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IP-uh-Oh: Investor Lessons from Facebook Going Public – part 2

Facebook Going Public – Learning Objective:

  • To learn what an IPO is and why a company goes ‘public’

There seemed a time in the business news not too long ago where all you would hear about was the debut of Facebook in the stock market.  Now that Facebook has officially started trading and media outlets have squeezed as much as they can out of its initial stumble, it appears that the world has predictably moved on.  For those beginner investors who were drawn in to the hype of Facebook going public, trying to put the events of Facebook’s debut as a publicly traded company into some kind of context is difficult, especially if the headlines on it have started to disappear. In this second part of our series, we take a closer look at what an IPO means and why they happen.  If you missed the first part of the series, you can click here to read it.

Will that be cash or credit?

To understand how stock markets function, one of the most important questions to ask is how companies end up there. After all, isn’t shopping much easier when you realize why you’re in the mall in the first place?


From startups to blue chips, the one rule of business is true – it takes money to make money, and if you’ve got big dreams as a business you’ve certainly got to be able pay for what will help get you there.  Even though some of the regulations have changed, the principle of raising money to grow is as true today as it has ever been – check out this neat little cartoon from the 1950’s for a fun explanation.

The decision that all businesses have to make is how they are going to pay for what they need in order to do what they do.   Of course since money doesn’t just appear out of thin air (unless you’re a central banker – which is another story altogether) it needs to come from somewhere or someone. The two main ways of raising money (that it doesn’t already have)  for a business are to take out a loan (debt) or sell a portion (equity) of your company.

An IPO or initial public offering, similar to the one that Facebook undertook, is an opportunity to raise money to help pay for all of those things that are going to make a company even more money in the future (or at least that’s how the story is supposed to go).  If you are a business owner, you want to raise as much money as possible for your business and “going public” enables businesses to sell shares of their company to the general public, as opposed to selling to only a limited number of investors. Business owners raise money from investors – people who want their investment capital to appreciate in value.

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Online Discount Brokerage Deals & Promotions – July 2012

Summer is officially here and with it are a few major league offers that Canadian online discount brokerages have going.  It seems like this month, the four big promos are from Virtual Brokers, Questrade, Scotia iTrade and Disnat Direct. We’ve also got a special discount brokerage deal offering from Jitneytrade now officially launched!

It seems like lots of free trades is all the rage this summer. Virtual Brokers has extended their offer of 150 free trades to September 30th when you open an account with at least $25 000. From Questrade, a chance to get 100 free trades when you open and fund an account with $10 000.  Questrade also has a “refer a friend” deal that looks like an interesting win-win promo. Scotia iTrade has extended their 100 trade credit offer out to Sept 30th, but to get that deal you’ll have to pony up at least $25 000.  Disnat Direct’s Active 5 offer is still in full effect – definitely one to take notice of if you’re an active trader or are thinking about becoming one, 50 trades commission credit and 5 months of best rate trading along with 5 months of their active trading platforms with data make it definitely worth considering – you’ll need $10 000 to land that deal. National Bank Direct Investing also just joined in on the giveaway front with their $750 commission reimbursement when you deposit $25 000 into a new account – make sure to read the fine print on this one though because reimbursements will get paid out in either January 2013 or April 2013 depending on when you open your account.

The official SparxTrading deal with Jitneytrade is now officially launched. If you’re a very active trader, you’ll want to check out the details below on this amazing offer of discounted commissions and a huge discount on the RealTick active trader platform.

Enjoy the rest of this month’s deals!

