Initial Public Offerings

High Flying IPOs Often Come Back to Earth

On this day in history, August 9, 1995, I remember where I was. Do you?

I lived in the Dallas area at the time and had recently purchased my first home in the quiet suburb of Coppell. I worked in a Fidelity Investments branch office in nearby Las Colinas as an entry level financial advisor, which meant that I was often the first person a prospective investor would speak to upon arrival.

But I wasn’t in my Las Colinas office that day. I was in Fidelity’s Austin office, on loan to help them out during a period that they were short on staff. Back then, the Austin office was kind of hidden away on the second floor of the Arboretum, where a cigar shop now resides.

Customers had to know where to look to find us. However, on this day, that didn’t seem to be a problem. When we unlocked the front door at 8 AM, there were already several folks standing in line.

“Good morning,” I said to the first gentleman.

“Am I too late to buy Netscape,” he asked me?

“Netwhat,” I replied?

“You don’t know about Netscape,” he asked incredulously?