U.S. endowments' average one-year return in 2004 was 15.1%, the highest since 1998, according to the latest survey by the National Association of College and University Business Officers, based on June 30 data. The average 2004 return is 12 percentage points higher than the average return for 2003. U.S. endowments raised their equity allocations for the first time in five years to an average 59.9%, up 2.8 percentage points from 2003. Fixed-income allocations were down to an average 22.1% from 25.9% the year before.
The country's largest endowment, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass., had $22.1 billion in assets as of June 30, up 17.5% from the previous year. The endowment of Yale University, New Haven, Conn., came in second with $12.7 billion in assets, up 15.5% from the previous year. In third place was the endowment of the University of Texas System, Austin, with $10.3 billion in assets as of June 30, up 18.7% from the previous year. The endowments of Princeton University, Princeton, N.J., and Stanford University, Palo Alto, Calif., tied for fourth and fifth place with assets of $9.9 billion as of Aug. 31, up 13.7% and 15.2%, respectively, from the previous year.
The survey of 747 endowments with assets totaling $267 billion was conducted by the TIAA-CREF Institute in September on behalf of NACUBO.