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‘Going Public’: IPO, Explained

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It’s a buzzword we hear constantly—and one that’s sure to generate tons of headlines. Alibaba had the largest in history (before its billionaire founder decided he wanted to quit to be a grade school teacher.)

Lyft IPO’d recently also, beating arch rival Uber to the proverbial punch.

Other than being a buzzword and a big story, what exactly is an IPO?! Well, let’s break it down.

What is an IPO?!

In technical terms, an Initial Public Offering (IPO) is the first sale of stock issued by a company to the public. In other words, this is the moment when a private company goes “public” by offering its shares for sale to the public.

So when a company does go public, the valuation usually spikes dramatically—and the company can now use the funds from the sale of shares to feed the business. It’s a fabulous funding source for a company.

Before that, what is a company?

Prior to going public, a company is a privately-owned firm. Obviously. The company initially attracts investments or seed capital from the co-founder, friends, and families.

Business investors such as venture capitalists, private equity companies and angel investors pump in money if they are optimistic about long-term prospects and sustainability of the company.

On the flip side of things, you sometimes have companies that decide to go “private,” like Elon Musk said he wanted to do with Tesla. 

Why does a company opt for an IPO?

The biggest advantage for a publicly listed company is access to capital. This capital can be used to purchase machinery, fund research and development or pay off any existing debt.

The firm will then be listed on a public exchange and provides an exit route for business investors and founders.

When Facebook went public, Mark Zuckerberg sold 30M shares worth $1.1B. An IPO is the most common way for investors and VCs to make a significant return on their investment. In fact, it’s considered the ultimate exit for founders.

How much capital do the companies get?

Let’s run down the list.

Alibaba [BABA] raised $25B in an IPO back in Sept. 2014. Facebook [FB] raised $16B in May 2012. Visa [V] raised $7.9B in March 2008.

Top tech unicorns such as Uber, Slack, and Airbnb are on course to file for an IPO over the next 18 months.

The company that is looking to go public hires an investment bank to underwriting the IPO process. Investment banks can either work together or individually in this process.

What do the investment bankers do?

In other words, all the boring admin stuff. In exchange for this, they collect a nice fat fee, usually anywhere from 4-7% of gross proceeds.

Those involved hold several meetings to finalize the IPO process and determine the timing of the filing. Once this is wrapped up, they shift to performing the due diligence to ensure the company’s registration statements are accurate.

The due diligence tasks include market due diligence, legal and IP due diligence, financial and tax due diligence. At the end of this process, the companies then file for an S-1 Registration Statement.

The S-1 is usually what tips off the press and the public that a company is about to go, well, public.

And what’s the S-1?

The S-1 statement includes information about the companies’ historical financial statements, company overview, risk factors, and other critical data.

A pre-IPO analyst meeting is then held post the S-1 Registration Statement to educate analysts and bankers about the company.

Confused yet?

A preliminary prospectus can also be drafted at this stage. The underwriting investment bank conducts pre-marketing to determine the interest of institutional investors and the price they are willing to pay per share.

Now you’re ready to go public

The price range for an IPO is set and the S-1 Registration Statement is amended with the price range.  The company’s management organizes road shows and marketing activities to generate interest for the upcoming IPO.

Based on investor interest, the price range per share can be revised. The investors will apply for company shares and this application window is open for generally 2-4 days. The company shares can be oversubscribed or undersubscribed.

Once the IPO is priced, the investment banks will allocate shares to investors where the stock will now be available for trading in the secondary market.

At this point, a company is now ready to go public. Here’s how people usually look when that happens.

Image result for snap IPO

SNAP executives during happier days.

Congrats. You’re now an IPO expert.

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Early Uber Investor: ‘I’m Happy With Uber’s Poor IPO’

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Lance Armstrong may not have gotten his $3B on his $100K investment, but his $100K still got a proper HGH/steroid boost.

And despite the rough outing, early investor Mitchell Green says he’s happy with the current IPO price—despite falling WAY south of its initially rumored $120B level.

And no, it’s not the Mitch Green, the one who got into a street fight with Mike Tyson.

Image result for mitch green gif

Uber rich Mitch Green looks like this:

Image result for mitchell green lead edge

Anyway. Green says he’s happy with the current pricing. Check out the video to see why.

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[VIDEO] Penny Stocks, Explained

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Penny stocks are equity investments that are traded outside major exchanges. These stocks are traded at low prices and have a small market cap. As penny stocks are illiquid and highly speculative, they carry a high risk of investment.

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (or SEC) defines penny stocks as shares with a value of less than $5. Typically, a penny stock is traded over the counter or by using pink sheets.

Despite the high risks of investment, penny stocks can be a lucrative form of investment because of its low price and higher prospects of return.

