Accredited investors — those who earn over $200,000 a year or have a net worth exceeding $1 million — can unlock a whole new level of investment.
Some of the best investing platforms cater to top-tier investors with diverse opportunities, helping you build even greater future wealth.
Overview of the best investments for accredited investors
|RealtyMogul||Private real estate placements|
|Fundrise||Income and capital growth|
|Equity Multiple||Legal protection and vetting|
|CrowdStreet||Commercial real estate|
|Personal Capital||Tax optimization|
|DiversyFund||No management fees|
|AngelList||Syndicate funding model|
RealtyMogul is known for pulling off the first crowdfunded hotel deal, buying a stake worth $1.5 million in Palm Springs’ Hard Rock Hotel. Investors can pick from commercial, residential, or retail real estate opportunities, ranging from apartment complexes to office buildings.
RealtyMogul options are known for being high-risk and high-yield. You should have a pretty long time horizon in mind; though you can start earning returns within 6-12 months, it may take a few years to recoup your initial investment plus profits.
How to invest with RealtyMogul
Both non-accredited and accredited investors can opt into RealtyMogul’s Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) where a trust or corporation purchases a property for you. REIT investment sizes start as low as $1,000.
For accredited investors, private placements on individual properties are also an option. These require a minimum $5,000 investment and come with a longer time horizon (three to seven years). You can pick the property and level of investment beyond the minimum.
Fees are reasonable at 1% to 1.25% of your total investment per year. Earnings are distributed quarterly or monthly.
For the savvy investor who wants immediate cash flow while they grow their long-term earnings, Fundrise is a major contender in the crowdfunding real estate scene. It’s also one of few crowdfunded real estate offerings available in all 50 states.
You’ll pick from multiple residential and commercial properties—Fundrise approves new proposals regularly and pre-funds them upfront so you start accruing interest right away. Invest for quick returns, extended capital appreciation, or a little of each.
How to invest with Fundrise
Investors can choose between eREITs or eFunds, both non-publicly traded options available only through Fundrise. Generally, eREITs offer cash flow income while eFunds are for long-term growth.
If you pick eREITs you can start investing with as little as $1,000. If you pick eFunds you’ll pay a higher minimum and wait until the property is sold for the investment to pay out in full. Shares are redeemed quarterly.
Focused solely on commercial real estate, Equity Multiple is only available to accredited investors. The platform partners with national real estate advisory firm Mission Capital. This constant oversight gives investors access to securely vetted options.
Though every investment comes with risk, Equity Multiple works to minimize the risk as much as possible. The company serves as a “middleman” negotiating between investors and borrowers. They’ll complete borrower background checks and evaluate the property neighborhood before opening new projects to investors. And they accept fewer than 5% of proposed projects, choosing the ones most likely to succeed.
How to invest with Equity Multiple
You can increase your security through a syndicated debt investment, where investors partner with major lenders who take on their share of the risk. With all Equity Multiple investments, however, you’re protected even when a deal falls apart. You don’t stand to lose more than the amount you first invested and you won’t be asked to add more capital.
The due diligence and protection are second to none, so the fees are pretty high, though still standard for the industry. There’s a $5,000-$10,000 minimum and an 0.5% annual administrative fee plus 10% of your profits after you recoup your initial investment.
There aren’t many opportunities for individuals to invest in commercial real estate, which is where CrowdStreet finds its niche. Investors can pick from industrial buildings, hospitality and storage facilities, senior housing, office and retail spaces, and more.
Another perk of this crowdfunding platform is the absence of annual fees; it’s the only fee-free option on our list. And users find the online marketplace helpful and easy to navigate.
How to invest with CrowdStreet
You can buy into REITs or private placement funds. Minimums are pretty high, starting at $5,000 and going all the way up to $50,000 for professional investors. The absence of fees helps offset the cost.
You might know Personal Capital for their excellent robo-advisor finance and investment apps. Their high-end investment tools include a diverse portfolio of tax-efficient ETFs and (for accounts with $200,000+) individual stocks.
The barrier to entry is pretty high since there’s a $100,000 minimum to start investing. But for accredited investors who have the means, Personal Capital offers great wealth management perks for modest fees — a flat annual 0.89% on the first $1 million, with reduced percentages for higher investment amounts, and zero commissions.
Get regular updates on your net worth and property values, as well as access to a team of human financial advisors for questions a website or app can’t answer. If you hit $200,000 you get two personal advisors to help manage your account for no extra charge.
Personal Capital’s advisors (robotic and human) are exceptional at reducing your tax bill. Their allocation strategies ensure your higher-yield investments are tax-deferred or tax-free. And they take care of tax-loss harvesting by selling off losing investments.
How to invest with Personal Capital
Unlike most of the picks on this list, Personal Capital doesn’t focus its investments on a single sector or handful of sectors. Instead, your portfolio includes ETFs and stocks from a mix of industries, selected to increase your chances of high returns.
