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Does Having A Series 65 Make You An Accredited Investor?

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Investing offers numerous opportunities for individuals to potentially grow their wealth and participate in exciting ventures. One such avenue is angel investing, which involves investing in early-stage companies with high growth potential.

Accredited investors, who meet specific financial requirements, have traditionally had access to these opportunities. However, there are certain cases where holding a Series 65 license can also qualify individuals as accredited investors.

In this article, we will explore the relationship between holding a Series 65 license and being classified as an accredited investor and the potential benefits it can offer.

What is a Series 65 license?

Before delving into the topic, it is crucial to understand what a Series 65 license entails.

The Series 65 license is a securities license administered by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). It is designed for individuals who want to work as investment adviser representatives (IARs) or financial advisors.

The license is obtained by passing the Uniform Investment Adviser Law Examination, the Series 65 exam. It covers various topics such as investment strategies, regulations, ethics, and fiduciary responsibilities.

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Accredited Investor Definition

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) defines an accredited investor as an individual or entity that meets certain income or net worth criteria.

Traditionally, individuals were considered accredited if they had an annual income exceeding $200,000 (or $300,000 for married couples) for the past two years, with a reasonable expectation of reaching the same income level in the current year.

Alternatively, an individual could qualify as an accredited investor if their net worth exceeded $1 million, excluding the value of their primary residence.

Series 65 License and Accredited Investor Status

While the traditional financial criteria outlined by the SEC have been the primary means of determining accredited investor status, there are exceptions for individuals with certain professional certifications.

The SEC recognizes that individuals with specialized knowledge and expertise may be qualified to make informed investment decisions. In some cases, holding a Series 65 license can be an alternative pathway to attaining accredited investor status.

The SEC's rationale behind this exception is that individuals who hold a Series 65 license have demonstrated their knowledge and understanding of securities laws, investment strategies, and ethical obligations.

By passing the Series 65 exam and maintaining their license in good standing, these professionals have acquired expertise that aligns with the qualifications sought in accredited investors.

Opportunities for Series 65 Holders

Qualifying as an accredited investor through a Series 65 license can open doors to various investment opportunities that were previously restricted. For instance, accredited investors often gain access to private offerings, including investments in startups and high-growth companies. 

They may also have the opportunity to participate in Angel-list Syndicates, which allows them to pool their resources with other investors to fund promising startups.

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