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Publisher's Summary

An indispensable road map for creating a successful investment program from Yale’s chief investment officer, David F. Swensen.

In the years since the now-classic Pioneering Portfolio Management was first published, the global investment landscape has changed dramatically - but the results of David Swensen's investment strategy for the Yale University endowment have remained as impressive as ever. Year after year, Yale's portfolio has trumped the marketplace by a wide margin, and, with more than $20 billion added to the endowment under his 23-year tenure, Swensen has contributed more to Yale's finances than anyone ever has to any university in the country. What may have seemed like one among many success stories in the era before the Internet bubble burst emerges now as a completely unprecedented institutional investment achievement.

In this fully revised and updated edition, Swensen, author of the best-selling personal finance guide Unconventional Success, describes the investment process that underpins Yale's endowment. He provides lucid and penetrating insight into the world of institutional funds management, illuminating topics ranging from asset-allocation structures to active fund management. Swensen employs an array of vivid real-world examples, many drawn from his own formidable experience, to address critical concepts such as handling risk, selecting advisors, and weathering market pitfalls.

Swensen offers clear and incisive advice, especially when describing a counterintuitive path. Conventional investing too often leads to buying high and selling low. Trust is more important than flash-in-the-pan success. Expertise, fortitude, and the long view produce positive results where gimmicks and trend following do not.

The original Pioneering Portfolio Management outlined a common-sense template for structuring a well-diversified equity-oriented portfolio. This new edition provides fund managers and students of the market an up-to-date guide for actively managed investment portfolios. 

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2000, 2009 David F. Swenson (P)2018 Echo Point Books & Media, LLC

What listeners say about Pioneering Portfolio Management

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incredibly insightful

Swenson elegantly teaches fundamental macroeconomics by demonstrating the underlying principles of financial instruments. this book goes wide and deep, providing high level concepts with detailed support.

1 person found this helpful

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One of the best investment books around

Great advice on many, many investment vehicles. Active investment is really hard to do, so this is vary helpful before risking capital. Great listen!!!

1 person found this helpful

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YouTube is your best friend.

He uses big words seemingly just to flex his vocabulary, but it is exhaustive of terms and principles that are served well with a deep dive into youtube for extra, more simple explanation.

General summary -

Endowments look at immortality.
To do so, it must provide stable spending for the university, compensate for inflation, lower risk, and gain excess returns compared to market performance.

Lowering risk comes from diversity of asset classes and finding top 25%-10% managers to work in inefficient markets, like private equity. Different asset classes include commodities which hedge well against inflation, bonds, which provide stability in years when stocks are down, stocks which provide highest levels of long term returns, foreign currencies which also hedge to inflation. Another way to hedge risk is to purchase future locked in prices to balance against market fluctuation. Another memorable way to prevent risk is thru financial maneuvers like futures and shorts and options, which lock in a trade under a certain condition so you don’t lose excess money. A great way to provide steady returns is thru something yale pioneered called “absolute returns” which are independent of markets, like merger arbitrage. Importantly, policy based decisions and constant rebalancing lowers risk the most. A single bad decision can rank a firm and policy decisions prevent this from happening, while enabling compound interest to do its work.

While fundamental market forces will
Play out in the long run, short term trends may be damaging enough to end a firm, like GME, and it is important to not be over concentrated into a single security.

For management, consequently, this means that sometimes good performance is a result of the market and vice versa. If the manager is producing with sound investment principles, retain them. Otherwise, we see luck, as evidenced by investment charlatans decades and globes over.

Regarding management, anything below 50% in terms of performance on a bell graph with standard distribution, is likely to lose money. Indeed the top 25% make 3% above the market and the top 10% make 30% above the market on average. A good manager may face a bad market and vice versa, so it’s important to judge over a long period and not lake hasty decisions.

If you don’t have a good manager, passive investment is best.

And finally, in the appendix, corporate bonds and junk bonds and asset backed securities are horrid and do not belong in a portfolio. Low credibility and low diversity.

Bummer- this book doesn’t talk about crypto. Curious to see his thoughts on the subject

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Time enduring classic

Although the book is last updated in 2009, the insights of private investments discussed continues to be highly relevant to today’s practitioners. In many cases, I find the industry, shocking, has improved little on the negative points identified and discussed in the book.

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mostly common knowledge you learn in b school

The book covers mostly common knowledge you learn in business school. Not many unique ideas that you don't see elsewhere.