We work hard to provide private, curated options for our clients.
Public market advising and management makes up the vast majority of our holdings. That said, we also believe that looking at private markets is important for qualified investors. According to the Kaiser Foundation 2018 report, if we exclude all sole proprietors, there are roughly 7.3 million private businesses in the United States. By comparison, according to the WSJ in late 2017, there were roughly 3,500 public companies in the United States. Why would we limit what we look at to just 0.05% of companies that happen to be public? We don't, and we believe this is a valuable differentiator to the services we provide.
While private investments can be right for some people, they are absolutely not for everyone. They can be incredibly difficult to make liquid (get your cash out) on any specific time horizon, they typically have higher transaction costs, and they do not have the public information rights that public investments do. We help clients interested in this option go into it with eyes wide open, aware of the pros and cons inherent to privately held investments.
Womack Financial is the registered investment advisor to a private fund, targeting investments in small public companies. In this fund, our two biggest advantages are our small size and our long-term investment horizon.
We seek companies that have not yet reached a size large enough to attract many institutional investors (but readily accessible to a fund of our size). We also seek companies focused on long-term value creation, not sidetracked by managing quarter to quarter Wall Street expectations.
Our founder and chief investment officer, Josh Womack, maintains the majority of his personal funds invested in public securities in this fund. In other words, the chef eats his own cooking.
Private equity/debt opens up the 99.95% of companies in the United States, which are not publicly traded.
Unlike publicly traded stocks/bonds, there are typically higher transaction costs, less transparency, and it is often difficult to know exactly when your investment can be turned back into cash. On the positive side, for those who are patient and do not need ready liquidity, there can be compelling investment opportunities found.
We help clients invest in private equity on a deal-by-deal basis. Once we know clients have both an interest and the financial ability to invest in this way, we will notify them of private opportunities that may make sense. We also help clients evaluate deals that they have been presented with.