What You Should Know About Investing in Private Capital Markets

Investing in the private market can be a great way to gain returns unavailable elsewhere. With the right research, investments in private companies can yield higher returns than traditional public markets. With the size of the global private markets growing throughout the past two years, notably in North America, investors must know what to consider before investing in a private company. In this blog, we will look at some key considerations for investing in the private market.


Pros & Cons for Non-Accredited Investors


Investing in privately-held businesses can be an exciting way to:


  • Diversify a portfolio
  • Offer access to investment opportunities that are not available through the public market
  • Potentially provide higher returns than traditional stock and bond investments


However, non-accredited investors (those who do not meet certain SEC criteria) need to understand the unique regulatory and financial risks associated with private markets before making an investment decision. Consider the cons of divesting in private companies, such as:

  • Requires a higher amount of due diligence
  • Lower liquidity than publicly-traded securities
  • Can be seen as risker investments than public securities


Evaluating Potential Investments


Before investing, it is important to conduct due diligence and research a potential investment thoroughly. Consider creating a financial plan and closely examining the deal structure, competitive landscape, and why the company needs your investment. Also, take a look at the company’s management team as well. Do they have experience raising capital? Do they pass a bad actor check?


Comparing Private and Public Investments


Private investments may offer higher potential returns than those found in the public markets, however, they are often riskier. As an investor, you should be aware of the differences between private and publicly-held businesses before deciding to invest. Consider factors such as liquidity, transparency, and financial reporting.


Liquidity: Private investments are sometimes illiquid, meaning that it may be difficult to access your money when needed. However, securities purchased through RegA+ are freely tradeable on a secondary market, which can provide some options for liquidity. In contrast, investments in public companies can be sold on the open market quickly and easily.


Transparency: Public companies must adhere to strict disclosure rules that allow investors to clearly understand the risks and rewards of their investments. In comparison, private companies do not have the same regulatory requirements and may be less transparent with their operations or provide limited information to shareholders. This means that investors should carefully review materials provided by the issuer to get a better understanding of the investment risk to ensure it meets their level of risk tolerance.


Financial Reporting: Public companies are required to report quarterly earnings and provide other financial information to investors regularly. This is not always the case with privately-held businesses which may only provide periodic updates or no financial information at all.


Protecting Your Investment


As an investor in a privately-held business, you may be at the mercy of the majority shareholders and can be subject to financial losses if the company does not succeed. To protect yourself, it is important to conduct background checks on all potential investments and set terms for your investment up front. Be sure to understand what rights you have as an investor and any restrictions on transferring or liquidating your shares. Especially if investing in JOBS Act exemptions, like RegA+ or RegCF, if the company you are looking to invest in offers a third-party option where you can sell your shares, this is a great way to access liquidity options.


Diversify Your Portfolio


The key to success with private investments is diversification. Investing in various companies across different sectors can reduce the risk of investing in a single business or startup that may not succeed. This will help to spread out any potential losses should a particular business not perform as expected.


Investing in the private market can be an exciting and rewarding venture for non-accredited investors. Understanding the risks and potential rewards of each potential investment is essential for any investor looking to make a profit in this sector. Ensure that you are comfortable with the risk associated before investing in any venture. Doing so will help to minimize potential losses and maximize potential gains. With careful planning and research, investors can benefit from private investments and diversify their portfolios.


Additional knowledge sources



What You Need to Know About RegA+

If you are an entrepreneur looking to raise funds, you may have heard of Regulation A+, often referred to simply as Reg A+. This alternative to traditional venture capital, private equity, or other funding sources allows companies to sell securities to the public without going through the lengthy and costly process of registering with the SEC. Since it was expanded in 2012 with the JOBS Act, Reg A+ continues to evolve, facilitating increased capital formation for companies within the private capital market.


What is Reg A+?


The goal of Reg A+ is to make it easier and less expensive for small businesses to access capital while still providing investors with the protection of an SEC-qualified offering. The offering is exempt from complete SEC registration, allowing companies to raise up to $75 million in capital, with certain restrictions and requirements. To qualify for this exemption, a company must file an offering statement (Form 1-A) with the SEC that includes all pertinent information about the business and the offering. The company must also provide ongoing disclosure about its business, including financial statements and other material information.


Who is Reg A+ for?


Reg A+ is aimed primarily at small and medium-sized businesses looking to raise funds from the public, but larger companies can also use it. Because there are fewer restrictions and requirements than traditional SEC registration, Reg A+ offers a more affordable option for companies that do not have access to venture capital or other significant funding sources. Because Reg A+ is such a robust option for companies looking to raise capital, many companies stay private longer instead of going public through an IPO. 


