Yesterday one of the biggest phenomenons in the internet world offered themselves for sale in what was one of the largest IPO offerings to date. Facebook sold selling 180 million shares for about $38 per single share. Are you interested in buying a piece of the pie?
Before you poo-poo the idea – consider that one share of Apple purchased some 15 years ago for $5 would now be worth in the neighborhood of $560. How do you like them apples?
My first foray into buying stocks was back in early 2000 – when I was working at my first full-time gig out of college. I had discovered this clever doughnut shop while living in L.A. where folks would stand in long lines, waiting for this “glazed perfection”. I knew it would take off if it ever went public – and sure enough – when I came back to the Midwest – Krispy Kreme doughnuts sold itself to the world. While I only had a handful of shares, it was amazing to see the rise in company earnings and the stock price. When I held it – it must have split some 2 or 3 times and I tripled my money. All in all – it was a good first experiment in buying stock.
So, what if you wanted to jump on board the Facebook IPO? How could you buy a single share?
It’s really not all that difficult. What you’ll need to do is to connect with a broker. The one that I’ve been with for over 10 years and am happy with their service is Etrade. They do have some requirements before you can open an account with them however. They include:
- Be a permanent resident of the US
- Deposit at least $500 – within the first 60 days of opening account (for it to remain active)
- Present an employers address
If you are more concerned with the novelty of owning a piece of stock – like the stock certificate itself – then I would recommend going through another online company called GiveAShare.com. They sell actual stock certificates with the purchase of any share – and will send you a certificate you can frame.
The only catch with these guys is that you will likely pay a premium. For example – right now Amazon is going for $224 a share. If you were to buy one share with GiveAShare – you’ll pay about $444. But, it is a unique gift – that’s for sure. With the online brokers (eTrade, Zecco, Sharebuilder) – it’s whatever the stock is going for – plus about $10 in transaction fees.
So there you have it – are you going to be buying?