Considering Penny Stocks
What are Penny Stocks?
Low-priced, small-cap stocks are frequently alluded to as penny stocks (We'll also reference to them as nano, micro, or small cap stocks). Contrary to their name, penny stocks seldom cost a penny. The SEC regards them to be anything under $5. Even though there are sub $5 stocks trading on large exchanges like NYSE, NASDAQ, and the AMEX, the bulk of investors and traders don't consider these when asked to describe the pennies.
Quite a few individual investors and traders look micro stocks like Wall Street's mafia, an untamed world of investing separate from all the glamour and media coverage that happens with stocks that are traded on major exchanges. While the gains and losses may be pretty outstanding or destructive in the micro stock world, they're not often seen about elsewhere besides trading options which is more risky in my humble opinion.
Just because you never hear about penny stocks every day on CNBC or The Wall Street Journal, doesn't mean that they aren't without drama. In fact there are many nano stocks that pay third party affiliates to tout terrible companies so they can sell their shares to an unknown investor and sell into them(also known as a pump and dump). Unfortunately, small cap stocks have garnered a reputation as a game filled with scams and corruption due to these ongoing pump and dumps. Indeed, these micro stocks could be your wildest ride, yet only as an investor in a solid company, or a trader who knows his technical analysis.
How to buy those Pennies
Just like any other stock you will buy, you may purchase shares of a micro stock through your regular stockbroker -- despite whether or not it's listed on a major exchange. Encouraged brokers for small cap stocks (Speedtrader, LiteSpeed, Scottrade, Etrade, Capstone, Interactive Brokers, Suretrader) either way, all of them have good execution and cheap commissions.
Even though cheap stocks listed on exchanges including the NYSE and the NASDAQ aren't typically deemed "penny stocks" per se, they could offer a lot of the rewards of small cap stocks without so much of risk. These exchanges have demanding listing requirements, and even though they may not allow for as much of an upside as "true" penny stocks can, they are likely to be more trustworthy. Often though, micro stocks trade on listing services like OTCBB and Pink Sheets.
Over-the-Counter Bulletin Board, or OTCBB, is a quotation. Unlike Pink Sheets, which is just a quotation publisher, OTCBB retains listing requirements (though they're a lot less stringent than those of an exchange). For this reason, OTCBB has a little bit of added legitimacy.
Pink Sheets is a system that provides investors with quotation information on stocks that are registered with it. Unlike OTCBB, however, Pink Sheets are not registered with the SEC and doesn't enforce any listing requirements. Bottom Line: Pink Sheets stocks are risky as there is a lot of manipulation and scams from insiders and market makers. These also include sub-penny stocks (anything under .01c).
The Potential Payoff
With all the risk involved, why would anyone trader or investor want to put their money in a nano stock anyways? The answer is volatility, and super fast results.
Because penny stocks are vulnerable to violent fluctuation (volatility), many folks suppose that they'll luck out with a stock that will jump from $0.08 to $8 in two weeks. And it's happened specifically with sub penny stocks that issue a Press Release. Search through enough investing message boards like Investor Hub and you're sure to find success stories from investors who made a mint while "playing the pennies."
Companies that can efficiently generate the soar from nano stock to uplisting to a stock on a major exchange are scarce, but if you get them they pay out in spades. Finding stocks like this is what brings about mega millionaires and early retirements, but it's rare. Numbers go up and down quite a lot in the penny stock world, but investors and traders have raked in gains of over 1,000% in a couple weeks or even few days time. Penny stocks are the only type of security which has been known to create sometimes overnight millionaires, or wealth on the fast track. The real trick is finding the right stock.
Even with all the risks and drawbacks involved in penny stocks, many investors simply find that the potential windfalls are well worth it. There's a reason that penny stocks remain popular among a brave clique of investors: Penny stocks can deliver a very impressive return.
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