Advantages of Reg A+


Beyond lower costs than going public, Reg A+ offers additional benefits for issuers and investors alike. It is a unique opportunity for investors to get involved with early-stage companies since the offering allows both nonaccredited and accredited investors to invest. At the same time, these investors can benefit from the potential for higher returns and the ability to diversify their portfolios. Investors also benefit from SEC oversight, which aims to protect them and ensure that they are investing in legitimate investment opportunities. Investors may also have options for liquidity, as securities purchased through a Reg A+ offering can be traded on a secondary market.


Reg A+ benefits companies because it offers a relatively simple and cost-effective way to access the public markets while accessing an increased pool of potential investors than a traditional offering. Unlike conventional VC or private equity funding routes, issuers can also retain more ownership over their business while finding investors who share the vision for the mission and direction of the company. Issuers can also benefit enormously from building brand advocates out of their investors, which can, in turn, inspire new investors or customers. 


Reg A+ offers an excellent alternative for small businesses looking to raise capital without going through the lengthy and costly process of registering with the SEC. With a maximum offering cap of $75 million, Reg A+ can be used for companies of all sizes and offers investors the opportunity to access early-stage companies that they may not otherwise have access to. 

How Much Can I Invest in a Company with RegCF?

As Regulation Crowdfunding offerings continue to grow in popularity, more and more investors are looking to get involved. RegCF gives investors the ability to invest smaller amounts of money into early-stage companies as non-accredited investors. This is why investors put $1.1 billion into RegCF offerings in 2021 and this is predicted to double in 2022. But what exactly is Regulation Crowdfunding? And how much can you invest in a RegCF offering?


Why Invest in RegCF?

Reg CF allows you to invest in some of the newest and most innovative companies. This is because early-stage startups often have a difficult time accessing traditional forms of funding, such as venture capital. Other offerings have fairly large minimum investment amounts, which non-accredited investors might have trouble affording (since this prime directive of investing is never to invest more than you can afford to lose). This traditional approach to capital raising meant that only wealthy investors could afford to participate.


Since RegCF is specifically set up around the crowdfunding paradigm, the minimum investment amount is more affordable to more people. This is why in 2021 over 540,000 investors put their money into over 1,500 Reg CF offerings, double the number of offerings in 2019 and 2020 combined. This showcases the clear and continued interest in this type of investment from the public.


Investing in a RegCF Raise

Regulation Crowdfunding is a process through which companies can offer and sell securities to the general public. This process was created by the JOBS Act, and it allows companies to raise up to $5 million per year from non-accredited investors. So what does this mean for investors? Well, basically, it means that you have the opportunity to invest in some of the newest and most exciting startups, even if you’re not an accredited investor. And while you can’t sell your shares for the first year, there are several other benefits of investing in a RegCF company, but you must be aware of how much you can invest before doing so. Because of the inherent risk of investing, the SEC has placed limits on how much nonaccredited investors can invest within any 12-month period.


In a 12-month period, nonaccredited investors are limited in the amount they can invest in a RegCF offering. This limit is based on the investor’s annual income or net worth, whichever is greater. If an investor’s annual income or net worth is less than $124,000, then the investor can invest up to the greater of $2,500 or 5% of the greater of their annual income or net worth. If both an investor’s annual income and net worth are more than $124,000, then the investor can invest up to 10% of their annual income or net worth, whichever is greater. However, the total amount invested in RegCF offerings during a 12-month period cannot exceed $124,000.


Accredited investors have no limit to how much they can invest in RegCF offerings and are defined as individuals that meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • Annual income greater than $200,000 (or $300,000 with a spouse or spousal equivalent);
  • Net worth of over $1 million (with or without a spouse and excluding the value of the individual’s primary residence);
  • OR holds certain professional certifications, designations, or credentials in good standing, including a Series 7, 65, or 82 license.


Calculating Net Worth

To determine how much an individual can invest in securities through crowdfunding, it is vital to understand how Regulation Crowdfunding defines net worth. There are a few ways to calculate net worth, but the most common is to add up all your assets and subtract all your liabilities, according to the SEC. The value of an individual’s primary residence is not included in the calculation of their net worth, and neither is any loan against the residence up to its fair market value. Any increase in the loan amount in the 60 days before the purchase of securities will also be disregarded, to prevent artificially inflated net worth.


For joint calculations, you can also determine your combined net worth or annual income by adding your spouse’s income and assets to the calculation, even if the assets are not owned jointly. In these cases, the maximum investment cannot exceed that of an individual with the same net worth. 


