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Trading Lessons

How To Make Money With Penny Stocks

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Written by Tim-bot
Reviewed by Friedrich Odermann Fact-checked by Ed Weinberg
Updated 1/11/2024 19 min read

Penny stocks offer a unique opportunity for traders, especially those looking to enter the stock market with a relatively small amount of money. These low-priced shares can present significant profit potential, but they also come with higher risks. This article aims to provide a comprehensive guide on how to navigate the world of penny stocks effectively.

Read this article because it offers a comprehensive guide on navigating the volatile yet potentially lucrative world of penny stocks, providing essential insights for both new and experienced traders.

I’ll answer the following questions:

  • What are penny stocks?
  • How do you evaluate penny stocks?
  • What are the main advantages of trading penny stocks?
  • How can you find the best penny stocks to buy?
  • What strategies are effective for making money on penny stocks?
  • Are penny stocks profitable?
  • How much money can you make off penny stocks?
  • How should beginners trade penny stocks?

Let’s get to the content!

Table of Contents

What Are Penny Stocks?

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Penny stocks are shares of small companies that trade at very low prices, typically under $5 per share. These stocks are often traded outside the major market exchanges like Nasdaq, often on OTC (over-the-counter) markets. The allure of penny stocks lies in their low share price, which makes it possible for investors to buy a large number of shares with a smaller amount of money. However, this comes with higher volatility and risks.

My experience in trading has shown that these stocks can offer substantial returns, but understanding the intricacies of how they work is crucial for success.

5 Most Important Things To Know Before Investing in Penny Stocks

Trading penny stocks requires a unique approach compared to other assets. First, understanding the volatile nature of penny stock companies is crucial; these businesses can experience rapid gains or losses. Researching the company’s background, including financial health and business model, is essential.

As someone who has educated thousands on trading, I emphasize the importance of not relying solely on hot tips or news but conducting thorough analysis. Diversifying your investments, including considering ETFs as part of your portfolio, can mitigate risks.

Remember, investing in penny stocks requires discipline, and not every low-priced stock is a golden opportunity.

Understand the Stock Exchange

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Penny stocks are primarily traded on OTC markets and less commonly on major exchanges like NASDAQ. These markets have different regulations and risks compared to major exchanges. OTC markets, for instance, often have less stringent listing requirements, which can affect the quality and transparency of the companies listed. Understanding these differences is crucial before investing in penny stocks.

Financial Statements and Market Capitalization

Analyzing a company’s financial statements is essential when investing in penny stocks. Look at the company’s earnings, debt levels, and credit ratings. Market capitalization, which is the total value of a company’s shares, can also give insights into the company’s size and stability. Smaller market cap companies often have more room for growth, but also more risk.

Analyze the Company’s Business Model and Cash Flow

Understanding a penny stock company’s business model and cash flow is vital. Research how the company makes money and its sustainability. Positive cash flow indicates that a company is generating more money than it spends, a good sign for potential growth.

Research Low-Priced Shares and Trading Volumes

High trading volumes in penny stocks can be an indicator of interest, but it’s important to be wary of artificially inflated volumes. Low-priced shares might seem like a bargain, but without proper research, they can be risky.

Use a Stock Screener to Find Potential Opportunities

Stock screeners can be invaluable tools for finding penny stocks that meet specific criteria, such as price, volume, or industry sector. Utilizing these tools can help narrow down potential investment opportunities from the vast number of available penny stocks.

When it comes to stock screeners, StocksToTrade is first on my list. It’s a powerful day and swing trading platform that integrates with most major brokers. I helped to design it, which means it has all the trading indicators, news sources, and stock screening capabilities that traders like me look for in a platform.

I use StocksToTrade to scan for news, tweets, earning reports, and more — all covered in its powerful news scanner. It has the trading indicators, dynamic charts, and stock screening capabilities that traders like me look for in a platform. It also has a selection of add-on alerts services, so you can stay ahead of the curve.

Grab your 14-day StocksToTrade trial today — it’s only $7!

Investment Strategies To Make Money With Penny Stocks

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When it comes to penny stocks, several investment strategies can be employed to seek profits. A common approach is targeting penny stock companies with strong growth potential. It’s essential to analyze market trends and news, using them to inform your investment decisions.

From my experience in teaching trading techniques, I’ve seen that a mix of fundamental and technical analysis often yields the best results. Investors should also consider the liquidity of these stocks, as it can impact the ease of entering and exiting positions.

Remember, the right strategy varies from person to person, and what works for many may not suit your individual trading style.

