If you can’t start early, start now, says Arthur J.W. Ebersole, CFP and founder and CEO of Ebersole Financial. “Getting into the habit sooner rather than later will pay dividends over the longer term.” This is because the dollars you invest initially have more time to grow until retirement.
In our last piece we talked about some of the red flags to keep an eye out for during your due diligence process. There are myriad issues that present themselves as you look at any investment firm, so highlighting them all would be impossible. Remember, this is a process, so you will become more attuned to potential issues as you gain experience. But, the key takeaway should be to keep your eyes open for those things that don’t seem to make sense.
In this post I will shift my focus away from red flags to delve a little deeper into some of the ways PE managers may (or may not) differentiate themselves. While we expect all firms to be different and distinct, the truth is that most look pretty similar on the surface. While this observation is unscientific, I would bet that if you were to review the transcripts from 100 GP pitch meetings along with their marketing materials, you would find very little difference in the content of those presentations. Since most firms talk the same talk, it is likely the subtleties that set one firm apart from another. So, how do they do it?
Most Americans could use the help of a financial professional at some stage in their life. The time when this occurs is different for everyone of us based upon our level of comfort and experience dealing with our finances and the level of complexity we are facing. For many, the burdens of managing a career, a family, and unforeseen life events (a sudden death, a divorce, a financial windfall, college expenses, taxes, etc.) tells us that it is time to seek out help. When I speak with clients I tell them the appropriate time to speak with a financial advisor is when they have questions that they cannot easily answer themselves. Don't wait until you have a problem, but seek out help when you first notice it or notice that you aren't comfortable making a decision. Most Americans could benefit from working with an advisor at some point in their life.
Private Equity (PE) and Venture Capital (VC) are investing strategies that sit at the end of a spectrum of private company investments. VC sits on one extreme and focuses on investing in a range of start-up and growth companies before they become profitable. us, they require private investors to provide funding to help them reach their potential. PE sits on the other extreme of the spectrum and invests in mainly mature, profitable companies and some growth companies, that can handle leverage to help generate investor returns.
We know that the values-based investing landscape is littered with buzzwords, acronyms and jargon that, quite frankly, can be very confusing. In order to help you better understand how we think about values based investing, which we take to include SRI, ESG and Impact investing, we have provided a short primer below.