Why Facebook Was More Valuable as a Private Company

Facebook was worth a lot more as a private company than it has been since going public. What do retail investors know that private investors didn’t?

Facebook shares have traded on secondary exchanges like SharesPost and SecondMarket since early 2009. Prior to the social network’s May 18, 2012, initial public offering, though, they were only available to accredited investors: banks and funds with assets over $5 million or individuals with a net worth above $1 million. Securities laws prevented small investors from buying Facebook shares prior to the IPO. As it turns out, the SEC was doing those investors a big favour.

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