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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

Phone a Friend

In the Game Show “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire” when they were unsure of their final answer contestants had three lifelines.  My favorite was Phone A Friend because the interaction was often hilarious, usually unexpected and often wrong. Who Wants To Be A Trillionaire? I could not stop

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Moneyball for Hedge Funds

Business and sports understand the importance of a scorecard. But what if CEOs only got the final earnings number, or if Jordan Speith’s only input for improving his game was his 18-hole score instead of fairways hit, greens in regulation, sand saves and putts? Similarly, what if Mookie Betts

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A Gutsy Call on Interest Rates

I guess I am just a sucker for contrarian thinkers, but when I first read Stephanie Pomboy’s investment guidance in an article by Barron’s Leslie Norton on March 22, 2018, I was a little skeptical about her thesis. In the face of a new Fed chairman’s committed interest rate

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Experts Looking at Corporate Balance Sheets

Barron’s recently invited 10 leading financial minds to look into their crystal balls and predict how capital markets may fare in 2019. This round table is always interesting, but you have to remember panelists’ perspectives are usually tied to the industry that pays their salary. Abby Joseph Cohen is

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Opportunity Zones- Gimmick or Gamechanger?  

A little-known provision of the Trump Tax Reform Act of 2017 was bipartisan support for an interesting tax incentive around investments in Opportunity Zones. This is the hottest tax dodge since tax shelters in the 1980’s, but whether it will serve its purpose of distressed community development is uncertain.

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Zombie Stocks Are Alive And Well

The zombie motif was popularized by the horror movie “Night of the Living Dead” where zombies and vampires morphed into aggressive and deadly undead preying on humans. The zombie concept  moved into finance with the advent of Zombie Banks in Japan in the “lost decade” of the 1990s. Those

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China Debt—Opportunity or Contagion?

Remember when a Japanese investment group bought Pebble Beach Golf Blub September 1990? It seemed like every important asset was being gobbled up by an ascendant Japanese economy. Soon thereafter in 1992 the Japanese real estate market crashed and then, in a great imitation of a kamikaze, the Nikeii

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You Know It Is a Market Top When????

Investors all have sure signs for market tops. Lately, the equity crowd is watching an inverted yield curve as a harbinger of recession and the inevitable market correction. Other savants point to the disconnection between the market movements of Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google and the rest of

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Insurers Underwrite LBO Risk

Five years ago, when a private equity firm sold a business the buyer would require the seller to establish a funded escrow account (5-10% of the purchase price) with an independent bank as a convenient source of indemnification for representations and warranties. Until recently, in the lower middle market,

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Rock Star Candidates May Disappoint

In the lower middle market our management teams are the biggest contributors to investment returns. When you are lucky enough to inherit a great management team you can usually count on sustained growth and sequential profitability. Good managers immediately understand the vital few objectives and are typically honest about

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Binge Watching Hallmark Channel Is Bad for Your Health…

The last time I went for a physical examination the nurse who was taking blood samples and updating my medical record was shocked when I reported I was not taking any prescription medications other than an oral inhaler for seasonal asthma. Aside from being a medical freak, I got

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Currency Matters- Just Ask The Turks

In the US we rarely think about currency because ours is the reserve currency of the world. Oil is priced in US Dollars. Many loans to emerging countries are denominated in dollars to hedge against currency devaluations. For a long time the Chinese Yuan was pegged to the dollar.

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Moon Tides

The moon tides in Maine this summer reminded me about risk in investing. Normal tides can be 8-9 feet but a few days every several months the tides change by 12-13 feet. Your complacency spikes when almost every dangerous shoal and rocky point has 25% more water than during

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Cash On The Sidelines

In a recent article in Barrons “What To Do With Excess Cash” Abby Schultz points out there is an interesting trend among high net worth investors to hold a high percentage of their investable assets in cash or cash equivalents: “According to Federal Reserve figures, retail investors had about

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Retirees Are Broke

You don’t hear much about the financial status of the retiring baby boomers. Maybe that is because the news is pretty scary. I picked up on this by reading Ballmer’s USA Facts.  More recently the Wall Street Journal in an article by Heather Gillers, Anne  Tergesen and Leslie Scism

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Ballmer’s Antidote For Fake News

USA FACTS is a not for profit organization created by Steve Ballmer, former CEO of Microsoft. As I have written in a prior blog, this is like Joe Friday “just the facts, Maam.” Here is how Mr. Ballmer describes his efforts: “If you’re interested in gaining insight on government

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Seignorage May Be Treasury’s Next Profit Center?

Just recently I learned the $100 Bill has a new look. Series 2009A, the new look, was finally issued four years late in 2013 due to printing problems with the new security features. If you look at the new $100 bills, the left face looks like old money and

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One Toke Over The Line

While Bitcoin, Blockchain, Ether, Ripple and endless initial coin offerings dominate the imagination of retail investors, there is an equally appealing, and even more disruptive, agricultural product arriving soon from Amazon on your doorstep. Cannabis will generate EBITDA margins and cash conversion percentages that make online sports gambling paltry

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Central Bankers Don’t Get Chopped

The spring weather in Cleveland has been pretty awful and, while it is bad for your golf, tennis, biking and hiking, a cold and wet spring has been great for TV.  My wife has been hooked on “Chopped” for several years and I have to admit it is fun

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Teacher’s Pension

I have a friend who has been a teacher for more than 20 years in Cuyahoga County. She is counting on her pension to navigate post retirement living for her and her husband who has also recently retired. Given all I have read and learned about the national problem

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