This week, I speak with Charley Ellis — Chair of the Yale Endowment, Vanguard Board member and founder of Greenwich Associates. This is our second conversation with the all around finance legend.
He explains how he accidentally began his career in the Rockefeller family office (he thought he was going to the Rockefeller foundation to giver money away, not managing it!). He chaired the CFA Institute, served on the faculty of Harvard Business School and the Yale School of Management, and was Chairman of the Yale Endowment, where he worked with legendary Yale CIO David Swensen. Ellis served on the Board of Directors of Vanguard Group, and is an advisor to Wealthfront.
Despite working with big institutions his entire career, Ellis explains that the best approach for most individual investor sis a simple asset allocation composed primarily of low cost index funds. He rails against the term “passive “ which he believes understates what that approach does.
Ellis is the author of 16 books, including Winning the Loser’s Game (which we discuss extensively in the show), and a collection of investing writing, The Investor’s Anthology: Original Ideas from the Industry’s Greatest Minds. His most recent book is titled Falling Short: The Coming Retirement Crisis and What to Do About It.
Ellis is simply a legend/rock star in finance, and the conversation is a joy – smart, insightful and a fun. Books and websites recommended by Ellis are found here.
Next week, we (coincidentally) speak with Rockefeller foundation managing director Saadia Madsbjerg.