The term initial public offering (IPO) slipped into everyday speech during the tech bull market of the late 1990s. Back then, it seemed you couldn't go a day without hearing about a dozen new dotcom millionaires in Silicon Valley who were cashing in on their latest IPO. The phenomenon spawned the term siliconaire, which described the dotcom entrepreneurs in their early 20s and 30s who suddenly found themselves living large on the proceeds from their internet companies' IPOs.

So, what is an IPO anyway? How did everybody get so rich so fast? And, most importantly, is it possible for mere mortals like us to get in on an IPO? All these questions and more will be answered in this tutorial.

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