Penny stocks are stocks that are priced below $5. They are usually traded on Pink Sheets or Over the Counter Bulletin Board (OTCBB). In order for a company to be listed in Pink Sheets, they must have a broker to quote their share prices. Pink Sheets is not registered by the SEC and is not affiliated with any stock exchange or NASDAQ.
Companies that are usually listed on Pink Sheets are those who are just starting out and have not yet developed to meet the basic requirements needed to be publicly listed.
What are the advantages of investing in penny stocks?
The main advantage that an investor can get from penny stocks is its low price. You can buy thousands of penny stocks for a low amount. Also, Pink Sheets and OTCBB are very easy to get into as opposed to the regular stock exchange companies. Also, you may not know it, but it is possible that you are investing in the next big company which will bring you a substantial amount of financial wealth.
What are the disadvantages of investing in penny stocks?
The main disadvantage when it comes to investing in penny stocks comes from dealing with companies who are offering them. Pink Sheets only requires a company to have a broker in order to be publicly listed. No financial and incorporation papers are needed to prove the authenticity of the company. You will have no means of getting information about the company. You will have to research on your own and check out the background and financial standing of the company. Another disadvantage is that penny stocks entail a higher risk compared to other securities.
What are the warning signs of penny stock fraud?
Since Pink Sheets and trading Penny Stocks is very easy to get into, it can be a paradise for scammers. There are already many people who have fallen victim to penny stock fraud and as an investor; you must be able to know the different warning signs when it comes to penny stock fraud. Some of the warning signs that you have to be on the lookout for are unauthorized transactions and mismarked trade confirmations. Even if your stockbroker is handling all the transactions, you should also be aware of everything that is happening.
At the end of every transaction, your broker will provide you with a trade confirmation that will be the evidence for the transaction made. In this trade confirmation, you will find basic information like how many shares were brought for how much, the ask/bid price at the time of the transaction and other background information.
If you see that there are wrong information inputted in the trade confirmation, call the attention of your broker and have it changed immediately. Also, if you see transactions being made in your account without your knowledge, notify your broker. It may be an honest mistake, but it also can be a potential penny stock fraud in the making.
The best thing that you can do to combat penny stock fraud is to be well-informed and be vigilant when it comes to approaching penny stock trading.