Penny Stocks - Beyond the Pump and Dump

By: Mike Eggert

Penny Stocks can be a great investment, but you have to know what to look for, or sometimes more accurately, what to look out for. Buying Penny Stocks based on a recent email you received, or what you heard from someone you barely know, is not usually a good idea. Penny Stocks have historically been a source of wealth for many investors, but conversely have been the source of countless lost small fortunes. Determining what is good advice, mixed with all the hype, can sometimes be a very difficult process. You don't have to be a stock market guru or brilliant investor to make a killing with Penny Stocks, but you do have to be willing to do your homework, and use a great deal of common sense to stay alive when you are swimming with the sharks in what can be dangerous waters.

There are many great small companies in existence today, struggling to stay afloat, that are tomorrow's rising stars. Without the capital to grow and expand very few of our current generation of conglomerates would be more than a forgotten flash in the pan. Selling shares of a company can inject the needed capital into a niche business that may take it into the next level. However not all, if not most, of these tiny corporations will be around for very long. This creates an interesting situation for us, the investor or speculator. While the company in question may not be worth much today, what might that company be worth tomorrow? Hence the term speculation, which is the lifeblood of any Penny Stock trader.

Unfortunately, within this world there are a few unseemly characters, who seek to part you from your hard earned dollars. And, they will go to nearly whatever means is necessary to achieve their goal. PR firms, or Investor Awareness firms, are sometime hired to promote a small corporation's stock in hopes of raising the share price. This in itself is not necessarily a sign of ill intent. Many times a small company may be very good at what it does, but for whatever reason finds itself unable to generate enough press interest in their successes to generate buying activity of their stock shares. However, this is occasionally done with the sole purpose of raising prices rapidly in an attempt to make quick profits on a very hollow company, one that has no real market or solid foundation. Hence the phrase, pump and dump. Pump and dump in a nutshell means, exaggeratedly "pumping" up the company in question with the primary intent of "dumping" their shares once the share prices begin to rise.

What can you do to protect yourself from being caught up in a pump and dump scenario? Most importantly you must use your own due diligence to wade through the hype. Ask yourself a few basic questions about the company in question. Are they making money? Are they creating new products? Are these new products going to be valuable in the future? The rules for trading Penny Stocks aren't much different from those of trading large cap stocks. However, the risks can be much larger, but the rewards can be as well.

If you aren't willing to do at least a bit of homework, investing in any stock is not a good idea. Never rely entirely on anyone's advice, especially when dealing with Penny Stocks. But, if you take the time to research your investments, investing in Penny Stocks can be a very financially rewarding experience.

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Arthur Browning is a seasoned stock investor and author, who actively contributes to the Penny Stocks website

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