Robert Shiller’s survey course on finance at Yale is available from both 2008 and 2011. These lectures while sometimes basic for the experienced investor are chock full of gems and I should get around to putting my notes online. Meanwhile one fun/dangerous note I feel like playing with from David Swensen’s guest lecture in the Spring of 2011:
I could take Yale’s $17 or $18 billion dollars and put it all in Google stock. If I did that, I’m not sure how long I’d keep my job. It might be fun for a while, but that would probably be damaging to my employment prospects. But if I did that, asset allocation would have almost nothing to say about Yale’s returns. It would be the idiosyncratic return associated with Google that would determine whether the endowment went up or down or stayed flat.
This comes from his elucidation to investment returns could come from stock selection but basically that is a very hard game. Well, what if he HAD put $17 billion into GOOG on February 2, 2011 (assuming no market move from building in a Larry or Sergei-sized stake in GOOG)?
GOOG was $612 on Feb 2 2011 and $699 now; a 14.2% return just over 17 months. Yale’s endowment report for 2011 (up to June 2011) had a 21% return that year (announced late September); but no fiscal 2012 results have been announced yet; will be fun to see and compare.