Once you understand how much you can invest, the only thing left is to do your due diligence! You’ll want to review the provided disclosures so that you can get the full picture of the investment’s risk to ensure it aligns with your level of risk tolerance. 

How Does Tech Allow People to Make Smaller Investments?

The world of technology has completely revolutionized the way we view investments–no longer do people need to invest large sums of money to have access to incredible investment opportunities. Through the use of online platforms and computerized transactions, people can now make smaller investments that still have the potential to provide generous returns. This change has made it possible for more people to invest in the private market and other forms of capital, thus democratizing the process and giving more people a chance to participate in the economy.


Making Investments Accessible


In the past, making investments usually required working with a financial advisor and entailed putting down large sums of money. This often puts investing out of reach for the average person. However, with the advent of online platforms, virtually anyone can now get started in investing with relatively little money. For example, Acorns is an app that rounds up your credit or debit card purchases to the nearest dollar and then invests that spare change into a portfolio of ETFs. In this way, users can invest without even realizing it, while simply making purchases as they normally would. This convenience is one of the main reasons why investing has become more popular in recent years. And, with JOBS Act regulations, nonaccredited investors can use technology to pool their money and invest in startups that were only accessible to the wealthy.


While VCs have been known to invest large sums of money into startups, there are now platforms that allow nonaccredited investors to get in on the action with as little as $100. This is made possible through the use of crowdfunding platforms such as WeFunder and Republic. These platforms give everyone a chance to support the businesses they believe in and potentially make a profit from their investment. 


Technology has also made it easier for people to keep track of their investments and monitor their portfolios. In the past, people had to rely on paper statements and manual calculations to track their progress. Now, numerous apps and websites offer real-time data and analysis of an investment portfolio. This makes it easy for investors to stay on top of their finances and make well-informed decisions about where to allocate their money.


A Technology-Driven Evolution


It is clear that technology has completely changed the landscape of investing. No longer do people need to have a lot of money to get started. With the click of a button, anyone can now invest in the stock market or support their favorite businesses through crowdfunding. This accessibility has democratized the process of making investments and given more people the opportunity to participate in the economy. In the past, only those with a lot of money could afford to invest. However, thanks to technology, that is no longer the case.


The changes that have been brought about by technology are sure to revolutionize the way we think about investments in the years to come even more than they have already. This not only benefits the common person who wants to invest their money but also smaller organizations and startups looking to raise capital. Through acts like Reg CF and Reg A+, businesses now have a better chance than ever before to get the funding they need from a wider pool of potential investors that are accredited and nonaccredited alike. This is all thanks to the power of technology and its ability to connect people from all over the world.


Thanks to technology, making investments has become more convenient and accessible than ever before. Whether you’re looking to invest a small amount of spare change or put together a portfolio of startups, there’s an online platform that can help you do it. This change from the past has democratized investing and given more people the opportunity to participate in the economy. In the years to come, we can only expect this trend to continue as technology continues to evolve.


Accredited Vs. Non-Accredited Investors: What’s the difference?

There is a big difference between accredited and non-accredited investors. Understanding the difference is key to knowing which type of investor you are or understanding the type of investor your offering is targeting. Let’s look at each type of investor and find out more about their specific benefits and limitations.


Accredited Investors


An accredited investor is an individual or institution that has been approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to invest in certain types of securities. These investments are typically unavailable to the retail investor, as they are considered high-risk and high-return. Historically, accredited investors have been able to:


  • Access to exclusive investment opportunities: Traditionally, many startups and early-stage companies will only accept investments from accredited investors, as they were considered to be more sophisticated and able to handle the higher risk.
  • Invest in private companies: Many accredited investors choose to invest in private companies, as they can offer higher returns than public companies. Before the JOBS Act, only accredited were able to invest in these companies.


To become an accredited investor, an individual must meet certain criteria set forth by the SEC. These include:

  • Entities that have assets of $5 million.
  • Earning an annual income of $200,000 (or $300,000 for couples) for the past two years.
  • Having a net worth of $1 million (excluding their primary residence).


Investing in private companies is often considered a high-risk investment, as there is often less information available about these companies than public companies. However, accredited investors are typically seen as more sophisticated and able to handle the higher risk.


