Aug 18, 2022
Understanding private investments
Does this sound familiar? As you review your investment portfolio, noticing the sharp swings in value have you ever wondered, “What else is out there? Are we really looking at all our options?”
For many families, the answer is “no.” Although private investments can help portfolios navigate through difficult markets, they are often not considered. So, what do you need to know about them? Here are some answers to commonly asked questions about private investments.
What are private investments?
- Private investments give access to investment opportunities not available on the public markets.
- A few examples of private investment strategies include Private Equity, Venture Capital, Private Real Estate, Private Credit.
- They do not trade daily like more traditional public investments in stocks and bonds.
Why have I never heard of private investments before?
- They have historically been accessible only to larger investors such as college endowments and pension funds.
- They often have substantial minimum investment sizes of $10 million or more.
- Recent advances have allowed high net worth individuals and families to access high-quality private investment strategies at significantly lower minimums.
What can private investments offer me that public ones may not be able to?
- Private investments may be able to help reduce risk, enhance returns, generate higher yields, and/or offer additional tax-advantages that may not be available in public investments.
What’s an example of a private investment that could be suitable for today’s market environment?
Here are a few of the strategies that we are looking at:
- Real Estate can be a great hedge against inflation as rents increase along with it.
- Performance reflects the actual value of the real estate without the volatility that publicly traded REITs experience from daily trading on a stock exchange.
- The potential for tax-efficient income generation.
Middle Market Lending
- Rather than the fixed rates of so many fixed income investments, middle market loans have a floating rate structure where yields increase as interest rates rise.
- Higher yields than comparable public market investments.
- Downside protection from strict underwriting standards and covenants.
Private Equity/Private Equity Secondaries
- Companies are staying private for longer, which
- Eliminates the pressure from the public markets to manage quarterly expectations.
- Enables management teams to focus on long-term growth.
- Provides the ability to raise larger sums of money in the private market.
- There are many more private companies than public ones.
- Purchasing equity in private companies, especially at a discount, may be able to enhance returns with less volatility than publicly traded equities.
Aren’t private investments risky?
All investments involve risk and returns are never guaranteed. However, private investments may not be as risky as you expect. These are a few of the risks that you should take into consideration as a tradeoff for the potential benefits that private investments can offer versus the public markets:
- Liquidity risk—the risk that you may not be able to access your capital when you want it. This is one of the most important tradeoffs to take into consideration prior to making any private investment.
- Illiquidity varies by strategy and can range from monthly access to a 10+ year lock-up period. Consider investing in a combination of more liquid and less liquid private investments.
- Asset class & investment-specific risk
- Thorough due diligence is essential
- Seek experienced managers & fund operators
- Fees are typically higher, but are often appropriate for a skilled manager generating solid performance
- Performance reporting
- Private investments are not priced as frequently as public markets.
- Usually priced or ‘marked to market’ on a monthly or quarterly basis.
- Strict valuation policies help maintain consistent and fair pricing.
Should my entire portfolio be private investments?
- No. Private investments are just one of the tools in your investment tool kit.
- While they are attractive solutions in today’s market, there are tradeoffs such as illiquidity that should be considered.
- Risks vary by strategy, so you should work with a financial professional to understand which strategies are appropriate for you based on your financial goals.
Please contact your CI Private Wealth Advisor and find out if private investments are appropriate for you and how they may help you navigate today’s volatile market environment.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dilan Kluge, CFA
Dilan is an Associate Director of Investments at CI RegentAtlantic. His responsibilities include conducting quantitative and qualitative research spanning all asset classes and strategies from our New York City office. His focus is primarily on asset allocation and manager selection and compliance across both public and private markets. He also monitors portfolio allocations, provides portfolio risk analytics and compiles economic and financial data. Dilan holds a B.S. in Finance from the University of Delaware. Dilan is a Chartered Financial Analyst.
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