Amid the reporting and commentary concerning possible missteps in Facebook’s IPO process were suggestions that individual investors would sour on Wall Street because of the allegations concerning who knew what when. For example, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said, “Say goodbye to the individual investor on Wall Street” on his blog. But this is the wrong message. Individual investors have a better recourse than to avoid the market. Instead, they should focus more on companies that have proven themselves in the public market for several years than on IPOs, which are inherently risky. Groupon’s restated financials should have reminded investors of this already. For investors who worry that by not snapping up a hot IPO they’ll miss out on a spectacular gain, there’s good news: The market always provides opportunities to pick up quality companies at bargain prices, and at some point almost all stocks go on sale.
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