Everyone wants to know about the most successful penny stocks in history … They want to believe in the dream of getting filthy rich on cheap stocks — without all the hard work.
What I rarely see is a penny stock becoming a real, legit company.
That doesn’t mean it can’t happen. Sometimes, you’ll find a diamond in the rough.
I’ve seen a few successful penny stocks in my trading career. Companies have to start somewhere. Some of today’s biggest companies were actually penny stocks back in the day.
To be abundantly clear: I don’t invest in penny stocks or recommend investing in penny stocks.
Yes, these results are impressive, but you could never really predict them. For every ‘most successful penny stock,’ MANY will fail.
And, as you’ll see, some of these stocks took years — decades — to become successful. I don’t want to wait that long! I like to look for volatility and stocks that follow patterns. That’s what has created opportunities for me and my top students.
Still, it’s worth learning from any and every stock. Ready to learn? Let’s dig into what many consider the most successful penny stocks in history…
Table of Contents
- 1 List of Top 10 Most Successful Penny Stocks
- 1.1 True Religion Jeans (traded on NASDAQ: TRLG)
- 1.2 Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL)
- 1.3 Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F)
- 1.4 Turtle Beach Corporation (NASDAQ: HEAR)
- 1.5 Monster Beverage Corporation (NASDAQ: MNST)
- 1.6 Mylan N.V. (NASDAQ: MYL)
- 1.7 Plug Power Inc. (NASDAQ: PLUG)
- 1.8 Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ: AMD)
- 1.9 Medifast Inc. (NYSE: MED)
- 1.10 Novavax Inc. (NASDAQ: NVAX)
- 2 The Penny Stock That Went Big in 2019
- 3 How to Find Penny Stocks Before They Explode
- 4 2 Hot Penny Stocks to Watch in 2020
- 5 Frequently Asked Questions
- 6 How Often Do Penny Stocks Succeed?
- 7 The Bottom Line on the Most Successful Penny Stocks
List of Top 10 Most Successful Penny Stocks
What makes a ‘successful’ penny stock?
You might think it’s a company that started as a penny stock and became a ‘real’ company. There’s more to it than that.
A penny stock is any stock that trades under $5 per share. Plenty of billion-dollar companies — big-name companies — once traded at or under $5 per share.
We haven’t seen many penny stock companies becoming large-cap companies lately, but it does happen.
But remember … Successful companies take years to build — especially if they start small. These companies might be success stories now, but they didn’t make anyone rich fast.
That said, let’s look at some of the craziest penny stock success stories over the years…
True Religion Jeans (traded on NASDAQ: TRLG)
True Religion Jeans is one of the great penny stock stories.
It traded under a dollar per share in the early to mid-2000s. But in 2013, the company was acquired by Towerbrook Capital Partners for $32 per share. Long-term investors made a killing on the nearly 5,000% increase. True Religion filed for bankruptcy in 2017 and again in 2020.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL)
Apple wasn’t always one of the largest tech companies in the world. In fact, hardly anyone knew about the company for years.
Back in the early 2000s, AAPL traded for under 80 cents per share — a legit penny stock.
As of this writing, AAPL shares trade for over $370.
This stock returned over 46,750% — it’s now one of the largest companies in the world.
But there was no way of knowing 20 years ago it would become such a success story. And for every company like Apple, there are hundreds of tech penny stocks that fail.
Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F)
Ford is a $27 billion company. But its stock still only trades around $7 per share as of mid-2020.
This makes it an extremely unusual company. While it still hovers near penny stock territory price-wise, it’s also one of the most well-known automobile manufacturers in the world.
Why include it in this list? To show a rare example of a situation where the stock price doesn’t say much about the company’s performance.
You could consider it a penny stock success story in that it doesn’t seem bound to crash and burn like so many others. Then again, it’s never been a massive mover. It’s not that interesting to me.
(*Please note: My results, along with the results of my top students are far from typical. Individual results will vary. Most traders lose money. My top students and I have the benefit of many years of hard work and dedication. Trading is inherently risky. Do your due diligence and never risk more than you can afford to lose.)
Turtle Beach Corporation (NASDAQ: HEAR)
For short sellers, these trades can lead to account devastation.
Traders from 2018 might remember this ticker … Over-aggressive shorts and legitimate news spiked HEAR from under $2 to over $30 per share in months.
Study this chart to see exactly what’s possible with penny stocks. Some trades aren’t worth taking.
Don’t go for home runs — especially if you short. The wrong trade could end your trading career forever. I mostly avoid shorting these days because of the crazy short squeezes. Respect the short squeeze!
Monster Beverage Corporation (NASDAQ: MNST)
Yep: way back, before it was a standard offering in grocery and convenience stores, Monster Energy Drinks was a crappy penny stock company.
