October 19, 2014
67 Riverside Drive, #9C
New York, NY 10024
October 17, 2014
The Honorable Mary Jo White, Chairman
US Securities and Exchange Commission
100 F St NE
Washington, DC 20549
RE: Accredited Investor Definition
Dear Chair White:
I am writing to urge the Commission to retain the current financial thresholds for an individual accredited investor at $1 million of net worth or $200,000 of income. I believe that raising these thresholds would be devastating to early-stage companies and the innovation and job growth they provide to the U.S. economy.
As a member of Golden Seeds, one of the nations largest angel groups, I know firsthand that without angels investment, mentoring and guidance, many early-stage companies would never come into being. Breakthroughs in technology, life sciences, education and many other fields would be forever lost. Golden Seeds is dedicated to evaluating, funding and helping companies with at least one woman in a management role, and the effects on these companies could be even more extreme.
I am aware that some seek to have the financial thresholds raised to reflect inflation – suggesting they be increased to approximately $2.5 million and $400,000, for net worth and income, respectively. As the Commission is aware, this could eliminate nearly 60 percent of the current accredited investor population. As you know, angel investors are by far the largest source of early-stage capital in the U.S. In 2013, more than 295,000 accredited angels invested more than $24 billion in over 70,000 young companies (1), nationwide. These young, innovative companies are the source of most new jobs created in our economy. Our national history of providing capital to fuel innovation is the envy of much of the world and we should be extremely cautious about any changes that will disrupt this productive ecosystem.
I believe that angel investing is essential to the economic health and growth of our nation, and ask the Commission to retain the current accredited investor financial thresholds, to ensure that unintended consequences do not damage the robust, successful U.S. system of funding early ventures.
(1) The Angel Investor Market in 2013: A Return to Seed Investing,