When you think of those mythical, rags-to-riches stories of someone striking it big in the stock market, what you’re most likely thinking of is someone who scored it big with stocks under $5, which are also called penny stocks. Before getting involved in stocks under 5 dollars, there are a few important things to know.
Best Stocks Under $5 - What You Need to Know Before You Buy
Penny stocks don’t literally have to be priced at pennies, though some are just that. Penny stocks refer to stocks that generally trade under $5 a share.
Should I Buy Stocks Under $5?
A broader question might be, “Should I buy stocks?” The answer to both questions is the same: It depends. You should not buy stocks if you don’t have a discriminating sense of how to invest money, or if you don’t have guidance around the topic from someone who does.
With the right knowledge, stocks are an excellent investment, and according to some estimates, far more sound than real estate. Yes, stock prices do fluctuate (sometimes wildly), but over the last several decades, they have outperformed real estate in some regards.
Investors who know what they’re doing with stocks can make huge gains, build enormous wealth, and create exponential financial success. Stocks under $5, in particular, present an incredible opportunity to make huge gains.
It all comes down to research.
You never want to sink all of your investment cash into just one basket. Estimates vary on the exact percentage, but most experts agree that the majority of your portfolio should be invested in solid, stable companies. That said, stocks under $5 can be a good place to do a little value investing and give some growth to your cash.
It’s important to keep in mind that there are many trading strategies in relation to the stock market, and investing in undervalued, up-and-coming companies is only one strategy. For example, some investors prefer to focus on stocks that pay out dividends, where each share pays out dividend payments of company profit—and a large number of shares creates a solid cash flow. Other investors like to buy shares in specific industries, like tech stocks, or they may choose to ride the market as they engage in the ups and downs of day trading, flipping stocks for profit.
Whichever stock trading strategy you prefer, penny stocks can be some of the best growth stocks for their undervalued cost—if you trade the right way.
What Are Penny Stocks?
Stocks that trade under $5 per share are also called penny stocks. There are many cheap stocks to buy which can be had for under $5 per share, including dollar stocks, penny stocks, and stocks that sell for fractions of a penny.
While many penny stocks belong to startup companies in potentially risky market sectors, there are also plenty of established businesses trading on normal markets at under $5 per share. These publicly traded securities can certainly be viewed as a less risky proposition, due to their established company history. And if they trade on a regulated market, they have to make their accounting transparent, which eliminates a lot of investor risk.
But by-and-large, penny stocks are usually associated with smaller companies that are newer or undervalued, and not yet recognized by the market. There tend to be fewer shares of these stocks available, meaning wider spreads between bids and asking prices. The companies themselves tend to be considered speculative investments. All of this carries a certain element of risk.
That said, investing in these small cap companies can provide an opportunity to make huge gains. To someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing, penny stocks can be a total gamble. To someone who does know what they’re doing, penny stocks can provide some lucrative revenue growth.
What Are the Rewards of Stocks Under $5?
As mentioned, penny stocks present huge opportunities for growth. Take True Religion as an example—an apparel company based in Vancouver, Canada. This designer-jeans outfit was trading for $0.67 per share in July of 2004. Just nine years later, TowerBrook Capital Partners acquired the company and paid $32 for every share...a whopping 4676% profit.
Can you think of any “normal stocks” that offered investors the same gains? They’re few and far between (though they do exist). These are the types of profit margins that traders dream of earning.
Another advantage of penny stocks is that they can be an easy way for small-time investors to enter the market. You don’t necessarily have to sink everything into some sort of risky biotech company. There are plenty of brand-name companies that are trading at under $5. Purchasing shares of these recognized businesses could be your chance to enter the stock market in an affordable way—and cash out big if things work out.
It’s not just about price, but about volume: A $500 investment might only buy you 5-10 shares of a recognizable blue-chip stock or it could buy you 100+ shares of a stock priced at $5 and below. If that company grows and becomes a mid-cap stock, you’ll see a lot more profit than you would have by investing in a more “normal” stock.
For that very same reason, penny stocks may allow you to diversify your holdings to a greater extent, with less money (if you want to eschew mutual funds and pick stocks yourself). With just $100 in the market, you could buy ten shares of stock in ten different industries.
Some penny stocks are shares of companies outside the US. This can be your opportunity to dabble in international business and obtain some revenue from the global market—without having to worry about tariffs and exchange rates. Of course, in this case, you cannot just be a savvy investor; you have to be well abreast of the news and current events.
What Are the Risks of Stocks Under $5?
Many stocks under $5 are companies that may be startups or riskier business ventures. One of the biggest examples is biotech, an industry with larger startup costs and huge risks for investors. A startup company may discover the cure for cancer, in which case, you can cash out as a billionaire. Or, they may not, and they’ll take all your money with them when they fold.
Another disadvantage to stocks under $5 is that they may be stocks of a company that’s about to go bankrupt. They could be desperately selling shares of stock to raise money, or to help their executives bail out with a parachute built from your investment. Newly formed startups may also be on the verge of bankruptcy, and because of their lack of established history, no one may even know.
Occasionally penny stocks will be part of a “pump and dump” scam, where investors build excitement over a particular stock to drive up the price. They may “leak” information that a startup energy company struck crude oil gold or put forth an imaginative but enticing earnings estimate for the next quarter. As the stock value wildly climbs out of control (far beyond the actual value of the market cap), hoodwinked investors pour their dollars into the company. Then it crashes, and the only ones who benefit are the scammers who bought into the stock before they made it popular.
