Poor and middle class people can gamble and buy state run lottery tickets but old accredited investors laws shut them out of many of the best investment categories. Certain investments, such as specific types of exempt securities offerings, are only available to accredited investors. Up until very recently, this has been defined as people with over $200,000 in income or $1 million in assets.
Hedge funds, PE funds, most early stage startups and other investments have typically only been available to the wealthy due to these legal restrictions. Some of the most profitable investments of the last fifty years have been exclusively available to the wealthy. There is a double standard in allowing poor and middle class investors to gamble at casinos and buy state lottery tickets but not allow them to invest in risky instruments. Today’s wide access to information is another case for allowing investors to do their own research and make their own decisions.
Fortunately, these laws are being improved in two key ways: 1) the SEC has broadened the definition of accredited investor to include certain professional positions and certain exam holders such as the Series 7 exam. 2) the SEC has increased the limits for certain key exempt offerings such as Reg CF, Reg D and Reg A.
Ultimately this means that more people will be able to invest in more offerings. Reg CF or Reg Crowdfunding for example now allows companies to raise up to $5 million from non-accredited investors. This is a huge potential opportunity for both entrepreneurs and investors.
These changes are part of an overall trend that is improving securities and how they work. The SEC updates and other global regulatory improvements, overall fintech developments, Bitcoin’s emergence as digital money, securities tokens, new exchanges and new ways of transacting all are helping to transform how securities trade and move. The timing could be right. As the world is undergoing massive change and a shakeup of old systems and enterprises occur, easier financing and trading of more securities could be one of the most important drivers of the global economy.
Securities have changed the world. Structures like equity have stood the rest of time. The ability to share risk and reward through equity has created wealth and jobs like nothing else in human history. If we make equities work better, we may improve the world.
Securities offered by Watchdog Capital LLC. Member FINRA/SIPC. Investments in securities are subject to investment risk, including possible loss of principal. Before making any investment decision, investors should read and consider all the relevant investment product information. Investors should seriously consider if the investment is suitable for them by referencing their own financial position, investment objectives, and risk profile before making any investment decision. Note: startups and other businesses should get legal advice before offering securities. Each exemption has its own specific restrictions and criteria needed to comply with the rules. Also, while the prospect of new investment opportunities can match investors with good investments, it can also match investors with bad investments. Use caution and be prudent. Every individual security should be evaluated based on its own merit.
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Watchdog Capital, LLC
6250 Shiloh Rd., Ste 30 / Alpharetta, GA 30005