Best penny stocks to buy online in 2021

Penny stocks are high risk, high reward companies. Cheap shares can be the best place to look for the next big thing. Here are our top five penny picks for this year.
By: James Knight
James Knight
When he isn’t at work, James is an avid trader and golfer who likes to travel. He once fed, rode, and… read more.
Updated: May 28, 2021
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Our experts have analysed the market to find their best five companies trading below $5 in the US or £1 in the UK. Keep reading to see which stocks we’re most excited by right now, along with a summary of each one.

What are the top penny stocks to buy?

These are the best penny stocks for the year ahead, according to our experts. You can find their latest share price by clicking on one of the links in the table, or scroll down to learn more about why they made the list.

#Stock symbolCompany name
1AHTAshford Hospitality Trust Inc.
2NOKNokia Oyj
3SHIPSeanergy Maritime Holdings Corp.
4RKDAArcadia Biosciences Inc.
5GTEGran Tierra Energy Inc.

1. Ashford Hospitality Trust Inc. (NYSE:AHT)

Ashford Hospitality Trust is a real estate investment trust (REIT) that owns luxury hotels and holiday resorts in the United States.

The coronavirus pandemic was a brutal hit to AHT, compounding a decline that has been going on for a couple of years. By the end of 2020 it was trading ten times lower than it had been a year earlier, and a staggering 97% below its 2018 peak. It still owns lots of properties, however, and so it’s available cheaply relative to its actual assets.

In AHT’s favour is that its hotels are based in areas that should recover quickly from lockdown restrictions. They’re mostly in prime tourist locations – like Orlando, Florida – and tend to be run by popular brands like Hilton and the Intercontinental Hotel Group.

2. Nokia Oyj (NYSE:NOK)

Nokia is a Finnish telecoms company that makes computer hardware and network equipment. Best known as one of biggest early providers of mobile phones, it now focuses almost exclusively on infrastructure and hardware instead.

The glory days at the cutting edge of mobile technology are gone, and Nokia’s share price is well off its peak. The last few years have been a time of transition, as it’s focused instead on producing network hardware and developing 5G infrastructure, a process that hasn’t been entirely successful.

That transition – and its lingering popularity with people who grew up using its phones – is why Nokia is second here. It has a substantial 15% market share of global telecoms equipment, new leadership, and 5G represents an opportunity to catapult it back to relevance.

3. Seanergy Maritime Holdings Corp. (NASDAQ:SHIP)

Seanergy Maritime Holdings is a transportation company that owns a fleet of cargo ships. These are big ships, often used to move raw materials like coal around the world.

Shipping stocks tend to be particularly volatile, so you need to stay on top of the news cycle if you are going to invest. They’re also cyclical, tending to grow when global trade is booming and fall when economies start to stagnate. Institutional investors have drifted away from shipping, which is why stocks like this are trading so cheaply.

The reason SHIP is third on this list is it’s trading below the value of its assets – a fleet of 14 massive cargo ships. It’s also been able to improve its fundamental business model in recent times, setting it up for a potential rebound.

4. Arcadia Biosciences Inc. (NASDAQ:RKDA)

Arcadia is an ‘agriculture biotech’ company that specialises in adapting crops to improve their nutritional and health benefits. It’s particularly focused on wheat, soybean, and hemp.

Recent times have been tough for Arcadia, thanks to a difficult financial situation and a share price that has fallen from well over $100 in 2015 to reside in the penny stock zone, below $5, since 2019. 

The potential upside is its focus on healthy food and adapting common crops to offer farmers more environmentally-friendly solutions. Arcadia could be primed to benefit from a world that’s becoming more concerned with finding climate conscious solutions to the difficult problem of feeding a growing population. 

5. Gran Tierra Energy Inc. (NYSEAMERICAN:GTE)

Gran Tierra Energy is an energy company that’s involved in oil and gas exploration. It operates in South America, particularly Colombia and Ecuador, to discover new sources of oil and gas and then develop and produce the fuel.

Like many of the companies on this list, Gran Tierra has fallen on hard times. Its shares peaked close to $10 in 2011, but had collapsed to just $0.30 in the aftermath of the March 2020 coronavirus crash, when oil prices briefly fell below zero.

Much of GTE’s business plan relies on oil prices being around $50, and in discovering new sources of oil in Ecuador. It has experience in exploring and extracting oil in remote locations and is predicting a steep increase in revenues in the months and years to come.

Where to buy the best penny shares

To get any stock, you need to find yourself an online stock broker. The platforms below are some of the best around. You can use any one of these to get penny stocks right now.

