Dear Mr. Berko: Are there stockbrokers who specialize in cheap stocks? My wife and I would like to find a qualified and recognized cheap stock expert who could recommend 10 stocks selling for $10 or less. I would invest $10,000 in each. We've decided to risk up to $100,000, have some fun and shoot for the moon by buying cheap stocks. Some of my friends tell me that they have made thousands of dollars every year with a portfolio of stocks selling for less than $10 a share. They hold the stocks for a year, and then they keep the winners and get rid of the losers. Could you recommend some cheap stocks for us, or could you recommend a broker who specializes in this kind of investment? — HA, Ann Arbor, Mich.
Dear HA: They lie.
Cheap stock experts are usually recognized by the designation CSE, just as you might call a doctor an M.D. The designation CSE isn't recognized by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority like the popular CFA, CFP, CMT, CFS, CTEP and CIMA. However, by April 1, FINRA may approve the following designations: FISH, WTF, LOL, STUP and CSE.
Morgan Stanley, probably the most anal-retentive New York Stock Exchange brokerage, has a marvelous CSE whom I've known for 27 years but won't allow him to mix with the public. When I first met him, he was an impecunious bassoonist playing the subway in New York City, and I gave him a C-note. The second time I met him was in Morocco; the year was 1995. I was on my way back from the Kashmirian Himalayas, and I gave him another C-note. We eventually became good friends. I'll call him Sasha, and he's a veritable font of cheap stock recommendations. He's made some outstanding cheap stock calls in the past 20 years, but I've never made a pence, penny or peso on his recommendations. So, I wish you luck on Sasha's following stocks.
▪ Limelight Networks (LLNW-$4.00) provides and delivers digital content over the internet in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the Asia-Pacific region. No profit in sight (NPIS).
▪ Sonus Networks (SONS-$7.50) provides security and interworking network requirements for small, medium and large businesses, as well as regional and global communications services. Possible profit next year (PPNY).
▪ Rite Aid (RAD-$2.32) owns 4,500 drugstores, but those in management are so dumb that they couldn't pour water out of a boot if the instructions were on the heel. PPNY.
▪ Sandstorm Gold (SAND-$5.53) acquires gold and precious metal purchase agreements and offers upfront payments to companies to acquire a gold stream or royalty income. PPNY.
▪ Century Casinos (CNTY-$9.29) owns and operates gambling establishments, lodging establishments, restaurants, racetracks and pari-mutuel off-track betting services. PPNY.
▪ Westell Technologies (WSTL-$3.49) designs and distributes telecommunications products to phone companies. NPIS.
▪ Akari Therapeutics (AKTX-$3.39) is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing products to treat rare and orphan autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. NPIS.
▪ Anglo American (NGLOY-$9.22) explores, mines, processes and smelts bulk commodities, base metals and minerals. NGLOY currently has good earnings and a 5.05 percent dividend.
▪ Tecogen (TGEN-$2.55) sells industrial and commercial cogeneration systems that produce combinations of electricity, hot water and air conditioning. NPIS.
▪ Houston Wire & Cable (HWCC-$7.40) sells electrical and mechanical wire and cable, fasteners, hardware and related services. PPNY.
▪ SunPower (SPWR-$8.08) designs and manufactures solar-electric power panels and other products, primarily for power plants. NPIS.
That was 11. Sasha gave you one more cheap stock as a bonus, at no extra charge. I'd recommend that you invest $9,000 in each issue, but don't use a big-box brokerage, such as Merrill Lynch or Morgan Stanley, which would probably charge you $2,000 to invest in those 11 issues. There are several discount brokerages that offer superb service and will charge you $55 to purchase the entire caboodle. Don't cherry-pick among these issues; just hold your nose and buy every one of them. Keep in mind that though Sasha is considered one of the top CSEs in the industry, the probability is that my pet rock will learn to talk before any of the above issues becomes profitable.
Please address your financial questions to Malcolm Berko, P.O. Box 8303, Largo, FL 33775, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. To find out more about Malcolm Berko and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.