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Local financial advisors find many residents want a piece of Facebook

By JOLEEN FERRIS

Central New Yorkers are interested in owning a piece of iconic social network, "Facebook".

"Calls probably started about a month ago when it got kind of serious when we knew, 'okay, it's going to be May, IPO's going to come in May," says local financial advisor Matthew Savery, of M. Griffith.

Facebook's IPO, or, 'initial public offering' is Friday, meaning stocks are available to the public for the first time. The public offering is expected to raise around $16 billion. Local advisors offer perspective on the magnitude of the IPO.

"Thinking back to 1999, where IPOs, it was the largest year of IPOs in history, five hundred companies went public that year, raised over $70 billion," Savery said. "Comparing that to today, Facebook has raised about $16 billion."

Savery says that history demonstrates that IPOs aren't always the most sound investment, pointing out that more than 70% of those companies that had IPOs in 1999 are currently trading below the IPO.

For many, it's not only about owning a piece of the social network giant; it's about good old-fashioned profit.

"I think it's definitely about a profit, most definitely, I think with any IPO there's a chance or the hope of getting in at the ground floor," says Stephen Caruso of Caruso McLean.

While Caruso doesn't doubt Facebook's popularity, with roughly 900 million of the world's 1.5 billion internet users as members, he wonders about the potential to generate future profit.

"I think our only concern with it is as we move more toward mobile devices that might make it difficult to sell ad space. There's not as much space as when you're sitting there looking at a computer screen," says McLean.

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