Information & Techniques for Trading Penny Stocks
1. Investment Goals – The Penny Market, Caveat Emptor
2. The Nature of The Penny Stock Market
3. Advice Re The Penny Stock Market
4. Newbies In the Penny Market
5. Opinions (And Warnings) Re the Penny Stock Market
6. How To Find Penny Stocks To Trade
7. My Trading Technique In The Pennies
8. Perfecting Your Trading Techniques And Observations
Section 1 – Investment Goals – The Penny Market - Caveat Emptor
An investor should first determine what his investment goals are. If he is
trying to build wealth for the future, for retirement for example, then
definitely the penny market is not for that individual.
Blue chips and mutual funds are better, where an investor plunks down a
specified amount of cash every month or every quarter and lets the cash value of
his investments grow (hopefully) over time. Even blue chips are no guarantee
however but they are a lot safer than penny stocks.
For a young guy that has twenty or thirty years to go before retirement and is
investing for post-employment years, I’d recommend a combination of blue chips,
mutual funds and real estate.
Nothing is absolute but folks will always need a place to live. The old adage
“there is only so much land” and the ever increasing population are fact.
Assuming we don’t have a national catastrophe where the population of the
country is reduced by 10-20% or more, real estate will continue to be a good
investment over the long run.
There are many kinds of real estate investments. If you decide to get into it,
you have to decide what area is best for you. I have a friend I’ve known for
almost forty years now. Back when we were both still in our 20~s, he started
buying houses and renting them out. He ended up with about twenty houses. He’s
retired and a millionaire now.
I have another friend who started about twenty years ago buying apartment
complexes. He now has 165 units in several buildings that he rents, and nets
after costs and taxes, about $400,000 a year. He’s doing so well that he quit
his day job to manage the apartment complexes. He has a whole lot more spare
time now too, and he’s only in his late 40~s.
I’m just using these examples as things you can do with real estate. There are a
lot more also.
So if your investment goal is to build assets for the future, I strongly
recommend you consider all the above and forget about the penny markets.
Let me repeat that. IF YOUR PLAN IS TO BUILD WEALTH FOR THE FUTURE, FORGET THE
However, if you want to speculate, have some fun and possess some cash you can
risk, read on.
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Section 2 - The Nature of The Penny Stock Market
First let me tell you that neither I nor anyone else that doesn’t have inside
information is an expert in the markets. Some folks are better in the markets
than others of course.
Almost everybody on the boards refers to themselves and other folks as investors
but in reality, anybody playing the penny markets is speculating at best,
outright gambling most of the time and frequently simply rolling the dice on a
one-shot grab at the gold ring.
It’s a little better with stocks on the OTCBB than the pinks, but both are very
risky, because OTCBB stocks and even less so the pinks, aren’t required to file
It is accurate to say there’s no chance of getting rich off blue chips, not on
one roll of the dice. The stocks are too pricey and seldom move much. Penny
stocks have therefore always been a haven for folks wanting to hit it rich on a
small investment and con men, taking advantage of people’s greed.
It’s true that for a comparatively small amount of cash, you can conceivably hit
the big time and make several million dollars off a penny stock. There is that
chance but it’s so infinitesimal, it’s about the same as hitting a lottery.
Little investors like us in the penny market are minnows swimming with sharks.
The game is rigged against us, in favor of the big boys. The stock market, not
just the pennies, has always benefited the privileged. I don’t expect that to
change since the big boys own all the brokerage firms and are members on the SEC
board of directors and have the connections with high-powered federal employees
and elected officials.
There are always con men and hustlers in the penny markets. Many are running
companies. An investor buying into a con or scam has almost no chance of making
any money if he’s holding for long-term appreciation. In fact the odds are
extremely high he will lose a large part or all of his investment.
Very few penny companies ever become successful and make any money, even the
legitimate ones. It’s a tough world out there with stiff competition. Holding
long-term on straight companies then is also almost always a losing proposition.
You have no friends in the penny markets. The companies were started by
individuals to make money for themselves, not those folks buying the company’s
stock. When it comes down to a company owner making a decision to put cash
either in his pocket or his stockholders’ pockets, you can guess which way he
will decide. Don’t ever expect a company to sacrifice its own best interests in
favor of its stockholders. It doesn’t happen.