They boast a “Smart Weighing” asset allocation technique (balancing style, size, and economic sector when picking assets) to arrive at the ideal risk-reward balance, including rebalancing portfolios as needed.
If you opt for a socially responsible investing portfolio with Personal Capital, you’ll get similar expert diversification. Personal Capital has high standards for their social-responsibility asset picks based on the company’s ethical performance in environmental, social, and governance-related areas.
Bonds and private equity investments are available for the $5M+ investment crowd.
Say you’d like to invest in real estate, but you’d rather keep the risk as low as possible since you’re a shrewd accredited investor. There’s no better place to start than DiversyFund, a company focused on one lucrative corner of the real estate market — REITs in multifamily residential properties. They keep investing super accessible at a $500 minimum, and accreditation isn’t a requirement.
The zero-fee platform is what makes DiversyFund really stand out. They sponsor all their deals in-house without involving outside brokers or management, which means no outside fees get passed on to investors. You don’t even pay the annual maintenance fee that’s a staple of many platforms.
How to invest with DiversyFund
Here’s how DiversyFund works: the platform buys multifamily properties across the country that are already generating cash flow but need a little renovation. After the upgrades, rent and property value increase, and the extra cash eventually gets passed on to investors as dividends.
You’ll start by buying multiple $10 shares (at least 50 shares with a $500 minimum). You can opt to transfer money on your own timetable or automate future monthly deposits. Each share buys you an investment in several buildings at once, meaning you’re still covered for potential dividends if one or more properties fail.
The funds are medium-term with a five-year growth cycle, and you’ll need some patience; most returns come from property appreciation, which takes time, and DiversyFund doesn’t allow early withdrawals. But they quote an impressive 17% average annual return for 2018 investors, so your five-year waiting period may reap major rewards, after which you can cash out or reinvest.
Streitwise is a REIT-exclusive platform (the name is StREITwise — get it?) focused on commercial real estate. And with an accessible $5,000 minimum, Streitwise provides an unusually low-risk way to tap into the large-scale, high-reward commercial real estate sector.
Though there are no guarantees in investing, Streitwise assets have a history of performing very well over the long term, especially considering the risk level of commercial REITs. The platform claims an average of 8%-9% quarterly dividends each year it’s been in operation, with earnings as high as 10% from 2017-19. Streitwise investors netted 8.4% in dividends during the dismal third quarter of 2020, as well.
Considering what you’re likely to earn, the fees — a one-time 3% opening fee and an annual 2% management fee, taken from dividends — are relatively low.
How to invest with Streitwise
The $5,000 minimum is really $5,000 and change, since the price is based on the fluctuating value of 500 individual shares (if shares are $10.07, for instance, you’ll start at $5,035). You can move money over from your bank account or use Bitcoin or Ethereum to fund part or all of your investment.
Streitwise pays dividends each quarter, and you’ll earn longer-term returns as the property appreciates. After a mandatory yearlong waiting period, you can redeem your investment or join a “redemption plan”—earning up to 100% of your shares’ Net Asset Value (NAV) after five years.
Once you have your account set up, you can download the mobile app to your iOS device and monitor your portfolio on the go. You can even add funds and enroll in dividend reinvestment through the app.
AngelList is one of the oldest names in the exciting but volatile online startup investment marketplace. With their syndicate model, you partner as a “backer” with lead investors/”leaders” who have extensive market experience. Many are startup founders themselves or “angel investors” with a history of funding startups.
Backing a syndicate helps you access more deals than you could as an individual. Leaders vet the investments, though you should research on your own to get a fair assessment of your risk.
How to invest with AngelList
Like many startup investing platforms AngelList is transparent about possible outcomes. Most startups aren’t going to be Facebook, and your investment will more than likely lose value. With the right diversification and research, however, a startup can be a valuable addition to a portfolio.
You can make individual investments starting at $1,000. If you want to spring for higher amounts, the AngelList Access Fund offers pre-screened high-level deals with a minimum $100,000 investment.
AngelList gets special mention for its thriving investor community and regularly updated opportunities, plus a job board where startups hire top talent in multiple fields.
Another platform concentrating on startups, SeedInvest is famously selective — they only accept 1% of the startups that apply for funding. But they still get a diverse selection ranging from early-stage companies to growing young businesses.
How to invest with SeedInvest
The Auto Invest feature provides automatic diversification, important for anyone investing in the risky field of startups. You make an initial investment of at least $2,000 which SeedInvest splits between 10 to 25 carefully selected startups. Each investment comes with a 2% processing fee up to a $300 maximum; other than that the platform keeps its fees low without charging carried interest.
SeedInvest recommends you start out with Auto Invest rather than picking a single company. If you want to back out, they have a flexible cancellation policy.
