International News Desk – At Home: U of T shifts to lower-risk investing – In Foreign News: New study reveals lower IQs in smokers

International News Desk – At Home: U of T shifts to lower-risk investing – In Foreign News: New study reveals lower IQs in smokers

At Home: U of T shifts to lower-risk investing

After a decade of ?disappointing returns??and a $1.5-bilion loss?the University of Toronto is moving away from the aggressive investment strategy it implemented in 2000.

As the Globe and Mail reports, a corporation called University of Toronto Asset Management (UTAM) was set up to ?boost returns by applying the investment style pioneered at big U.S. schools.?

But the strategy has failed, and along with poor returns the university saw the loss of almost 30 per cent of its endowment and pension funds in just a single year.

U of T President David Naylor announced the changes in a letter to staff and faculty. In part, the shift is a reaction to recommendations by a ?blue-ribbon panel,? which found that UTAM had failed in its mission.

The report recommended that UTAM should be placed back under the direct control of the university. Since its inception, the asset manager had pursued high-risk investments such as private equity and hedge funds in an effort to realize high returns. That strategy will be ?scaled back significantly.?

Even before markets weakened, UTAM’s performance was seen as ?disappointing,? showing an annualized rate of return of only 2.7 per cent since it began operations.

In Foreign News: New study reveals lower IQs in smokers

According to a recent international study, cigarette smokers not only have lower IQs than non-smokers, but ?the more a person smokes, the lower his IQ.?

The New Zealand Herald reports that the study tested over 20,000 Israeli military recruits. Those who smoked a pack or more each day ?had IQ scores that were 7.5 points lower than non-smokers.? The study was conducted by Dr Mark Weiser and colleagues from Sheba Medical Center, located in Tel Hashomer. Candidates with major mental health issues were not included in the study.

The results shouldn’t be interpreted to mean that smoking lowers a person’s IQ. Instead, as Auckland University expert Dr. Marewa Glover noted, the study can be seen as ?proof of a successful campaign by the tobacco industry to target those with lower IQs.?

?They already know that people with poorer cognitive functioning, and populations where that is concentrated, are going to be more vulnerable to marketing tactics that are not dependent upon literacy skills,? Dr. Glover told reporters.

As the number of cigarettes smoked increased, the study showed a corresponding drop in IQ levels. The results held true even after researchers adjusted for differences in socio-economic status, ?measured by how many years of formal education a recruIt’s father had completed.?

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