pursuing investment excellence on behalf of endowed non-profits

Investment Philosophy


TIFF’s investment philosophy and approach derive directly from our mission: to enhance the investment returns of endowed non-profit organizations. We manage capital with the unique liquidity, risk, and spending considerations of non-profit institutions in mind as we seek to deliver at least 5% per annum over multiple market cycles, net of inflation and fees. We view risk primarily as permanent loss of capital, not short-term underperformance or volatility. The TIFF Constructed Index, a proprietary and flexible policy portfolio reviewed with our board annually, informs our asset allocation work.
Specifically, we:

• Take advantage of non-profits’ permanent life capital by remaining focused on long-term results
• Rely heavily on equities while remaining diversified across geographies, sectors, investment styles, and asset classes
• Strive to create long-term partnerships with superior managers
• Concentrate prudently in our best ideas
• Place a priority on value
• Employ alternative assets and illiquid investments selectively to control risk and to add return
• Subject portfolios to rigorous risk/return optimization analysis
• Act in accordance with TIFF’s Credo
 
We favor active management over passive (though we may use both) because we believe we have significant competitive advantages in manager selection due to our board, our staff resources, our long history, and our not-for-profit status. We deploy experienced TIFF investment professionals globally in search of world-class investment managers, with a demonstrable and repeatable “edge,” that hold the promise of delivering superior long-term returns. Intensive investment and operational due diligence helps us assess our managers’ integrity, transparency, and alignment of terms.
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