Coming up with outperforming strategies inspired by the elite endowments requires innovations not only in asset allocation, but also in the deployment of resources to exploit long-term horizons and governance processes. “More alternatives is not the answer,” Fernance says. “It’s not that easy.” It follows that any envy of the top endowments should be transformed into a spur for innovation, rather than emulation, in the pursuit of higher sustained returns.

Here some words from 19th century American intellectual Ralph Waldo Emerson especially apply: that envy is ignorance, and imitation suicide.

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