5 alternative asset classes to consider

Investing » 5 Alternative Asset Classes To Consider

Accredited investor: Private offerings
Accredited investor: Private offerings © Mr Pics/

For the highly speculative business of investing in unproven companies, the SEC allows only accredited investors. That may change once the regulator formulates rules on equity crowd funding, or selling small amounts of equity to many investors, as allowed by the Jumpstart Our Business Startups, or JOBS, Act, passed in 2012.

Until then, private offerings are currently only open to accredited investors. But technology has recently given the process a new twist. MicroVentures is a full-fledged broker dealer with an online investment platform for investors interested in startups. It's currently limited to the well-heeled investor and the investment options are fully vetted.

On the MicroVentures website, accredited investors can peruse the offerings online and invest between $5,000 and $30,000 in return for shares in a startup. After that, the SEC enforces specific and complicated rules about selling restricted securities.

"If it's still a private company and there is liquidity, they have to hold it for a year or get a legal opinion. After a company goes public there is a lock-up period, usually 180 days for pre-(initial public offering) investors, but it depends on the company and who the investor is and how much they invested," says Tim Sullivan, CEO at MicroVentures.

MicroVentures has funded some well-known companies, including Twitter and Yelp.


Show Bankrate's community sharing policy
          Connect with us

Learn the latest trends that will help grow your portfolio, plus tips on investing strategies. Delivered weekly.

CDs and Investment

Where should I put my money?

Dear Dr. Don, I would like to begin investing money to use in retirement. I want to be conservative with these investments, and I don't know where to begin. Any advice on retirement investing would be appreciated. Thank... Read more



Dr Don Taylor

Forgo upside to protect your backside

What if you could participate in the market's upside performance while protecting yourself against downside risk? These products exist. They are equity-indexed annuities and equity-linked CDs.  ... Read more

Partner Center

Connect with us