Trading from Home: Long Islander trades penny stocks

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WESTBURY -

Tim Lento has a regular routine on mornings he works, like many Long Islanders, but his commute is all of 3 feet -- from his bed to his computer.

Lento trades stocks, specifically penny stocks. They're considered a risky investment, as they’re unknown companies who sell their shares for less than $5.

“Ninety-nine percent of them aren't going anywhere,” says Lento. “Most go bankrupt.”

For that reason, Lento's strategy is picking companies that he believes will fail. He then does what's called short-selling. It involves investing in such a way that you make money when the company's worth plummets. And so far, he's been pretty successful.

“So far this year I'm up $52,000,” says Lento. “I'm up $100,000 since 2012.”

Financial experts say that dabbling in penny stocks is extremely risky and that for everyone who's successful at it, there are dozens, if not hundreds, of others who fail.

Lento admits he's had his share of losses. He remembers going to bed one night thinking he was about to make a huge profit on a company, but just the opposite happened the next morning.

“I lost probably around $20 grand,” says Lento. “My heart almost exploded.”

But at 36, Lento says he's learned from his mistakes and has more successes than failures.

Day trading peaked during the tech boom in the late 90s. The number of traders dropped substantially and now they're starting a comeback. Lento believe the keys to success are doing research, sticking with a strategy and patience.

“I don't know if there's going to be an opportunity tomorrow,” says Lento. “So I just sit and wait. This is my business. It's not like I'm going to Vegas and putting it all on black. I'm not gambling.”

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