Company owners, officials, PR and IR guys, other organizations such as PR firms
and consultant agencies working for the company, investment newsletters and
people on the penny chat sites, including some of those running chat sites will
lie to you, again and again if you buy their hype.
Company PR's are often full of hype and grandiose language, predicting
magnificent developments, just around the corner for the firm. I call it weasel
talk from Scott Adam’s book Dilbert and the Way of the Weasel and the book by
Paul Wasserman and Don Hausrath, Weasel Words: The Dictionary of American
Weasel talk allows companies and their cohorts to distort the truth in an effort
to pump the stock’s PPS. The language is sufficiently vague that the company
can’t be legally held to what they appear to say. Remember too that every PR has
the safe haven statement at the bottom, plainly stating that everything above it
may not happen. It’s a caveat emptor warning.
Some penny companies, often times more than you would suspect, are nothing more
than pump and dump schemes. The problem with pump and dump schemes is that often
no one can tell for sure until the scam has run its course. It’s too late then
for investors holding the stock when it collapses.
The typical tactic of pump and dumps is to hype the stock for as long as they
can. Then when the grandiose PR's, ads and appearances by the CEO's fail to
further generate any interest, the PPS is allowed to drop very low. The company
then pulls a reverse split, always with a symbol change and sometimes with a
change in company name and business plan. Then the pump and dump starts again.
There are people on the penny chat sites that have their own axes to grind.
There are groups of people too, working in concert to hype stocks. I suspect but
I can’t prove of course that a lot of these people are paid hypers.
Penny stocks can and are manipulated by the MM's, and other people of influence,
with the big bucks and power to do so. MM's have some leeway and have all the
information in front of them about what a stock is doing, which way it’s moving,
the number of buy and sell orders at what prices, etc. They got it all, so they
can within limits manipulate a penny stock’s PPS. If you had all the information
they have in front of you, making money in the pennies would be easy.
Ironically, if you play the penny market smart, you’ll probably never get rich,
since when you got a nice profit, you’ll sell. Big rewards require big risks, as
they say, like holding onto a penny stock for long term, hoping the company is
honest, competent and competitive. Few penny companies however will ever deliver
the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
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Section 3 - Advice Re The Penny Stock Market
First, never play the penny markets with money you can’t afford to lose, funds
you’re saving for your kid’s college fund, or cash needed for the house payment
next month for example. Be prepared to lose every cent you put into the penny
You’d be surprised how many people risk money they can’t afford to lose,
figuring they can beat the market in a few weeks or months and put the money
back they took out of the college fund, etc.
Second, if you work every day and have the kind of job where you don’t have time
to devote to your stock market speculations, you should proceed extremely
carefully and consider developing a method that limits your risks. Setting
limits sales when you can’t watch your stocks all the time is a technique you
should consider. Limit sales will protect you from catastrophic losses. There’s
nothing worse to return home from work in the afternoon and discover your stock
CRAP dropped 70% while you were at work, and you’re down $2500, for example.
Third, if you’re not having a good time playing the pennies, don’t get a kick or
adrenaline rush from it, or if it seems more like a headache than anything else,
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Section 4 - Newbies In the Penny Market
It is a fact that newbies, people first entering the penny market, do not know
what they are doing. Not only are they inexperienced but often time worse, they
are incredibly naive and trusting, and don’t believe or understand there are
people in the markets that will take all his money, his house, car and
everything else if they can.
There are four tough lessons for a newbie in the markets to learn. They are:
(1) Do not take anything you hear or read at face value
(2) Cut your losses, no matter how painful it may be
(3) Never fall in love with a stock
(4) Always make your own buy and sell decisions.
Lessons 2 and 3 above are inter-related and require the individual to toss
emotion out the window and face reality. Learning these lessons however often
saves a lot of despair and gut-wrenching soul-searching in the long run.
Folks fail to follow lessons 2 and 3 above because facing reality is often
unpleasant, especially after you have just bought a stock and watch it drop
precipitously in a day or so, finding you’re down a grand or two before you can
snap your fingers. People rationalize, hope, pray, and pump each other up on the
chat sites in an effort to make the PPS increase by the sheer force of their
desire to see it go up.
