U.S. endowment funds returned an average 15.8% for the fiscal year ended June 30, said preliminary data reported so far by 426 institutions for the annual NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments.
The return compares favorably with the 11.7% average return for fiscal year 2013 as reported by the full universe of 835 educational endowments, said a news release issued jointly on Monday by the National Association of University and College Business Officers, and Commonfund Institute.
Larger endowments produced better average one-year returns as of June 30 than their smaller brethren:
- endowments $1 billion or larger, 16.8%;
- endowments between $501 million and $999 million, 16.2%;
- endowments less than $25 million, 16.1%; and
- endowments between $26 million and $500 million ranged between 15.3% and $15.6%.
In dollar-weighted terms, the average asset allocation of the full universe of endowments of all sizes that have responded so far was alternatives increased to 58% in 2014 from 53% in 2013; international equities fell to 17% from 18%; domestic equities, to 13% from 16%; fixed income, to 7% from 10%; and short-term securities/cash/other rose to 5% from 3%.
The average return for every asset class of the full universe of endowment early reporters as of June 30 was better than the same date a year earlier: domestic equities, 22.6% in 2014 vs. 20.6% in 2013; international equities, 19.6% vs. 14.6%; alternatives, 12.8% vs. 8.3%; fixed income, 5.4% vs. 1.7%; and short-term securities/cash/other, 2.7% vs. 1.2%.