Ride-sharing company Lyft Inc. made its debut last week, and shares are already struggling to maintain their initial $72 IPO price. Uber Technologies is expected to go public later this month, Home-rental service Airbnb, messaging platform Slack Technologies, and social media site Pinterest are all to follow soon after.
For every Google and Amazon IPO that have become the hallmarks of IPO success, there are hundreds of IPOs that have left investors holding the bag. The latest IPO to go sour is Blue Apron. The company went IPO at $10 convincing investors that a company offering a two-person meal that requires about 30 minutes of preparation in the kitchen costing about $23 with shipping, is worth $3.2 billion. The stock is now at $1.08.
But Blue Apron is not alone. Snap, was embraced as a potential competitor to Facebook at its IPO, is now down 30% from its IPO price. And the list goes on.
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The problem with the IPO fascination is that investors only look at the successful IPOs and regret that they did not buy in on the first day of trading. If it was that easy to reap money investing in IPOs, you can be sure there would have been several mutual funds and ETFs that invest solely in IPOs. But, there isn’t many of those kinds.
The reason is that investing in IPOs is like swinging for the fences every time one goes to bat in baseball. It just does not work. Instead, the more judicious approach would be to evaluate every company, IPO or not, with the same investment methodology and make the decision whether it fits with the rest of one’s portfolio.
That may mean one would miss out on the next Google or Amazon but that will also ensure that one does not have to painfully endure the indigestion that companies like Blue Apron hand out.