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Fill in the Blanks: Matt Simpson

1. The exempt market is a place where individual investors can invest in private equity and direct real estate to achieve portfolio diversification and ideally higher returns over time.

2. The exempt market is not a second tier market for equity.

3. The thing I like the most about the exempt market is working with great private businesses that would otherwise be inaccessible to individual investors.

4. The one rule I would change in the exempt market is I actually think the rules are pretty reasonable given the stage of our evolution.  We are in a period of rapid change and there is a risk of upsetting the apple cart if regulations are loosened too quickly.  While there are some brilliant minds at work I don’t know that every player in the industry has got it figured out yet in terms of what is best for investors.

5. The stock market is a place where investors can easily buy and sell shares of companies they have invested in.

6. In regards to the exempt market, regulators work to ensure investors are protected, advisors are qualified and and that dealers are held to a high ethical standard.

7. The biggest misconception people have about the exempt market is it is unregulated -or that businesses raising capital in less regulated markets are more likely to fail.

8. The most important thing investors should know about the exempt market is finding the right dealer is challenging as the industry continues to evolve.  Not all dealers are created equally.

9. Dealing Reps need to be able to understand how exempt products fit in with their clients’ portfolios by assessing risk tolerance, investment knowledge, risk capacity and investment needs.

10. There is not enough emphasis on portfolio management in the exempt market.

11. There is too much focus on products in the exempt market.

12. The exempt market is no place for snake oil salesmen (those who exaggerate potential returns and ignore risks).

13. In 5 years the exempt market will find its way into more mainstream distribution channels, and be widely accepted as an essential component of portfolios of individual investors.

14. The biggest change in the exempt market has been understanding suitability and integrating private investments into existing portfolios.

15. The biggest challenge for the exempt market is understanding risk vs. reward and ensuring portfolios are designed to perform by spreading risk over a range of investments.

16. The key to longevity for the exempt market is ensuring a consistent standard of care across the industry.

17. Critics of the exempt market are often painting all market participants with the same brush.

18. NEMA is an important forum to discuss challenges presented by a significant shift in industry focus.  An advocate in raising public awareness of risks and opportunities of investing in exempt products.