If you're looking to add the most aggressive of stocks to your investment portfolio, you just may be the bungee jumper of the financial markets. While the adrenaline rush is exciting, there's always the possibility that your life -- or in the instance of investing, your money -- isn't secure. By hunting aggressive stocks, however, you're putting yourself in a position to experience growth in your investment portfolio that isn't available everywhere.
Initial public offerings -- or stocks making their debut in the stock market -- tend to have a robust opening day. Many IPOs have the best trading day ever on the first day of trading because there's often excitement and expectation surrounding the next new thing. In the first four months of 2012, IPO stocks advanced an average of nearly 20 percent on their first day of trading, according to Renaissance Capital, as cited in a 2012 article on the "USA Today" website. IPO shares can be tough to get because they're generally reserved for large institutions. If you already have an account with a brokerage firm that happens to be involved in the deal, you might be able to participate.
You can tell whether a stock is an aggressive bet based on the size of the company. Smaller companies have much more growth to gain than companies that have already attained a certain status. While smaller stocks pose a risk for price declines -- especially during market or economic downturns -- because they don't have as many assets or as much experience as market leaders, they've also got the most to prove. In August 2012, after the economy and stock market had been in the doldrums, a positive outlook on the economy was all investors needed to hear to begin buying again. As a result, small stocks began rising faster than the broader stock market, according to a 2012 article on "The Wall Street Journal" website.
You may need to look beyond your own backyard to find aggressive stocks. Emerging market stocks, which are companies that are based in developing countries rather than in major economies, are in growth-mode. Emerging-market countries are only just adopting the standard of living that you've probably known your whole life. The growth creates opportunity, which can be reflected in strong stock performance. Economic and political uncertainty is also apparent in emerging markets, which causes stock prices to rise and fall dramatically. For instance, in 2010, emerging market stocks were on a roll and produced higher profits than stocks trading in developed countries. In the following year, however, emerging market stocks lost value while stocks trading in North America advanced, according to a 2011 article on the CNBC website.
Technology advances so quickly and devices become obsolete unexpectedly, which makes it hard to invest early in the next generation of high-tech equipment manufacturers. Nonetheless, companies that are on the cusp of the latest technology or that have a corner on specific market could take you on the ride of your life. Tech companies with momentum behind a rising stock price, sales and earnings and that are also paying cash dividends to sweeten the pot might be expensive, but the sky could be the limit for the stock price.
Geri Terzo is a business writer with more than 15 years of experience on Wall Street. Throughout her career, she has contributed to the two major cable business networks in segment production and chief-booking capacities and has reported for several major trade publications including "IDD Magazine," "Infrastructure Investor" and MandateWire of the "Financial Times." She works as a journalist who has contributed to The Motley Fool and InvestorPlace. Terzo is a graduate of Campbell University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in mass communication.