Broker Check
Private Equity: The Key to Diversifying Your Investment Portfolio

Private Equity: The Key to Diversifying Your Investment Portfolio

June 11, 2023

Are you a high net worth investor seeking to achieve diversification in your investment portfolio? In uncertain times, public markets have been challenged to deliver meaningful returns. This is where private equity comes in. With a comprehensive private markets approach, Intellicapital can convert the advantages of private markets into potential opportunities for smaller institutions and high-net-worth investors. Read on to discover why private equity should be an essential part of your investment strategy.

Introduction to Private Equity

Private equity is a type of investment where capital is raised from accredited investors, pooled together and used to buy assets or businesses that have the potential for growth. Private equity firms then work closely with management teams to improve company performance and increase value before eventually selling it to buyers at a profit. This approach offers high-net-worth investors an opportunity for portfolio diversification beyond traditional publicly traded securities.

Private equity has the potential to generate higher returns than public markets due to hands-on involvement in improving company performance.

One advantage of private equity is its ability to generate higher returns compared to public markets due to the hands-on involvement in improving company operations. However, this comes with increased risk as investments are illiquid and can be tied up for several years before realizing returns. Additionally, only accredited investors are allowed access which may limit opportunities for smaller individual investors seeking exposure to alternative investments.

What is Private Equity?

Private equity refers to investments made in privately held companies or businesses that are not publicly traded on stock exchanges. Private equity firms raise capital from accredited investors and use it to acquire stakes in these businesses. The main types of private equity investments include venture capital, buyouts, and growth capital. Unlike other forms of investment such as stocks or bonds, private equity offers a greater degree of control for buyers over the assets they invest in, which can lead to potentially higher returns but also higher risks.

Private equity can provide high-net-worth investors with an opportunity to diversify their portfolio by investing directly into specific companies rather than just buying shares through public markets. While traditional allocations may no longer be sufficient given volatility concerns and muted expectations for public market returns, a comprehensive approach that includes exposure to private markets could offer access to alternative sources of alpha generation while also providing diversification benefits beyond what is available through more traditional portfolios.

How Does Private Equity Work?

Private equity is an investment approach that involves buying, improving, and selling businesses for a profit. The process typically begins with private equity firms raising capital from accredited investors to form a fund. Fund managers then use this pool of capital to identify potential investments in companies that are undervalued or have untapped growth potential. Once acquired, these companies are transformed through operational improvements and strategic initiatives before being sold to buyers at a substantial profit.

The key players in the world of private equity include accredited investors who provide the initial capital, fund managers who oversee the investment process and portfolio companies which represent the assets purchased by the funds. Factors that drive returns in private equity include strong management teams within portfolio companies, operational efficiencies implemented by fund managers and favorable market conditions at exit time. By investing in private markets such as private equity, high net worth investors can achieve diversification while benefiting from potentially higher returns than traditional public market investments offer.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Private Equity

Private equity can offer high net worth investors a range of benefits, including access to unique investment opportunities and the potential for higher returns. In many cases, private equity investments require large minimum commitments and are only available to accredited investors. However, those who do invest may benefit from strong long-term returns not typically available in public markets.

"Illiquidity premium" is another advantage of private equity that is often cited by industry experts. This term refers to the idea that investments with less liquidity (such as private equity) may offer higher potential returns than those that are more liquid (like stocks or bonds). While this can be an attractive feature for some investors, it's important to remember that these types of investments are generally less accessible than their more liquid counterparts.

Investors should also be aware of the "j-curve effect," which describes how early losses in a private equity fund can turn into long-term gains over time. This phenomenon occurs because many funds require significant upfront capital expenditures before they begin generating positive cash flows. As such, it's common for new funds to experience negative performance at first but eventually recover and deliver strong results over time.


  • Accessible only by accredited investors
  • Potential for higher long-term returns
  • Illiquidity premium


  • Less accessible than their liquid counterparts
  • Funds must incur significant upfront costs before generating positive cash flows
  • J-curve effect

Why Private Equity is a Key to Achieving Diversification in Investment Portfolio

Private equity is a key component of achieving diversification in an investment portfolio. As an alternative investment, it provides access to opportunities beyond traditional public markets, such as private debt and real estate. These investments can provide higher returns and are not always correlated with the broader stock market, reducing overall volatility in the portfolio.

Investors seeking to reduce uncertainty and generate meaningful returns should consider a comprehensive approach that includes private equity investments. With potential for higher returns than traditional public markets and access to diverse opportunities, private equity can be a valuable addition to any well-diversified investment portfolio for high net worth individuals.

Private Equity as an Alternative Investment

Investing in private equity offers an attractive alternative to traditional public markets. Private equity investments are not tied to stock market fluctuations, providing a level of stability and diversification for investors looking to achieve long-term growth. Investing in private companies with high growth potential also presents the opportunity for hands-on involvement and influence, allowing investors to play an active role in shaping the direction of their portfolio.

Consider these key benefits of investing in private equity:

  • Potential for higher returns than traditional public markets
  • Access to exclusive investment opportunities not available through public exchanges
  • Reduced volatility and added diversification for your investment portfolio

Access to Diversification Opportunities

Investing in private equity can provide high net worth investors with access to diversification opportunities that may not be available through traditional public markets. Private equity investments offer the ability to invest across a variety of sectors and industries, including exposure to emerging markets and innovative technologies. Additionally, private equity provides potential for geographic diversification outside of traditional public markets.

