Last year, I signed up for the British ISP themutual.net which was offering shares in itself as an incentive for people to sign up. (Here in the UK, the ISP market is cutthroat)
I was given ten thousand shares for my trouble and I have eagerly awaited the ISP floating. themutual.net floated yesterday, and I got an email telling me to look on a share-dealing website to see how much my shares were worth.
This being my first experience with owning shares, I was quite excited and just now have looked at Yahoo to see what my shares are worth. Now, I am thinking maybe a pound a share? 2 pounds? This is a dotcom startup after all - it should be ludicrously overpriced. I find the symbol (TMN.L) and see the price 0.75... Wow! 75 pence per share; that's seven and a half grand!
Then it hits me. The share price is in pence. That's 0.75 pence. My ten thousand shares are worth 75 pounds. Not 7500 pounds. bugger. Ok, that's better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick, but the share dealing commission probably costs more than that.
So much for a Free Lunch