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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

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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Negative Interest Rates

There are only a few financial occurrences in my lifetime as confusing as negative interest rates.  In September 2015, I wrote a blog about living in a Bizarro World where everything is reversed ( https://capitalworks.net/i-am-living-in-a-bizarro-world/). Negative interest rates are just the latest Bizarro example where you have to pay more

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Elon Musk

I did not appreciate Elon Musk until I read Ashlee Vance’s biography entitled “Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX and the Quest for a Fantastic Future”. The author is clearly a Musk advocate and he looks past Elon’s shenanigans to find a once in a century mind working from what he

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Ninth Wonder Of Financial World

If the US Bond Market is the Eighth Wonder of the World, the Depositary Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC) is certainly the Ninth. Most people have never heard of DTCC but in 2012 it and two of its subsidiaries were named Systemically Important Financial Market Utilities (SIFMU’s”).  SIFMUs are

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Facebook’s Libra May Be a SuckerBit

Mark Zuckerberg would be one of the last people on the planet I would trust with my financial information, but obviously his Board of Directors must see it differently. Facebook announced that it would introduce its own cryptocurrency called Libra tied to a market basket of world currencies and

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Newspapers and the First Amendment

A recent article in the weekend edition of the Wall Street Journal “News Industry, a Stark Divide Between Haves and Have-Nots” highlights the demise of the newspaper industry in the United States. Even though digital is taking over print, the speed of the death spiral is nonetheless surprising. What

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