1. IPO Basics: Introduction
  2. IPO Basics: What Is An IPO?
  3. IPO Basics: Getting In On An IPO
  4. IPO Basics: Don't Just Jump In
  5. IPO Basics: Tracking Stocks
  6. IPO Basics: Conclusion

The term initial public offering (IPO) has been a buzzword on Wall Street and among investors for decades, and especially since the tech boom of the 1990’s. 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.

After the Great Recession following the 2008 financial crisis, IPOs ground to a halt, and for some years afterwards, new listings were rare. But since 2011 the number of IPOs has been steadily rising along with economic optimism. Lately, the IPO buzz has been around the so-called unicorns, startup companies that have reached private valuations of more than $1 billion, like Uber and AirBnB. Will these companies go public via an IPO or stay private? Will the market value these companies as highly as anticipated? Will these startup founders get fantastically rich overnight?

This tutorial will answer what an IPO is along with these other questions and, importantly, help you decide if an IPO is an appropriate investment for your portfolio – if you can get your hands on one!


IPO Basics: What Is An IPO?
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