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Rekenthaler Report

Can a Fund Be Too Institutional?

Intel is about to find out.

For God, For Country, and For Yale
In 2009, Intel’s Investment Committee had a hard think. Responsible for Intel’s 401(k) plan, the Committee had created several custom funds for participant use, in addition to the usual off-the-rack mutual funds that were available. The Global Diversified Fund was the Committee's version of a balanced fund, and there was a custom target-date series. Those custom funds, in common with their retail competitors, had taken a lick during the 2008 bear market. 

The Committee decided to adopt the Yale Model. Named after the Yale endowment fund, the Yale Model diverged sharply from the traditional balanced-fund approach of blending U.S. blue-chip stocks with investment-grade bonds. The Yale fund’s chief investment officer, David Swensen, had taken to heart the chief lesson of Modern Portfolio Theory--that seemingly risky assets could reduce the risk of the portfolio through the math of diversification. Yale looked--and looks--nothing like a traditional balanced fund.

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