PALO ALTO, CALIF. — Everyone dreams of striking it rich - and what they would do with such a windfall. A new house? A fancy car? Maybe designer clothes selected by a personal shopper.
For some in Silicon Valley, those wishes may soon come true.
As restrictions on selling stock are lifted at a handful of sizzling startups, early investors and employees are preparing for big payouts.
What they do with their riches is anyone's guess, but luxury retailers and wealth managers say they're expecting a bump in business and have been preparing for this new crop of Internet millionaires.
"We're definitely more confident taking on the really expensive homes now, the $3 million to $10 million range, and knowing we can move them," said Steve Cooper, of Intero Real Estate Services.
Cooper and his associate, Nicole Derner, have multimillion dollar listings in Los Gatos, Saratoga and other parts of Silicon Valley.
"We anticipate more activity over the next few months," said Richard Levinsohn, manager at Porsche of Stevens Creek in Santa Clara. "A lot of these people will have new found wealth and they're looking for a place to spend it. We're only too happy to help."
After a company goes public, financial regulations prohibit investors and employees who held shares before the listing to immediately cash out. That means companies that started trading on the stock market in the summer are just now emerging from the so-called "lockup" period.