February 24, 2007
Dear Sir or Madam:
I am writing to express my concerns about the proposed rule changes on who qualifies as an accredited investor, and, more important, who therefore qualifies to have access to many of the best minds in the financial world. I would suggest that you revisit the proposal from one of your colleagues, Roel Campos, as far as easing restrictions for those hedge fund advisers who register with the SEC and submit to moderate oversight. Moreover, I would agree with investment advisor John Maudlin, who presented on the issue to Congress in May 2003, that the current (and proposed) system skews opportunities available in favor of the rich and limits the choices, and retirement options, available to average Americans.
I feel this acutely on a personal level; as a 39-year-old small businessman, I am fully responsible for my own retirement--Social Security won't be sufficient, if it exists at all. As a knowledgeable, conscientious investor who falls below the current $1 million limit, let alone the proposed limits, I know I am like a significant number of Americans who are doing the best we can with the tools available to us. We understand risk and we understand how diversification can alleviate it. A properly structured regulatory system would allow those who choose to participate a wider range of options, with no downside for those who already qualify for access to the full range of opportunities--and many of the most skilled advisors--in the financial world.