The Smiths played one of their first gigs in Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow.
It wasn’t hard for the band to count the number of people in attendance: 11.
“It was quite terrifying because the furthest I had ever been was Prestatyn,” the band’s guitarist Johnny Marr told the Daily Record more than 30 years later.
“I remember standing on the stage playing to that enormous audience of 11 people. It was an amazing gig because it was amazingly empty.”
Of course, not much later the group took Britain by storm.
Despite splitting up in 1987, the Smiths are still one of the most popular indie rock bands the country has ever produced and it’s hard to imagine them ever playing in front of such tiny crowds.
But even the best bands have to start small and hope they’ll someday be noticed by a record label.
Record labels, in turn, are always on the prowl, scouting new talent that might have the potential to become the next big thing.
Sure, they could sign more established names in the music scene and that might be a viable strategy too. But the real opportunities lie in signing undiscovered bands that are about to have their big break.
In this sense, the music industry might have a thing or two in common with stock markets.
Investors could go after only blue chip companies that have proven themselves. Perhaps their ‘back catalogue’ will help them pay decent dividends so there’s nothing wrong with that.
But in terms of their share price they’re unlikely to double, let alone triple, in value. That’s where penny shares come in.
Penny stocks, which can be compared to the more obscure bands which have not yet gone mainstream, are where the biggest gains for investors are to be made.
Like many young, unsigned bands, the majority will amount to nothing. But if you happen to stumble upon the right ones, the ones who have everything in place to succeed, then all you have to do is sign them and wait for them to break out to the public.
At Agora it’s Penny Share Letter editor Sean Keyes who is the talent scout.
If this was the music business I know Sean would go out most evenings to small venues, listening to new bands, and separating the diamonds in the rough from the lumps of coal.
Even though Sean chose a career in finance, what I’ve just outlined above is still pretty much his day job. He’s always searching for the next ‘Smiths’ of stock market shares and he wants to find them before they become a household name.
When Sean’s found one of these shares that set his heart racing, he checks them out meticulously until he’s confident to recommend it to the people he works for: his subscribers.
Two weeks ago we organised a special event where Sean explained his investment approach exclusively to Penny Share Letter subscribers at Southwark Cathedral.
He revealed four simple steps everyday investors can take to outperform the average investor five times.
As Sean makes clear in his talk, sticking to this approach could, over a period of 20 years, be the difference between building up the capital to afford a one-bedroom house in Haringey and a six-bedroom house in Bedfordshire.
Being our small-cap expert, I can already reveal that penny shares are at the heart of Sean’s strategy.
It was well worth listening to and fortunately we caught it all on tape.
I’m glad I can finally share this recording with you, so please click this link to watch Sean’s talk at Southwark Cathedral in full.