Finding Your Diamond In The Rough

by David Jenyns on February 16, 2009

Because of the growing scarcity of attractive listed stocks, an increasing number of professionals are turning to over-the-counter stocks in search for better values. The investment companies, for instance, are taking a keener interest than ever before in over-the-counter stocks.

While five years ago their unlisted holdings amounted to less than $100 million, exclusive of bank and insurance stocks, their holdings in the 50 Vickersí over-the-counter favorites alone (the top 50 unlisted stocks held by funds) added up to $664.5 million (Sept. 1, 1961, values). Nothing is more misleading than to classify over-the-counter stocks categorically as speculative. The top unlisted 50 industrials as compiled by the Vickers Associates, for instance, are comparable in quality to the top listed 50 industrials.

If you had confined your investments in stocks to listed securities, you would have missed the tremendous profit opportunities, for instance, in life insurance company stocks which have showed, in 1961, an average price appreciation of between 75 and 100 percent.

Other quality equities purchasable only at the over-the-counter market are the shares of 14,000 operating banks, most fire insurance companies and all mutual funds.

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