Formerly known as The Barclay Group, Ascensus is a financial service provider best known for offering 401(k) options. Though the company’s history dates back to 1980, it has only recently announced that it will seek a public listing with the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission (SEC), likely debuting to retail investors sometime in 2021.
Although you cannot currently buy or sell Ascensus stock as of the date of this writing, you can be prepared for when the stock hits the market. Our guide will teach you more about how to buy stocks, how to prepare for Ascensus’ upcoming initial public offering (IPO) and how you can get started with your first brokerage account.
When is the Ascensus IPO Date?
As of this writing, Ascensus has not yet announced a formal date for its IPO. According to investors close to the company, Ascensus may be aiming for a date in mid-2021. However, it’s important to remember that the process of filing for an IPO can be long, and it’s normal for companies seeking an IPO to change the date that they go public multiple times before the stock eventually hits the market.
Ascensus Financial History
Founded in 1980, Ascensus came into the market as a retirement service provider just as the United States was transitioning from the pension system to private, employee-funded retirement accounts. This ideal timing provided the company with the opportunity for growth throughout the ‘80s and ‘90s, and Ascensus has since expanded into additional account services and types.
Ascensus currently offers a wide range of self-directed investment products, ranging from health savings accounts to 529 college saving accounts. The company currently offers investment services to more than 12 million Americans and it claims to have an annual revenue of more than $300 million.
Although Ascensus hasn’t yet released the necessary financial information required to comply with the SEC’s regulations regarding public listings, it has selected Barclays Plc and the Goldman Sachs Group to prepare for its upcoming listing. Insiders estimate that the company’s official valuation will be around $3 billion, including debt.
Unlike many companies that go public, Ascensus has a history dating back more than 40 years and a well-established customer base. This makes it among the oldest companies seeking an IPO in 2021, which may boost investor interests.
While Ascensus will likely face future challenges acquiring new customers and competing with other retirement service providers, the company is pursuing upgrades to its technology to compete with younger brokerage services. One of its most recent developments, a personalized sales system for representatives that automates proposal processes, is an example of how Ascensus is working to further carve out a niche in the financial service industry by appealing to institutional investors.
How to Buy Ascensus IPO Stock
If you’ve ever bought or sold a share of stock before, you might be surprised at just how easy it is to participate in companies’ IPOs. Most brokers allow you to invest in IPOs as soon as they’re available to be publicly traded. Some brokers (like Robinhood) may even allow you to place upcoming orders for IPOs that are filled when the date of the IPO arrives.
Though you cannot currently buy and sell shares of Ascensus stock, you can be ready to trade when the stock arrives on the market. Here’s how to get started.
- Pick a brokerage.
As a retail investor, you cannot buy or sell shares of stock directly on markets like the Nasdaq or New York Stock Exchange. Instead, you’ll need to open an account with a broker who will assist you in your trading. A broker is a financial service provider authorized to buy and sell stocks according to instructions that you place using the broker’s online trading platform.
There are dozens of brokers in the U.S., so you’ll have your choice when it comes to deciding where you want to trade. Some of the factors you might want to consider when it comes to choosing a broker might include:
Commissions and fees
The types of accounts that you can open with each broker
Access to additional types of markets and trading (for example, cryptocurrency markets or forex investing)
The type of trading platform you’re searching for and the tools that you’ll need to invest
Not sure where to begin your search for the right trading platform and brokerage service? You can start by browsing a few of the best brokers we work with offering simple trading for new account holders.
- Decide how many shares you want.
After you’ve opened your brokerage account and linked a funding method, you can typically begin buying and selling shares of stock. Although Ascensus currently isn’t trading on any major market, it can be helpful to test out your broker’s features ahead of time to be sure that you know how to place your order when the company’s IPO arrives.
One of the first choices that you’ll need to make when you purchase any stock is to decide how many shares you want to purchase. As a general rule, set a budget for your investment first rather than guide your purchase using a share number. This is because most brokers allow you to purchase “fractional shares” of stock, which means that you won’t need to have an even dollar amount equal to the number of shares you want to add to your portfolio before you place your order.
Never invest more money than you can afford to lose, especially in a company with no trading record on the market, as is the case with IPOs.
- Choose your order type.
After you’ve chosen how many shares of stock you want to buy, you can finally place your order. An order tells your broker how many shares of a select stock you want to buy and when you want your order to be executed. Some of the most common types of orders you’ll see may include:
Market order: A market order is executed immediately at the current market price. They are executed quickly but give you little control over the price you pay per share.
Limit order: A limit order is executed at a price per share that you specify in the order. Say you place a limit order to buy 100 shares of a stock at or below a limit price of $5 per share. Limit orders allow you to control how much money you spend on each share of stock you buy but may not be filled depending on market conditions.
Stop order: A stop order is an order that is executed as a market order when a stop price that you specify is reached. Stop orders can be useful for stocks showing sell walls.
Most brokers also offer more complicated types of stock orders, but beginner investors may want to stick with these basic order types until they can confidently navigate their trading platform and formulate active investment strategies.
- Execute your trade.
The final step in buying a share of stock is to submit your order to your broker. Double-check that the details of your order are correct before you submit the order. Your broker will then execute the order according to your price specifications when possible.
From here, one of these can happen:
Your broker is able to fill your order. If your broker is able to fill your order according to your specified price targets, you’ll see your shares in your trading account. Most brokers also provide a push or email notification when your order is completely filled. In some cases, your order may only be partially filled.
Your broker is not able to execute your order. If your broker is not able to execute your order, they may cancel it at the end of the trading day or leave it open indefinitely until market conditions fit your order specifications. If your broker cancels your order, you’ll receive a notification.
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Getting in on Upcoming IPOs
Investing money in an upcoming IPO can be an exciting way to add more potential and diversification to your portfolio. It’s important to remember that even well-established companies may have poor IPOs depending on the current market conditions and recent events that influence the company’s line of business.
Stay up-to-date on both internal matters relating to Ascensus and trends in the financial service sphere to accurately time your investment.