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PE4FAMS Private Equity for Families Blog

The Private Equity for Families Blog

Insight for those who want to include private equity or direct investment in privately-held businesses in their portfolios. The opinions expressed in the PE4Fams blog are those of  Rob McCreary and not necessarily those of CapitalWorks or its employees.

Robert McCreary CapitalWorks private equity Cleveland

The Book of Exodus Portends More Money Printing

When the Israelites fled Egypt under Moses’ leadership they were constantly attacked by the Amalekites.  In the valley of Rephidim the Israelites under the command of Joshua, met Amalek in a battle where Moses guaranteed his general a victory as long as Moses could oversee the fighting. According to

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Covid-19 Challenges The Hamster Wheel of Sales & Marketing

We have watched quite closely the first half financial performance of our portfolio of lower middle market companies. Almost all of them have benefitted from four trends that have accelerated in the pandemic:             Business Travel Has Stopped             Business Entertainment Has Been Curtailed             Capital Expenditures Have Focused

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The Fed’s Bay of Fundy Moment

I have written before about moon tides (and how they remind us about investment markets tending to exaggerate fear or greed) https://capitalworks.net/moon-tides/. Dangerous shoals are hidden when the tide is 20% higher and keels are in the mud or on the rocks when the moon tide has fully ebbed.

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Hertz Bankruptcy: Who’s In The Driver’s Seat?

Bankruptcy is a little bit like the Greeks’ vision of Hell or Hades. There is a river you have to cross called the Styx with a ferryman called Charon whom you have to pay with a coin for safe passage. If your relatives forgot to bury you with a

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If You Give a Politician a Printing Press?

Laura Numeroff writes really popular children’s’ books. She is famous for her series on animals: “If You Give A Moose A Muffin”, “If You Give A Mouse A Cookie”, “If You Give A Pig A Pancake”, and many others. These are fun books for kids because of alliteration and

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Double Whammy of Deflation

Central banks consider deflation a “devil child” because of its pernicious psychology. Deflation encourages waiting for purchases until they get cheaper—which they do every day as demand is delayed. The result is a downward price spiral and slow GDP growth. Even though this sounds good for the consumer, it

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What Is Going on With Bitcoin?

College friends are brutally honest. So, it came as no surprise to me in a Zoom cocktail chat with former classmates over the weekend there was some curiosity but even more suspicion, about Bitcoin’s recent price rises. Here is BTC’s chart over the two years from the May 6, 2020,

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Cheeseburger, Cheeseburger, Cheeseburger

One of the funniest and most memorable Saturday Night Live skits was John Belushi and The Olympia Restaurant. That New York diner provided customers with a full menu of food choices, but only  served “Cheeseburger; Pepsi no Coke; and no fries, chips.” Regular patrons like Gilda Radner just ordered

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The Coming Debt Jubilee

The current safety net programs being offered by the Federal Reserve Bank are widespread. They include the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) safety net of 8 weeks of payroll subsidy for companies that have existing Small Business Administration loans. They also include Fed purchases of a wide swath of debt

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World 2.0

As a society we have been moving at 80mph most of my adult life. There is endless stimulation from people, meetings, media, business, religion, socialization, travel, sports, entertainment, literature, the stock and bond markets, internet and iPhones. Sometimes we are moving so fast we never have time to process

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Value Investors and an Unpredictable Future

In a recent conversation about asset allocation with an astute growth investor, I was surprised he dismissed the possibility of a socialist as President. He simply could not see that happening and, therefore, it could not serve as a reason for changing a traditional 60 percent equity/40 percent bond

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New Reason to be In Private Equity

When we started our private equity firm 20 years ago, high net worth individuals and institutions were interested in the asset class for three big reasons: Outperformance versus the Stock Market Lack of Correlation to Publicly Traded Asset Classes Persistent Outperformance by Top Quartile Managers. McKinsey & Company just

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To Live With The Classes, Sell To The Masses

I was waiting at a traffic light in Naples Florida, and a radio jingle about “going first class” with Marcus by Goldman Sachs captured my attention.  Goldman is selling savings accounts called “Marcus” to the masses and advertising on the radio???? This wasn’t the Goldman Sachs I remember. The

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Losers Get Indexed Too

A January 9, 2020, Wall Street Journal article by James Mackintosh entitled “Money Losing Stocks Mushroom Even As Stocks Hit New Highs” cautions about the high percentage of publicly traded stocks that show three years of losses but still are experiencing significant price appreciation. Here is a chart from

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New Year Numerology

Mark Twain is credited with saying “History Does Not Repeat Itself, But It does Rhyme”.   So, as we enter year 2020, I looked for the last year in the United States history that repeated, and also the only other year in the Julian calendar which both repeats and also

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Financial Literacy

Financial literacy is a hot topic right now. It should be. A large swath of the younger population in the United States could not pass a basic financial literacy test, much less debate the pros and cons of capitalism. In recognition of this deficiency, Barrons devoted a Special Report,

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Major League Baseball Will Cut 42 Minor League Teams

When the Houston Astros aren’t allegedly stealing signs, doing advanced analytics, or deploying infielders like short fielders in slow pitch softball, they are obviously sniffing the air of change in the wage and hour world. Recent articles from The New York Times, Sports Illustrated, ESPN and Fan Graphs all

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How Hard Can This Be?

I have never been good at betting on NFL football.  Invariably, I am on the wrong side of picking the over/under or the winner, especially Superbowl games. I always thought it was my lack of information. So this season I entered two NFL football pools sponsored by a friend,

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An Emerging Third World Opportunity

There is always a large dose of wonder and a small amount of dread about travel to developing parts of the world. The electrical grid and connecting your devices usually mean at least 5 different connector models, none of which really work when you actually get to your destination.

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Texas hold ’em

Every year The World Series of Poker hosts the finals of the Texas hold ’em competition where the best poker players in the world compete for a multi-million-dollar purse. Unlike most other poker hands, the players in Texas hold ’em get 2 down cards which they alone can see,

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Who’s Your Cyborg?

In the movie “Terminator” machines with artificial intelligence provoke a nuclear holocaust with the objective of eliminating humanity. While they almost succeed, the future reveals a small, but determined, human resistance led by John Connor. In that future Connor is on the verge of eliminating the machines when they

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This blog represents the views of Rob McCreary and do not reflect those of CapitalWorks or its employees. This blog is not intended as investment advice. Any discussion of a specific security is for illustrative purposes only and should not be relied upon as indicative of such security’s current or future value. Readers should consult with their own financial advisors before making an investment decision.