Another more prosaic risk of stocks under $5 is that they may just not go anywhere, hovering under $5 for years on end. While this is certainly better than losing all your money, it’s not so conducive to portfolio growth.
Yet another disadvantage to stocks under $5 is their low trading volume. They can be harder to unload if you need to, because you may not find a willing buyer. Moreover, many penny stocks of younger upstart companies will most likely not pay out dividends. You are only purchasing the stock to leverage a change in its price—or hoping that in the future they will play into your dividend investing strategy.
As you can see, there are some risks and volatility associated with stocks under $5. However, it once again all comes down to playing it smart and doing your research. There are plenty of resources which will tell you about the most volatile stocks, along with providing stats to gauge their future possibilities.
If you have a good head for what’s going on, you won’t fall for scams or pour all your money into a pipe dream. The best traders know which stocks to watch; they understand the ins and outs of dividend yield and market capitalization—and can leverage these stats into higher amounts of revenue. There’s no secret to what they’re doing. They’re actively learning and keeping their eyes on the best times to buy stocks at 52 week low points. They know when to hold their assets, and when to sell them.
How to Trade Stocks Under $5?
Some stocks under $5 are traded on the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ. However, most stocks under $5 trade through over the counter transactions (OTC). Everything about these OTC transactions is done electronically through the OTC Bulletin Board (OTCBB). Companies that are traded on the OTCBB must still meet requirements from the SEC and FINRA. However, these companies don’t meet the requirements for trading on a larger market.
There are still more stocks under $5 that don’t even meet the requirements to be traded on the OTCBB. These stocks can be found on a listing service called Pink Sheets (so named because the stocks were once listed on pink sheets of paper). These companies are too small to be listed on a national exchange, or may not wish to make their accounting statements public—which means they don’t have to file with the SEC, and can’t be listed on a publicly-traded market.
As you might expect, these Pink Sheet stocks can carry significant risks. They can be difficult to analyze because of the lack of transparency around their business; investors should use caution and due diligence when purchasing them.
What Are the Best Stocks Under $5?
Now that we’ve reviewed the pros and cons of stocks under $5 and explained how they work, let’s address the question that every investor wants to know: how do I actualize this information?
It can be hard to find good stocks under $5, even though the stock market has had an incredible bull-run since the Great Recession of 2008 and 2009. Stocks continue to hit new all-time highs, and the price-to-earnings ratios of most S&P 500 companies make purchasing shares look like an expensive proposition. Many investors are having trouble finding low-priced stocks that haven't already appreciated greatly during the last decade. It's hard to find a good deal on Wall Street right now when even small S&P 500 companies are trading at market caps above $1 billion.
Stocks have gotten expensive, both in terms of share price and their valuation relative to earnings. In more normal markets, a typical S&P 500 company has traded at about fifteen times their earnings. Most stocks are currently trading closer to 25 times their annual earnings. While the stock market has become more expensive as a whole, there are still a handful of undervalued stocks that are trading at less than $5.00 per share.
Stocks Under 5 Dollars
Value investing opportunities do exist—if you're looking in the right places. Putting together a list of the best stocks under $5.00 requires investors to look at smaller and riskier companies in sectors that are either undiscovered or unrecognized by the market as a whole. When looking at cheap stocks to buy, some of them may not look especially attractive today, but long-term investors will recognize profit if they are willing to exercise patience and hold onto shares of these companies through multiple economic cycles.
Some of these companies are solid investing ideas because they are small. As a result, they’re considered too risky to attract the interest of most managed mutual funds and Wall Street money managers. Others operate in unrecognized or untested areas of the market. You may find even find crypto stocks, marijuana stocks, and bitcoin stocks on this list. Others have been beaten up by Mr. Market after a long period of slowing profits but are now actively trying to turn around their business and bounce back.
This low-priced list of stocks showcases a lot of different industries, but these picks all carry two common characteristics: They all have a super-low share price of $5.00 or less, and they all consistently receive "buy" and "strong buy" ratings from Wall Street's top-rated research analysts.
#20 - Meet GroupNASDAQ:MEETStock Price:
: $337.06 millionP/E Ratio:
6 Buy Ratings, 0 Hold Ratings, 0 Sell Ratings.Consensus Price Target:
$7.25 (67.4% Upside)
The Meet Group, Inc. operates a portfolio of mobile social entertainment applications to meet the need for human connection worldwide. The company leverages a live-streaming video platform, empowering community to forge meaningful connections. The company's primary applications include, MeetMe, LOVOO, Skout, Tagged, and Growlr, which keeps mobile daily active users, entertained and engaged, and originate numbers of casual chats, friendships, dates, and marriages. Its applications available on iPhone, Android, iPad, and other tablets in various languages that facilitate interactions among users and encourage users to connect, communicate, and engage with each other. The company also owns and operates meetme.com, skout.com, tagged.com, hi5.com, lovoo.com, and growlrapp.com Websites; and provides online marketing capabilities, which enable marketers to display their advertisements in various formats and in various placements. The company was formerly known as MeetMe, Inc. and changed its name to The Meet Group, Inc. in April 2017. The Meet Group, Inc. was founded in 1997 and is headquartered in New Hope, Pennsylvania.