CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. Please ensure you fully understand the risks involved. CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. Please ensure you fully understand the risks involved.

How to buy penny stocks: tips to get you started

Penny stocks, or penny shares, remain a firm favourite among traders. Check out our top penny stock trading tips for beginners – and find out how you can buy, trade or invest in these shares with us.

What are penny stocks?

Penny stocks are shares that trade at a lower price range than most: usually less than $5. You’ll find that penny stocks trade at these levels because they’re often issued by companies who’ve just listed via initial public offering (IPO) (so they don’t have much trading history).

Trading penny stocks isn’t much different from getting exposure to mid-cap or large-cap companies. You’d still speculate on the value of the stock (CFD trading) or own the physical shares (stock trading). The only difference is the typical cost of the shares and the company's market capitalisation.

Discover the difference between CFD trading and stock trading penny stocks

Why trade or invest in penny shares?

Penny shares offer a deep pool in which to fish. There are hundreds of penny stock companies that are often overlooked, and a handful of them end up being very big catches. Even Apple (AAPL) was once a penny stock.

Of course, there’s also the chance that penny stocks may not perform. Small mining and commodity exploration companies are a classic example of this. A few strike it lucky and find the next big metal or oil deposit, but many more spend a lot of money without finding valuable resources.

Lastly, penny shares are known to be more volatile than mid or large-cap shares, as small changes in their value are reflected as big price swings. If you prefer high-risk trading or investing, penny stocks may be for you. Remember to implement a sound risk management plan when trading a particularly volatile asset, as losses and gains can run faster than expected.

Ways to get exposure to penny stocks

With us, there are two ways to get exposure to penny stocks: share trading and CFD trading. We offer a wide variety of small-cap stocks, especially on our share trading platform.

Share trading

If you want to invest and own shares, you can do so using a stock trading account. Investing in penny stocks makes you a shareholder, and you’ll receive voting rights and dividend payments (if granted by the company). You’d have to pay the full value of your investment upfront. As for possible profits – you’ll only make money if you sell your shares for more than what you paid, but your losses will be capped at your initial outlay.

Open a share trading account to get started

CFD trading

If you want to trade penny stocks, you’d use financial derivatives like CFDs. Derivatives enable you to speculate on penny shares without owning them. You can go long (buy) if you think the price will rise, or go short (sell) if you think it’ll drop. You’ll open your position using leverage, which means you only need to put down a deposit (margin) while still getting exposure to the full value of the trade.

Note that leverage magnifies your risk, as any profits and losses will be based on the full position and not your deposit. You should always take steps to manage your risk.

Open a CFD trading account to get started

How can you buy penny stocks online?

  1. Open an account – you can choose between a CFD trading or stock trading account (or both)
  2. Do your researchIG Academy is a good place to start
  3. Pick a penny stock – have a look at the best ASX penny stocks
  4. Place your trade – you can use our award-winning platform1 or our app

10 penny stock trading and investing tips

  1. Practise on a demo account: you can open a demo account with us and practise your penny stock trades in a risk-free environment. We’ll even give you $20,000 in virtual funds. Our demo account is a simulation of the live trading environment where you can apply indicators, different timeframes and more
  2. Keep a trading diary: a record of what went well, and where improvements need to be made, is a very important step in any trader’s strategy. Keep refining your methods to help you become a more successful trader
  3. Use fundamental analysis: you don’t necessarily have to buy penny stocks of new companies with no track record. You can use fundamental analysis to find out when certain business factors may affect share prices to a point that they become penny stocks
  4. Use a good trading platform: we have a cutting-edge trading platform that you can personalise for your own needs. You can choose between web-based or mobile trading. All of our platforms have powerful tools to help you reduce your risk
  5. Research thoroughly: find an experienced mentor willing to share their knowledge, read reputable trading and investing publications, or use our website for the latest analyst insights. It’s not uncommon for people to talk up a stock with misleading information before dumping their shares at a profit
  6. Consider quality over quantity: ‘cheaper’ isn’t always better. Penny stock traders risk getting caught out by value traps if they don’t do their homework. For a company to have the best chance of performing well in the future, it needs to be a good business. Ask yourself why the stock is overly-cheap – it may be that it simply doesn’t have any intrinsic value
  7. Spread your risk: don’t pile all your capital into one stock that you’ve heard is tipped for greatness. Spreading your cash across a range of companies could reduce your potential for loss
  8. Accept lower liquidity: liquidity will always be lower than on the main market, as there are fewer buyers and sellers for penny stocks. Try to look for companies that have a few hundred thousand shares traded every day so that you’re more likely to get an opportunity to trade
  9. Set ‘buy parameters’ for yourself: if you set a buy cap for yourself, make sure you stick to it. It’s easy to get carried away and end up paying more than a stock is worth. You can plan your entries and exists using our range of tools
  10. Be realistic: penny share trading is not a ‘get-rich-quick’ scheme. Remember that you face the same benefits and risks as with any other type of trading

What are the best penny share platforms to buy penny stocks?

  1. Our online trading platform
  2. Our mobile trading app
  3. L2 Dealer

You can buy penny stocks on our web platform, mobile app or through L2 Dealer. We offer over 16,000 shares and we have an impressive range of penny stocks, too. Our share trading platform in particular has a big selection of these stocks.

Our online trading platform

We have an award-winning online trading platform that gives you a smarter, cleaner and faster way to trade and invest.1 You can use this platform to buy penny stocks via CFD trading or share trading and get our best execution.

Our mobile trading app

Our trading app has been voted the world's best.1 You can buy penny stocks on the go via this platform and still enjoy our best execution – with a choice between CFD trading and share trading.

L2 Dealer

L2 Dealer is our ‘direct market access’ (DMA) platform. You can deal at quote, straight through the order books of international exchanges. Plus, you’ll get access to level 1 and level 2 price data. If you use L2 Dealer to buy penny stocks, you can do so via CFD trading or share trading.

Trading and investing in penny stocks summed up

  • Penny stocks are shares that trade at a lower price range: usually less than $5
  • Penny shares are known to be more volatile than mid or large-cap shares
  • There are two ways to get exposure to penny stocks with us: share trading and CFD trading. When share trading, you’ll own the shares and, when CFD trading, you’ll speculate on the share price
  • We offer a wide variety of small-cap stocks, especially on our share trading platform


1 Best trading platform as awarded at the ADVFN International Financial Awards 2021 and Professional Trader Awards 2019. Best trading app as awarded at the ADVFN International Financial Awards 2021.
2 Based on revenue excluding FX (published financial statements, October 2020).

Last updated : 2021-12-30T12:14:39+0000

This information has been prepared by IG, a trading name of IG Markets Limited. In addition to the disclaimer below, the material on this page does not contain a record of our trading prices, or an offer of, or solicitation for, a transaction in any financial instrument. IG accepts no responsibility for any use that may be made of these comments and for any consequences that result. No representation or warranty is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this information. Consequently any person acting on it does so entirely at their own risk. Any research provided does not have regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation and needs of any specific person who may receive it. It has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such is considered to be a marketing communication. Although we are not specifically constrained from dealing ahead of our recommendations we do not seek to take advantage of them before they are provided to our clients.

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