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From the linked article in the OP:
"And why invest in a private company? The US Stock Exchange lists more than 3,500 companies covering all types of ventures and businesses, from household names to confusing ones."
It all depends on the nature of the business and its prospects.

My biggest, or 2nd-biggest holding, is stock in a locally-owned bank in a fast-growing suburban area in a nearby city. It was incorporated in the year 2000, and my father was one of the original shareholders, as was my sister #3.

Dad died 5 years ago, in 2016, at which point the stock had tripled in value. So that's a 200% return in 16 years, which sounds terrific, but it's less than 10% per year, compounded. The stock is not publicly traded, but the bank holding company unofficially makes it their policy to make a market in their stock for people who want to sell.

When Dad died, my sister #1 and I bought his shares from his estate, as the other siblings were not interested in it. We were also the executors of the estate, so our lawyer made a project out of dealing with the conflict of interest. (She had to do something. I did most of the real work.) Since then the stock has gone up another 50% in 5 years, which doesn't sound great considering what the stock market has done the last year. But you put that together and it's a stock that's worth 5 times original cost in a 20-year period. And the annual increases have not been volatile at all.

It may be a private company, but it's worked out better than Merrill Lynch or Sears Roebuck.

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