During the past two years I've met a lot of people trying to do what I'm trying to, build a funds management business. With $50m, I'm better off than most, but we're all losing money due to a lack of scale.
That's expected. Most startup businesses lose money in the first few years. From the outside, though, most people view the industry as obscenely profitable. That's true when you look at a Platinum Asset Management, Hunter Hall or a Treasury Group (despite its recent woes). What you don't see is all the businesses that aren't alive any more. The failure rate is high.
A fellow fund manager and I had some back and forth via email today about another friend's decison to shut down his fledgling funds management business. I'll leave this publicity shy fundie's name unstated but he put it better than I could:
Good on them for giving it a good shake. Another great example of the survivorship bias in action… in a year some aspiring fundie will be attracted to the extreme success and dividend stream of guys like Kerr Neilson and have no appreciation or knowledge of those who have risen and fallen along the way…