There are three premises that underlie the private equity boom. First, the experts believe that PE firms make money by improving the companies they buy. Second, the experts believe that PE is less volatile and less risky than public equity. Third, the experts believe that PE will significantly outperform every other investment. There is near complete consensus on these three points among academics, investors, and PE firms.
Private equity assets today exceed $2 trillion, and PE firms have $700 billion of dry powder capital just sitting there, waiting to be invested. The market is so flooded with investors and valuations are so high that even the truest believers have not found a way to invest it. There is a huge amount of money betting that this consensus is right, and the voices arguing that the consensus is wrong are marginal relative to the chorus of those who agree.
~ Daniel Rasmussen, founder and portfolio manager at Verdad Advisers, "Private Equity: Overvalued and Overrated?," American Affairs, Spring 2018