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5 Stocks Endowment Funds Are Buying in 2012

BALTIMORE ( Stockpickr) -- Forget the hedge funds and mutual funds for a minute. If you want to follow the moves of a prescient group of professional investors, keep an eye on the endowments.

While traditional institutional investors get a lot of attention from Wall Street, endowment funds are shoveling gains to a different sort of "institution": colleges, universities and nonprofits. And with billions of dollars in assets and dedicated in-house portfolio management teams, the moves being made by these institutions of a different sort are a big deal.

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University endowment managers have cash (the five biggest college endowments alone manage more than $86.5 billion), and they have talent (veterans include Mohamed El-Erian, the Pimco co-CIO who previously headed Harvard's mammoth endowment) -- and thanks to 13F filings with the SEC, we can take a look at the stocks endowments are bullish on this quarter.

To be sure, stocks and ETFs only make up part of endowments' AUM; filings show around $23.7 billion in equity investments as of the most recent quarter. But they also poured significant assets into new stock positions this past quarter.

Today, we'll take a look at five of the biggest position increases endowment funds took on.  
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