The SEC Wants to Be Your Nanny

Massachusetts once barred its residents from investing in the initial public offering of Apple. As the Journal reported on Dec. 12, 1980, state regulators declared the stock “too risky” for individual investors because its relatively high price-earnings ratio made it a “highflier” that lacked “solid earnings foundations.”

Luckily, this particular type of paternalism seems as much a relic of the ’80s as the floppy disk. A bipartisan 1996 law pre-empted such state restrictions. At the same time, the Securities and Exchange Commission…

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