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The Private Equity for Families Blog

Insight for those interested in private equity or direct investment in privately-held businesses. The opinions expressed in the PE4Fams blog are those of Rob McCreary and not necessarily those of CW Industrial Partners or its employees.

How Close Can You Get To A Sure Thing?

The investment world loves acronyms especially ones that help them sell products. The great revival that began in 2010 and ran unchecked until October 2021 had some really catchy ones like “FAANG” (Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, Google) “FOMO” (Fear of Missing Out). “TINA” (There is No Alternative) and “YOLO”

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MLB Spring Training Has New Rules

Usually, this time of year is exciting just because the weather is lousy and the thought of a few innings in the sun of Prescott Arizona watching the Guardians is really dreamy. This year I am really energized by changes to the rules which are intended to increase fan

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Car Collecting and Car Buying Diverge in 2023

Last weekend was the Naples Car Show, formerly known as “Ferraris on Fifth”, where collectors bring their McLarens, Lamborghinis, Aston Martens, Bugatti’s, Paganis, Ferraris, Bentleys, Rolls Royce’s, and Maserati’s out of storage for a charity event that raises more than $1.0 million for a local alcohol and drug rehabilitation

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There Is Nothing Artificial About This Intelligence

The hottest reservation in America is not the 2023 Superbowl. Rather it is getting time on ChatGPT to experiment with artificial intelligence. I tried and tried and even put my name on a “contact me list” but I could not get a time to experiment. Luckily, I was able to talk to Jessica Berg who is co-Dean

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Howard Marks Has New Advice For Investors

Howard Marks is one of my favorite investors because he has a deep value bias and the discipline not to abandon it. Warren Buffet says he always opens any communication from Howard Marks first so why would I be different? When he writes or speaks, I listen, not so

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Fairy Tale Finance: Crisis in Financial Literacy

Happy New Year. CW Industrial Partners hopes 2023 will be healthy, prosperous and enlightening. An appropriate theme for the first blog of the year is financial literacy… or maybe the frightening absence of it in America 2023. When you look at the fraud and speculation that accompanied the last

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World Cup “Golden Oldies” Fade As New Order Emerges

I organized a family World Cup pool which I assumed I could win. After all I played soccer in high school and college and know all the big names like Thomas Mueller age 33 (Germany and Bayern Munich), Cristiano Ronaldo age 37 (Portugal and free agent), Kevin DeBrunye, age

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Crypto’s In The Upside Down

Like the Netflix hit sci-fi series “Stranger Things” where governmental test labs inadvertently create a new volatile dimension called the “Upside Down” so, too, have crypto markets taken on paranormal proportions to become their own “Upside Down.” In a recent article for The “Wall Street Journal” on Thanksgiving Day

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The 2% Titration Experiment

The 2% Titration Experiment One of our portfolio companies specialized in the remediation of chemical waste. It often received shipping manifests for liquids purporting to be a harmless mix of chemicals. Once that barrel had been accepted for processing the contents of the barrel became our portco’s environmental responsibility.

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Book Review: “The Price of Time”

I have been doing some reading on what most of you would consider a boring topic- the history of interest rates. James Grant calls this book by Edward Chancellor “A masterpiece of history, analysis—and properly understated outrage.” It is called “The Price of Time.” What fascinated me was “understated

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Strong Dollar Thrashes The World

After travelling to Scotland this Fall I was surprised by the conversion rates into British Pounds. Meals, lodging, beer and even golf balls were much cheaper than 2021 when this trip was first planned. Somehow this did not make sense given all our domestic problems. What about our rising

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Rowboat Investing

One of the challenges of having a rowboat is learning to navigate forward by constantly looking backward. This is unique. No other mode of transportation has your future course decided by a point behind you— a rock, a buoy, shoreline trees or a mooring. Unless your head can spin

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Grease Is The Word

In a tribute to Olivia Newton John who died last week and who at age 29 acted as teenage Sandy to a 23 year old John Travolta in “Grease” I dedicate this timely reminder that grease is still the word. Recent discussions with several of our portfolio companies suggest

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Inflation Playbook May Distort Reported Earnings

There are many lessons from the 1970’s and 80’s “Big Inflation” about interpreting reported financial results to determine if a public company is doing well or not. One of those lessons was wage inflation lagged, not led, price increases in goods and services. This stretched out the period of

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Manufacturing Is Homeward Bound

After decades of globalization where manufacturers expanded supply chains to access low labor cost countries like China and Vietnam, manufacturing is coming home. Here is a chart from The Daily Shot showing China wage advantages versus the US have declined: According to a recent article in Bloomberg titled “CEOs

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Credit Card Toxicology Report

My recent research on financial literacy has helped me understand credit cards may be the number one enemy of consumer welfare for the foreseeable future. Here are some of the top ten findings from an article by Samantha Rose on December 22, 2021 writing for OPPU at www.opploans.com about

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TikTok Promotes Financial Responsibility

When I got my first job in 1976 going out for dinner was a new experience.  As associates in a law firm you were asked to help recruit summer interns who might be candidates for a permanent job. The big problem was none of us had any credit and

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Musk Eschews Deal Math

Elon Musk shocked many private equity firms when he proposed acquiring Twitter in a going private transaction for $44 billion plus fees. Twitter had struggled after the recent departure of its bearded co-founder and CEO/messiah, Jack Dorsey.  Here is a chart of Twitters stock price since April 2017 courtesy

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Tightening Its Own Noose

Quantitative easing was pure honey. Buying low yield, new issue Treasury bonds, buying government mortgage-backed securities, and providing overnight liquidity with yield through a repo facility were the important tools for 21st century central banks. They worked beautifully and provided liquidity and momentum for just about every asset class

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A Greyhound In Your Future?

A return to normal travel protocols is creating some surprising twists. Based on my family’s experience with airline travel this spring here are four new rules for domestic airline travel: 1. An airline reservation is simply a highly profitable call option exercisable only by the airline in its absolute

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Sneak a Tax

Wait until people start getting their 2022 real estate property assessments and their new real estate tax bills. After decades of small increases in property taxes, state and local taxpayers are completely unprepared for what inflation has done even without any rate increases. Property Taxes Are Not Indexed A

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This blog represents the views of Rob McCreary and do not reflect those of CW Industrial Partners 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.