The Facebook IPO as the average investor saw it

Investors were split on Facebook's IPO, some saying it was a good long bet and others saying they wouldn't touch it with long pole.
(Kimihiro Hoshino / AFP/GettyImages)

Mark Zuckerberg walked away $100 million richer. Bono’s stake had speculators predicting he’d become the most moneyed musician on the planet. But in the end, how did the average investor feel after Facebook’s limp public debut?

“Great,” said Roger Wilkerson, 49, who picked up 100 shares for $40.25 each. “Even if I lost all my money, I wouldn’t feel like an idiot.”

Wilkerson, who runs a tutoring company in Los Angeles, said Facebook stock is likely to be volatile in its infancy.


“It’s really funny watching everybody trying to figure Facebook out,” he said. “You can’t figure it out. You just have to ask yourself whether it’ll be here five, 10 years from now, and in my mind, that’s a yes.”

In early trading, Facebook stock found strong interest in unexpected corners.

On Twitter, user Diane Ellis tweeted: “My mom, who’s never seen and doesn’t understand Facebook, wants to buy Facebook stock.”

But from the get-go, West Hollywood film producer Darren Sherwood, 44, steered clear. “Whenever any company has an IPO, everyone thinks it’s free money and that you’re going to be Steve Jobs in 15 minutes,” he said. “But at the end of the day, Facebook is overvalued compared to similar companies.”

Others, such as Los Angeles Twitter user Stephanie Fredricks, wrote: “I would’ve bought stock in Facebook but I realized my money is better spent on food.”

Despite the naysayers, social media consultant Vanessa Bedard, 25, bought 100 shares anyway for $40.60. She was among Facebook’s first users when she joined in 2004 as a Syracuse University freshman.

“For me, owning shares is more of a novelty thing,” she said. “But I also think it’s a smart investment based on their continued growth.... There’s endless revenue opportunities and they’ve only scratched the surface. I’m pretty optimistic.”

The only other company that would get the Studio City resident so excited? Twitter.

“They’re my number one,” she said. “I’d invest in them in a heartbeat.”


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