Overall posts 8.6% return in pandemic year
“I think the pleasing thing for me was in 2020 it was generating a 16 per cent return, which I think is very encouraging to show that that portfolio, which includes SpaceX, is actually doing pretty well.”
Taylor said the stake in Musk’s company builds on past satellite technology investments, and that decisions about putting money into innovative or disruptive technologies involves weighing risks and reward.
“The … question is making sure we get the right balance in the number of those investments we make and the level of risk it’s appropriate to take,” he said. “And when we’re taking that risk are we getting paid for it, are we getting the returns that we would hope to see.”
Teachers, which closed out 2020 with net assets of $221.2 billion, invested in SpaceX in June 2019, two months after launching the Teachers’ Innovation Platform. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Ziad Hindo, the fund’s chief investment officer, said diversification across asset classes and geographies provides a buffer to allow the long-term investor to seek high returns from innovative and disruptive assets.
“We don’t put our eggs all in one basket,” he said. “We diversify into innovation related and disruptive related assets, but we invest also in core infrastructure assets, in private equity, (and) in credit.”