Summary of the best investment opportunities for accredited investors
|Platform||Minimum Investment||Fees||Investment length||Investment sectors||Investment type|
|RealtyMogul||$1,000 for REITs, $5,000 for private placements||1 - 1.25%/ year||6 - 12 months||Commercial, residential, and retail real estate||REIT, Equity, Preferred Equity|
|Fundrise||$500||1%/ year||Varies||Commercial and residential real estate||eREITs, eFunds, Debt, Equity, Preferred Equity|
|Equity Multiple||$5,000 /$10,000 depending on investment type||0.5%/year + 10% of total profits||12 to 120 months||Commercial real estate||Syndicated Debt, Equity, Preferred Equity|
|CrowdStreet||$5,000||None||36 to 360 months||Commercial,residential, and retail real estate||REITs, Debt, Equity, Preferred Equity|
|Personal Capital||$100,000||0.89% (accounts under $1M)||Varies||Multiple sectors||Stocks, ETFs, Private equity, Bonds|
|AlphaFlow||$500||N/A||5 years||Residential and estate||REITs|
|Streitwise||$5,000 (or 500 shares)||2% (annually); 3% (one-time intro fee)||5 years||Commercial real estate||REITs|
|AngelList||$1,000||$8,000/syndicate investment (prorated across all investors)||Varies||Startups: Business-to-business (B2B), technology||Convertible, Equity|
|SeedInvest||$100 / $2,000 for Auto Invest||2% for each investment||12 months or more||Startups: technology, healthcare, retail, manufacturing, finance, and more||Convertible, Equity, Preferred Equity, SAFE (Simple Agreement for Future Equity)|
How I came up with this list
When deciding on the companies to include in this list, I looked at the following:
Investing is a risky business by nature, especially at accredited levels. I picked platforms that are highly selective about the choices they offer, with plenty of due diligence already done before the investments appear on the site.
Range of options
Each investor’s goals are different. You might want to get in on the ground floor of an intriguing startup, earn cash flow through real estate, or build long-term wealth. No matter what, there’s something here for you.
Potential for high returns
If you’re willing to take the risk, you should earn the rewards. These platforms have solid reputations for high returns, even in the speculative startup world.
Perks for accredited investors
Part of the fun of being accredited is accessing private deals unavailable to other investors. Our picks either cater exclusively to accredited investors or offer them special opportunities.
What is an accredited investor? How can you become one?
You won’t be told when you hit “accredited” status. But if you hit one of these milestones set by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), you qualify:
- An annual income of $200,000 or more for the past two years and expected to continue in the future.
- An annual combined income of $300,000 with a spouse for the past two years.
- An individual net worth (or joint net worth with a spouse) of over $1 million, excluding the value of your home.
Each new platform will want proof of your accredited status. Be prepared to provide income statements (W-2s, 1099s, tax returns, pay stubs), bank and brokerage account statements, and verification of any earlier investments.
Are there any risks to accredited investing?
The high barriers to entry are designed to protect investors. If you’re accredited you’re more likely to be able to afford a major loss. You’re also assumed to be familiar enough with the stock market to make smart picks.
What types of accredited investments can you make?
By investing in debt you’re essentially becoming a lender. If you invest in real estate debt, for instance, a property owner borrows to fund a purchase, and you profit through their interest payments.
Compared to other investments these are relatively short-term (think six months to two years). They’re also comparatively low-risk and an easy way to get cash flow. Returns are capped at interest rate levels.
Syndicated debt investments
For an even more secure debt investment, you can opt for syndicated debt. A large company serves as the direct lender, and you and the other investors become a “syndicate” to fund the loan as a group.
These are the most common real estate crowdfunding options. Investors buy shares in properties and earn returns in rental income. Unlike debt investments, equity investments have no caps on returns, and your return rate can be as high as 25%. But returns also take longer — you might wait five to ten years — and they’re not guaranteed if something goes wrong with the property.
Preferred equity investments
Preferred equity investments simply mean you’ve joined a higher investment class, and you’ll get an earlier payout than regular equity investors in the same project. On the downside, your return rates are capped — meaning slightly lower reward for lower risk.
REITs or real estate investment trusts let individuals purchase a share in a property through a trust or corporation. Publicly traded REITs may only require a few hundred dollars from each shareholder. As an accredited investor you can access private REITs with a much higher upfront investment and payout.
Convertible investments are securities that can be “converted” into common stock for a predetermined price. Ideally, they combine a stock’s appreciation potential with the higher income offered by a bond, and add protection against loss.
SAFE or “simple agreement for future equity” investments are the brainchild of Y Combinator, a company that funds early-stage startups. As the name indicates, a SAFE investment gives an investor the right to buy stock in a future equity round in exchange for their initial payment.
There’s a whole new market once you hit accredited status as an investor. With a mix of low-risk and high-reward options, the platforms on this list can set you up for even greater success.