Managing an endowment
Managing an endowment is unlike traditional investment because of the nature of the beneficiaries. For most pools of capital, such as pension funds, the beneficiaries are alive. For endowments the beneficiaries may not even be born yet.
A careful balance is required between managing the interests of today’s beneficiaries with those of future generations. To do this, we need to preserve the real value of gifts donated to fund activities in education and research and generate absolute real returns. This is different from the vast majority of other investors who may be concerned with liability matching or beating short term market indices, whether they go up or down.