From: Brian Harper, CFA
I wanted to offer my feedback as to the proposed increase in net worth requirement for investing in hedge funds.
I believe that hedge funds have become an important asset class for todays investor. They are also a low-cost, low-hurdle, flexible way for emerging money managers such as myself to set up a fund and begin managing money. The intention of the law is probably to protect the general public. Buit to slash the potential market size by 85% would hurt the little guys across the board: the emerging manager seeking to raise money from friends, family, etc; the investor with $1-2 million in net worth who wants to diversify beyond the standard bonds, equities and real estate into alternative asset classes.
It hurts those who strive to have more available investment options and those who are working from the ground up. Pension beneficiaries already have exposure to such asset classes whether they like it or not. But the SEC is proposing to restrict the investment options of those who wish to make the conscious, autonomous decision to invest in alternative assets.
I don't think many who are involved in the management or investment of hedge funds would support these changes. They are aimed toward a faceless "general public" who supposedly need stronger regulations to be protected. Bigger institutions- including blow-ups such as Long-Term capital management and Amaranth for example, will not be effected as their investors are massive institutions.
Brian Harper, CFA