Consider these benefits:

  • Ability to invest across a variety of sectors and industries
  • Exposure to emerging markets and innovative technologies
  • Potential for geographic diversification outside of traditional public markets

Diversifying your investment portfolio is key in reducing uncertainty, generating meaningful returns, achieving financial goals and managing risk. A comprehensive approach incorporating private market investments could be an important component in helping you achieve those outcomes.

Potential for Higher Returns

Private equity offers high net worth investors the potential for higher returns compared to traditional investments over the long-term. By leveraging the expertise of private equity firms, investors can identify promising investment opportunities that may not be available through public markets. Additionally, private equity's "skin in the game" approach incentivizes management teams toward success and aligns their interests with those of investors.

Consider these benefits:

  • Potential for higher returns
  • Access to exclusive investment opportunities
  • Expertise of experienced private equity firms
  • "Skin in the game" approach incentivizing management towards success

By adding private equity to your investment portfolio, you can achieve diversification and potentially generate greater returns. Don't miss out on this opportunity to take advantage of a comprehensive private markets approach that has historically been reserved for institutional investors.

How to Invest in Private Equity

Investing in private equity funds is a key way to achieve diversification in your investment portfolio. These funds provide access to a range of unlisted companies that are not available through public markets, which can help mitigate the risks associated with market volatility. Private equity investments typically have longer holding periods and may require higher minimum investments than traditional stocks and bonds, but they offer potential for attractive returns.

Another option for investing in private equity is to directly invest in private companies. This approach requires careful due diligence and significant expertise, but it enables investors to participate more actively in the growth of individual businesses. Direct investing also gives investors greater control over their portfolios and can potentially lead to even higher returns than those offered by private equity funds.

Investing in Private Equity Funds

Private equity funds can offer high net worth investors the opportunity to achieve diversification in their investment portfolio. Before investing, it's important to understand the basics of private equity funds, such as their illiquid nature and long-term investment horizon. Researching and identifying reputable private equity firms is crucial, as well as analyzing the potential risks and returns of specific funds through thorough due diligence. By taking these steps, investors can make informed decisions about investing in private equity funds that align with their goals and risk tolerance.

Investing in Private Companies

Identifying high-potential private companies through networking and research is crucial to successful private equity investment. By leveraging personal and professional networks, investors can gain access to promising opportunities that may not be publicly available. In addition, conducting thorough research on target companies can help investors evaluate their growth potential and management team capabilities.

Negotiating deals with company founders or owners requires a careful balance of financial analysis and relationship building. Investors must be able to evaluate the company's financials, future prospects, risks, and valuation while also establishing trust with the founders or owners. Once a deal is secured, working closely with management teams is key in driving growth and maximizing returns by providing strategic guidance, operational expertise, and industry connections.

Factors to Consider Before Investing in Private Equity

When considering investing in private equity, it is important to assess your risk tolerance and investment goals. Private equity investments often come with higher risks but can also provide potentially higher returns than traditional public markets. Additionally, liquidity needs should be taken into consideration as private equity investments typically have longer holding periods and may not be liquidated easily.

Another factor to consider before investing in private equity is the investment time horizon. Private equity funds often require a long-term commitment of at least 5-10 years and investors should be prepared for this level of illiquidity. Understanding these factors can help high net worth investors make informed decisions when considering diversifying their portfolio through private equity investments.

Risk Tolerance and Investment Goals

Assessing your risk tolerance level is crucial in determining the suitable private equity investment for you. Defining your investment goals will help guide you in selecting a private equity strategy that aligns with your financial objectives. Balancing potential returns with potential risks is essential to create a diversified portfolio that can generate meaningful returns and reduce uncertainty in today's volatile market environment. At StepStone Private Wealth, we work closely with high net worth investors to understand their unique needs and goals, and offer tailored private market solutions designed to achieve long-term success.

Liquidity Needs

Private equity investments can offer high returns, but it's important to understand the liquidity requirements of these investments. Illiquidity is a natural part of private equity investing and investors need to determine how much illiquidity they can tolerate in their portfolio. Developing a plan for managing liquidity needs during the investment period is crucial.

Investors should be aware that private equity investments often require long-term commitments, which means limited access to capital until the investment exits. It's essential to have a strategy in place for managing cash flow needs during this time frame. This may include setting aside cash reserves or using diversification strategies across different asset classes with varying levels of liquidity. Understanding and planning for liquidity needs are critical components when considering private equity as an option for diversifying your investment portfolio.

Investment Time Horizon

When considering private equity investments, it's important to evaluate the length of time you're willing to commit. Private equity has a longer investment time horizon than public markets, and it can take years for an investment to mature and generate returns. Therefore, aligning your investment time horizon with your overall financial plan is crucial.

Analyzing the potential risks and rewards of private equity investments requires careful consideration since they are typically illiquid. While private equity can offer higher returns in exchange for taking on more risk, investors should thoroughly assess their risk tolerance and long-term goals before committing funds to these types of investments. By having a clear understanding of your investment time horizon, you can better determine if private equity fits within your portfolio diversification strategy as part of a comprehensive approach toward building wealth over the long run.


In conclusion, private equity offers high net worth investors a unique opportunity to achieve diversification in their investment portfolio. By investing in privately held companies, investors can gain exposure to sectors and industries that may not be readily available through public markets. Additionally, private equity investments offer the potential for higher returns than traditional asset classes such as stocks and bonds.

Investing in private equity requires patience and a long-term investment horizon. However, with the right strategy and approach, it can provide significant benefits for those looking to build wealth over time. As always, it's important to consult with your financial advisor before making any investment decisions to ensure that they align with your overall financial goals and risk tolerance levels.