CHICAGO, Dec. 2, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The Zacks Group announced today the launch of ZacksInvest.com, an online equity funding platform that provides self-directed investors with access to select privately held, early and mid-stage companies seeking growth capital. Chief Marketing Officer Howard Orloff sees the new SEC guidelines as "an exciting development for investors." Howard adds, "This is possibly the biggest change to new capital formation in the U.S. in 80 years and it's an important step to modernizing investment and wealth creation for all Americans with the added bonus of empowering entrepreneurs and small companies to compete for investor interest."
Unprecedented Growth in the Private Market
Zacks has been providing investors with research and information on the public markets for over 30 years. Zacks' decision to expand into providing access to private market investments is an important step for the Zacks Group and their 1.8M followers. Daniel Mulcahy, the Managing Director of ZacksInvest (a division of LBMZ Securities, Inc. a registered Broker Dealer and member FINRA/SIPC), points outs that the private market "look a bit like the Wild West right now." Mulcahy explains, "There has been an explosion of growth in the private markets and Zacks wanted to provide investors with a trusted resource that is not simply a Craigslist of good ideas seeking money. The investments listed on our site are subject to careful selection and rigorous due diligence. We look for viable companies with experienced management, established corporate governance, defined revenue models, marketable products and services etc…. We look for reasonable investment opportunities and try to shy away from new venture roulette."
The New Investor Landscape: Crowdfunding
ZacksInvest will have the ability to accommodate three key investors – institutional, accredited, and retail. Initially, ZacksInvest will offer Regulation D (506c) investments that are only available to accredited investors and Reg A+ IPOs that any investor can participate in. However, in the near future as crowdfunding and ZacksInvest both continue to expand, and contingent on receiving certain regulatory approvals, we intend to provide investors access to vetted Title III Crowdfunding investments (Federal) and Rule 147 Intrastate Crowdfunding (State Specific).
After the SEC commissioners approved "Regulation Crowdfunding" in October 2015, it opened the door for private businesses to gain access to capital through individual investors. Orloff adds, "Historically, banks, institutional, and high net worth investors have had nearly exclusive access to investments in potentially high-growth companies – but now a much greater number of self-directed investors can benefit from private market opportunities."
Nick Pennebaker, PR Specialist, ZacksInvest
Howard Orloff, Chief Marketing Officer, ZacksInvest
While ZacksInvest has taken the necessary steps to approve each investment opportunity, private investments are considered high risk and are not suitable for everyone. Investors should always consult with their own financial advisor before considering any investment.