Suitable for investors with a high-risk tolerance

Investing in equity markets is risky, particularly because it’s driven by price fluctuations and volatility. Investors in penny stocks will generally have a higher threshold of risk tolerance. Penny stocks are far more volatile than blue-chip stocks.

Investors hence need to take precautions while investing in penny stocks. They need to have a stop-loss order prior to entering into a trade. This will minimize the amount of downside potential in case the markets move in the opposite direction.

Penny stocks also provide an opportunity for significant companies. These companies are generally high-growth ones but with limited cash resources.

Why are penny stocks attractive to the average retail investor?

Generally, the average retail investor associates a low price stock as a bargain. But this cannot be farther from the truth. A stock can be overvalued at $1 and can be undervalued at $250.

The average investor fails to understand this due to limited investing knowledge. Penny stocks are trading at lower values for a reason. They might experience a bull run resulting in a significant price appreciation but can also come crashing down in no time. It is far easier to manipulate penny stocks.

The “Caveat Emptor” principle should be applied when investing in penny stocks. Sure, there are success stories even for penny stock investors, but is worth the risk?

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Being A Millionaire: What Does It Actually Mean?

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You’re dreaming about luxury vacations and nice cars. OH, you can’t wait to be a millionaire.

But I’m here to tell you to think again.

While having more money is never a bad thing, what you’ve probably envisioned and what the reality is don’t match up. Let me explain.

What is the Definition of a Millionaire?

By definition, a millionaire is a person or family who has a net worth in excess of $1 million dollars. This answer is very U.S. centric as different countries have their own versions of this answer. For example, it takes 117 Japanese Yen to make 1 USD, so $1 million Yen doesn’t get you very far!

Even though in the U.S. the concept of a millionaire is static, what those million dollars gets you over time can change dramatically.

Inflation

An example of that is the effect of inflation. A million dollars in 1950 is worth about $10.5 million in today’s dollars. But, the definition of a “millionaire” didn’t change. So, Today’s millionaires have 1/10 the amount of money that millionaires had when your parents were born.

So, the idea of “millionaire” status is really less meaningful than it was decades ago.

Just the rate of inflation will create more “millionaires” every year.

Exchange Rates

Another thing that messes with the definition of a millionaire is the fluctuation of exchange rates and purchasing power.

Let’s go back to the example above with Japan. We know that 1 US Dollar can get 117 Japanese Yen. We know that $1 can get you a chicken sandwich at a fast food restaurant. If you can go to Japan and get a similar sandwich for ¥ 117 then your purchasing power hasn’t changed.

The reason why I bring this up is to show that having a million dollars may be worth a lot in one place in the world but not worth much elsewhere depending on purchasing power.

How Many Millionaires in the U.S.?

in 2017, there were roughly 11 million US households with a net worth over $1 million or around 15 million individuals.

There are roughly 325 million people in the U.S. which means that around 4.6% of the US population are millionaires. In other words, around 1 in 20 people are millionaires.

Doesn’t sound like it’s rare, does it?

When you go to the mall, a huge number of cars in that parking lot are owned by millionaires.

In your child’s classroom, chances are one of those children were born to a millionaire family.

Chances are, one of your friends or family members is a millionaire and you don’t even know it.

But, if so many people are millionaires, where are all the Lambos and mansions?

It’s Not What You Think

Net Worth is not cash in the bank. You can’t spend $1m when it’s coming from the value of your home or 401k. Even if it was cash in the bank, it’s not even a lot of money.

$1m doesn’t get very far. You can buy a decent house with it but that comes with expensive maintenance, lawn care, repairs, and a crap ton of new furniture to fill up 5x more space than you’re used to having.

It can get a foreign sports car, but that comes along with $500 oil changes and $1,000 for a new tire (remember, you need 4).

$1,000,000 invested conservatively could earn you around $40,000-$50,000 per year in interested. That’s hardly enough to retire on especially as old age comes with added costs of health care.

But, if most of that $1m is in your home, which is true for most people, it’s not earning any interested. Even if it was, you’d have to sell your home to get that money. Then what?

Don’t Focus on Becoming a Millionaire

Of course, anyone would rather have $1m than not have it. But, don’t make it your focus. Having it isn’t going to get your cars or vacations. Net worth is one thing to measure, but it’s more important to focus on cash flow.

Yearly passive income will buy you anything you want. It’s money you can spend. It’s cash in the bank. Net worth is money locked up somewhere. You need assets, but assets don’t buy you things. If that asset doesn’t produce cash flow, you can only use it by selling it and that’s not a good place to be.

What’s more important is focusing on building up passive sources of income from real estate, side businesses, stocks, or other ventures.

Focus on building up $40k or $100k in passive income rather than focusing on having $1m in net worth.

This article originally appeared on IdealREI. Follow them on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

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