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VC was a top performing alternative asset in 2013

Venture capital assets didn’t perform as well as public equity investments last year. But among alternative assets, venture produced the among the highest returns, handily beating hedge, buyout and energy funds.

Those were the findings from the 2013 Council on Foundations-Commonfund Study of Investments for Private Foundations. The report, based on data from 153 private foundations with assets of $94 billion, found that 2013 was the second year in a row of double-digit returns across all asset classes.

U.S. domestic equities produced by far the highest annual returns, with an average of 31.8 percent. That was double the return reported for investments in international equities.

Among alternative assets, distressed debt was the top performer, returning 24.4 percent. Venture capital was in second place, with an average return of 14.2 percent. Hedge funds, meanwhile, returned 12.6 percent, followed by private equity (11.4 percent) and energy and natural resources (4.9 percent).

Photo illustration of investment compass from Shutterstock.