In the early 2000s, it traded for under 6 cents per share…
As of this writing, it trades for over $70 per share. Over the years, this ticker returned 142,761%.
A measly $1,000 investment at its lows would be worth over $1 million today. That’s a good contender for the most successful penny stock.
Don’t get FOMO. It took many years for that to grow and easily could have flopped.
Mylan N.V. (NASDAQ: MYL)
But this move is impressive. Runs from $6 to over $70 per share don’t happen often. I’d still consider this an example of a successful penny stock.
Today, MYL trades around $16 per share — not all-time highs. But it’s a good example of a cheap stock that made a name for itself over the course of a few years.
However, it’s also lost a lot of value. Remember, hope and hold is not a strategy.
Plug Power Inc. (NASDAQ: PLUG)
PLUG is a great example of the potential of penny stocks — especially in this crazy volatile market. Check out the chart:
PLUG is an example of history repeating. In 2014, it made an initial run from 11 cents to almost $12 per share. In 2020, it’s gone from $3 to over $10 per share. It’s now worth more than $2 billion, putting it in mid-cap stock range.
And maybe you missed out on PLUG, but you can learn from it…
Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ: AMD)
If you like computers, you’ve probably heard of AMD. It’s one of the largest chip manufacturers in the world right now.
Back in 2015, AMD was trading for under $2 per share. Now, it’s over $70 per share, making it one of the most successful penny stocks.
Medifast Inc. (NYSE: MED)
MED is also a contender for the ‘most successful penny stock’ list. After trading at under $2.30 per share in 2005, the company hit an all-time high of $246.97 in 2018.
Its 10,000% move is impressive. But it took 13 years.
You wanna wait that long?
Consider one of my top students, Jack Kellogg. Jack’s in his early twenties, and he’s made over $750K.* He took the time to learn the rules and study. His trading journey has been over a few years … not 10 to 20.
Novavax Inc. (NASDAQ: NVAX)
I saved one of the most successful penny stocks for last. NVAX had a huge run this year.
The problem? Newbie traders see this and expect all penny stocks and biotechs to do the same thing.
Don’t believe the hype!
The Penny Stock That Went Big in 2019
Snap Inc. (NYSE: SNAP)
Back in 2019, SNAP opened the year around $5 per share. By its highest point in 2019, SNAP traded at more than $18 per share … It’s since gone over $26 per share in 2020.
This isn’t the most volatile penny stock or one I’d be interested in trading. However, you can learn from a stock like this.
How to Find Penny Stocks Before They Explode
You probably won’t find the next Amazon or Apple by sifting through the penny stock market … But you can find stocks that can move 100% or more in a single day.
My strategy is to find plays before they make their full move.
These features help me find hot plays every day. The Breaking News chat room alerts me to important penny stock news as it comes out. I’m better primed to get in on plays as they’re breaking out.
A good stock screener has many great tools, including scanning for stocks that meet your criteria. Check out this video where I walk you through how to make a watchlist:
2 Hot Penny Stocks to Watch in 2020
Genius Brands International Inc. (NASDAQ: GNUS)
I wouldn’t expect this stock to go back near highs if it ran again, but that doesn’t mean another crazy move is out of the question.
Exela Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ: XELA)
XELA is a former runner that keeps getting more and more attention each time it moves.
Who knows if it can run again. But with the amount of attention this ticker gets each time it gaps up, it could. This is another stock to watch in 2020.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can Penny Stocks Make You Rich?
I've made millions trading penny stocks.* So it is possible … but there are no guarantees. You have to start with a proper education. Learning how to trade penny stocks takes time and discipline. I don’t invest in penny stocks — most of these sketchy companies will fail.
Was Microsoft a Penny Stock?
Yep. Microsoft was a penny stock back in the late 1990s in the early days of the internet. Back then, tech companies were much more of a gamble than today. As MSFT became more legit and made more money, the stock continued to grow. It now trades for over $200 per share.
How Often Do Penny Stocks Succeed?
Penny stocks rarely succeed. The 10 penny stocks discussed in this post — some of which increased by more than 100,000% — are rare. You shouldn’t expect these results from any penny stock.
The Bottom Line on the Most Successful Penny Stocks
Penny stocks have insane potential — but few will make it into the ‘most successful penny stock’ hall of fame.
Most penny stocks won’t work long term because of greedy CEOs and sketchy business plans. Then there are promoters who pump penny stocks to help get a quick move … They cash out while subscribers are stuck holding a losing stock.
That’s why I teach my students to trade — not invest.
What’s the most successful penny stock you’ve ever seen? Let me know in the comments below!