The Access IPOs Mission
To educate and empower retail IPO and pre-IPO investors.
You’re probably not a super-wealthy Wall Street investor. Neither am I.
IPOs have become easier for individuals to invest in over the past decade.
Allocations for the most anticipated deals remain elusive for most retail investors. But a handful of modern online brokers have built platforms to allow investors to participate in IPOs regardless of account balances.
But that doesn’t mean we should buy them all.
Startups stay private longer, giving early investors and venture capitalists most of the gains. By the time retail investors get a shot to invest, the growth is already baked in.
After the IPOs, prices often fall.
IPOs too often seem like pump-and-dump schemes — startups and VCs wait until the market will accept overvalued offerings. Public stock investors buy the hype, then watch as valuations return to the mean.
But individual investors are wising up.
Retail investors can now own pre-IPO startups earlier in the growth lifecycles.
That’s one leg up.
With better access to traditional IPOs, it’s now more important than ever to perform due diligence on IPOs in the pipeline. Just because we have access doesn’t mean we should invest.
IPOs still have their “pops”. With access and liquidity, retail investors can profit. However, it’s still challenging to acquire a significant number of IPO shares.
But investors who buy overvalued IPOs and hold through the down periods will lose money.
Retail IPO investing isn’t broken, but it’s far from perfect. Investors need more access, liquidity, and transparency to make informed investment decisions.
Access IPOs is here to help retail investors navigate modern IPO investing and to advocate for retail access, liquidity, and transparency.
Startups will always need to raise money from the public markets. When they do, Access IPOs will be on the watch.
This website monitors high-demand private companies investors are most excited to own. As startups progress toward their IPOs, we provide investors with the facts and nuance they need beyond the S-1 filings to determine if a particular deal is worth pursuing.
The best way to stay in touch is to subscribe to Access IPOs. You’ll receive our monthly newsletter and free guide to IPO investing.
This blog was born out of an exciting trend that began a decade ago.
In the early 2010s, a company called LOYAL3 was offering commission-free ownership and free access to high-demand IPOs.
LOYAL3 was a trailblazing company. Though it ceased operations in 2017, the entire online brokerage industry followed its lead with commission-free investing, and multiple brokers now offer similar IPO access.
LOYAL3 IPO investors participated in at least 19 IPOs and follow-on offerings, including Square (now Block), Hubspot, Globant, and First Data Corp — all up more than 600% since their IPOs.
When LOYAL3 shut down, retail IPO investors moved to Motif Investing, which offered IPO access to ordinary investors for very low minimum investments.
Motif Investing offered its IPO customers shares of more than 150 IPO and secondary offering opportunities.
Motif closed its doors in 2020, selling its customers to Folio Investing and the technology platform to Schwab.
Legacy brokers such as Schwab and Fidelity prioritize IPO access to their wealthiest customers.
But inspired by LOYAL3 and Motif Investing, multiple brokers have started to provide IPO access to retail investors. This website helps curious investors determine if IPOs are the right investment vehicle for their objectives and identifies upcoming deals for investors looking to participate in IPOs.
Access IPOs is maintained by Craig Stephens, a former IT consultant turned full-time writer. He’s also the founder of Retire Before Dad (RBD), a contributor to HumbleDollar, and a former contributor to US News & World Report.
Craig has participated in multiple IPOs, including Lending Club, Blue Buffalo Pets, Dave & Busters, At Home Group, Redfin, Instacart, and ARM.
Spun off from RBD in 2016, Access IPOs is about helping investors access pre-IPO startups and traditional IPOs while avoiding the pitfalls.
RBD covers broader topics, including personal finance, retirement, financial independence, travel, and investing in stocks, real estate, and alternative assets.
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