The Ivy Portfolio: How to Invest Like the Top Endowments and Avoid Bear Markets

The Ivy Portfolio: How to Invest Like the Top Endowments and Avoid Bear Markets
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The Ivy Portfolio: How to Invest Like the Top Endowments and Avoid Bear Markets

BY Mebane T. Faber, Eric W. Richardson


240 pages March 2009


A do-it-yourself guide to investing like the renowned Harvard and Yale endowments. The Ivy Portfolio shows step-by-step how to track and mimic the investment strategies of the highly successful Harvard and Yale endowments. Using the endowment Policy Portfolios as a guide, the authors illustrate how an investor can develop a strategic asset allocation using an ETF-based investment approach.

The Ivy Portfolio also reveals a novel method for investors to reduce their risk through a tactical asset allocation strategy to protect them from bear markets. The book will also showcase a method to follow the smart money and piggyback the top hedge funds and their stock-picking abilities. With readable, straightforward advice, The Ivy Portfolio will show investors exactly how this can be accomplished¡ªand allow them to achieve an unparalleled level of investment success in the process.

With all of the uncertainty in the markets today, The Ivy Portfolio helps the reader answer the most often asked question in investing today - "What do I do"?


Foreword. Preface.


Part One. Constructing Your Ivy Portfolio.

Chapter 1. The Super Endowments.

Endowments are Different.

Size Matters¡­

¡­and So Does Performance.

Active Management Over Passive.


Chapter 2. The Yale Endowment.

History of the Endowment.

David Swensen's Ascent.

Of Alphas and Betas.

Outlining the Yale Process.

Domestic Equity.

Foreign Equity.




Chapter 3. The Harvard Endowment.

History of the Endowment.

The Owner's Mentality.

Harvard's Swensen.

More Money, More Problems.

How Harvard Does It.


Chapter 4. Building Your Own Ivy League Portfolio.

Do As I Do ¨C Shadowing the Super Endowments

Risk-Adjusted Returns.

¡­Do As I Say.

Inflation is the Enemy.

Creating an All-Weather Policy Portfolio through Indexing.

Implementing Your Portfolio.

Rebalancing Your Portfolio.


Part Two. Alternatives.

Chapter 5. Private Equity.

What Is Private Equity?

Historical Returns and Benchmarking.

How to Invest in Publically Listed Private Equity.


Chapter 6. Hedge Funds.

A Brief Introduction to Hedge Funds.

Fund of Funds.

Options to Invest in Hedge Funds.

Individual Hedge Funds.

Fund of Funds.

Practical Considerations.


Part Three. Active Management.

Chapter 7. Winning by Not Losing.

Losing Hurts.

The Quantitative System.

Out of Sample Testing and Systematic Tactical Asset Allocation.


A Rotation System.

Practical Considerations and Taxes.


Blood in the Streets (Pop out?).

The Systems vs. the Endowments.

Why it Works.


Chapter 8. Following the Smart Money.

Introduction to the 13F.

Combining the Top Fund Managers to Create Your Own Fund of Funds.


Chapter 9. Develop an Action Plan.

Implementing Your Ivy Portfolio.

Portfolios Mentioned in The Ivy Portfolio.

Appendix A: A Brief Review of Momentum and Trendfollowing.

Appendix B: Additional Charts.

Appendix C: Recommended Reading.


About the Authors.



Mebane T. Faber, CAIA, CMT, is the Portfolio Manager at Cambria Investment Management where he manages equity and global tactical asset allocation portfolios. He is a frequent speaker and writer on investment strategies and authors the World Beta blog. Faber is also the cofounder of AlphaClone, an investing research Web site. Faber began his career as a biotechnology equity analyst and a quantitative research analyst. He graduated from the University of Virginia with a double major in engineering science and biology. Eric W. Richardson, JD, is the founder and CEO of Cambria Investment Management. He also serves as the President of the General Partner of Cambria Investment Fund, LP, a private investment partnership that makes bridge loans and structured equity investments in emerging-growth companies. He began his career as an associate with the law firm Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy. Mr. Richardson received a BA from the University of Southern California and a JD from the University of Michigan Law School.