3,306,304 148,651 EWZ 2,418,687 187,206
ACL 486,800 80,570 ACL 341,800 55,850
LZ 435,603 58,353 PEB 2,597,352 52,778
PEB 2,597,352 57,531 EWY 622,980 38,120
BEC 600,000 49,842 NAL 2,331,429 34,925
EWY 637,672 41,034 AMX 524,983 30,103
INP 561,484 40,719 EEM 585,558 27,884
GENZ 532,200 40,527 Q 2,808,913 21,376
NAL 2,692,403 39,955 BEE 299,225 18,863
LDSH 645,980 35,303 ECH 228,900 18,220
AMX 465,983 27,074 GSG 515,000 17,562
RSX 637,994 26,553 IVV 128,715 16,250
Q 3,877,019 26,480 PBR 475,000 16,231
ECH 323,900 23,269 VIP 1,047,006 15,747

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Michael Zhuang is principal of MZ Capital, a fee-only independent advisory firm based in Washington, DC.

Twitter: @mzhuang

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