He attributes the downfall of many early companies to a combination of two things--a lack of understanding of how different the insurance market is from other financial services, and the Internet hype and dot-com boom that led people to spend too much money on the wrong things.
"Our institutions of higher education are the ultimate long-term investment," Insana advised, "but that doesn't mean that a college or university should put itself in an inferior position by being too conservative, and hanging onto the minority of lower-return investments." On the other hand, said the analyst, "you don't want to swing for the fences." He cautioned that schools must drop the 20-percent-rate-of-return mindset that was prevalent during the dot-com boom: "That just isn't a normal rate of return." Endowment managers, he said, must now accept that when it comes to the market, "the abnormal has become normal.