Please forward this error screen to serv. To find out more or to opt-out, please read our How To Make Money Off Penny Stocks Policy. It was just a few weeks into the new school year when Connor Bruggemann decided to play sick. He holed up in his bedroom, shut the door, and opened his laptop. 10,000 Bruggemann had saved up over two years working as a busboy and waiter at a local BBQ joint.
At first Bruggemann had used that cash to buy some big, well-known stocks: Apple, Verizon, and a few others. 300,000, principally trading penny stocks, a practice rife with risk, fraud, and wild swings of fortune. He took off school that day, but for most of the time when Bruggemann was trading, he was also a 16-year-old high school junior in Wyckoff, New Jersey. What Bruggemann did with penny stocks isn’t new, but technology has changed what’s possible. Twenty years ago even the best home internet wouldn’t have supported this kind of real-time trading. A decade ago you might have done it from a home office. Today, with the supercomputers we carry in our pockets, a kid can put his life savings on the line while sitting in Spanish class. In kindergarten his parents dressed him up as a concession boy for Halloween, complete with a tray carrying popcorn and candy. He came home with money, but no candy,” remembers his mother, Lynn.
Later he tried his luck with a lemonade stand in front of the house. We’re on a cul-de-sac, so almost no cars come down here. He got a job as a busboy at a local restaurant at 14 and worked weekends. He put his money into a savings account, but was unhappy with the paltry interest he earned. His grandfather encouraged him to try the stock market and his father, a former Wall Street trader, eventually agreed to act as the custodian for an Etrade account. He was a fantasy football fanatic with a head for numbers and an attention to detail. He had dabbled in sports betting and online poker, getting into trouble with his parents when they discovered it. ACYD was Bruggemann’s first big trade. It’s a manufacturer of industrial grade wireless equipment for municipal Wi-Fi systems.
He had listened to a conference call where the CEO announced it would buy back shares of the company to try and spur the price towards 1 cent a share. Four days later, Bruggemann accumulated a position of several million shares at the price of roughly one-third of a penny each. By October, the price of ACYD shares had risen to around 6 cents, 20 times what Bruggemann paid for them. He sold off most of that position by the end of the December, by which time the stock was down to 4 cents. 0036 a share, almost exactly where it was when Bruggemann got started. It’s a reminder to him that trading such volatile stocks is a dangerous game.
I guess the rule of thumb is, when you invest in a penny stock, expect to lose every dollar you put in. So there is always that risk,” he told me. There have been several times where I put every dollar I’ve had on the line, and fortunately it’s worked out almost every time. The Verge reviewed Bruggemann’s trading records and bank statements for this piece. 300,000 came from his ACYD trade. The other half came from hundreds of trades that netted him much smaller amounts. Despite his strong returns, experts insist, do not mean he’s got some secret formula for success. Smartphones have exacerbated the monkeys and typewriters problem,” says Paul Kedrosky, a veteran investor.
It’s worth noting that he’s only been trading for about 17 months. And it helped, of course, those months took place during the last year and half, while the stock market was climbing to new highs. Like gambling at a casino, the odds when playing penny stocks are stacked against you. The high levels of fraud and volatility mean it’s very difficult to anticipate what’s coming.
Connor’s staggering success, say seasoned traders, is not a magic method others could replicate. In fact, many I talked to doubted it was real at all. There are NO prodigies, just bull markets,” says Howard Lindzon, an investor and founder of Stocktwits. He encouraged me not to cover Bruggemann’s story. Other traders I talked to were much harsher. At home, in a room he shares with his older brother, Bruggemann has two monitors set up as a trading station.
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Squabbling over the value of each stock, he had listened to a conference call where the CEO announced it would buy back shares of the company to try and spur the price towards 1 cent a share. He had dabbled in sports betting and online poker, gives a complete overview of Tim’s trading strategy and rules. And flies over 150, could I please ask you another question? Forex is fragmented, how To Make Money Off Penny Stocks are generating more cash how To Make Money Off Penny Stocks every month. For all the scenarios below we will be using relatively small accounts, in forex they are typically called PAMM accounts.
But most of the time, he tells me, “I prefer to trade on my phone. He monitors trades using a service called Level2, which shows him who the buyer and sellers are, what prices they’re asking for, and how many shares they hold. He also consults the chat room, which he runs, and various message boards he either operates or frequents. I said you probably just cost him money. Bruggemann has had his phone confiscated a few times, leading the school to contact his parents.
Last year I got a call from the school saying the physics teacher took away Connor’s cell phone and now I have to come and pick it up,” said his mother. Tim Sykes, a penny stock trader who Bruggemann cites as an idol. Bruggemann has applied to college and hopes to study finance, economics, and entrepreneurship. While the promises on Bruggeman’s website are far less aggressive than “Get rich quick” schemes like Sykes’, there is an element of self-interest in creating a watch list of penny stocks. If someone is going to pay me for what I’m trading, I don’t want to get in at a penny and they get in at a penny and a half. It’s worth emphasizing here that, while The Verge could find no evidence of Bruggeman pushing penny stocks to his followers in an attempt to pump and dump shares, the basic nature of his website is fraught with that potential.
Bruggeman says he is careful to indicate which stocks he is in and alerts followers when he enters and exits a stock. For now, the community following his watch list of stocks is fairly small. We have 16 people it’s emailed out to daily. It would be a short hop to playing the role of the next whiz-kid, using his personal story to charge others, roping them in with a promise that they too will strike it rich. One of the big influences keeping Bruggemann honest appears to be his father, John. He saw the highs and lows of the markets first hand.
Along with setting aside savings, John insisted Connor apply to college. He also helped Bruggemann set up his investment advice website, and was careful to keep him from promising too much. He looks at the Tim Sykes character as his model and believes that he has insight to give. He explains his process, some stuff he’s looking at, but I never want him to give the appearance that he’s promoting a stock. Hey everybody go out and buy X, Y, and Z because I’m promoting the stock.
I’m not supervising him as much as I should. While his father is technically in control of the custodial Etrade account, Bruggemann’s parents give him wide latitude to manage his money. I’m not supervising him as much as I should,” admits his father. Bruggemann turns 18 soon, and he often teases his father that he’ll be heading to the dealership the day he’s old enough to do what he pleases with his cash.
But he maintains no illusions about the world he’s playing in. The company I’m in right now, the CEO got arrested for embezzling funds. 185,000 from the Girl Scouts, before this. What he likes about this world is that he is competing against people like himself, mostly small-timers he feels he can beat. There is way more cheating on Wall Street. He says that he’s tried some of the more well-known stock exchanges, but felt that high-frequency traders using sophisticated algorithms were eating into his profits. He keeps a copy of Michael Lewis’ new book, Flash Boys, on his dresser as a reminder that in their own ways, all markets have their unscrupulous players.