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Looking for someone to blame for your sinking Facebook shares? Add to ...

There’s a lot of finger-pointing over Facebook Inc.’s initial public offering now that shares have stumbled so badly in their first few days of trading – up 3.4 per cent on Wednesday morning, but down nearly 16 per cent from their IPO price of $38 (U.S.) on Friday. Some people are blaming Nasdaq for the delayed opening on Friday and the inability to match some orders. Some are blaming the underwriters for issuing too many shares. Some are blaming Facebook for leaking lower-revenue estimates to Morgan Stanley.

But a number of observers believe that investors have no one to blame but themselves. And the real reason they’re upset now is because they’ve lost money on an investment that – according to nothing more than their own hopes and dreams – was supposed to pop on the first day of trading.

Retail investors take a lot of heat for being contrarian indicators, for being trend followers and for being overly emotional in their investing habits. The invective from these observers suggest that these criticisms might be spot on.

Kid Dynamite: “I don’t think I read a single piece of analysis, research, commentary, punditry, etc in the weeks leading up to the Facebook IPO that said that Facebook was going to be priced at a bargain level. People got hosed on Facebook for a very simple reason: greed. Everyone was chasing the free-money huge first day pops from IPO days of yore.”

Jeff Matthews: “...you’d think anybody buying Facebook would have paid attention to the other warning signs, like GM pulling its ads off Facebook the week before the IPO; like the underwriters ramping up not only the deal price but the deal size; like CNBC devoting the entire day of the IPO to Facebook – that sort of thing. And of course you’d be wrong. People wanted to buy Facebook, no matter what.”

Barry Ritholtz: “The ineffable loss, the sadness at the sudden realization that this was your own doing – an easily preventable mistake, that harsh painful sensation in the pit of your stomach when you realize that you have no one to blame but yourself...”

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