A few days ago, I received an email from E-TRADE that my brokerage account there qualified me to participate in AIG’s latest public offering. The government is beginning to sell its stake in the company, and this would be a unique opportunity to purchase stock not usually available to most people. IPOs have a history of paying off big for investors who get in early.
I looked into the details of the offering, and I decided to place an order for 50 shares, the minimum, at a price a few dollars lower than the expected offering price. Not surprisingly, there were enough interested buyers at higher prices, so I didn’t make the cut when the stock price opened at $29 a share. At the time I’m writing this, the price per share has already dropped 3.3%. The government has still has a significant portion of equity, 1.5 billion shares, to release to the public over the next few years, and they’re betting on a profit.
This may have been a missed opportunity on my part. If I had bid $29 for my 50 shares, I still wouldn’t have been guaranteed to qualify; bigger sharks feed first. However, I priced myself out of the running by not being confident about the valuation the market placed on AIG. If AIG continues to struggle, however, I may have done the right thing.
What would you have done?
Updated September 2, 2011 and originally published May 25, 2011. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @flexo on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.