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Keynes, King's and Endowment Asset Management

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  • David Chambers
  • Elroy Dimson
  • Justin Foo

Abstract

Founded in 1441, King's College was one of Cambridge University's wealthiest Colleges, endowed with a vast agricultural portfolio. John Maynard Keynes was appointed bursar just after WWI and initiated a major reallocation to equities, an innovation at least as radical as the late 20th century commitment to illiquid assets by Harvard and Yale. Keynes initially pursued a market-timing approach to investment with mixed success and failed to anticipate the 1929 market crash. Thereafter, his switch to a patient buy-and-hold strategy allowed him to maintain his commitment to equities in the subsequent market slump, reflecting the natural advantages that accrue to long horizon investors. Keynes' innovations in endowment asset management, implemented over a dynamic period of capital market development and economic turbulence remain of great relevance to modern investors emerging from the Great Recession.

Suggested Citation

  • David Chambers & Elroy Dimson & Justin Foo, 2014. "Keynes, King's and Endowment Asset Management," NBER Working Papers 20421, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:20421
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • B26 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought since 1925 - - - Financial Economics
    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions
    • G14 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies; Insider Trading
    • G23 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Non-bank Financial Institutions; Financial Instruments; Institutional Investors

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