The phrase, Falling in love with a stock actually refers to someone who is blind
to what is going on with the stock, much like someone who has just fallen in
love. He or she is purposely oblivious to the other person’s faults and bad
habits. Eventually reality must be faced in the stock market, just as in any
CMKX was a prime example of people refusing to face reality. There were
thousands of people, still are too, that continue to claim today the company is
coming back, that the stockholders will eventually make money. It was so
flagrant with CMKX that those folks that went completely off the deep end were
labeled CMKX cultists. If you criticized them on one of their chat sites, they’d
gang up on you like buzzards on road kill, even kicking people off the site if
they were too vocal in their criticism of the company and its stock.
Lesson 4 above re make your own buy and sell decisions refers to people – you
see them on the penny chat sites – that lack confidence in their own
decision-making abilities. They ask other folks what they should do. Relying on
other people’s opinions to make buy and sell decisions in the penny market is
one of the fastest ways possible to go broke. You seldom know whom you’re
talking to, his experience level, whether he’s lying or is a total fruitcake; or
if he has his own axe to grind. It could well be some precocious twelve year-old
jerking folks around for grins and giggles.
As far as controlling your emotions, each individual has to learn how for
himself. I don’t know of any step-by-step method to teach you. You simply have
to make a concentrated effort, initially anyway, to avoid the mistakes I listed
above. Selling a stock you have lost money on, especially one involving a
considerable amount is painful. The first time just do it. Once you have done so
a few times, it becomes less painful. I won’t say it becomes painless but you
can learn to live with it without ruining your entire year. If you can’t learn
to let go of stocks that you know in your mind and gut that are lost causes, the
penny stock market is not for you.
Cutting your losses, willingly selling a stock at a loss can be agonizing. Most
newbies and a lot of experienced players too find it very difficult. They’ll
hold to the bloody end, when the company goes under or pulls a reverse split.
To cut my losses, I set my loss limit at 33% of my purchase price. I follow the
rule religiously except for one exception which I’ll get to later. So once I buy
a stock, if the PPS drops by 1/3, say from .0100 to .0066, I sell it, regardless
of rumors, expected news or what folks say on the chat sites – remember you are
talking to a lot of people on the chat sites that have never learned the lessons
above, and probably never will. Those folks soon run out of cash and are quickly
gone from the penny markets.
You can decide what you feel is an acceptable level of loss. I’m retired. My
finances are in order. I don’t need the money I have in the market for anything
else, so my loss level might be quite high for some folks. You might decide,
based on how much money you have to play with and your pain threshold how much
loss on a stock you can live with, to cut your losses at 10 or 20% for example.
The one exception to setting a loss level is if you find a stock that you just
wanna throw some money at in a wild chance you will hit the big time. As long as
you understand the odds are heavily against you, you’re not gonna get crazy over
the stock and you can afford to lose every cent you put into it, that’s OK; as
long as you don’t do it every week.
I’ve done this with QBID. I thought last year it had a great chance to go all
the way. Looking at the stock and company now, I guessed wrong on it. However,
even if I lose all my cash in it, it won’t hurt me. I’ll go on living the same
life style and playing the markets. It’s the only one in ten years in the
markets that I’ve done that with however. I was really counting on floating
around on that 90-foot yacht though.
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Section 5 - Opinions (And Warnings) Re the Penny Stock Market
These are my opinions. There are people who will argue strenuously on some of
Some guys claim to be fundamentalists, basing their trading decisions on company
fundamentals, the financial data of companies. I think that’s mostly hogwash
since so few pinks and companies on the OTCBB ever make a single dime. With the
pinks, we don’t even know most of time what the balance sheet looks like, so
when someone tells me he’s a fundamentalist playing OTCBB stocks and pinks, I
know the guy is pulling my leg.
Some people heavily rely on TA, technical analysis, or what is commonly referred
to as charts, to make their trade decisions. Most folks won’t outright claim
that the charts predict what a stock will do in the future but they strongly
imply so with their positive attitudes about what their charts say – a lot of
weasel talk here too.
Common sense tells us there’s nothing that will predict the future. If charts
were accurate, we’d all be using them, making money right and left and already
be on the beach, having previously made our millions in the stock market.