Long-Term Investment Strategy

NEVER “invest” in penny stocks — definitely not for the long term! These low-cost stocks are associated with sketchy companies and a good number of them are outright scams.

99% of them will eventually fail, so trading according to a plan is essential.

Short-Term Speculation Strategy

Short-term speculation in penny stocks involves buying and selling stocks over a shorter period, capitalizing on market volatility. This strategy requires a good understanding of market trends and timing — it’s how I’ve made $7.5 million over my 20+ years trading!

Scalping Strategy for Experienced Traders

Scalping is a trading strategy where traders make profits from small price changes, often by making a large number of trades in a day. This strategy is suited for experienced traders who can make quick decisions and have a good grasp of market movements.

I am not a fan.

Risk Management Strategies When Investing in Penny Stocks

​​Risk management is paramount when dealing with penny stocks due to their inherent volatility. Setting clear stop-loss limits to protect against significant losses is a strategy I often stress in my trading education resources. Diversifying your portfolio to include a variety of assets, not just penny stocks, can help balance the risk. Additionally, it’s important to only invest money that you can afford to lose — avoid using credit cards or loans for investment.

Developing the discipline to stick to your risk management plan is as crucial as the plan itself, as I’ve often said to aspiring traders over the years.

Assess Your Risk Tolerance Level

Before investing in penny stocks, assess your risk tolerance level. These stocks are more volatile and riskier than other types of investments, so it’s important to know how much risk you are comfortable taking.

Understanding volatility is key to effective risk management. Volatility indicators are tools that help traders gauge the degree of price fluctuation in the market. These indicators can provide valuable insights, helping you make informed decisions about when to enter or exit a trade. They are especially crucial in the highly volatile penny stock market, where price swings can be sudden and significant. To deepen your understanding of volatility and how to use volatility indicators in your trading strategy, dive into my detailed explanation of volatility indicators.

Limit Your Exposure by Diversifying Your Portfolio

Diversifying your investment portfolio is a key risk management strategy. Don’t put all your money into penny stocks; spread your investments across different asset types to mitigate risks.

A well-structured portfolio balances risk and potential rewards, incorporating a mix of penny stocks and other assets. It’s about finding the right balance between high-risk, high-reward penny stocks and more stable investments. Regularly reviewing and adjusting your portfolio based on market changes and your trading goals is essential.

For insights on constructing a robust stock portfolio, especially when dealing with the volatility of penny stocks, check out my guide on building a strong stock portfolio.

How To Evaluate Penny Stocks

Evaluating penny stocks involves a combination of techniques and knowledge. Fundamental analysis of the business, including its financial statements and growth prospects, is essential. It’s also important to consider the trading volume, as it can provide insights into the stock’s liquidity and investor interest. Analyzing the sector in which the penny stock company operates can offer context about its potential growth.

In my trading career, I’ve learned the importance of keeping up with the latest news and developments in the relevant market sector. Additionally, investors should assess the quality of the company’s management team and their track record.

Research the Company Fundamentals

When evaluating penny stocks, researching the company’s fundamentals is crucial. Look at its financial health, business model, and market position.

Analyze the Trading Volume

Trading volume is an important factor to consider. High volume can indicate interest in the stock, but be cautious as it can also signify volatility.

Understand the Market Sector

Understanding the market sector in which the penny stock operates can provide insights into potential growth and risks. Each sector has its dynamics, which can affect stock performance.

Check Financial Health and Statements

Checking a company’s financial health and statements is vital. This includes analyzing its debt levels, earnings, and overall financial stability.

Evaluate the Management Team

The management team plays a crucial role in a company’s success. Evaluate their experience, track record, and how they are steering the company.

Look for Competitive Advantages

Identify any competitive advantages the company may have, such as unique technology, patents, or market position.

Assess Historical Stock Performance

Looking at the historical performance of a stock can provide insights into its volatility and performance trends.

What Are the Main Advantages of Investing in Penny Stocks?

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Penny stocks offer several advantages that attract traders. Their low price point means that with relatively small amounts of money, traders can buy many shares, potentially reaping significant gains if the stocks increase in value.

As I often tell new traders, penny stocks can be a gateway to learning about the stock market due to their accessibility. However, it’s crucial to remember that these advantages come with increased risks.

High Growth Potential

Penny stocks often belong to smaller, up-and-coming companies with high growth potential. This can lead to significant returns if the company succeeds.

Low Entry Cost

The low price of penny stocks makes them accessible to investors with limited funds, allowing for the purchase of a larger number of shares.

