Rich Galen

If you have been practicing pressing the first 9 digits of your stockbroker's phone number so you can get in on Facebook at the IPO price you're probably not going to be dialing for dollars on Friday morning.

Unless your broker's name is Jamie Dimon.

Otherwise, according to MSNBC.com "unless you're a large institutional investor like a pension fund or your stock broker is unusually well plugged into one of [the] 30 underwriters, you can't" participate in the early going.

"Facebook plans to sell 337 million shares - which sounds like a lot. But because it's widely expected to be a hot stock, demand is likely to be much bigger than the first batch of shares."

If shares pop up because they are oversubscribed you will probably be able to buy some shares on Friday or Monday but you will pay more than the big boys.

According to the San Jose Mercury News

"Among other recent social networking IPOs, Yelp shares rose 64 percent in their first day of trading, while Groupon rose [40 percent] and LinkedIn popped up 109 percent."

Groupon's IPO price was about $20 last November and the shares spiked to $28 within minutes of its opening. Last night Groupon shares closed at $12.17.

On the other hand LinkedIn opened at $45 last May and closed last night at $110.56.

What will happen with Facebook?

You pays your money, as the man once said, and you takes your chances.


Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at Mullings.com.