I have a friend who was a CEO of a smaller company for twenty years. He has told
me that the big boys, the MM~s and those on Wall Street with enough capital and
in a position to influence the PPS of penny stocks, know a lot of people use
charts. The big boys, he claims, will use the charts against the little
investor. They know what the charts predict and will force the stock’s PPS to
move – manipulate it, in exactly the opposite direction.
Penny stocks move mostly on rumors and news, or rumors of news. They move too of
course on financial information when it’s available. Charts are designed to
reflect movement of a PPS based on normal economic indicators. However, one PR
with either good or bad news can send a penny stock’s PPS quickly in one
direction or the other. Charts can not and do not take into account news and
I have a basic knowledge of charts but I do not use them to help me make buy and
sell decisions. Charts are helpful however in that you have to spend a lot of
time on them, so you become more familiar with the stock, more intimate. You get
a “feel” so to speak for what the stock will do. It’s hard to explain but once
you spend a lot of time studying and following a stock, you develop some
intuition about what it will do, a sixth sense so to speak. This was especially
true for me with PLNI. It got to the point I could accurately guess (for a
while) which way it would move 60-70% of the time and that’s more than
sufficient to make money off a stock.
Beware of companies continually issuing grandiose PR~s but never living up to
their promises; the same for companies that promise such and such by a certain
deadline and never meet them.
Beware of people on the chat sites that are always totally positive on their
favorite stock and criticize anyone that has anything negative to say about it.
Often they are hyping the stock. You won’t get an honest opinion from them.
These same people will frequently post unrealistic predictions for their stock
without any supporting evidence whatsoever, and if you quiz them on it, you
won’t get any response.
Beware of folks on the chat sites that write too slick, use the lingo and
buzzwords, claim to have many years of experience in the markets and have made
hundreds of thousands of dollars in the pennies. These people are almost always
hypers. They will write a couple of paragraphs that sound extremely impressive.
Readers will come away with the impression that, This guy knows what he’s
talking about, but in reality, a closer examination of his missive reveals he
didn’t say a cotton-picking thing.
Beware of companies that claim their stock is down because it’s been
naked-shorted. Often times the company will claim it’s gonna sue the world and
correct the ugly practice of naked-shorting. Naked-shorting does happen, but in
most cases, it’s the company simply providing excuses, covering up other flaws.
Whatever you read from companies and individuals on the chat sites, apply your
own logic and common sense and see if it makes sense to you. If it doesn’t, then
what you’re reading is probably bogus.
Last year, CMKX claimed to have a gold mine in South America. They issued a PR
claiming they were recovering ore from the mine and shipping it by boat to the
U.S. for refining. Shipping cost for anything is expensive these days, and the
company was shipping tons of dirt to the U.S.? That seemed totally illogical to
me because it would have been far too expensive to ship dirt to the U.S. I was
crucified on a couple of sites for suggesting it was bogus. As it turned out, I
was correct. The company never shipped an ounce of ore or dirt to the U.S.; none
they ever mentioned anyway.
Anything that doesn’t sound right, or sounds illogical, or promises a company
has failed to keep, is A Red Flag. When you have three or four or more red flags
with one company, watch out! You can perhaps swing trade or flip it, but you’re
almost guaranteed to lose your cash if you sit in that stock too long.
If you read or encounter anything about a penny stock that sounds too good to be
true, it almost always is. The Green Baron in all its resplendent hyperbole
called CMKX, The Stock Play of a Lifetime. Many folks swallowed that bait whole.
The Green Baron has taken a lot of flack over that one too. Its reputation was
severely tarnished, to the point I think they still haven’t fully recovered.
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Section 6 - How To Find Penny Stocks To Trade
I follow the stock advisory boards and see what stocks they are recommending.
Because so many people are blind sheep, they will jump on a stock merely because
somebody that pretends to be knowledgeable recommends it. Lots of folks will buy
the stock, forcing the PPS to increase. Often times you can jump in early, ride
the stock up a ways and jump off, taking your profit. The Green Baron was great
for stimulating PLNI this way several times last year.
