The reality is not everyone has the luxury of trading stocks. Those who want to learn how to trade penny stocks often think they need a lot of capital to generate high returns. However, that’s not the case. Not everyone starts with a large trading account, or an account with over $25K. Trading with a large account is a lot different than a small one. When you’re first starting out to trade, chances are you’ll be starting with a small account. Now, you shouldn’t be afraid to trade penny stocks because you have a small account. You need to continue to learn how to trade penny stocks and approach it with grit. That said, let’s take a look at how to trade penny stocks with a small account.

How To Trade Penny Stocks With A Small Account

There are a few tips and tricks to trade penny stocks with a small account. The first thing you need to understand when learning how to trade stocks with a small account is proper risk management. Before you even get started scanning and filtering for penny stocks to trade, you need to understand how and when to take profits, as well as cut your losses.

Managing Risk

No trader likes to lose money. If they do, they would be considered “degenerate gamblers”. When you’re first starting out, you need to learn how to properly risk. Will you have more conviction in certain set ups or will you use an equal dollar risk strategy? You need to decide this for yourself. In other words, if you want to employ an equal dollar risk strategy, you would risk a certain amount per trade. That means you don’t like one set up better than another. For example, you might consider risking $50 per trade. If you’re down $50 in a stock, you would cut it automatically.

On the other hand, some traders will like certain setups and be more aggressive, risking more on those trades. Again, when you’re learning how to trade penny stocks, this is all up to you and your personality. One tip: when you’re first starting out, risk a small amount per trade because you may not know what your best trading setups are just yet.

Take Profits and Cutting Your Losses

You also need to learn to take profits when you’re learning how to trade penny stocks. A lot of beginner traders fall in love with penny stocks and hold on too long, expecting a larger move. When you’re in the money, take the profit because you never know when the penny stock could go against you.

For example, here’s a look at one of my trades and my process.

how to trade penny stocks with a small account

how to trade penny stocks with a small account

how to trade penny stocks with a small account

It’s good to keep your expectations in check when you’re learning how to trade penny stocks. You shouldn’t expect all the stocks you get into to be massive winners.

Don’t Sell Short

You’ve probably heard of penny stocks that go up 100% overnight. It might be attractive to short sell the stock, but you shouldn’t do this with a small account. Penny stocks could run up multiple days, and it’s extremely difficult to spot the top. You could easily lose over 25% if you short sell a penny stock. Moreover, your broker might not have shares available to short. Who needs that headache?

Avoid OTC Penny Stocks

Penny stocks that trade over the counter do not face stringent requirements like those listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) or Nasdaq. Penny stock companies listed on NYSE or Nasdaq need to be fully transparent and the stock price must stay above $1 per share. Those that do not meet the requirement risk being delisted, which would cause the stock to trade OTC. In turn, the stock price should fall. Additionally, OTC stocks tend to lack liquidity, which makes it difficult to buy and sell. That said, you should focus on those only traded on NYSE or Nasdaq. If you see a penny stock is traded on the OTC markets, just move on.

The Bottom Line

When you’re learning how to trade penny stocks, you should keep some of these tips in mind. The first thing you need to do is figure out how to manage your risk. You should never let one position potentially ruin your account. In other words, don’t put all your eggs into one basket. Next, you’ll need to learn how to take profits when you see them. The last thing you want to do is see profits in a penny stock, not sell it, and watch it go against you. Moreover, you want to avoid short selling penny stocks and buying OTC penny stocks. Shorting penny stocks and buying OTC penny stocks are extremely risky, and could be detrimental to a small account.


Jason Bond runs and is a swing trader of small-cap stocks.

Jason Bond

Jason taught himself to trade while working as a full-time gym teacher; his trading profits grew eventually allowed him to free himself of over $250,000 in student loans!

Now a multimillionaire and a highly skilled trader and trading coach, Over 30,000 people credit Jason with teaching them how to trade and find profitable trades. Jason specializes in both swing trades and in selling options using spread trades, which balance the risk of selling options. Jason is Co-Founder of and the Foundation which donates trading profits to charity. So far the foundation donated over $600,000 to charity.

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