EC Your Right To Invest In Startups

I started Early Investing because I believe everyone deserves the right to invest in companies they like, whether they’re public or private.

When the JOBS Act of 2012 was signed into law – which will enable everyone to invest in private companies (including high-growth startups) – I thought it might take a year or two to fully go into effect.

Yet here we are in mid-2015 and still only the top 3% of U.S. investors can buy into private companies. That includes the fastest-growing tech companies in the world (which is my primary focus).

The worst investments in the world, however, remain available to anyone.

Today Joe Q. Investor can go to his bank, withdraw his family’s life savings, and blow it (almost) any way he wants. He can throw dice at the craps table, speculate on penny stocks, or skewer his money – wrap it in bacon – and BBQ it.

Only one of those activities is illegal (BBQing the cash). But they’ll all have similar results in the long run.

HOWEVER, if Joe Investor wants to invest in a private company, he can’t do that.

He needs to be an “accredited investor” to do so, according to that old rule passed by Congress in 1933 and still enforced today.

In certain cases, a non-accredited investor can claim a “friends and family” exemption, and invest privately. Besides that, his non-public options are practically nil…

Arbitrary and Discriminatory

According to the SEC, an “accredited investor” is one who makes more than $200,000 per year ($300,000 for a couple) OR has a net worth of more than $1,000,000 (excluding their primary residence).

These large, round numeric limits are anything but scientific. They’re arbitrary and stink of bureaucracy. In fact, if you watch government policy long enough, you’ll see these even, round numbers everywhere – and you’ll realize they’re not based on much of anything.

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Jason Hamlin 5 years ago Contributor's comment

"Your Right"???? I think it should be "You're Right" as in You Are Right.

Caitlin Snow 5 years ago Member's comment

I took it as 'your right', as in, you have the right, learning what your rights are, etc. That's what to write to your congressperson about - getting/preserving those rights.

Jason Hamlin 5 years ago Contributor's comment

you are correct, i overlooked that first sentence. sorry about that. cheers.