19 August 2017

Mutual Funds Moonlight as Venture Capitalists

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That mutual fund in your retirement plan may be moonlighting as a venture capitalist.

BlackRock Inc., T. Rowe Price Group Inc. and Fidelity Investments are among the mutual-fund firms pushing into Silicon Valley at a record pace, snapping up stakes in high-profile startup companies including Airbnb Inc., Dropbox Inc. and Pinterest Inc.

The investments could pay off big if the companies go public or are sold, helping boost fund returns. But, as the recent turmoil in the market for technology stocks and initial public offerings has shown, such deals also carry major risks not typically associated with mutual funds.

"These are unproven companies that could very well fail," says Todd Rosenbluth, director of mutual fund research at S&P Capital IQ. If things go badly for a startup, "there may not be an exit strategy" for the fund firm.

Click here for the full article in the Wall Street Journal.

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