The Ivy League View On ETFs

Harvard’s endowment fund, the largest and most-watched university endowment in the U.S., disclosed in SEC filings that it continued to up its stakes in select emerging markets ETFs in the second quarter while paring its holdings of others.

The fund currently holds $1.2 billion in various ETFs. At the end of the first quarter, the fund’s largest equity holding was the iShares/FTSE Xinhua 25 Index (NYSE: FXI), a position the fund added to in the second quarter.

At the end of the second quarter, the fund’s largest U.S.-listed position was the iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index Fund (NYSE: EEM).

Harvard also added to its positions in the iShares MSCI Chile Capped Investable Market Index Fund (NYSE: ECH), the WisdomTree India Earnings ETF (NYSE: EPI) and the Market Vectors Indonesia ETF (NYSE: IDX). Adding to EPI is noteworthy because the fund trimmed its exposure to the iPath MSCI India Index ETN (NYSE: INP) in the first quarter.

The fund continued to reduce exposure to the iShares MSCI Brazil Index Fund (NYSE: EWZ), iShares MSCI South Korea Index Fund (NYSE: EWY), iShares MSCI Mexico Index Fund (NYSE: EWW) and the iShares MSCI South Africa Index Fund (NYSE: EZA) in the second quarter. Harvard started reducing exposure to those ETFs in the first quarter.

Another ETF impacted by Harvard’s moves is the iShares MSCI Israel Capped Investable Market Index Fund (NYSE: EIS) because Harvard sold all of its holdings of Israeli stocks in the second quarter, including some of EIS’s largest constituents.

The University of Texas, University of Notre Dame, Stanford University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Yale University are among the other U.S. colleges that use ETFs in their endowment funds, according to

ETF Professor

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