Diversification Opportunities

Investing in penny stocks can diversify your portfolio, spreading risk across different types of investments.

Potential for Large Returns

Due to their volatility, penny stocks can offer the potential for large returns on a relatively small investment.

Accessibility for Small Investors

Penny stocks are particularly accessible to small investors due to their low share price.

How To Find the Best Penny Stocks To Buy

Finding the best penny stocks to buy involves thorough research and utilizing various resources. Using a reliable broker that provides access to necessary information and trading platforms is key. It’s also important to assess your risk tolerance and investment goals. Performing due diligence by researching the company’s fundamentals, recent news, and market trends is crucial. Joining a community of traders can also provide valuable insights and tips.

From my experience, being well-informed and having a network of fellow traders to share knowledge with can significantly enhance your chances of success.

Finding the best penny stocks to buy is a task made easier with the right tools. A stock screener is an invaluable asset for any trader, allowing you to filter stocks based on specific criteria like price, volume, industry, and more. This tool helps in identifying potential investment opportunities that align with your trading strategy and risk tolerance. It’s about working smarter, not harder, to find those hidden gems in the market. To streamline your penny stock selection process and discover how to use a stock screener effectively, explore my comprehensive guide on using a stock screener.

Find a Suitable Broker

Choose a broker that offers access to the OTC market and has a good reputation and low fees.

That means NO Robinhood!

Know Your Risk Tolerance

Understand your risk tolerance to choose penny stocks that align with your investment goals and risk profile.

Perform Your Due Diligence

Conduct thorough research on potential penny stocks, including analyzing financials, management, and market trends.

Join a Stock Community

Joining a community of penny stock traders can provide valuable information, tips, and insights. That’s exactly what you’ll find in my Trading Challenge — a community of traders willing to work as hard as you do!

Otherwise — WATCH OUT.

How To Make Money on Penny Stocks

Making money on penny stocks requires a strategic approach and understanding their unique nature. Limiting exposure to any single penny stock is a wise move to manage risk effectively.

These stocks should often be viewed as short-term investments due to their high volatility. Focusing on penny stocks with high liquidity is important for easier entry and exit. Avoid stocks with special fees or trading restrictions that can hinder profitability. Lastly, practicing with paper trading before investing real money can be a valuable technique for newcomers.

As I’ve taught many traders, the key is to combine knowledge, strategy, and discipline for success in penny stock trading.

Limit Exposure

Limit your exposure to any single penny stock to manage risk effectively.

Think of Penny Stocks as Short-Term Investments

Consider penny stocks as short-term investments due to their volatility.

Buy Penny Stocks Having High Liquidity

Focus on penny stocks with high liquidity to ensure easier entry and exit.

Avoid Penny Stocks with Special Fees or Restrictions

Be wary of penny stocks with special fees or trading restrictions.

Trade on “Paper” First

Consider paper trading (simulated trading) to practice penny stock trading strategies without risking real money.

Key Takeaways

  • Penny stocks can offer significant profits but come with high risks.
  • Thorough research and a solid understanding of the market are crucial.
  • Risk management is key to successful penny stock trading.

Trading isn’t rocket science. It’s a skill you build and work on like any other. Trading has changed my life, and I think this way of life should be open to more people…

I’ve built my Trading Challenge to pass on the things I had to learn for myself. It’s the kind of community that I wish I had when I was starting out.

We don’t accept everyone. If you’re up for the challenge — I want to hear from you.

Apply to the Trading Challenge here.

Trading is a battlefield. The more knowledge you have, the better prepared you’ll be.

What do YOU think about penny stocks? If you actually read this, write “I won’t buy into the hype, Tim!”

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Penny Stocks Profitable?

Penny stocks can be profitable, but they also carry high risks. Success requires careful research, strategy, and risk management.

How Much Money Can You Make Off Penny Stocks?

The amount of money you can make off penny stocks varies greatly and depends on factors like the amount invested, the stocks chosen, and market conditions.

How Do Beginners Invest in Penny Stocks?

Beginners should start by researching and understanding the market, choosing a suitable broker, and practicing with paper trading before investing real money.

What Is a Key Reason People Choose Penny Stocks?

One primary reason people are drawn to penny stocks is the potential for high returns on a low investment. While the reality of trading in penny stocks can be volatile, they offer plenty of opportunities for significant gains, especially in cases where companies are just starting to grow or are on the verge of a breakthrough. For example, a small biotech firm might see its stock price surge after a successful clinical trial.

How Can Others Learn from Successful Penny Stock Examples?

