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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

Why Is This So Hard

The most important ingredient of success in private equity is not capital.  It is people. After 40 years of working in mergers and acquisitions as a lawyer, investment banker and private equity owner I come back to people as the biggest variable in my success and failures. Why is

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First Do No Harm

Freakonomics has really interesting podcasts, and the last one of a three part series on August 20, entitled “Bad Medicine” did not disappoint.   The long standing view of the big three causes of death was Heart, Cancer and Respiratory.  According to The Center For Disease Control, here is the list

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Disrupting Trust and Validation Business

When Luca Pacioli introduced double entry bookkeeping in the 15th Century that single idea spawned acceptance of the modern corporation as a vehicle for collaborative business because it created an auditable trail of financial entries. The third party trust and validation business was soon to follow and has blossomed

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Invest Like Pooh and Eeyore

Extended time with the grandchildren always leads to the irresistible logic of A.A. Milne and his principal spokesperson, Winnie the Pooh. One of Winnie’s most insightful observations is about doing, or in his case, doing nothing: “People say doing nothing is impossible, but I do nothing every day.” The

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Better Than Ohio Sweet Corn

Writing a weekly blog is a privilege and I usually have more ideas than I can handle, but this week all the news was old news and all the problems were old problems. There wasn’t anything new and exciting until I saw this morning’s edition of The Wall Street

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Active/Passive Debate Misses The Pony In The Pile

“Next the psychiatrist treated the optimist. Trying to dampen his out look, the psychiatrist took him to a room piled to the ceiling with horse manure. But instead of wrinkling his nose in disgust, the optimist emitted just the yelp of delight the psychiatrist had been hoping to hear

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A Silver Mine For The Taking

A Silver Mine For The Taking “The Economist” understands something about retiring baby boomers that has eluded the money machine of American business. In a July 8th special report, the editors described the motherlode opportunity: “With longer lives, more free time and a lot of cash, older people clearly

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BITCOIN HAS GROWING PAINS

Everyone is talking about Bitcoin. Many investors, even those who never bought any, are now claiming to be early adopters. The world loves a winner and Bitcoin has outperformed just about every other asset class on the planet. If you bought $1,000 of Bitcoin in July 2010 at the

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Whimpy Economy At Its Zenith

I’d Gladly Pay You Tuesday For A Hamburger Today Bill Gross wants to sell you a bond. For that matter he wants to sell you trillions of dollars of bonds and, preferably, in one of his Janus products. He did catch my attention, however, with an interesting article in

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What If Facebook Were At Woodstock

Harvard is among the most selective universities in the world. Gaining admittance is a passport to prosperity and elite networks. The waiting list must be as long as the line at the Apple Store at 9:59am on Saturday morning.  How, then, can ten of the most brilliant and well

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Truth On A Slow News Day

It is always interesting to read The Wall Street Journal (“WSJ”) on days when the NYSE is closed and mainstream business is snoozing.  Memorial Day 2017’s edition contained opinions you never read when the markets are open. While the mainstream bias of WSJ is still squarely in favor of

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Buffet May Be Clearing Out The Competition

Most of us who have been investing for a long time know what kind of investor we are. Some of us are growth investors, some are growth at a reasonable price and some of us are unabashed chickens -also known by the more prestigious pedigree of “value investors”. Given

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Ballmer’s Gift: “Just The Facts, Maam”

Few businessmen make outright gifts to the American people.  John D. Rockefeller gave his estate in Maine to the National Parks to create what is now one of my favorite venues, Acadia National Park.  The views of Penobscot Bay from Rockefeller’s carriage roads are simply breathtaking and certainly worthy

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Bezos Rocked Me Like Muhammad Ali

I have a great high school friend who knows how to motivate me. When I was editor of the high school newspaper he would always provoke me to write controversial editorials by posing the unanswerable question knowing, full well, I would be crazy to find an answer. Fast forward

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Kashkari and Dimon Debate Too Big To Fail

I was inspired by another archived podcast I heard on Planet Money about former Goldman Sachs partner Neel Kashkari. As interim Assistant Secretary of the Treasury For Financial Stability, Mr. Kashkari is best known for overseeing the TARP program in 2008 and 2009 under his former boss, Hank Paulson.

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A Swing and Miss Business Model

In 2001 and 2009 the investment world was introduced to Nicolas Taleb and his two blockbusters “Fooled By Randomness” and “The Black Swan”. Arguing that some investment styles only work in certain conditions and not to confuse skill with luck, the first book schooled investors to look at a

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Why Not Write an Investment Cookbook?

My wife is a good cook. She claims it is all about following directions and has little to do with inspiration or special talents. While I doubt her modesty I do see her following closely the step by step recipes for dishes from Ina Garten, Giada DeLaurentiis, Mario Batali

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$30 Trillion of Debt Doesn’t Worry Anyone

Every year the US Government releases its Annual Report to its citizens. It is always interesting to see where we stand. Chart 4 below shows a 2016 balance sheet for the U.S. government. The assets are $3.4 trillion comprised mostly of student loans. The liabilities are $22.75 trillion comprised

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An Obituary for Democracy and Capitalism

The Economist has an interesting journalistic twist. Several of its opinion columns like Schumpeter, Buttonwood and Bagehot are named for inflexion point economists, political theorists or iconic events. For example, Schumpeter is named for Joseph Schumpeter who published a 1942 best-seller called “Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy”. Mr. Schumpeter was

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Why Do You Want Your Fridge To Be Smart?

In a nation of chronically obese and out of shape citizens why does anyone want a smart refrigerator? Based on my superficial and uneducated experience with other smart devices like cellphones, autos, iPads, computers, and Fitbits I have formed an opinion that smart devices are way too needy. Take

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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.