I subscribe to stock advisory newsletters, to help find stocks that might be
moving. The stock advisory newsletters are everywhere. You can do an internet
search on the phrase penny stock newsletter, and similar terms. You should find
a lot of them to subscribe to. These are good because often times these
newsletters go out to hundreds of thousands of people, maybe millions, and as I
mentioned above, lots of folks blindly buy a stock based solely on someone’s
else’s advice. I use the same technique to trade these stocks as described above
with stock advisory boards.
A recent example of the effect of a stock advisory newsletter is DIAAF last
Friday, the 28th of April. Several hours before the opening bell,
Pennybuster.com emailed an alert message on DIAAF to all its subscribers. When
the market opened, DIAAF gapped up from 0050 to .0052 and then ran to .0074 I
believe it was. Once the run was over, it fell back and closed at .0055.
Obviously I can’t prove the advisory message from Pennybuster.com made the stock
run, but I checked and I couldn’t find any other news that day that would have
caused DIAAF to run the way it did. Perhaps Pennybuster did not influence DIAAF
last Friday, but I think it did.
I follow several chat sites to see which stocks everybody’s talking about. Those
are the stocks that are usually hot, and most frequently active. Check the sites
for the most active threads. There’s where you find most of the users, talking
about their favorite stocks at the time.
Lastly, there are various stock selection programs that you can use to select
stocks. You can set dozens of parameters to assist you in finding stocks that
are active or hot. Most of these programs you’ll have to pay for. Check them out
to see if they’re worth a try. The two that come to mind right away are Microcap
and Stockfetcher. There is a thread here on HSM for Microcap Trade. I’m not sure
about Stockfetcher but the URL is: www. Stockfetcher.com.
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Section 7 - My Trading Technique In The Pennies
It’s simple really. I find stocks that are moving up and down. I watch them for
a while to see if they repeat the pattern. I check to see that the company
hasn’t filed for bankruptcy, doesn’t have a reverse split scheduled or a history
of reverse splits. If the stock is moving in a range and does so in what appears
to be a more or less regular frequency, say once or twice a week for example,
I’ll jump in. That is, once you discern its movement pattern, you can try to
A stock’s movement in a (somewhat) regular pattern is referring to as
GTE, (GTEL before on the OTCBB) has been great for me. It continued to channel
regularly the past two years, though last Friday it took a serious blow to the
solar plexus. A PR came out announcing a class action lawsuit against GlobeTel
for fraud, re their alleged deal with a Russian Company.
PLNI was great last year (2005), from about April when I found that stock, to
about September or so. I traded that one a dozen times, making money on all but
IDVL was good too for a while during the summer 2005, regularly moving up and
down from .0007-.0008 to .0014-.0015. ICMH and PHBT were also good for a while.
When I say moving up and down regularly, I don’t mean every day but frequently.
You may have to sit in a stock a week or so before it will move again. I try not
to stay in them long however. I like to get in and out as quickly as I can. I’ll
flip a stock the same day if possible.
If I am in a stock that’s moving like IDVL was this past summer, and it moves up
to .0012 or .0013, I’ll sell it. If it hasn’t moved over .0015 for example in
three or four months, it’s probably not gonna do so at the time I’m sitting in
it. Remember, I have seen it move before to .0014-.0015 and fall back, so when I
got my profit, I take it.
Don’t ever fret about lost profits. If you got a profit on a stock, take it. So
what if the stock continues to climb after you sold? If you hold every stock
that’s climbing, you’ll lose money on most of them, because most of them won’t
go as high as you think or hope they will. Take your profit and don’t look back.
What do you do if you are holding a stock and it does really take off? No one
really knows when it will stop of course. If a stock is running hard and
consistently, that is moving up regularly without any long periods of time where
the PPS remains the same, I’ll start looking to sell when I have a 50% profit.
A long period of time is two-three minutes for me, for a stock that has been
running hard, where the PPS is increasing; say a tick a half-minute or minute.
Of course the stock could be just hitting a plateau and will continue to move up
after a few minutes. That does happen. My experience though is most of the time
when the rate of increase of the PPS slows and finally stops for 2-3 minutes, it
will stop running and often turn around and go the other way. When the PPS
plateaus for 2-3 minutes, I’ll sell.
