The term “penny stock” generally refers to low-priced (below $5), speculative securities of very small companies. While penny stocks generally trade over-the-counter, such as on the OTC Bulletin Board or in the Pink Sheets, they may also trade on securities exchanges, including foreign securities exchanges. In addition, penny stocks include the securities of certain private companies with no active trading market. Before a broker-dealer can sell a penny stock, SEC rules require the firm to first approve the customer for the transaction and receive from the customer a written agreement to the transaction. The firm must furnish the customer a document describing the risks of investing in penny stocks. The firm must tell the customer the current market quotation, if any, for the penny stock and the compensation the firm and its broker will receive for the trade. Finally, the firm must send monthly account statements showing the market value of each penny stock held in the customer’s account. Penny stocks may trade infrequently, which means that it may be difficult to sell penny stock shares once you own them. Because it may be difficult to find quotations for certain penny stocks, they may be impossible to accurately price. Investors in penny stocks should be prepared for the possibility that they may lose their whole investment. For more information, read the penny stock rules section of www.sec.gov. Give attention to: “Microcap Stock: A Guide for Investors.” http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/microcapstock.htm
While all investments involve risk, microcap stocks are among the most risky. Many microcap companies tend to be new and have no proven track record. Some of these companies have no assets or operations. Others have products and services that are still in development or have yet to be tested in the market. Another risk that pertains to microcap stocks involves the low volumes of trades. Because microcap stocks trade in low volumes, any size of trade can have a large percentage impact on the price of the stock.”
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Microcap Stock: A Guide for Investors
Information is the investor’s best tool when it comes to investing wisely. But accurate information about “microcap stocks” — low-priced stocks issued by the smallest of companies — may be difficult to find. Many microcap companies do not file financial reports with the SEC, so it’s hard for investors to get the facts about the company’s management, products, services, and finances. When reliable information is scarce, fraudsters can easily spread false information about microcap companies, making profits while creating losses for unsuspecting investors.
In the battle against microcap fraud, the SEC has toughened its rules and taken actions against wrongdoers, but we can’t stop every microcap fraud. We need your help in winning the battle. Before you consider investing in a microcap company, arm yourself first with information. This alert tells you about microcap stocks, how to find information, what “red flags” to consider, and where to turn if you run into trouble.
What Is a Microcap Stock?
The term “microcap stock” applies to companies with low or “micro” capitalizations, meaning the total value of the company’s stock. Microcap companies typically have limited assets. For example, in cases where the SEC suspended trading in microcap stocks, the average company had only $6 million in net tangible assets — and nearly half had less than $1.25 million. Microcap stocks tend to be low priced and trade in low volumes.
Continue reading at http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/microcapstock.htm