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Are Penny Stocks Worth The Risk?

Apr 21, 2008
Penny stocks are regarded as risky investment instruments for investors because of the many drawbacks associated with them. Illiquidity is usually cited as one of the more popular reasons for this risk as shares of penny stocks don't usually change hands due to the lack of market support and so selling them might not be that easy for investors.

Since a savvy investor looks into the liquidity of his potential investment, understanding penny stocks will help to guide the small cap trader around these challenges. While liquidity is important, its one of several factors.

Remember that most penny stocks are illiquid for a reason: there is no interest in the future potential of the stock. This suggests that either the investing public is completely unaware of the stock (no exposure within the investing community) or when there is a build up of volume, it leads to lower share prices (pump and dump, with insiders dumping their shares).

Before you start to trade penny stocks, its important to research more about the company's potential. Learn not just the idea, but whether or not they can sell their idea. If the company isnt making money, you wont see a genuine increase in share price.

There are plenty of newsletters which will help to highlight this. Of course, one of the challenges with investing in penny stocks is that there is a lack of financial information (especially with pink sheets and some OTCBB listed stocks).

The pink sheets and over-the-counter bulletin board or OTCBB also publish transaction details of penny stocks traded there on a daily basis. These are the first hand sources of information on penny stock trading and investors would benefit by monitoring them.

Many penny stocks are also listed on major exchanges like the NASDAQ as small-cap stocks. These exchanges do require submission of key details on related companies' business operations under their regular disclosure norms.

Buying and understanding penny stocks is just like buying any other type of stock. First, presuming you have an investment account set up, you will need to research your choices. Once you have made a decision based on the due diligence you have collected, its time to buy. Be sure to check the value of commission you will be billed (not all brokerages charge the same fee). Remember, your broker makes money, whether you do or not.

Since penny stocks tend to move quickly, day trading is a popular way in which investors can maximize their gains by trading their stocks, often in the same day. This form of short-term investing indeed takes a lot of guts as short term performance of any particular stock can either swing up or down. Many would be day traders have lost a fortune trading away their hard earned money. Paper trade first before trying this method. Once your money is gone, its gone.

Day traders typically look for a collection of the smallest of gains. Typically, most day traders are happy with an eighth of a point increase in share price. Many day traders are happy with skimming $200 a day in profits (usually for a couple of hours watching the screen).

There are also tax consequences for day trading penny stocks, so, it pays to talk to a tax specialist first to ensure that you are taking advantage of all tax benefits (and avoiding tax drawbacks). Also, it pays to speak to a financial adviser before taking these risks.

Its important that you take your time in understanding penny stocks before you invest in them. The return on that investment of time may be the best investment you make.
About the Author
Interested in penny stocks? Get your free Understanding Penny Stocks Guide today. Find info on bond investing and Oppenheimer Mutual Fund Review. Learn more at http://www.1source4stocks.com
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