Investing: Come On Out!

The fair-weather money has fled private equities--now it's time to buy

If a grumpy store manager taking back damaged merchandise is your idea of a good return, you need to come out from under the mattress and take a little risk with your money. Investors are understandably cautious in an economy that is only muddling through, with war as the backdrop. Yet some of the smartest money--professional, private-equity money--is awakening from its bear-market slumber. There are intriguing early signs that private assets, crushed the past few years, will start rising soon even if publicly traded stocks do not.

Warren Buffett has been busy buying private companies, including The Pampered Chef, a kitchenware...

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