An Accredited Investor within the Delaware Statutory Trust (DST) industry, and more broadly within U.S. securities law, refers to a type of investor who is permitted to invest in certain types of high-risk investments, such as DSTs, private placements, hedge funds, and others. The definition of an accredited investor is primarily outlined by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) under Rule 501 of Regulation D.
An accredited investor is defined as:
- An individual with an annual income of $200,000 in each of the two most recent years or joint income with a spouse exceeding $300,000 for those years, and a reasonable expectation of the same income level in the current year.
- A person whose individual net worth, or joint net worth with that person’s spouse, exceeds $1,000,000, excluding the value of the primary residence.
- Certain institutional investors, such as banks, private businesses, and investment companies, among others, provided they have total assets exceeding $5,000,000.
- An executive officer, director, general partner, or related combination thereof, of the issuer of the securities being sold.
- Entities in which all equity owners are accredited investors.
- Certain professionals who are knowledgeable and experienced in financial and business matters.
These requirements are designed to ensure that such investors are financially sophisticated and able to sustain the risk of loss, thus needing less protection from regulatory disclosures.
In the context of Delaware Statutory Trusts, these are often used for real estate investment purposes. To invest in these types of assets, an investor often needs to be accredited, due to the high level of risk and illiquidity associated with these investments.