Well, it’s complicated, but our government has historically wanted to protect unsophisticated (read: poor) individuals from putting their money in risky assets.
Starting today “civilians” can be angel investors — should they?

Despite many attempts to politicize it, the main policy rationale behind accredited investor status has historically been more about how much people can afford to lose than bias against “unsophisticated” mom-and-pop investors. The proof is in the SEC rules themselves: For individuals, there is no mention of education, occupation, passing tests, obtaining approvals, etc. The criteria are purely quantitative, based on an individual or couple’s income and net worth, full stop. (Yes, the law is paternalistic, like most consumer protection laws.)

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