Facebook stock: Why you can't have any

Facebook stock will be impossible to get unless you have a portfolio worth millions. There likekly won't be enough shares of Facebook stock for individual investors to partake.

Mike Segar/Reuters/File
Facebook Vice President of Product Chris Cox delivers a keynote address at Facebook's "fMC" global event for marketers in New York City in this February file photo. When Facebook stock goes public, most private investors will gave a hard time getting their hands on shares.


Because if you're reading this - even if you do have an account at Morgan Stanley - there is a very good chance you are getting approximately zero shares.

Unless your account is roughly $5 million and your particular registered rep at Morgan Stanley has a profitable business to the firm (as in, he eats a lot of the "bad" syndicate and consistently sells high margin products to his clients).

My friend Nancy Miller has a rundown of what to not expect in TIME Mag today:

Fuhgeddaboudit: Individual investors are unlikely to be able to buy Facebook shares before they start trading on the Nasdaq stock exchange.

There are three reasons for this: The big boys are at the front the line, you are at the back of the line, and there is no middle of the line.

Facebook is set to sell between $5 billion and $10 billion in stock for the first time sometime next month. The eight-year-old company has already been trading shares in the private market at levels that would make it worth $90 to $100 billion – about the combined value of its underwriters Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs. You would think that there would be enough shares for individual investors to get some of the stock at the IPO price. But there probably aren’t, which is disappointing to investors who are hoping not just for bragging rights but big profits.

My friends at Morgan are being advised by the higher-ups to tell their clients, especially the ones who have a shot at getting shares, to curb their enthusiasm.  "This will be the most undersold deal of all time in terms of how we're supposed to discuss it," is what one of them tells me.

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