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Can I participate in trading Facebook shares on their IPO day from any brokerage? Or might accessibility be limited? (I have some money in a Vanguard account and would like to use that if possible.) Thanks.

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    I vote to close this question. If you have a brokerage account, ask them. If you don't have a brokerage account and are thinking of opening one real soon now in order to trade Facebook shares, ask various brokerage houses what their rules are and sign up with one that will let you play. – Dilip Sarwate May 15 '12 at 19:06
  • @xyz: stay away from FB, you might gain some money immediately, but you will loose a huge amount of money on the long run. FB it's just the next huge bubble. – Marco Demaio May 15 '12 at 19:11
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Any retail equity brokerage will give you access to the NYSE, and thus Facebook shares as they become available. However, it is important to note that you nor any retail investor will be able to purchase FB at the IPO prices ($33-38 IIRC). The only people who will be able to buy in at that price are the underwriting investment banks and major investors who have subscribed to the IPO. You, and all the other retail investors will only be able to buy in as those major investors offer shares on the secondary market. This being Facebook, there will probably be a significant premium over the IPO price, both due to demand and systemic underpricing of IPOs to encourage the opening 'pop'.

So, if you're intent on buying in at the IPO, pay close attention as the date approaches. Look at how the recent big IPOs have performed (GRPN, LNKD come to mind). Know how much you're willing to commit and what price you want. However, no one is going to know what the opening market price will be come Friday morning. Be watching your financial data source / analysis of choice and be prepared to make a judgement.

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    Not so. Depending on the size of the offering, brokerage firms are often given some qty of shares. Schwab had an offering period where I was able to put in a request for shares. During the dotcom boom in the late 90's I received a small number (100-200 shares) for most IPOs I requested. – JTP - Apologise to Monica May 17 '12 at 1:24
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    Second that, ETrade were accepting orders for this IPO. – littleadv May 17 '12 at 4:00
  • I stand corrected, I didn't know that the retail brokerages subscribe to larger IPOs. – Andrew Christianson May 18 '12 at 3:57
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    As anecdotal evidence, I tried to buy Facebook stock at ETrade, and they gave me 50 shares (I had asked for more, but they only gave me 50; 50 was also the minimum). It didn't end up mattering much because there were several opportunities to buy it at $38/share the first day of trading anyway. – user296 May 18 '12 at 20:58
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Yes. The real question is whether you should. You should consider your investment options, and take into the account that there's much more hype than value in many companies.

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By definition, an IPO'd stock is publicly traded, and you can buy shares if you wish. There's often an excitement on the first day that doesn't carry over to the next days or weeks. The opening price may be well above the IPO price, depending on that demand.

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