You always read that the OTC market is not serious and you should not invest in companies which are listed on such markets.
But what about companies, which are listed there as well as on the Toronto Stock Exchange?
The assumption that companies listed OTC are not serious is far from the truth. Many companies on the OTC are just starting off there because they don't meet the requirements to be listed on the NASDAQ or NYSE. Major stock exchanges like the NASDAQ and the NYSE only want the best companies to trade on their exchanges.The NASDAQ, for example, has three sets of listing requirements. A company must meet at least one of the three requirement sets, as well as the main rules for all companies. These include:
Now don't assume that the OTC doesn't have rules either, as this is far from the truth as well. While there are no minimum level of revenue, profits or assets required to get listed on the OTC there are requirements for audited financial statements and ongoing filing and reporting to the SEC and NASD. Additionally there are several different levels of the OTC, including the OTCQX, the OTCCB and the OTC Pink, each with their own set of requirements. For more information about what it takes to be listed on OTC look here: http://www.otcmarkets.com/learn/otc-trading
A company deciding to trade on the OTC is making the decision to take their company public, and they are investing to make it happen. Currently the fees to get listed on the OTC range from $30,000 to $150,000 depending on the firm you decide to go with and the services they offer as part as their package. Now, I know I wouldn't consider $30K (or more) to not be serious money!
When I looked into the process of getting a company listed on the TSX the requirements seemed a lot more relaxed than those of the major U.S. markets as well, consisting of an application, records submission and then a decision made by a TSX committee about whether you get listed. More information about the TSX here: http://apps.tmx.com/en/listings/listing_with_us/process/index.html
I think the way that the OTC markets have gotten such a bad reputation is from these "Get Rich on Penny Stock" companies that you see pumping up OTC company stocks and getting massive amounts of people to buy without doing their due diligence and investigating the company and reading its prospectus. Then when they loose a bunch of money on an ill-informed investment decision they blame it on the company being an OTC stock.
Whether you decide to trade the OTC market or not, I wouldn't make a decision based on how many exchanges the company is listed on, but rather based on the research you do into the company.