Non-accredited Investors


A non-accredited investor is an individual who does not have the financial qualifications to be deemed an accredited investor. This can be due to a low net worth or a lack of investment experience. Historically, many non-accredited investors may have missed out on beneficial investment opportunities, especially in the private market. However, with the rise of JOBS Act exemptions, we are seeing more companies looking toward nonaccredited investors. The benefits of being a nonaccredited investor include:


  • No SEC qualification: Anyone with the desire to invest can be a non-accredited investor. There are no criteria set by the SEC that must be met. 
  • Access to new and exciting companies: Companies can tap into a new pool of potential investors by marketing toward non-accredited investors. These investors can also tap into a broader range of investment opportunities that may have been unavailable before the JOBS Act was passed into law.
  • The ability to invest smaller amounts of money: For non-accredited investors, the minimum investment amount is often lower than it is for accredited investors. This can be helpful for those who want to get started in investing but don’t have a large sum of money to put towards it.


As the private market continues to grow, both non-accredited and accredited investors alike can take advantage of exciting opportunities to invest in growing companies. The JOBS Act has also done an incredible job leveling the playing field for investors, which will only incentive more companies to tap into the growing pool of potential investors.

What are the Benefits of Having a Diverse Investment Portfolio?

Building a diverse investment portfolio is one of the smartest things you can do for your financial health. By spreading your money across various asset classes, you can reduce your risk and maximize your return potential. Keep reading to explore the benefits of diversifying your investments and learn some tips for creating a well-rounded portfolio.


Benefiting from a Diverse Portfolio


A diverse investment portfolio is spread out across several different businesses, industries, and asset classes. This reduces the risk that any single investment will fail, making your overall portfolio more resilient to economic downturns. This is done by having less than 50% of your entire investment portfolio tied to any specific business, country, or industry. Instead, a good risk-averse strategy for investing would be spreading out investments among assets as much as possible: like investing in 10-20 companies, each with 7.5-10% of your investment capital in each. This will form a far more robust investment portfolio. It is worth considering a diverse investment portfolio, even if you are a more experienced investor, as it will help balance risk and reward.


The benefits of having a diverse investment portfolio include:


  • More resilience: A diverse investment portfolio is more resistant to economic downturns as it is not reliant on one specific industry or sector.
  • Better returns: A well-diversified portfolio will typically outperform a non-diversified one over the long term.
  • Reduced risk: By spreading your investment across many different businesses, industries, and asset classes, you are less likely to lose everything if one particular investment fails.


When deciding whether to invest in a diverse range of asset classes, you must consider your investment goals and financial objectives. For example, an investor with less experience and fewer aversions to risk may choose to invest in high-risk assets. In contrast, investors with more experience or less risk tolerance may shift their focus to lower-risk assets for diversification, such as fixed-income investments. Both investors will be able to diversify their portfolios, however, this diversification is based on a strategy they feel most comfortable with.


Systematic vs. Specific Risk


Systematic risk is the inherent risk in an investment that cannot be eliminated by diversifying your assets. This type of risk is also known as market risk, and it affects all investments in the same way. For example, a stock market crash will affect all stocks, regardless of whether they are in different sectors or countries. This type of risk is impossible to eliminate and must be considered when making any investment.


Specific risk is associated with one particular investment, such as a company going bankrupt. This type of risk can be diversified away by investing in different companies or assets. For example, if you are worried about the possibility of a company going bankrupt, you can diversify your portfolio by investing in other companies in different industries.


Diversification is important because it allows you to reduce the overall risk of your investment portfolio. By investing in various assets, you can minimize the impact that any one investment has on your portfolio. For example, if you invest only in stocks, then a stock market crash will significantly impact the value of your portfolio. However, if you also invest in bonds, the stock market crash will not have as significant an impact because bonds will still be worth something. Diversification is not a guaranteed way to make money, but it is a way to minimize risk.


Tips for a Diverse Portfolio


When it comes to investing, it’s always important to diversify your portfolio. This way, if one of your investments fails, you still have others thriving. Here are some tips for diversifying your investment portfolio:


  • Invest in various industries: This will help minimize the effects of any one industry downturn. Allowing you to see growth in other sectors still.
  • Spread your investment across several companies: This will help ensure that if one company fails, others still have the potential to make you money.
  • Invest in a variety of asset classes: This includes things like index funds, bonds, equities, commodities, and dividend stocks. This will help you balance risk and reward.
  • Choose the right mix of investments for your situation: This will vary depending on your financial goals, objectives, and your risk tolerance.


By following these tips, you can help to ensure that your investment portfolio is well diversified. Even with a diverse selection of assets, it is essential to monitor your portfolio regularly to confirm that your continued investment is still in-line with your goals, protecting you if one of your investments fails.


If you’re looking to explore your options for investments, consult your financial, tax, or investment advisor. You should also be aware of and accept the risks of investing. This article is not financial advice.


This post was adapted from content by our KorePartners at Rialto Markets. You can view their article here.