February 21, 2007
I would like to express my disagreement in raising the requirements for investors into hedge funds. In fact, the direct opposite should be done and hedge funds should be opened up to all investors rather than just the 'rich'. I am probably more 'sophisticated' and more knowledgable than 90% of the 'rich' that would qualify as I am in the business and have taken training on trading and setting up trading systems and hedge funds. Due to 18 years of working and wealth accumulation I currently qualify under the present rules, but would not qualify under the new proposed net worth rules. I can't imagine that I should be denied access to hedge fund investing when a new pro athelete coming out of college qualifies based solely on a signing bonus they made. I also cannot imagine that Rap artists and other entertainers like Brittney Spears can even come remotely close to the sophistication I have (I'm sure even if they hired advisors, they still wouldn't have a clue...but they would still be 'qualified' based on net worth). While I understand new regulations would need to be created and I believe that either a new Hedge Fund asset class or type that is registered would need to be created, this would open up additional investment opportunities to the 99% of the rest of the American public. Creating more restrictions will not get the scrutiny nor create the openess that funds like Amaranth need to be exposed to and held accountable for. Again, it is inconceivable to me that a person can go to work in a hedge fund as an analyst or other investment position, but due to their net worth accumulation to date cannot invest in a hedge fund. The use of net worth to determine sophistication is ancient history for the new millennium. Please make the right decision and open hedge funds to all American investors.