Penny stocks often referred to as over-the-counter (OTC) stocks, are a favorite of day traders. With their volatile prices swinging wildly day in and day out, it’s easier to make quick profits. These types of investments, contrary to their name, don’t actually cost a penny, however. A penny stock is classified as any share of a publicly traded company under $5.
Unlike big-ticket stocks (think Apple Inc, Tesla Inc, etc.), which only move up or down within a few percentage points during any given trading day, penny shares can soar into the double and even triple digits in just a couple of hours. It’s what attracts so many traders that are looking to make a quick buck but it’s also a good way for new traders to practice before going long-term on shares that cost hundreds of dollars each.
Either way, there is a massive variety of helpful online tools that can make or break a trader’s portfolio performance. Let’s talk about some of the different platforms that penny stock traders use daily to research and execute profitable trades.
A stock screener is a tool that traders can use to weed out the stocks they don’t want using filters – where they decide what stocks meet the criteria to end up on their watch list. For instance, investors typically filter out stocks that fall within a certain market capitalization, daily trade volume, dividend yield, 30-day return on investment (ROI), etc.
Stock screeners help inform many investors of their trading strategies, and a lot of stock trading programs and charting platforms have screeners included in their software. There are also a number of free stock screeners online – Yahoo Finance has one, CNBC offers a stock basic stock screener, NASDAQ, and a number of other non-paid screeners.
Trade-Ideas is one of the most popular stand-alone stock screeners on the market. It’s mostly a screening tool, but it also has charting features – though that’s not what attracts its user base. This platform is known for its flexible and customizable scans that provide users with real-time trading opportunities. At $99 per month, it’s a hardcore stock scanner for serious traders.
Charting Software/Technical Analysis Trading Software
Penny stock traders use charting platforms to manage all their technical analysis and oftentimes use them as social media networks to share their trade ideas. With charting platforms, however, you can’t perform any actual trades – you can only do all the necessary research and analysis to execute profitable trades. That means that you’ll always need two platforms: one for technical analysis and a second one to complete the transactions.
Some of the top charting platforms:
• Finviz: This is both a charting platform and a stock screener – but you can’t execute trades using this system. Finviz is a website where users can quickly access the stocks, futures or forex pairs that they’re looking for, using its screener tool, market maps, comparative charts and analysis. There is both a free and a paid version, and they offer a paper trading feature, where new traders can play around and trade with fake money to see how they do.
• StockstoTrade.com: Timothy Sykes is a famous penny stock expert who has been teaching trading methods for years. Sykes founded StockstoTrade.com a stock market scanning and research tool that also has social media features and paper trading. Like Finviz, this is basically an all-in-one trading platform minus the actual brokerage part, so you can’t execute trades.
Trading Software/Online Brokers
There are a ton of very valuable research tools available on the internet, but those are pretty much useless if you can’t put them into action – and use the knowledge you gain from that technology to actually execute a trade. In order to buy and sell shares, you will need some sort of trading platform.
Some of the best trading platforms:
Robinhood: Known as a favorite among millennials for its sleek and simple user interface, Robinhood is one of the only free platforms you can use to trade penny stocks. Robinhood doesn’t have as advanced screener/chart tools as some of its paid-subscription competitors, but for a free tool it has a lot to offer – now including cryptocurrency screening and buying (not selling yet).
ETrade: Another well-known online broker, this one is a little cheaper at $6.95 flat per trade. If you make more than 30 transactions per quarter, that flat rate comes down to just $4.95. The minimum balance is just $500 to get started, too.
Charles Schwab: One of the most well-reviewed and highly regarded stock brokers, this is certainly an option for day traders who plan on executing high-volume trades – and it includes all the flashy analytics you could want. The flat rate is $8.95 per trade, and you need to put at least $1,000 into your trading account to even open one up at all.