Bob Clark points out in his column this month (page 53) that the limited partnerships of yore weren't the first, or last, alternative investment that failed to benefit the investor. While LPs still exist today, though in a different format (see page 70), this excerpt from the November 1989 edition of Investment Advisor shows that limited partnerships were very big business indeed back then. Unfortunately, Bob Stanger, who founded this magazine as the Stanger Register, passed away unexpectedly last month. Our condolences to his family.
"Despite declines in sales this year, limited partnerships continue to be a leading source of equity capital for American business. Through the third quarter, sales of public limited partnerships total $5.4 billion, down 29% from last year. But, to put the decline in perspective, sales of closed-end mutual funds ($5.5 billion) fell 63% during the same period, despite a rising stock market. And public partnerships have raised 42% more equity this year than initial public stock offerings. Real estate partnerships have suffered the brunt of sales losses. Two types of partnerships continue to prosper. Equipment leasing funds are by far the hottest selling product. Sales total $987 million through the third quarter--up 19% from 1988's record setting pace. Equipment leasing funds are now the second most popular form of investment, capturing 18% of all partnership sales.&rdquo