The following video is part of our "Motley Fool Exclusive Interview" series. In this segment, Fool.com analyst Brendan Byrnes interviews author and Bloomberg reporter Jason Kelly about his recent book, The New Tycoons: Inside the Trillion Dollar Private Equity Industry That Owns Everything.

Many of the biggest private equity firms -- such as Blackstone, KKR, and Carlyle -- have been generating excellent returns for their limited partners over the past few decades. With many of these big private equity firms now public, retail investors might be tempted to purchase the stock as a result of that track record. Jason explains in the following video, however, why buying a P/E firm's stock and investing in one of its funds as a limited partner are two very different things.

Brendan Byrnes and The Motley Fool have no positions in the stocks mentioned above. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.