SEC Modernizes the Accredited Investor Definition

https://www.sec.gov/news/press-release/2020-191

Breaking news: SEC is making formal moves to lower the accredited investor status. It’s not anything that consequential essentially (yet) unless you already work in finance:

  1. Section 7: you already have a license to sell securities.
  2. Series 65: you are legally allowed to be someone’s financial adviser.
  3. Series 82: you transact private securities for clients.
  4. “natural persons who are “knowledgeable employees” of the fund”: you work for a VC fund already.

While this doesn’t immediately mean much for most people, the key passage follows:

“The amendments to the accredited investor definition in Rule 501(a):…add a new category to the definition that permits natural persons to qualify as accredited investors based on certain professional certifications, designations or credentials or other credentials issued by an accredited educational institution, which the Commission may designate from time to time by order.”

SEC Press Release

Although it’s a bit ambitious, one could see the SEC then granting accredited investing status to those with PhD’s in STEM/Math, then MBA’s, then all graduate degrees and above, and maybe even to all those with undergraduate degrees.

Thanks to Apoorva for sending this in to me first!

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