An initial public offering, or IPO for short, is the process of taking a private company public by offering sale of it stock to the general public (hey, that’s me!). E.g., you can own a piece of a company buy purchasing some their stock on the traditional stock market. Stock markets…yawn..
For us regular Joes, this is our first chance to invest in a company if we believe the company to be worth our efforts and cash.
Generally, when a company goes public, it will put a date on the calendar well in advance to give potential investors a chance to do their own research in preparation. Once the stock is public, the gloves are off and the price of the stock is subject to normal market forces (price go up, price go down).