What are the perks of being a millionaire?
Well, we bet you can count (at least) a million of them, and just about anyone can imagine the basic benefits of having more money. Whether you personally envision a Tesla Roadster, Versace suits, or a luxury trip around the world, when it comes to finances, the value of more is clear.
What you might not realize is that being a millionaire doesn’t just mean you have a greater number of dollars. It also means you’re able to do different things with those dollars. Having more money actually changes what you’re allowed to do with that money — legally.
America’s financial regulation laws say that if you’re a millionaire, you’re permitted to invest it in a different way. These investments are often more exotic, more specialized, and, sometimes, more potentially profitable. Exclusive investment opportunities like these are one of the ways that very wealthy investors have continued to build and build upon their existing wealth.
Under these laws, not all dollars are created equal, depending on who owns them. (But that’s all started to change — more on that below).
A Special Class of Investor
There’s a status in financial regulations termed “Accredited Investor,” referring to a special class of people. This is a legal label, like being registered to vote, except not everyone can become accredited.
There are two ways to qualify for the all-access accredited pass. You either need to have an annual income of at least $200,000, or you need to have a total net worth of, you guessed it, at least $1,000,000. That’s it — simply have enough dough, and a new aisle of the investment supermarket is yours to peruse.
If you’ve been awarded the label of “accredited” you get special investment privileges. Certain kinds of highly desirable investments — such as some big real estate opportunities — are only available to the accredited crowd.
But these provisions aren’t all bad. The regulations that carve out accredited investor opportunities exist for an understandable reason: they protect investors with less expendable cash from the very expensive investments they might find tempting. That’s an important guardrail.
Tempting for a Reason
The problem is that these investment opportunities are tempting for a reason.
Even though it might have an expensive price for admission, an accredited investment opportunity can offer tantalizing benefits.
These might include outstanding historical returns, or access to an asset type unavailable otherwise. In other words: performance and diversification, two cornerstones of a great investment portfolio.
“A+” Has a Nice Ring to It
For a long time, companies like ours have seen how these benefits could serve a much bigger group of investors — and even before Fundrise was founded, members of our team were looking for a way to bridge the gap between non-accredited investors and top-shelf opportunities.
Thankfully, there’s been big news over the past several years: in 2012, Congress passed the JOBS Act, which changed the ways companies could issue securities, and in 2015 the Securities and Exchange Commission made an important regulatory change — an update called Regulation A+ — that opened the door for some companies to offer new accredited-tier investments, for everybody.
Now, in at least one area — real estate — you have the same access to the kind of financial opportunities enjoyed by millionaire investors.
Invest Like a Millionaire
Real estate is an investment type that has decades of excellent, proven performance, widely championed as a powerful diversification option. This is especially true of private market real estate, which can have big returns and minimal correlation to public markets. What millionaires have known for years is that a dollar in real estate can be worth much more than a dollar that lives anywhere else.
We’ve used our platform, industry expertise, and Regulation A+ provisions to make it possible for all investors — both accredited and non-accredited — to stake their financial flag in our real estate offerings. Our investments aren’t just non-accredited investments that are like real estate. This is real estate — the same that was once limited to a small group — but now distributed in a way that makes it completely accessible.
No matter what kind of investor you are — whether you want to invest $500 or $5,000,000 — you can get started with Fundrise today. “Accredited” has started to mean less and less, and your dollars, more and more.