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How to Buy Facebook Shares Now

This article was written by in Featured, Investing. 27 comments.


Update: As of May 2012, Facebook is trading publicly. You can purchase Facebook shares like any other stock trading on NASDAQ, using a discount brokerage or a full-service broker.

I mentioned recently that although Goldman Sachs appears to be trying to come up with a plan to skirt the regulations set forth by the Securities and Exchange Commission, Facebook may be required to publicly disclose financial reports when the number of individual private investors is at least 500. At that point, when Facebook is forced to prepare and distribute these reports to the public, I questioned whether they might as well be public.

I don’t know what happens behind the scenes at Facebook, but there seem to be strong rumors in the media that the company will go public in 2012. At that point, shares of Facebook would be traded on an open market. Currently, the best way to buy shares of Facebook is to be on the list of qualified investors held by Goldman Sachs.

If you believe Facebook is the best investment of the century and you want to be a part of the meteoric rise you expect to come, there are other ways to buy shares. You just have to find access to the secondary market, where employees with company stock can sell their share in the company and take home their cash.

There are online services that will match holders of private company shares who wish to sell with members of the public who wish to buy.

On SharesPost, shareholders post messages with their investment details, including what they have to sell and how much they’d like to sell it for. Potential buyers, those of us interested in getting a piece of a private company, look for notices that match what we are willing to pay. If the right deal isn’t listed, buyers can also post their own offers to see if any sellers are interested. this this self-serve format, the website takes a commission out of the final sales price of each investment.

The website is free to join, so I registered for an account. As of now, potential Facebook buyers outnumber the sellers, but the deals posted do not match up well. The sellers are looking for $30 to $40 a common share, with volumes ranging from 20,000 to 100,000 shares. Buyers are willing to value the company much higher, and are looking to buy 1,000 shares each, for the most part, with a valuation of $1 — someone hoping to get lucky, I guess — through $60. Only purchase offers with a value of $40 a share or higher are currently in the process of an agreement with a seller.

Goldman Sachs believes Facebook with worth $50 billion, and that puts the accurate share price at around $22. No seller is interested in an offer that low, however.

You’ll need an investable net worth of at least $1,000,000 and an annual income of at least $200,000 to participate as a buyer, so this is still not an opportunity for the average investor to own a piece of Facebook.

SmartMoney, USA Today
Photo: west.m

Updated May 18, 2012 and originally published January 7, 2011. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

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About the author

Luke Landes is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about Luke Landes and follow him on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Wojo ♦146 (Cent)

Not surprised, if I was a Facebook employee, I’m looking for nowhere to go but up from here. $30-$40 might not be out of reach in a few years.

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avatar Luke Landes ♦127,535 (Platinum)

It’s fun to think about what I’d do if I were (an early) Facebook employee. Who knows where the top will be. Facebook has had some scandal here and there… and I’m not a fan of keeping all my eggs in one basket… but early ownership is an amazing benefit.

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avatar krantcents

I missed out for Google at $85, and I never thought of buying Apple at $60. Although I own both through mutual funds, I missed the huge growth. I could also say I missed out on the possible downside too. At this point in my life, I can not take huge risks. Everyone selse should consider it!

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avatar Luke Landes ♦127,535 (Platinum)

$85 was Google’s IPO price, and I don’t think it’s ever traded that low since then. As an average investor, buying GOOG on the first day available, I would have paid $100 a share, and on that day it sounded outrageous. Turns out that it’s not bad considering its price today is $600, but hindsight it always 20/20. Maybe it’s a sign I should buy Facebook after its IPO.

Here’s what I wrote a few years ago about Google’s IPO.

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avatar eric ♦1,549 (Half-Dollar)

Wow I didn’t you know you had a post on the Big G’s IPO. Interesting!

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avatar Jenna

I think I’ll have to wait a little while longer to hit that million dollar investment mark. Interesting information though. Thanks for sharing.

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avatar Kyle

I find it interesting that so many people are willing to buy or sell Facebook stock at a particular price when they don’t even have financial statements for the company. Not sure how you can make an accurate valuation without financials.

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avatar Eric

I wish I could get into this one. I am not missing the Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn bandwagon like I missed previous tech companies. I have done well with eBay, but it has been my own tech buy to date.

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avatar skylog ♦368 (Nickel)

for me, this is such a tough call. as others have stated, i missed out on the apple resurgance, while owning an ipod from day one, missed out on netflix after using the service pretty much from day one…etc…

that said, the site has so many users, one would think the stock would be a winner; but, there are just so many unknowns at this point. it will be interesting, to be sure. the one i am waiting for is for spotify to ipo and get into the united states.

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avatar kaidez

¿Cómo se dice, “dotcom bubble part 2?”

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avatar Evan

I am not sure I understand…ignoring the fact of lack of financial disclosure how could anyone value A SHARE without knowing how many shares are available? a $600 google only makes sense when you know how few (in comparison to most companies) shares are out there…

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avatar arnon

I have close to 1,000.000 share, what do you recommened?
I asked for 34$

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avatar John Renaud

I can buy Facebook stock for $28.00 per share through a broker. Do you have any interest in selling your 1,000 shares for a total of $28,000.00?

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avatar RORY

Interested in buying your facebook stock!

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avatar Dallas Purdum

I want to sell mine for $35,000

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avatar Zach Teller

I can sell facebook shares at $30 per share as a broker with my investment bank. Minimum $25k. If interested shoot me an email. zachary.teller1@gmail.com

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avatar RORY

Interested in buying you facebook stock!

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avatar kirk scholnick

Interested in purchasing some Facebook shares..Please get back to me with info on this..Thanks,
Kirk

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avatar Ahmed

Buying Facebook shares does seem lucrative given what we’ve seen with Google.

To some of the posts above though, it is important to remember that even although the growth margin on the Google shares was high several years after Google’s IPO, other variables such as the net present value of money and the changing power of the dollar play into effect. Of course with companies in the league of Facebook the return on shares would probably be ridiculously high a few years down the road, but it is also important to consider these factors I mention here especially if you are tight on money at the time when Facebook’s shares go public (i.e. your money at the time of purchase is largley dispensible; you know given the turbulence in the economy and all).

Thank you.

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avatar Ahmed

Correction: Indispensible

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avatar Ahmed

Haha. I realized that after hitting the “submit” button. Goes to tell ya how important it is to proof-read before submitting :)

Cheers

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avatar tracy

I am a small investors looking to spend 2000 dollars on facebook shares if anyone has any let me know

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avatar Ironbob

This is the sort of stuff that fuels Occupy Wall Street. The entire game is rigged for the rich.

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avatar justme

SIt back and watch all the Fraud online on people pretending they are Facebook
and cash in all your money! DONT BE STUPID! research and make sure you know were your stiking your money in desperate moments!

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avatar billbarton

billbarton, i have about 30000 $ i would like your facebook share offer please.

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avatar Sri Gudipati

The shares dropped today to $33, about 13% drop on a second day trades. Not sure yet why no one thinks its a big deal for a companys worth to drop from $105B to $85B. I guess, the same reason why they didnt think its a big deal to price a company 100 times its earnings. I would say the shares would continue to slide and be actually worth between $10-$20 in the next few months. Hopefully, at least then the social network will rightly be worth investing for the regual ‘social’ investor.

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avatar Fran V.

Where do you go to buy a share for Facebook or Apple ??? I am a newbie! I am new to the stock market any suggestions?? Thanx!!

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