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Authors

Jasmin Sethi

Abstract

Securities regulation can be justified on a number of grounds, but furthering the expansion of opportunities for wealth accumulation across sectors of the population has generally not been utilized as an argument for regulation. This article demonstrates how an opportunities-based perspective, informed by the findings from interdisciplinary research, could alter securities policy in four areas: (1) enhancing access to information and financial institutions; (2) requiring disclosures; (3) impacting the behavioral biases of investors; and (4) aligning the incentives of investment professionals to better facilitate the wealth accumulation of their clients. The implications of applying an opportunities-based approach to financial regulation are distinct from those of a public welfare or efficiency approach to regulation. More so than these other approaches, an opportunities-based approach requires an understanding of the empirical realities of investor behavior and yields policy recommendations targeted at increasing opportunities for wealth accumulation for the average investor.

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