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Can a retail investor invest in private equity?

Dhirendra Kumar sheds light on private equity

I'm 55 now and have been a mutual fund investor. Lately, there has been a lot of noise about private equity. Can you please tell me the pluses and minuses of it? Also, would you suggest investing in it?
- Indranil

Private equity is not an alternative for an individual investor rather for an institutional investor. In private equity, some large investors pool their money and try to buy a controlling interest in a company to make changes within the company, its management or even, change the complexion of the company, radically. So, they're large investors who get into managing a company in a more affirmative and involved way. And there are no avenues for individual investors to actually put their money in private equity.