I’m Not Allowed to Invest in Startups

The government decided I’m not smart enough

Did you know that if you don’t have income in excess of $200,000 for the last two years and reasonable prospects to maintain that level of income or if you do not have a net worth in excess of $1,000,000, you can’t invest in a startup for equity? You’re not an accredited investor.

It’s true.

The government prohibits it, under the auspices of protecting people from themselves. Because the ability to identify viable investment vehicles is limited to those who make more than $200,000 a year.

So here I am — a guy who maxes out his Roth every year and contributes a meaningful percentage of my salary to my 401k while still managing to have way too much cash in my checking account. But I don’t make $200,000 a year so I can’t invest in a local startup I really believe in.

I won’t go into the absurdity of the moral pretense at work but I will say that government often fails at providing opportunity for those with ability because they lack the creativity to simultaneously protect those without.

Honestly, I too would err on the side of protecting those who might otherwise put themselves in danger but it’s still a bummer that I can’t play.

Originally published at www.patrickkeefe.com.