Private equity is a broad term that encompasses a wide range of investments, assets, and other profit generating activities that occur outside of the publicly traded world. Most individuals are familiar with and/or involved in publicly traded securities (partial ownership in companies) and participate in these investments through a stock market vehicle like an investment or retirement account.
Private equity is not traded on a public exchange. It can consist of almost unlimited assets like real estate, service businesses, lending activity, or any other activity that generates profits and value. While the term can seem opaque, most individuals are familiar and involved in a private investment of some form. Anyone who owns a home is already a private equity investor.