How Small Investors Can Invest in Private-Equity Firms

Small-time investors can get in on the private-equity action, but don't expect Romney-level returns.

Mitt Romney's ascension as the front-runner for the GOP presidential nomination -- the race is his to lose at this point -- has put a spotlight on his lucrative career at Bain Capital and the world of private equity. His more vociferous opponents have called him a "vulture capitalist" and "corporate raider."

The real rub may be that private equity has made Romney, who was already well-off, a very wealthy man. Indeed, it's the swirl of exclusivity that makes private equity such an easy target.

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Nellie S. Huang
Senior Associate Editor, Kiplinger's Personal Finance

Nellie joined Kiplinger in August 2011 after a seven-year stint in Hong Kong. There, she worked for the Wall Street Journal Asia, where as lifestyle editor, she launched and edited Scene Asia, an online guide to food, wine, entertainment and the arts in Asia. Prior to that, she was an editor at Weekend Journal, the Friday lifestyle section of the Wall Street Journal Asia. Kiplinger isn't Nellie's first foray into personal finance: She has also worked at SmartMoney (rising from fact-checker to senior writer), and she was a senior editor at Money.