Western Michigan University Investing Less In U.S. Stocks, More In REITS And Global Bonds

Ann McClure's picture

Western Michigan University is changing where its investing its money from domestic to international assets to decrease risk and enhance returns.

Jan Van Der Kley, the vice president of business and finance, said had the university diversified its long-term assets earlier, returns would have increased at least 0.4 percent. For the first time, WMU is acquiring assets in real estate investment trusts (REITS), global bonds and bank loans to help diversify its portfolio.

“You never keep all your eggs in one basket,” Van Der Kley said. “When you look at the equity in stocks, only 50 percent are U.S.-based companies and if you look at returns, for a while now, non-domestic are outperforming.”

The decision to change WMU's operating cash investment policy, unanimously approved at the last WMU Board of Trustees meeting, will reduce the university’s exposure to domestic equities.

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