A monumental legacy, an untimely death. David Swensen’s obituary

Greatly admired among investment professionals, not as well known among main street investors, David Swenson died on May 5.

“David served our university with distinction. He was an exceptional colleague, a dear friend, and a beloved mentor to many in our community,” said Peter Salovey, the president of Yale.

From 1985 to 2020, David Swensen headed a team which  grew the Yale endowment from $1 billion to $31.2 billion. The endowment went from providing 1/10 of the university’s spending to 1/3, including financial support for a half of the students.

You can see some of David Swensen’s quotes below.

“When you look at the results on an after-fee, after-tax basis, over reasonably long periods of time, there’s almost no chance that you end up beating the index fund.”

“Supremely rational investors take the further step of acting against consensus, rebalancing to long-term portfolio targets…”

“…security selection and market timing make no material contribution to returns…”

“…asset allocation accounts for the largest share of portfolio returns.”

David Swensen could have spelled out the Monday Morning investment philosophy. He could have been a member.


We have designed the Monday Morning Millionaire Program to offer abstracted investment education. Over the last two decades, the program has outperformed over 90% of portfolios, including professionally managed ones.

The program does not provide any investment advice or endorsements.

Members can read our posts in less than five minutes. Following and studying the links embedded in these posts would take longer. How members manage a post depends on their level of interest and investing knowledge.

Dr. Milan Somborac

The Monday Morning Millionaire Program supports do-it-yourself (DIY) investors which I have been for over 50 years. About my team and me