2020 Will See A Surge Of Accredited Investors

“Big Brother” seems to follow me wherever I go.

Even when I go halfway around the world.

In the 1990s, I ventured off to Southeast Asia to run a trading company. And there was an unapologetic paternalism among the wealthy and highly educated.

While most Asian countries held elections, the majority of them were limited, highly stage-managed and often fixed. Dictatorships were common and accepted. Benign ones ruled in Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore. And not-so-benign ones lorded over the population in Myanmar, Cambodia, the Philippines and elsewhere.

In Indonesia, where my Asian headquarters was, the government was as ruthless as it was corrupt. But its pro-Western leanings and anti-terrorist policies allowed it to carry on relatively free of censure from Western watchdog agencies.

Almost all my business associates defended local authoritarianism. They said the population was too poor and uneducated to be trusted with something as important as electing a head of government.

Of course, this wasn’t just an Asian mindset. It existed (and still does exist) everywhere. I disliked it and argued against it in Asia. And I dislike it even more when I come across it here in the U.S…

Which I do every day.

That’s because I ply my trade in the startup space. And according to the U.S. government, the startup space is a dangerous place. So dangerous that the government has banned the vast majority of people from investing in hundreds of startups that raise money from accredited investors every year.

And accredited investors qualify as such solely on the basis of their wealth. Accredited investors must make at least $200,000 (or $300,000 with a spouse). Or they have to show a net worth of at least $1 million (not including their primary home).

Being an accredited investor allows you to invest in companies raising under Rule 506(c) and 506(b) exemptions. And that’s critical to how much money you can make from your equity investments. It’s the difference between investing in companies with enormous upside and being walled off from them.

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