Private equity firm Apollo Global Management (NYSE:APO) has reported first-quarter earnings, with profit up 72% to $792. However, this is an industry full of volatility, and there's a lot to understand here before jumping in. Where should investors be looking? In this video, Fool financial analysts David Hanson and Matt Koppenheffer discuss some of the key metrics involved in understanding the private equity business and compare some of the biggest players in this space.

David Hanson and The Motley Fool have no position in any stocks mentioned. Matt Koppenheffer owns shares of The Blackstone Group. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not 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.