I partially missed out on a great run by MBAH in 2003. It ran from about .0040
all the way up to .08, or something like that. It hit several plateaus on the
way up. I sold at the first one. There was no indication it would run that hard
or that high. I made money but not nearly as much as I could have if I’d waited.
Those are the breaks of the game. MBAH never ran again. Not many others made a
similar run that year either. I took my profit and was satisfied with it. Once
it hit .0080, it turned around and in a few weeks fell all the back down to
about .0020 or in that area. Then the company pulled a reverse split. Folks that
bought in on the run up to .0080 and held because they thought it was going
higher got screwed.
GZFX is another example. It ran in 2004 I think it was, from something low,
.0040 or so I think, to .18 in about 2-3 weeks. Yes, that’s not a typo, .18.
Nobody dreamed it would do that. Some folks sold and took a nice profit. My
younger son made a killing of it. A lot of people though, not willing to sell,
thinking it was going to half a dollar, held on and rode it all or most of the
way back down, continually repeating, This is the day it’ll turn around and
GZFX actually had two runs to about .18. After hitting it the first time, it
dropped down below .10 but a week or so after, it turned around and ran to .18
again. Incredibly, a lot of people had two shots to unload their shares but did
not do so, believing all the hype saying it would go to a dollar in another
The lesson to be learned with GZFX is that no matter how high a stock increases,
there will be people on the boards claiming it will go higher. However, once a
penny stock like MBAH or GZFX skyrockets, it seldom repeats, and if it does,
it’s usually months and sometimes a year or more.
With both GZFX and MBAH, you have to look at what’s reasonable. It is very easy
to become hypnotized by a hard runner. When GZFX hit .18, there looked like
there would be no end. Heaven was within sight! The stock had been climbing for
two or three weeks. Everyone expected it to continue to do so.
In the first place however, that kind of a run was unreasonable. It would have
been realistic and practical to sell at 100% or 200% profit. In this case
though, you wouldn’t have realized as much profit if you had sold early. It was
simply luck for those people that held on until .18. GZFX is a prime example of
the statement I made in Section 2 that if you play the pennies wisely, you’ll
never get rich.
INSQ has been hot lately with some people claiming it’ll hit .05. If it actually
does, then there will be guys predicting ten cents within days. And if by some
chance it reaches that level, there’ll be people then claiming in 3 months it
will be a dollar. And lordy, lordy, you could knock me over with a feather if
INSQ hits a dollar a share, but there will then be people urging you to hold
because in another 3 months it will be $5 a share.
I like to play pennies in the lower ranges, because you can really make a
killing if you’re holding one that really runs hard. If you buy a penny at .0001
for example, say 9 million shares, that’s $900 dollars cost to you, ignoring the
commission. If it runs to .0013 and you sell it at .0011, that’s a profit of
Sub-pennies will occasionally do that, especially ones that are hot. In fact
this is exactly what I did with CMKX. I sold shares I had purchased at .0001 at
.0011 in May 2004.
Let me stress here again how important it is to take your profit. Failure to do
so will result in a lot of lost dollars in profit most of the time. Generally it
is entirely unreasonable to assume a penny stock like GZFX will run from .0040
to .18, or MBAH from .0040 to .08.
Re CMKX, there were tons of people in the same boat with me, some holding more
than 20 million shares that did not sell at all. CMKX sunk back to .0001 and
went out of business last year. Thousands of people lost some really BIG bucks
on that one because they were holding long.
2004 was also the year that some people lost over $100,000 on WNMI – they
admitted so on some of the chat sites - simply because they thought it was going
higher and refused to sell when they had quick windfall profits. A loss of
$100,000 on a penny stock is truly a bitter pill to swallow! WNMI by the way has
been sitting at .0003 - .0012 with one run to about .0018 since 2004.
Now, up to the middle of 2005, the trading techniques I described above worked
well for me. I often held on longer than I do now because many stocks were
running hard, fifty percent gains were not unusual, and there would be a lot of
them running every day. I was playing them longer because they were running
Then it seemed things changed. Stocks would move up 10-20%, even spurt or jump
suddenly. It looked like the stocks would increase some more, so folks would
jump in. They might move up a little, but then they would flatten out and start
to drop. It was almost like the MM~s were throwing out the bait, wiggling the
stock, so to speak, to get everybody to bite. When they did, the stock did
nothing and started to fall.
