If exchange traded funds (ETFs) are good enough for Harvard, shouldn’t they be good enough for you? The richest university in the United States made a bet on ETFs that track global markets and was handsomely rewarded in the last quarter.

Harvard University, the richest U.S. university, reported that the value of its U.S. securities increased 26% in the fourth quarter, due to the investments made in ETFs that track international markets. Gillian Wee for BusinessWeek reports that Harvard’s biggest security purchases in the fourth quarter were ETFs tracking markets including China, Brazil and Russia.

According to a recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the school increased its holdings in U.S.-traded shares to $2.26 billion as of Dec. 31 from $1.79 billion three months earlier. Although this does not reflect anywhere near all of Harvard’s earnings or investments, the overall endowment is not accessible, and is managed by external providers.

Harvard isn’t the only university to use ETFs in its endowment; MIT and Yale, among others, use them, too.

For more stories about the benefits and uses of ETFs, visit our ETF 101 category.

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.