The NY Times has completed an usual Ivy League two-fer, with recent profiles of Yale endowment manager David Swensen and, today, new Harvard endowment guy Mohamed El-Erian. The latter is ex- of Pimco, of course, where he was the emerging markets bond supremo, turning in a standout record making money for himself and BillG’s gang over in Newport Beach.
Does the Times story move the ball at all? Not much. We do learn, however, that El-Erian is a more swashbuckling market-timer than Yale’s Swensen, with the latter smartly swearing such stuff off. But El-Erian bet early this year that market’s were over-priced and lightened equity exposure by 5% or so, a move that has made him money, the Times tells us.
Fair enough, and I’m sure El-Erian has the instincts of a market mongoose, but stock timing is a doombound game at the best of times, and ever-bearish bond guys are generally only good at it in one direction, down.