Wednesday, September 25, 2013

End of the day it's all about the Benjamins', impressive TVPIs not withstanding!

In a wake-up call of sorts, Super LP Chris Douvos cautions GP universe that end of the day it's 'all about the Benjamins', impressive TVPIs not withstanding!...

'tis the central dogma of investing alright, but still leaves enough scope for a small repartee of my own - here goes;

My comment
Not sure if it’s a norm, but it’d surely surprise me if the GP takes an investment call in a particular portfolio company without as much as doing a cursory review of its exit potential & potential exit valuation – they probably do too, but don’t necessarily assign a value, given the magnitude of arbitrariness in doing so. It hence is somewhat ironic that the exit valuation in this model is merely a derivative of the overall size/ value of the fund raised by the VC and doesn’t factor-in anything that’d determine the potential of an individual investee enterprise – confounding this  further is the VC having to justify this derived value.

So while the proposed analysis does sound like a non-nonsense approach to assessing the fund performance, that part about “reality checking those putative outcomes” would still remain the single most challenging & expectedly the most contentious aspect even as LP-GP engage with an intent to cracking the funding arithmetic.

Nonetheless, it’s good to be reminded that for all practical reasons the sum of individual valuations of portfolio companies in a particular fund is but an unexciting statistic to the PE Portfolio manager in the LP organization keen on showcasing something akin to the promise of an ‘absolute return’ his hedge-fund counterpart typically presents :-)

We are all just prisoners here, of our own device!

Where does this notion that every mild ache or pain might be the harbinger of something particularly nasty, or even fatal, come from? asks drug baron in a recent post pondering on the Origins of Hypochondria

Since hypochondriacs too are prisoners of their own device**, I wondered in my comment if one can choose a device of well-being than of ill-health...
**Thank you Eagles, for penning such profound lyrics (and of course out-of-the-world music...) one can interpret in a zillion ways & still love.
My Comment
A brave admission and a sound rationale...
Psychologically speaking…,
I'll try and link the three plausible reasons stated for being a hypochondriac to three personality types using the widely known MBTI system;

Domain Knowledge & (over)Exposure to Information - THE THINKER (INTP)
........applies knowledge & available information to connect the dots and map the domains - and at times create phantoms

(Supreme) Self-Confidence - THE SCIENTIST (INTJ)
.........pragmatic, believes in things that can be explained through well validated scientific rationale - at times negating viable but unsubstantiated dogmas

An Entrepreneurial Spirit - THE DOER (ESTP)
..........the risk-taker who's not always a conformer & who takes things into own hands with an intention of chasing the desired outcome - at times not reaching the goal

Probably being a hypochondriac is an outcome of the incremental edge the SCIENTIST has over the DOER in a quest set-out by the THINKER. What could probably change the equation is spooning-in a dollop of a few other personalities from the 14 others to choose from :-) (MBTI types again)
Physiologically speaking…,
I think though that one needs to believe in things for them to work for them - particularly so in matters of health & well-being! If the SCIENTIST questions how?, I'd try saying that since most disease conditions are manifestations of biochemical & ion-channel imbalances & brain plays a understandably important role, influencing the thought/ brain is perhaps important too as medicine is? Perhaps, there’s some rationale behind why placebo's routinely give new drug candidates a run for their money when it comes to efficacy?
Hippocrates did say... "Men ought to know that from nothing else but the brain come joys, delights, laughter and sports, and sorrows, griefs, despondency, and lamentations”
Just perhaps.... he also meant to include disease?