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Best Stocks Under $10.00

A common mistake among novice investors is confusing an undervalued stock with cheap stock. When a stock trades under $5 (often called penny stocks),

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This story originally appeared on MarketBeat

A common mistake among novice investors is confusing an undervalued stock with a cheap stock. When a stock trades under $5 (often called penny stocks), it can be easy for an investor to understand why the stock carries such a low price. But when a stock trades below $10, a little more research is required. This is particularly true when the broader market is in a sell-off. Before attempting to buy stocks that are trading for less than 10 dollars, there are some important things to know.

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How Is a Company's Share Price Calculated?

If you're an experienced investor this is just a basic review. But if you're a relatively new investor this may help answer a lot of questions.

To understand why buying stocks under $10 can come with an elevated risk you need to understand how a company's stock price is calculated. There are two data points to look for.

The first is a company's market capitalization (or market cap). That is a rough estimation of how much a company is worth. The second number is the number of outstanding shares (also called shares outstanding – the meaning is the same). This is, as the name suggests, the number of common shares available to be bought.

To calculate a company's stock price, you divide the company's current market capitalization by its number of outstanding shares.

Here's an example that keeps the math easy. A stock that is valued at $100 million and has 1 million outstanding shares has a share price of $100. But a stock that is valued at $100 million and has 100 million outstanding shares has a share price of $10.

The important thing to take away from that example is a stock's price does not necessarily reflect the market value of the company.

Now here's a real world example. On March 27, General Electric (NYSE:GE) had a market cap of $66.37 billion. The company had 8.74 billion outstanding shares. When you divide the market cap by the outstanding shares you get 7.59.

66.37/8.74 = 7.59

This means at that moment, one share of GE stock was valued at $7.59.

Should Investors Buy Stocks Under $10?

The simple answer is "Of course you should." A common fallacy among even the most experienced investors is failing to understand the difference between a stock that is cheap and one that is undervalued. It's an interesting aspect of human psychology. A stock that is trading at $200 could decline by 25% and investors will swoop in to buy it "on sale". But if a $12 stock drops 20% it becomes untouchable.

The problem with this approach is it assumes that a high price is good and a low price is bad. And in fairness, that can be true. Many stocks that trade under $10 do so because they present obvious and fundamentally problematic issues that are suppressing their growth.

So if you're an investor who is looking to buy stocks under $10 is be sure you're ready, and able, to do some research. Simply throwing your hard-earned money at a stock because you've heard the mantra "buy low, sell high" is foolish.

But the same can be said of investing in any stock. And if you're reading this article, I hope you already understand that stocks over time can be an excellent and sound investment. Stock prices, no matter the price, can fluctuate wildly. But over time, investing in stocks has proven to be the most reliable path to reaching your financial goals.

And the simple truth is that a stock that is trading under $10 can offer you the ability to make huge gains. But that is, if you know what to look for. Fortunately, in this article, we've done a lot of that research for you.

But there is one caveat about investing in stocks under $10. This should only make up a small portion of the stock portion of your portfolio. The majority of your investment in equities (another name for stocks) should focus on solid, stable companies. And depending on your investment style, you should look for companies that pay a dividend.

You should also not invest in stocks under $10 to replace money you have set aside in bonds or cash. This should be money that you are already investing in the market.

What Are the Rewards of Stocks Under $10?

The reward of buying stocks under $10 is the opportunity for growth. If you can buy 1000 shares of a stock that is trading at $8, you would only need the stock to increase in value by $8 to double your investment. If you were

That, however, is easier said than done. And many investors have seen that $8,000 investment evaporate as they bought shares of a falling knife. Still, if investors can find the right stock, stocks under $10 are one of the best ways to capture a significant gain without a large investment.

That brings up a second point. Stocks under $10 are more accessible for investors without a lot of money to put into the market. Robinhood and other trading apps are designed on this principle. If you only have a small amount of money to invest, you don't have to put all your eggs in one basket. In practical terms, and investor with $10,000 to invest could buy over 150 shares a stock that is currently trading below $7 a share.

This also makes stocks under $10 a great option for diversification. Not only can you look at different sectors, but you can also dabble in international stocks.

What Are the Risks of Buying Stocks Under $10?

Here are some of the most common risks of buying stocks under $10:

  • Share dilution - Generally, the number of outstanding shares is driven by simple supply and demand. A company that issues a solid earnings report, or comes out with a new product, etc. will see their outstanding shares decline because there will be more buyers than sellers.
    In other words, the stock is harder to buy. If an investor wants to buy it, a seller will demand a higher price to let their shares go. And when there are more sellers than buyers, there will be a higher number of outstanding shares. In other words, sellers have to accept a lower price for the shares they purchased to entice a buyer to buy.
    However, when a company gets into financial trouble, it becomes difficult for them to get loans. When a company has limited free cash flow (FCF), they are seen as a credit risk. This simply means lenders believe there is a high probability that the company will default on the loan.
    When this happens, one strategy they may execute is to issue more shares. This almost always dilutes the value of the existing shares, which in turn drives the price down further.
  • Increased competition - Young startup companies often have a first mover advantage. Because they are creating a new market, they have no competition and have no price pressure. However, as more competitors enter the market, a company may face pressure both on the price they charge and their profit margin. If the company is slow to adapt to the competition, their stock price may sink to extremely low levels.
  • The company operates in a cyclical industry - A retailer may see their stock spike during the holiday season as investors anticipate greater revenue and profit. However, for the remainder of the year, the company may not be able to sustain that revenue. That's another reason the stock may sink.
  • The stock is low- to no-growth stock - If you look at the price history of a stock, it may just trade in a specific range. In that case, a stock under $10 may still be a worthwhile investment if it pays a nice dividend.

What Are the Best Stocks Under $10?

If you've followed this article and understand both the pros and cons of stocks under $10, let's take a look at how you can put that information to work in the middle of one of the greatest stock sell-offs in history.

On the one hand, there are a number of quality companies that have seen their share price reach uncomfortably low levels. But some of these stocks are in industries like hospitality that have been particularly affected by the coronavirus. And while these stocks are generally perceived to see increased, pent-up demand once the coronavirus threat recedes, it may be some time before this increased demand shows up in the stock price.

Value investing opportunities do exist—if you're looking in the right places. Putting together a list of the best stocks under $10.00 requires investors to do their homework. At a price of under $10, these companies are not penny stocks. In fact many companies have a large market cap. But just because a stock is trading for a low price doesn't make it a great value.

One of the biggest assets an investor can have is time. If you've done your due diligence and believe in the overall financial health and direction of the company, buying stocks under $10 can be very profitable. If you have the time and patience to hold the stock through many economic cycles, here are some stocks to consider.

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