Difference Between Private Equity & an Investment Group

Although investment group capital and private equity share similarities, they also have disparate differences.

Although investment group capital and private equity share similarities, they also have disparate differences.

While we’ve all the heard the saying, “it takes money to make money,” investment groups and private equity sources take the idea to heart by gambling with investments in hopes of subsequent monetary gain. While most PE is sourced from wealthy individuals, pension funds and investment managers, investment group funds can come from any group of interested and able investors, despite income or investment know-how.

Number of Investors

As the name implies, an investment group comprises at least two individuals with the shared goal of investing in a project that will yield profit. PE, on the other hand, need not be a collective effort. Although PE is often drawn from groups of retail and institutional investors and put into a PE fund, PE capital also can come from a single Angel Investor -- an individual who has a lot of money to invest.

Investment Savvy and Capital Contribution

PE contributors often are seasoned investors, or at bottom, wealthy individuals prepared to make high stakes investments for a high reward. Some PE funds have a $250,000 minimum investment, and others can require $1 million. Such high minimums are rare for investment groups. While investment groups might contain savvy investors and individuals with a healthy amount of investment capital, investment group members are more likely novices with more modest means.


While the goals of investment groups vary, most members are simply looking for an effective way to learn about the market and make money while doing it. PE investors, on the other hand, are usually focused on acquiring equity ownership in company, if not complete control, in addition to monetary gain. It is likely that companies that receive PE funding have boards of directors comprising PE investors. An investment group’s ability to obtain a comparable level of control is much less likely.

Publicly vs. Privately Owned Assets

Investment groups can deal in any sort of assets they chose: shares or similar securities traded on the stock market, private companies, real estate or general business, for example. PE, on the other hand, has a narrower scope. Unlike investment group capital, PE is reserved for companies that are not traded on the stock exchange or for buyouts and the subsequent delisting of public companies. In other words, PE is used to invest in either private companies or public companies with the intention of taking them private.

About the Author

Bri James has been writing professionally since 2011. As a prize-winning cook, self-proclaimed humorist and enthusiast for all things delicious, she brings her foremost loves to life through food writing. James holds a Juris Doctor from Duke University and a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Emory University.

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