Company Brief Description Details Link Deadline
Jitney Trade A Sparx Trading exclusive offer! Use the promo code “Sparx Trading” when signing up for a new account with Jitney and receive access to their preferred pricing package and a massive 45% discount on the Real Tick trading platform. For more details click here none
Open a new account (TFSA, Margin or RRSP) and receive $50 commission credit . Use promo code: kdkfnbbc none none
Move your brokerage account to Questrade and they’ll cover the transfer-out fee. Transfer Fee Promo none
Refer a friend to Questrade and when they open an account you receive $100 and they receive $50. To receive this deal you must be an existing client with an equity account and refer a person that does not reside with you and who has not previously opened a Questrade account. Refer a friend none
Maximize your returns. Get up to 1% (or more) of your mutual fund value rebated back to you. Mutual Fund Rebate Promo none
Get up to 100 free trades when you fund an account with a minimum of $10 000. You must open this account by August 31st 2012 and fund it with $10 000 within 30 days of account activation to qualify. You must enter promo code “100FREEQ”. There are quite a few other details, including a minimum balance requirement, so be sure to check the details link. 100 Free Trades August 31st, 2012
Get $150 in cash for opening a Disnat Classic account worth at least $25,000 from a financial institution other than Desjardins. Call Disnat at 1-800-268-8471 and mention the promo code “Reference 150”. [Note this offer applies to Disnat Classic not Disnat Direct] Disnat Refer a Friend Promo July 31st 2012
Disnat has created the Active5 offer so that active traders can test drive their services. New Disnat Direct clients get a package of: 5 months of free real-time trading platform, 5 months of theirlowest commissions (starting at $5), 5 months of free Stockscores newsletter and 50 free trades ($ 250 commissions credit). You can hear Tyler Bollhorn of Stockscores talking about the Active 5 offer here. Disnat Direct Active 5 Offer July 31st 2012
Transfer $25,000 or more to a National Bank Direct Brokerage account and they will pay up to $135 plus taxes in transfer fees Transfer Fee Rebate none
If you are an existing National Bank Direct Brokerage client and you refer someone to join, you each get $100. To qualify, the referred account must transfer at least $25,000 from another financial institution. If at least $25,000 is transferred, up to $135 of the transfer fee is covered. Use the promo code “FRIEND” when opening the account Refer a Friend October 31, 2012
Holders of National Bank Platinum, Ovation Gold, Allure or Escapade Mastercard or a card identified by a professional association can now redeem À la carte reward points for a contribution to your National Bank Direct Brokerage RRSP or Spousal RRSP account, or the new TFSA (Tax-free savings account). As the principal cardholder you can exchange your points, either partly or entirely, for one or more 100 $ contributions (100 $ = 11,000 points). contact one of National Bank Direct Brokerage’s Investor Services representatives (514-866-6755 or 1-800-363-3511). Mastercard points transfer none
Open and fund a new account with National Bank Direct Brokerage with $25 000 or more, and you can receive up to $750 in commission reimbursements. To qualify you must use the promo code “REGISTERED2012” in the general information section of the application form. Reimbursements will be paid in either January or April 2013 depending on date account is opened. See the terms & conditions link for more information. Commission Holiday Promo” October 31, 2012
Virtual Brokers will cover transfer fees from your transferring institution to a maximum of $150 per account. This offer is only applicable to accounts opened with at least $25,000 in equity before September 30, 2012. Transfer Fee Promo September 30th, 2012
Open a new account with $25,000 before September 30, 2012 and receive 150 trades free. (Applies to the first 150 trades placed within 60 days of account opening at a maximum of $6.49 per trade with a total maximum value of $973) New Account Promo September 30th, 2012
Scotia iTrade Open and fund a new Scotia iTRADE account with at least $25,000 (cheque deposit or transfer of assets) before September 30, 2012 and the commissions associated with your first 100 trades placed within 60 days of the date the account is activated and funded with at least $25,000 in the account, will be credited back to your account within 30 days of each order fill, to a maximum of $9.99 per trade in the currency of the account (maximum total cash rebate from this offer is $999). Offer valid only for the first Scotia iTRADE account opened by new Scotia iTRADE clients who do not have an account with ScotiaMcLeod Direct Investing or TradeFreedom. Free trade credits and other Scotia iTRADE offers have no cash redemption value. This offer cannot be combined with any other promotional offer. Scotia iTrade $100 in free trades September 30th, 2012
Scotia iTrade Open a new iTrade account before July 31, 2012 and receive either: $100 cash and 25 trades free for a deposit of between $25,000-$49,999 or $150 and 50 trades free for a deposit of $50,000 or more. You must use the code SPRING-MA when signing up. Springaccount opening bonus July 31st, 2012
Qtrade Investor Qtrade Investor will reimburse your transfer fee up to $125 when transferring a balance of $25,000 or more. For reimbursement, please mail or fax a copy of your statement from the transferring institution that shows the transfer charge to Qtrade Investor at 604.484.2627 and indicate your Qtrade Investor account number. Transfer Fee Promo none