1
Min. Deposit
$50
Exclusive promotion
Our score
10
Trade/invest in stocks with just $50
Invest for dividends and get payout on stocks on Ex-Dividend day
Over 11 payment methods, including PayPal
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Description:
eToro is a multi-asset investment platform with more than 2000 assets, including FX, stocks, ETF’s, indices and commodities. eToro users can connect with, learn from, and copy or get copied by other users. Buying stocks on eToro is free and you can invest with as little as $50.
Payment Methods
Wire Transfer, Bank Transfer
Full regulations list:
CySEC, FCA
eToro USA LLC does not offer CFDs and makes no representation and assumes no liability as to the accuracy or completeness of the content of this publication, which has been prepared by our partner utilizing publicly available non-entity specific information about eToro. Your capital is at risk.
2
Min. Deposit
$10
Exclusive promotion
Our score
9.3
0% Commission Account
Low Spreads
Eco-Account Option
Start Trading
Description:
CedarFX is an eco-conscious broker offering 0% commission trading on 170+ assets, including Forex, Cryptocurrency Pairs, Stocks, Indices and Commodities. With up to 1:500 leverage, no-fee transactions and low spreads, traders can make the most of their funds. CedarFX also offers an Eco Account option to support tree planting and sustainability projects.
Payment Methods
Bitcoin, Credit Card, Debit Card
Full regulations list:
Please ensure that you fully understand the risks involved, taking into account your investments objectives and level of experience, before trading, and if necessary seek independent advice.
3
Min. Deposit
$1
Exclusive promotion
Our score
8.7
0 Commissions and no deposit minimums
Registered with and regulated by SEC and FINRA
Loss of cash protection
Start Trading
Description:
Financial company driven by technology and offering all-in-one self-directed investment platform that provides excellent user experience.
Payment Methods
Full regulations list:

What is a penny stock?

Companies whose shares cost below $5 in the US or £1 in the UK. They also have market capitalisations – the total value of all their shares combined – of less than $300m or £100m, respectively. Penny stocks tend to come without much of a track record of making money or creating good products, so investing them is a high risk, high reward opportunity.

Are penny shares a good investment?

They can be in moderation, if you thoroughly research a company before investing. You have to be prepared for the fact that not every penny stock you buy is going to succeed; many are cheap because they aren’t good companies or have been surpassed by their competitors.

The ones that do succeed, however, have the potential to pay off in a big way. It’s possible to see 5x or 10x returns on your investment. For that reason, the best way to use them is to spread small amounts around a number of different companies to improve your chances.

If you do decide to trade penny stocks, it’s important to keep tabs on them so that you’re able to react to new developments. Just making it into the news can have an impact on the price of a penny stock, and they’re often more volatile than more mainstream companies. The latest news below is the best way to do this.

Latest penny stock news

Sage Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: SAGE) said on Tuesday its candidate drug for depression that it developed in collaboration with Biogen Inc was found effective in alleviating the symptoms, as per the results of the late-stage trial. Despite meeting the goal of the study, Sage’s stock tanked about 18% this…
AstraZeneca plc (LON:AZN) released its ‘Storm Chaser’ study results on Tuesday that at first glance appear disappointing but beyond the headline takeaway, there were some positives. The trial assessed both the efficacy and safety of the LAAB (long-acting antibody) combination, AZD7442, designed to battle the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
The U.S. economy has been gradually reopening in recent weeks as Americans continue to get vaccinated against the Coronavirus. As restrictions eased, people have been increasingly using their credit cards for travelling and dining, according to American Express Co (NYSE: AXP) CEO, Steve Squeri. Steve Squeri’s remarks on CNBC’s…
The Nasdaq 100 has recovered more than 100% since its low in March 2020. Despite the sharp growth, several notable stocks, including Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA), Zoom, Splunk, Baidu and Peloton Interactive Inc (NASDAQ: PTON), are still 30% to 50% down compared to their respective 52-week highs. The…
Ashtead Group plc (LON: AHT) said its profit jumped more than 100% in the fourth quarter as the U.S. economy started to reopen after an unprecedented hit from the Coronavirus pandemic. Its revenue also climbed by 23% in Q4. Ashtead Group’s cash flow soars to a record £1.38 billion…
Boohoo Group plc (LON: BOO) said on Tuesday its revenue climbed by 32% in its fiscal first quarter as COVID-19 restrictions started to ease on the back of vaccine rollouts. The company also reaffirmed its outlook for the full year. Boohoo shares tanked about 1.5% on market open on…
James Knight
Financial writer
When he isn’t at work, James is an avid trader and golfer who likes to travel. He once fed, rode, and ate an ostrich all on… read more.