How Do I Buy an Over-the-Counter Stock?

How Do I Buy an Over-the-Counter Stock?

The method of buying or promoting over-the-counter (OTC) shares might be completely different from buying and selling shares which are listed on the New York Inventory Change (NYSE) or the Nasdaq. It is because OTC shares are, by definition, not listed.

Key Takeaways

  • Over-the-counter shares are often called penny shares as a result of most commerce for underneath $1 per share.
  • They are often traded via a full-service dealer or via some low cost on-line brokerages.
  • Costs might be tracked via the Over-the-Counter Bulletin Board.

Purchases of OTC securities are made via market makers who carry a listing of shares and bonds that they make obtainable on to consumers. Some on-line brokers enable OTC trades. Full-service brokers offline can also place orders for a consumer.

What Are Over-the-Counter (OTC) Shares?

Tens of 1000’s of small and micro-capitalization corporations are traded over-the-counter all over the world.

Over-the-counter shares do not commerce on a regulated trade such because the NYSE or the NASDAQ. Generally, they’re buying and selling OTC as a result of they do not meet the stringent itemizing necessities of the main inventory exchanges.

Many corporations that commerce over-the-counter are seen as having nice potential as a result of they’re creating a brand new product or know-how, or conducting promising analysis and improvement.

Others buying and selling OTC have been listed on an trade for some years, solely to be later delisted. A inventory could also be robotically delisted if its worth falls under $1 per share. If the corporate remains to be solvent, these shares must commerce someplace.

How OTC Shares Are Completely different

OTC shares are often called penny shares as a result of they often commerce for lower than $1 per share. The businesses that promote them often have a market capitalization of $50 million or much less.

Penny shares have at all times had a loyal following amongst traders who like getting numerous shares for a small amount of cash. If the corporate seems to achieve success, the investor finally ends up making a bundle. If it does not, the loss is, hopefully, a small one.

Potential traders must be conscious that these corporations usually are not required to offer a variety of details about their funds, their enterprise operations, or their merchandise, as is required for corporations listed on the regulated inventory exchanges. It is necessary to take their statements with a grain of salt and do your individual analysis.

The right way to Commerce OTC Shares

Step one an investor should make earlier than buying and selling OTC securities is to open an account with a brokerage agency.

In the event you’re going with a web-based low cost dealer, examine first to ensure it permits OTC trades. InteractiveBrokers, TradeStation, and Zacks Commerce are amongst those who do.  


The variety of shares buying and selling on the over-the-counter market.

In the event you go together with a real-world full-service brokerage, you should buy and promote OTC shares. The dealer will place the order with the market maker for the inventory you wish to purchase or promote.

Bid and ask quotes might be monitored continuously via the Over-the-Counter Bulletin Board (OTCBB).

From the traders’ viewpoint, the method is similar as with every inventory transaction. As standard, they’ll place restrict or cease orders so as to implement worth limits.

Each shares and bonds might be traded over-the-counter.

How OTC Shares Are Completely different From Different Shares

Most typical shares with actual potential are priced over $15 per share and are listed on the NYSE or Nasdaq. Shares priced under $1, which commerce over-the-counter, could have murkier monetary outlooks and are usually speculative and really dangerous.

Most profitable shares, reminiscent of Microsoft (MSFT), Fb (FB), and Tesla (TSLA), all first listed their shares on the NYSE or Nasdaq with costs above $10.

Can Traders Brief Promote OTC Shares?

Though brief promoting is allowed on securities traded over-the-counter, it’s not with out potential issues.

These shares usually commerce in low volumes. That makes them Illiquid. An investor attempting to cowl an unprofitable brief place might get caught.

OTC securities even have been the main focus of pump and dump schemes. Con artists use social media and e-mail to closely promote a thinly-traded inventory through which they’ve an curiosity. This will create a excessive spike within the worth of the inventory. The con artists seize their earnings and everybody else loses cash.

These schemes typically use OTC shares as a result of they’re comparatively unknown and unmonitored in comparison with exchange-traded shares.

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