Insights from the experts in investment fiduciary responsibility.

Fiduciary Links: David Swensen is a Popular Source of Inspiration

Posted by Bennett Aikin on June 03, 2013

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>>>On AdvisorOne last week, John Sullivan recapped a session from the FPA 2013 NorCal Conference, titled “Alternative Investing: Opportunities, Pitfalls, and an Assets Manager’s Approach." The session looked at how large endowments have found success in alternatives and the lessons advisors can take from them.

Of course, large endowments, such as Yale, enjoy significant advantages based on their size that most advisors simply can’t match. However, the story concludes with the fundamental considerations to alternatives investing that are universal, regardless of size or access:

  • As with any investment, alternatives must have a purpose in the portfolio and shouldn’t be added solely for the sake of including alternatives.
  • Extensive due diligence is required to sort through the many available alternatives before finding the one that is right.

Coincidentally, one of our favorite blogs, The Investment Fiduciary, also looked last week to Yale and David Swensen for lessons for advisors. Looking back at a post originally written in early 2009, during the height of the financial crisis, Michael Zhuang highlights four pieces of advice David Swensen had at the time for individual investors, including the importance of process, buying low and selling high, understanding yourself as an investor, and avoiding fees. In his re-blog, Zhuang relays the steps he took to follow that advice and notes that he had clients fully recovered from the downturn a full two years before the market recovered. 

Now on to the rest of the best links from last week:

News and columns from the leading trade, consumer, and mainstream media:

From the organizations/associations/government/academia: 

From the blogs:

Articles your clients are reading (or should be):

Have a link we missed? Leave them in the comments section or email us at For more of the best links during the week, make sure you follow us on Twitter.  

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