IPO’s (Initial Public Offerings) have been in the news lately with several well-known companies offering potential investors the chance to get in on the action and of course, the potential profit. In this episode we discuss individual company stocks and initial public offerings and whether they are a good option for your investment strategy.
An IPO, or initial public offering, is the process by which a privately held company begins selling stock to outside investors, thus becoming a public company. From that point on, the company can raise the capital it needs by selling shares, but it must also comply with a strict set of reporting guidelines, as established by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Most companies get their initial funding by emptying their bank accounts, taking out small business loans, turning to private investors or venture capitalists, or a combination thereof. But there often comes a point where more money is needed for a business to experience the growth it desires.
IPOs - Initial Public Offerings Coming Up:
Uber (transportation network)
Palantir (data mining | big data)
Airbnb (online hospitality market)
Are IPOs good investments?
Though IPOs can be good for the companies behind them, they're not always great for investors -- especially the inexperienced kind. Though investing in IPOs can be profitable, it's generally a much riskier prospect than investing in established companies with a strong history of solid performance. Though there are certainly exceptions, IPO stocks tend to underperform for several years after being issued compared to the general market. That's because the companies behind them are usually more focused on growing the business than delivering profits to investors. Those inclined to invest in IPOs should therefore take the time to vet the issuing companies carefully before moving forward.
What is a stock
A stock (also known as "shares" or "equity) is a type of security that signifies proportionate ownership in the issuing corporation. This entitles the stockholder to that proportion of the corporation's assets and earnings.
Dual-Class Shares - Dual-Class Ownership
Dual-class ownership is a type of common stock offering in which companies issue shares that have differing rights. In a dual-class ownership structure, the company can issue two classes of shares, Class A and Class B. These classes may have different voting rights, but they represent the same underlying ownership in the company.
For example, when Google went public, it issued Class B shares that had no voting rights to ensure that the founders and executives still had control of the company. Google, now trading publicly as Alphabet, has since altered its share class structure with Class B shares having 10 times the voting power as Class A.