February 23, 2007
Some of the brightest investors in the marketplace are those who DON'T have $2.5M in investable assets; the one's who actually feel the pain from a down portfolio; the one's who dedicate their personal time to understanding a financial proposition themselves, as opposed to having a wealth manager find it for them. The future $2.5M portfolio holders if you will. Hedge funds offer an opportunity to diversify, an opportunity to mitigate risk and an opportunity to invest hard earned money in a fund that looks at both sides of the market.
This topic brings Pink Floyd's "Another brick in the wall" to mind. By setting this standard, or any standard for that matter on how one may select to spend, invest or gamble the money they have worked hard for, and paid taxes on; you alienate the very "bricks" that you seek to protect, the ones that make this country a beautiful and democratic place to call home; the "anti brick" that our entrepreneurial society strives to become.
1. Keep hedge funds unregulated at the government level and allow them to continue to create and innovate new and diversified methods of making money. (keeps the fund managers happy)
2. If someone has less than $X in investable assets (as in the existing structure, $1M), then they may only allocate a stated % of their assets (say 10% of their portfolio) to alternative investments, until they have surpassed the $1M mark, at which time they may invest at their sole discretion. Should they drop below $1M, the rules would apply again, and would remain so for a 12-month calendar year. (keeps smaller investors happy and in the game)
3. Continue to issue educational literature on the subject of alternative investments; not just their downfalls, but their use in creating a superior and diversified portfolio.
4. Perhaps mandate a short exam be completed online by investors with less than $1M in investable assets, exemplifying their understanding of the investment class they are allocating to.
There are numerous other solutions to consider; however they all funnel down to the same thing: alienation in this space is NOT the answer; nor is heavy regulation.