Accredited Investors

An accredited investor, also known as a qualified investor, is an individual or entity that meets the criteria to engage in financial opportunities that are not available to ordinary investors.


Who Are Accredited Investors?

Any person or entity authorized to make investments in securities that are not registered with financial regulatory bodies is considered an accredited investor. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is the primary financial regulatory organization in the United States.

The word “accredited” is the root of the phrase. This suggests that in order to be such an investor, an entity must satisfy the necessary criteria. Investors are considered accredited according to standards based on asset size, net worth and income. The standards for corporate entities are also dependent on governance.

How to Qualify as an Accredited Investor In the US?

Different countries have different rules for what constitutes an accredited investor. The regional financial regulator sets the requirements. In the US, the rules are specified by the SEC.

The following criteria must be met in the US:

  • An individual must have earned more than $200,000 per year during the previous two years ($300,000 combined with the spouse’s earnings). The person must also anticipate receiving the same amount of income or more in the current fiscal year.

  • An organization’s assets must be worth at least $5 million for it to be accredited. If the entity’s owners are accredited investors, the entity may also be regarded as an accredited investor.

  • A person must be at least $1 million in net worth at the time of purchase, either alone or jointly (if married). The value of the person’s principal house is not factored into the computation of net worth. An accredited investor may also be a general partner, director, or executive officer of the company that issued the unregistered securities.

An organization is not permitted accredited status if it was created specifically to buy unregistered stocks. The US Congress amended the definition of an accredited investor in 2016 to include investment advisers and brokers.

Benefits of Being An Accredited Investor

Some benefits of being an accredited investor include:

Investment Possibilities

When a company raises money privately instead of going for public capital markets, this is known as a private placement. They usually offer greater returns than the public markets. Being an authorized investor makes it much simpler to access higher-yield capital markets.

Opportunities for Investment in Small Businesses

Accredited investors may help startups at any stage of growth, and seed-funding platforms link them with small enterprises whose goals coincide with theirs. 

Diversity in Investment Portfolios

Investment portfolios with little alternatives for diversification stagnate when interest rates increase while just investing in the public markets. With a wider investment opportunity available to accredited investors, they are able to reduce systematic risk and exposure by investing in non-correlated alternative assets and debt instruments.