SEC Chair Wants To Make It Easier to Invest in Private Companies

SEC Chairman, Jay Clayton, wants to take steps to give more individual investors a shot at companies that have for years avoided going public.

Private securities, which can include stakes in anything from an apartment complex, an oil well, a biotech firm or software company, can offer investors higher returns than publicly traded stocks and bonds. But there is typically less information available about the firms, increasing risks for investors.

Companies including Uber Technologies Inc. and Airbnb Inc., have shunned the public markets in favor of major private investors such as venture capitalists. For decades, regulators have typically walled off most private deals from smaller investors, who must meet stringent income and net worth requirements to participate because of the added risk private investing holds.

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