5. Your investments are your responsibility.
Many of the standards accompanying private online investing have yet to be established. Metaphorically, we're in the first pitch of the first inning of the first game of the season.
The onus is on the investor to become educated about new regulations, seek out viable opportunities, understand the risks of investing and make informed decisions.
It's also critical to research the online investing sites with an eye for privacy, security and compliance. Some conduct no due diligence or vetting on deals, functioning simply like bulletin boards. Others act more like venture capital firms, investing alongside "crowd" investors.
Once you find a platform you trust, conduct your own due diligence on each opportunity. Keep in mind that when investing in a private venture, you're becoming part of it. Do its mission and vision align with yours as an investor? Do you believe in the ability of the founder or project sponsor to execute on strategy? Do you understand the industry you're investing in and how the venture can succeed within it? All of these considerations should be top of mind.
—By Joanna Schwartz, CEO of online private investing platform EarlyShares, member of the CNBC-YPO Chief Executive Network
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CNBC and YPO (Young Presidents' Organization) have formed an exclusive editorial partnership, consisting of regional Chief Executive Networks in the Americas, EMEA and Asia-Pacific. These Chief Executive Networks are made up of a sample of YPO's unrivaled global network of 20,000 top executives from 120 countries who are on the front lines of the economy. The opinions of Chief Executive Network members are solely their own and do not reflect the opinions of YPO as a whole or CNBC.