Two and Twenty Book Summary - Two and Twenty Book explained in key points
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Two and Twenty summary

Sachin Khajuria

How the Masters of Private Equity Always Win

4.5 (402 ratings)
16 mins
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    Two and Twenty
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    Private equity is extreme asset flipping.

    You’ve probably seen those real estate “flip” shows on TV – the ones where an aesthetically pleasing couple buy a run-down property in an up-and-coming suburb. Over the course of an hour, you watch them demolish a wall here, build a deck there, and encounter a few hiccups like bad weather or unexpected costs. As the episode nears its end, you’re given a virtual tour of a slick new property, complete with designer furnishings and impressive landscaping. Then the auction begins. The house sells for a huge profit, and the couple is flush with cash, ready to seek out their next project.

    In a way, private equity is the same – only the stakes are much, much higher. And, of course, instead of playing with a few hundred thousand dollars, you’re flipping assets worth millions.

    So, what exactly is private equity?

    In simple terms, private equity is a type of financial investment, in the same way that buying shares or putting savings in a high-interest account are types of investments. People use private equity to turn the money they have into even more money.

    Sounds great, right? Especially if you’re someone who doesn’t have a regular paycheck, like a retiree. You want the money you have to support you for as long as possible, by multiplying as much as possible.

    But one thing that distinguishes private equity from other types of financial investments is risk. First, you need a huge chunk of money to play this game – much more than if you were just buying a few shares independently. Why? Well, private equity typically involves flipping entire companies. These companies are usually in a state of crisis: they’re facing bankruptcy, or they’ve lost the bulk of their customers to competitors, or they’ve failed to modernize and can’t deliver anymore.

    You might be wondering why anyone would invest in a company like that. The reason is potential. A private equity firm is one that makes investments on behalf of other organizations who represent individuals – like pension funds. The firm will see the ailing company as an opportunity. Its dire circumstances will make it cheap to purchase, and the firm will have an expert team who can guide it back to health – like those house-flippers who turn a dump into a palace. But even more than that, the team will transform the company into a business opportunity that the market salivates over. At the right moment, the firm will sell and walk away with double or triple what they paid. They win, the company wins, and, most importantly, the private investors that the firm represents win.

    So, why is this risky?

    Well, again, you need a lot of money in the pot to not only purchase an ailing company, but nurture it back to health over several years. That money, don’t forget, often belongs to retirees living on a fixed income. And unlike the stock exchange, where you can buy or sell at any time, investors can’t withdraw their money from a private equity investment scheme for an agreed period of time. This timeframe will be years – long enough to get the ailing company back on its feet. Finally, there’s always the risk that the flipped company won’t become profitable and gain a high purchase price, in which case the investment might only break even – or worse, it could sell for a loss. So, while private equity reaps investors high returns when it’s a success, when it fails, it fails dramatically.

    But it’s the promise of those high rewards – and maybe even the adrenaline rush of those high stakes – that make private equity so tempting for investors and professionals alike.

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    What is Two and Twenty about?

    Two and Twenty (2022) provides an up-close-and-personal account of the mysterious world of private equity. It gives insights into this unique branch of the finance sector and explains what sets it apart from other investment models.

    Who should read Two and Twenty?

    • Newly minted finance professionals with million-dollar aspirations
    • Cynics wondering whether private equity partners deserve their wealth
    • Anyone curious about the role private equity plays in their retirement funds

    About the Author

    Sachin Khajuria has over 25 years of experience in the finance and investment sector. He’s a former partner at Apollo – one of the largest asset management firms in the world – and is the founder of the private investment business Achilles Management.

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