Pick Your Poison: Private Equities vs. Public Equities

Private equities still outperform public equities, according to new data from Thomson Reuters (publisher of peHUB). On the other hand, that’s a bit like saying that you only lost three fingers instead of five, or that at least your house fire didn’t spread to the toolshed.

The numbers are through Q3 ’08, so take them with a giant grain of anachrony (PE returns will drop like stones in the next report): Buyout performance fell from both the prior quarter and the prior year, but still came in at positive 12.2% for the five-year horizon. This dropped to 8.3% for the three-year horizon and to -8.2% for the one-year horizon. Each of these figures compares favorably to the S&P 500 and NASDAQ over the same period. This is even true once venture capital performance is thrown into the mix, for a more complete look at the private equity universe:

You can download the full report here.