Too bad- you can’t. Well, you can- just not on the IPO. Turns out some individual investors could actually buy thru Etrade but needed at least $250k in holdings in their account and at least 1 million in personal worth.
So are you screwed? Well, no. You can still buy tomorrow once it goes public. Is it worth it? YES! Wait.. No! Wait.. Yes…
It all depends what you are looking for and which financial blog you choose to read. All I can do is give you a little but of my history with high flying IPOs and then you can decide for yourself.
My Yahoo day of IPO
In 1996 I got in on day 1 of Yahoo. After it went IPO for I believe $17? (Sorry too lazy too look it up) I got it for $32 that day. 6 months later it was at $19 a share. It hovered in the 20s and 30s for another year or so til it started to hit the $50’s in July of 1997. But July of 1998 it was $160 and by Jan 2000 it was over $400. If I had waited 6 months I could have gotten it for 1/2 price then on the day- but once you have that big of a percentage gain does it really matter?
Which leads is to, do I buy day of or wait? Wisdom says wait 6 months or so til all the excitement dies down. But I doubt I’ll wait. I see this as a very high flying stock despite what the “Experts” think.
Numbers or Trends?
I tend to be a trends guy. When everyone was selling their Apple stock back in 2002 and leaving the company for dead I was buying. I liked their new cute colorful imacs and thought people would buy them.
When people said Google’s and Netflix’s valuations were too high- I was still buying as their stock prices were getting cheaper due to the “experts” telling us the books showed those companies weren’t worth anything.
Well, the customers thought differently. (And yes, I told everyone to sell Netflix before the great CEO meltdown at $300) That was more about the trend of Hulu and Amazon taking them on- can they beat Netflix? No, but if Wall Street thinks someone can- then the stock will go down til stronger heads prevail.
So if you like a product, if you see your friends using it- go with that.
Ok, I was on a tangent- back to Facebook. I plan to buy. Will it go down? Probably? ($27 pops in my head) In 2 years will $90 on Facebook stock seem like a great deal? Yes. Will it seem like a deal in 3 months? Probably not, but why risk it for a few hundred dollars.
Like the big Tech craze bubble in 99 there are other stocks to buy that will float up with this Facebook stock.
Ones I like right now that will be much cheaper:
YELP - $21.27
But much like Efax stock during the big boom- they can come down quick and hard- so buy and expect to sell in less than a year. Especially Groupon- I don’t trust they’ll ever make money- but the stock will be pushed up simply as a alt. “Social Media” stock.
And remember- I am not an expert. Just some nerd who has been trending stocks and marketing since I was around 5 (I believe I told everyone to buy Conoco back then)
Good luck, we’re all counting on you!