Last fall was so bad, so few stocks were moving and not moving much at all that
I was forced to revise my technique. Instead of taking more risks, holding a
little longer, I revised my goals downward and started taking smaller profits,
even down to ten percent if I could sell my stock on that narrow a price spread.
Money is made most frequently in penny stocks from the movement in a short span
of time, hours, days or weeks. You can’t make money in them when they aren’t
moving; and that’s what we have been facing since about last September, though
it’s picked up I think this quarter, 2nd quarter, 2006.
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Section 8 - Perfecting Your Trading Techniques And Observations
Whatever method you use to help make buy and sell decisions, you will call some
wrong. There is no perfect method for playing stocks.
It may happen – let’s hope not – the first time you sell using your new method,
you may be wrong; the stock will take off a minute after you sell and triple in
price. You will feel like kicking yourself then.
It may not happen the first time but eventually it will. It’s something you have
to accept, simply because no matter what you do, you’re not gonna call all of
I focus my trading technique on when to sell. If you use some method to
determine when to hold or hold longer, you’ll miss a lot of those too. The
problem with a technique to help you decide to hold or hold longer, is that you
increase your downside risk. If you call one wrong and you hold it long, and the
stock starts plummeting, you stand to lose a lot of the profit you would have
gotten by selling. In some cases, it may result in your losing some of your
actual cash, when the stock falls so hard you can’t sell it at almost any price.
If you use a technique to help you determine when to sell, you stand less
downside risk. By selling into a run as the PPS is climbing, you’re guaranteed a
profit. If the stock continues to climb after you’ve sold, you’ve really lost
What you can do to help you develop your trading method is to paper trade. You
can test your method and theories without using real money. Don’t bite my head
off here folks, read on!
For example, pick out half a dozen stocks, or even more if you can find them.
The more stocks you paper trade, the more data you gather and more quickly you
can see the results of the way you’re trading.
Pick out stocks you think are going up – might take a little research but it’s
well worth the effort – write down buy X number of shares at Y price and the
Follow all of them – make a separate watch list for all of them and set alerts
for all of them. When they start running, sell when your method tells you it’s
time to sell. Record the results, Y price sold at and the date.
Then continue to watch them and see how many continue to go up and how many stop
running after you sold and start to go down.
This way you can gain some confidence that your method works OK, and you can
adjust your sell parameters if need be. For example, let’s say you’re shooting
for a 50% profit but you find the majority of the ones you’re picking stop
running at 30%. That means you are aiming too high. You can adjust your method
to go for a 30% profit and sell when the stocks hit that range.
Of course, every stock is different. So if you evaluate a stock and really think
it will run to 70%, you can play it that way, holding longer than you would for
another stock that you think will only run to 30% for example.
You’ve been trading already so you probably know that paper trades don’t always
work the way real trades do. For example on paper, you’re holding 200,000 shares
of stock you bought at .0070. Let’s say your commission cost is $10 per trade.
That’s a cost of $1410. The stock then moves up to .0075 and sits there for five
minutes and doesn’t look like it’s gonna move anymore, so you decide to sell it
at .0075. On paper your proceeds from the sale is $1500 minus the commission of
$10 or $1490. So your paper profit is $80.
The problem with real trading, especially in the pennies, is that you may not be
able to sell it at .0075. You may not be able to sell it unless you drop your
order to .0073 or .0072 for example. At .0072, you don’t make a cent.
In reality, it is difficult in the pennies, trying to make small profits on
small moves in the PPS. Small moves indicate only a small demand for the stock,
so by the time the stock hits .0075, all those folks that were willing to pay
.0075, and there may have been on one or two of them, have already got fills.
When you go to sell at .0075, there’s nobody else at that time who will give you
that price for your shares.
I would love to be able to make trades like the one above, even if I’m netting
$80 profit per trade. If I could, I’d be doing 10, 12, 15 or 20 trades a day.
It’s impossible however to find that many stocks with a sufficiently high demand
which will allow you to do that.
It’s easy to sell shares when the demand is high and the stock is running.
That’s why pumpers do what they do, in order to create demand, so they can dump
their shares into the market - you can’t sell shares, or anything else if nobody
wants it. Not even the pumpers can do that.
