As the name suggest a penny stock that is worth pennies or is quite cheap. The definition varies but any stocks that is very cheap compared to price of solid companies may be considered as a penny stock. That compared to stocks like Microsoft that may worth hundreds of dollars. Since a stock’s price is a reflection of the future earnings of the company then in theory a penny stock is the stock of a company whose earning’s prospect is quite tiny to be respectful.
So what is the fuss you may ask. The penny stocks is composed of two types:
1. The first group of stocks is made up of the stocks of companies that that are going out of business. Think of a company of camera with reels, a magnetic tape company, or a company that makes floppy disks, etc. These companies may once have been mighty, but their products are now obsolete or their business model have failed and as a result they will certainly go out of business unless they reform or restructure. So any stocks of these companies is throwing money out of the window.
2. The second groups consist of tiny companies that have just started up but do not have the recognition of the bankers. So they are craving for you to give them the chance that they need. Think of Microsoft or apple in the 70s.However you also know that 90% of small businesses will go out of business in the next 2 years. So it is still quite difficult to spot the company that will make it big.
Now that you have understood what penny stock is you can see that it is quite risky to invest in them but if you are able to spot the one then you can multiply you money by a lot.
Let us look at the factors that makes these stocks risky.
1. These stocks are generally not listed on an exchange. This may be because to list on an exchange a company have to abide to some strict conditions such as financial reporting guidelines, directors have to abide to some rules, etc. If these companies cannot abide to these rules that are there to protect shareholders or other stakeholders, then it is not a good idea to invest in them. Financial statements will enable you to analyse the company’s performance other several years and see if they are worthy of your money. The companies may be run by convicted directors. Companies run by convicted companies will not be allowed to list on exchanges and if they are not listed on exchanges they will not provide reports and as a result you will not know about the directors. As you can see there are a lot of risks.
2.If you have bought these stocks then someone out there may be thanking all the gods of the earth. You do not get an idiot everyday to buy a stocks that no one want. This is because penny stocks are illiquid that is they are difficult to sell. There are a lot of sellers but a few buyers. The only way people can sell their penny stocks is only if someone is foolish enough to buy it.
3. These stocks are easily manipulated by fraudsters. Since they are illiquid and hard to sell, some people buy them cheaply and then make a hype about the stock so that unsuspecting buyers will but them at a higher price.
As you can see it is quite risky to buy these types of stocks. Although you would make it big if you can buy in the next apple or the next Microsoft it is more likely that you will lose your money. So just like I advise investors to avoid derivatives, I would advise them to avoid penny stocks. Invest in healthy companies. Also if a listed companies is delisted or is about to delisted get out immediately.
Good luck to you all in your investing.