5 IPOs You Wish You Had Bought Into


With the incredible success of the Shake Shack Initial Public Offering (IPO) recently it seems like a good time to look back and see what previous IPOs we wish we had bought into. It turns out that there are quite a few of them both last year and farther back in the past as well that could have left you with a very healthy gain.

While not every one of these IPOs turn out to be a wise investment, there have been some incredible success stories in the past. In fact, if we look at the last year alone we can find some great IPO opportunities, while some older IPOs went on to give astonishing returns for the early investors who put some money into them.

Alibaba Group

The record breaking $25 billion IPO for Alibaba is the biggest to date and it raised a massive $3 billion more than was originally planned. The CEO is called Jack Ma and following the successful IPO in 2014 he is now classed as the richest man in China and the 18th richest in the world. Interestingly, the fact that China doesn´t allow foreign ownership means that investors were technically only getting to buy shares in a Cayman Islands shell company. The first day of trading saw 38.1% gains and a strong future performance is predicted, as the company looks to enter new markets around the world.

Virgin America

Another 2014 IPO, Virgin America raised an impressive $307 million with their IPO and gained 30% on the first day of trading, before going on to enjoy even further increases. The growing worldwide demand for air travel, the popularity of majority shareholder Richard Branson and the strong appeal of the Virgin brand are expected to see the company carry on strongly in the market. It will be interesting to see how the stock price goes in 2015 and in the future.


The 2004 Google IPO was for a massive $1.67 billion and made many of its employees paper millionaires overnight. This was one of the first technology IPOs to really make the news and catch the ordinary public´s attention. The initial price seemed pretty high at the time, as it was set at $85 per share. Having said that, it has multiplied in value several times since then and looks set to keep on going upwards over time. At the time of writing, one share will set you back over $540. Getting involved in the Google IPO just over 10 years ago would have made you a huge return on your investment.


If you are a coffee lover then maybe you were tempted to get involved in the Starbucks IPO in 1992. However, you could still have been delighted to do this through a love of investments rather than simply a love of cappuccino. The initial stock price was set at $17 and it currently trades at over $90. A 2012 article on the subject that I found suggested that when we take into account dividends the stock would have given you a compound annual growth rate of 26.13% in those 20 years, which is simply staggering. This is classed by market analysts as one of the best IPO investments in history.

Berkshire Hathaway

And of course we can’t really end a post about the best IPOs in history without mentioning the main man himself, investing legend Warren Buffet. If you had been wise enough to invest $10,000 into Warren Buffet’s investment company Berkshire Hathaway back in 1967 when the stock was trading at around $20.50 per share (not the company’s IPO price) then – according to this article – your investment would today have an estimated value of around $853,648,536.59. Although the $20.50 per share isn’t specifically the Berkshire Hathaway IPO price, it does show the potential value of getting in early on a good stock and watching it grow.

What other famously successful IPOs do you wish you had got a piece of?

2 Responses to 5 IPOs You Wish You Had Bought Into

  1. Hindsight is always 20/20 as they say. For all of these great IPOs there are tons that have sputtered out. Taking the time to research a company and not simply buying into the hype of an IPO is a great way to know what you are getting yourself into.

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