August 22, 2012
I am excited about the opportunity crowdfunding affords to investors. I think the ability to invest a small sum of money in a company, would be beneficial.
I would like to see a streamlined approach to crowd funding that will allow smaller investors access to investments. Let the markets work. Specifically, reduce the requirements for investing so that anyone can invest.
That being said, I do understand the need to protect small investors. Perhaps a website for these small investors to register for accreditation (no fee for this service, please), as a crowdfunding investor. It will assign them some level from a discrete number of levels of investor, based on prior investing experience, income levels, etc. The level they are assigned will give them the maximum they are allowed to invest in any particular opportunity (say $100,$500,$1000,$2000,$3000, etc). Along with that level they can be assigned a unique identifier, so that their information is stored in a searchable database.
Firms would also be required to register their investors and how much they invested on this website (the website should support csv uploading to expedite this process). You could charge a small fee for the registration of a business seeking crowdfunding. And investors that exceed their limit can be fined some percentage of the excess (no fee for investors that don't exceed their maximum per opportunity).
This website requiring registration would be invaluable for combating fraud. There would be a record that investors could use to pursue legal recourse. The only thing I can say is that if you do choose to implement this for the protection of small investors make it user friendly, and streamlined, and as automated as possible (to keep costs low).
Just an idea to allow the little guy to participate, while protecting them.