And how many good runners do you see every day? I don’t know about you but I
miss most of the first-time runners simply because I don’t about them until it’s
too late to get into them. There are thousands of penny stocks by the way. Most
of them we never hear about.
So on stocks that move in a narrow range, like in the example above, you not
only look for ones that have a high volume but also a large number of trades,
You want to find those stocks that people are buying and selling, so the number
of trades is often more important than the total volume. The reason is because
Say a stock has traded 30 million shares so far but the average trade has been 1
million shares. That’s only 30 trades, or 30 buyers, maximum. Heck, for all we
know it might be one guy or two guys making several large buys each. It might
actually be only ten guys actively buying the stock, even with a 30 million
Now for a different stock, let’s say it has traded 30 million shares but the
average trade has been 200,000 shares. That’s a total of 150 buyers, max. When
you get ready to sell your shares, you got a lot better chance with 150 buyers
in the market than 30.
This is a generalization of course but that’s usually how it works. I watched a
stock last year, IDVL sitting at .0007. In about 15 minutes it moved up to .0015
on 9 trades. Once it hit .0015, it went dead and folks still holding couldn’t
sell it at that price. Nobody else was left that wanted it at .0015. The stock
eventually moved back down to .0007.
So for stocks in hot demand and running hard, it’s no problem selling your
shares. That’s why you always try to sell into the run before it stops. Once it
ceases, buying demand may dwindle next to nothing. We saw that to some extent
the other day after the good run by INSQ.
For stocks that trade in narrow ranges where the demand is not so heavy, you
look for a lot of activity, the more buyers there are within that range, the
better chance you have of selling your shares.
You see folks on the boards always talking about volume and equating it with
high activity. As you can see, that’s not always the case. A high volume does
not necessarily indicate folks are buying the stock. A large volume could mean a
few heavy hitters picking up 5 or 7 million shares at a time for example.
So for pennies, you want to keep an eye on the number of trades too.
Many users on the boards equate a sudden increase in the volume with a price
increase. However, often times a sudden large increase in the volume will
indicate traders are dumping the stock. Take a look at some charts for pennies.
That’s a frequent occurrence, where you will see a large and sudden increase in
the volume being traded, with the PPS dropping, not going up.
Most folks are looking at the volume of trading for the day. That, often times,
doesn’t tell you much at all. What’s more important is any sudden increase or
decrease in the volume. The sudden changes are more important when you’re trying
to flip stocks. They indicate a change in the trading pattern of the stock, and
are a much stronger indicator of an impending change in the PPS.
For sub-penny stocks trading in the ranges of .0001 to .0050 for example, a ten
percent move doesn’t result in much of a dollar increase. For example, a ten
percent increase in a stock at .0050 is a move to .0055. If you have 100,000
shares, that’s a gross profit of only $50, and a net profit of only $30 after
the two ten-dollar commissions.
What you can do with these stocks – but it’s risky – is to increase the number
of shares you are buying and selling. By doubling or quadrupling the number of
shares, you are doubling or quadrupling the amount of dollars in potential
However, you’re also increasing the chances that there may not be anyone that
wants to buy the larger number of shares you’re now trying to sell. You also
stand to lose a lot more, dollar-wise, if the stock suddenly heads south on you.
To continue, in the example above, if you are holding 500,000 shares instead of
100,000 shares and sell at .0055, that’s a profit of $150, assuming of course
per the discussion above that you can sell at .0055.
Likewise if you’re holding 100,000 shares of stock you bought at .0050 and it
drops to .0045, you’re down $50. If you’re holding 500,000 shares and it drops
to .0045, you’re down $150, not counting the commissions.
I wouldn’t worry too much about how you initially develop your trading
techniques. Jot down several points or principles you want to follow and begin
with small amounts of cash. Your philosophy and method of trading will evolve as
you gain experience.
Once you have developed your method of trading, continually review it, because
the markets are always changing.
Lastly, if you aren’t making money with your technique, or at least holding your
head above water, you’re doing something wrong. Review how you’ve been trading
and change it. Failure to do so will only result in continuing to lose money.
I hope this information helps.
GOOD LUCK TO ALL!
Article by Guapo
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