Other - OCTOBER 16, 2020

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Some hard investing lessons for the titanic Vision Fund

by Mike Consol

Bigger is not always better, even in the financial world. Less is sometimes more when it comes to investing.

These are the lessons of the Son. No, not that Son. I’m talking about Masayoshi Son, the founder and CEO of SoftBank Group, a company that owns a beef stew of telecommunication and internet companies.

Son made headlines around the world a few years ago by raising a $100 billion investment fund, aspirationally named the Vision Fund, a whopping four times the size of the biggest private equity fund ever raised. With a titanic fund like that, people figured Son could move small continents. Investors piled in, and none with more enthusiasm and commitment than Saudi Arabia, which plowed $45 billion into the Vision Fund, hoping it would become a component of the kingdom’s effort to create economic diversification for the country by moving it away from the dwindling prospects for its oil- and gas-based economy.

The fund quickly bought stakes in all the most

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