James Heilman wrote:
> I personally invest in stuff that gives 1.5% to 1.7% returns....

Whether you call it fake news, disinformation, public relations,
manufactured consent, astroturfing, propaganda, or simply clever
advertising campaigning, bankers are thrilled when people think such
returns are reasonable, because they make so much money by turning
around those investments into payday loans, overdraft fees, student
loans, and high credit card interest rates to the vast majority of the
population which has already depleted their savings:

However, that such returns are reasonable is a false narrative which
only serves to increase economic inequality. Many nonprofits (and some
people) are in a precarious financial condition and therefore should
invest in government bonds (or cash accounts.) But the WMF is among
the most financially solvent nonprofits in the history of
civilization, and certainly beyond the level of the wealthiest
educational institutions because of the lack of physical plant
overhead. For what such institutions with competent financial
management typically earn, please see e.g. Figure 1 on page 2 of:

Individuals should be earning the same high rates too, and easily can,
but bankers and fund managers hate it when their customers are savvy
enough to ask for endowment-grade returns. Please see:

Disclaimer: I have no financial, familial, or other ties to Vanguard,
but I like them more than their competitors, in part because of the
"number two tries harder" effect, and in part because of the fact
Renaissance was behind the effort, which shows to me that they have
lost focus on fundamental value investing because arbitrage over
politicians is (temporarily?) more lucrative, shown here:

> Why is it assumed we should be investing in stocks?

I am not recommending stocks. I recommend managed endowment-grade
mutual fund(s) with divestitures using short sales with limit orders
to remove the short sale risk.

> And where is the evidence that "brilliant minds" do better at
> stocks than random chance?

Again, unless one has the resources to keep current investigations on
the fundamental financial conditions of stocks such as the top
performing endowment fund management fund companies do, I am not
suggesting one should be picking stocks. However, the evidence that
those funds are superior to what a small team (such as the Wikimedia
Endowment Advisory Board) is completely clear; see:

> The endowment is under separate management from the WMF, with
> the people running the endowment specialized in that area.

While my questions are about the Foundation's primary investments for
which an endowment-grade fund is most appropriate, but not the nascent
endowment itself, I have been trying to follow the Endowment news. Has
its Board even met yet? I have absolutely no confidence that they have
the resources necessary to outperform a top-5 endowment-grade mutual
fund. If you don't agree, please see for yourself:

Annette Campbell-White's Kia Ora Foundation made $73K interest,
dividends, and capital gains on $2.8 million cash, savings, and
investments, only 2.6%.

Peter Baldwin's Arcadia Fund doesn't even disclose their endowment financials:

Nor have they ever. They are also not listed in GuideStar UK, Charity
Financials, nor

While they are listed at https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/IC000448
their financials are missing, and the referral has no information at
all: https://register.fca.org.uk/shpo_nosearchresultpage?search=IC000448

In any case, the thought that Wales, Campbell-White, and Baldwin have
the resources to investigate the fundamentals of tens of thousands of
investment choices is absurd, and the thought that they have any hope
of outperforming any of the top-5 endowment mutual fund is even less
likely. If there is any evidence to the contrary I would like to read

Best regards,

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