Learning from others who have successfully traded penny stocks can provide valuable insights. For instance, examining case studies where traders made substantial profits can reveal effective strategies and highlight the reality of what it takes to succeed. Something important to note is that while there are plenty of success stories, thorough research and a clear understanding of risks are essential.


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Author card Timothy Sykes picture

Timothy Sykes

Tim Sykes is a penny stock trader and teacher who became a self-made millionaire by the age of 22 by trading $12,415 of bar mitzvah money. After becoming disenchanted with the hedge fund world, he established the Tim Sykes Trading Challenge to teach aspiring traders how to follow his trading strategies. He’s been featured in a variety of media outlets including CNN, Larry King, Steve Harvey, Forbes, Men’s Journal, and more. He’s also an active philanthropist and environmental activist, a co-founder of Karmagawa, and has donated millions of dollars to charity. Read More

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* Results are not typical and will vary from person to person. Making money trading stocks takes time, dedication, and hard work. There are inherent risks involved with investing in the stock market, including the loss of your investment. Past performance in the market is not indicative of future results. Any investment is at your own risk. See Terms of Service here

The available research on day trading suggests that most active traders lose money. Fees and overtrading are major contributors to these losses.

A 2000 study called “Trading is Hazardous to Your Wealth: The Common Stock Investment Performance of Individual Investors” evaluated 66,465 U.S. households that held stocks from 1991 to 1996. The households that traded most averaged an 11.4% annual return during a period where the overall market gained 17.9%. These lower returns were attributed to overconfidence.

A 2014 paper (revised 2019) titled “Learning Fast or Slow?” analyzed the complete transaction history of the Taiwan Stock Exchange between 1992 and 2006. It looked at the ongoing performance of day traders in this sample, and found that 97% of day traders can expect to lose money from trading, and more than 90% of all day trading volume can be traced to investors who predictably lose money. Additionally, it tied the behavior of gamblers and drivers who get more speeding tickets to overtrading, and cited studies showing that legalized gambling has an inverse effect on trading volume.

A 2019 research study (revised 2020) called “Day Trading for a Living?” observed 19,646 Brazilian futures contract traders who started day trading from 2013 to 2015, and recorded two years of their trading activity. The study authors found that 97% of traders with more than 300 days actively trading lost money, and only 1.1% earned more than the Brazilian minimum wage ($16 USD per day). They hypothesized that the greater returns shown in previous studies did not differentiate between frequent day traders and those who traded rarely, and that more frequent trading activity decreases the chance of profitability.

These studies show the wide variance of the available data on day trading profitability. One thing that seems clear from the research is that most day traders lose money .

Millionaire Media 66 W Flagler St. Ste. 900 Miami, FL 33130 United States (205) 851-0506 This is for information purposes only as Millionaire Media LLC nor Timothy Sykes is registered as a securities broker-dealer or an investment adviser. No information herein is intended as securities brokerage, investment, tax, accounting or legal advice, as an offer or solicitation of an offer to sell or buy, or as an endorsement, recommendation or sponsorship of any company, security or fund. Millionaire Media LLC and Timothy Sykes cannot and does not assess, verify or guarantee the adequacy, accuracy or completeness of any information, the suitability or profitability of any particular investment, or the potential value of any investment or informational source. The reader bears responsibility for his/her own investment research and decisions, should seek the advice of a qualified securities professional before making any investment, and investigate and fully understand any and all risks before investing. Millionaire Media LLC and Timothy Sykes in no way warrants the solvency, financial condition, or investment advisability of any of the securities mentioned in communications or websites. In addition, Millionaire Media LLC and Timothy Sykes accepts no liability whatsoever for any direct or consequential loss arising from any use of this information. This information is not intended to be used as the sole basis of any investment decision, nor should it be construed as advice designed to meet the investment needs of any particular investor. Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future returns.

Citations for Disclaimer

Barber, Brad M. and Odean, Terrance, Trading is Hazardous to Your Wealth: The Common Stock Investment Performance of Individual Investors. Available at SSRN: “Day Trading for a Living?”

Barber, Brad M. and Lee, Yi-Tsung and Liu, Yu-Jane and Odean, Terrance and Zhang, Ke, Learning Fast or Slow? (May 28, 2019). Forthcoming: Review of Asset Pricing Studies, Available at SSRN: “https://ssrn.com/abstract=2535636”

Chague, Fernando and De-Losso, Rodrigo and Giovannetti, Bruno, Day Trading for a Living? (June 11, 2020). Available at SSRN: “https://ssrn.com/abstract=3423101”