By Louis Navellier of InvestorPlace

Penny stocks can be difficult investments for many retail investors, with shares trading for only a few cents always listed on the pink sheets and frequently involving high fees and high risk. But the next best thing is to go for low-priced investments that barely qualify for the major exchanges, skirting the $1 share price limit.

Right now, a number of decent small-cap financial companies are right on the line with shares at around a buck apiece. My Portfolio Grader analysis tool tells me that several of these financial stocks are seeing strong quantitative buying pressure, what I call "quant." That means buyers are dramatically outpacing sellers even in this volatile market -- a great sign for these stocks.

To help you get into these penny stock picks before they take off, here's my list of six cheap financial investments to buy now.

Atlantic American (AAME)

Holding company Atlantic American ( AAME) operates through its subsidiaries within life, health, property and casualty insurance industries. Atlantic American's largest subsidiaries are the American Safety Insurance Company, American Southern Insurance Company and Bankers Fidelity Life Insurance Company. Year-to-date, this penny stock has climbed 12.5% and has jumped an impressive 77.8% over the past 12 months. With a market cap of $32.1 million and a stock price of $1.44, Atlantic American could be a valuable penny stock to buy due to its strong gains in recent history.

Dearborn Bancorp (DEAR)

Headquartered in Michigan, Dearborn Bancorp ( DEAR) is the holding company for Fidelity Bank. The bank offers a slew of financial services including checking accounts, savings accounts and money market accounts, just to name a few. Dearborn has seen extraordinary gains since January, as the stock has jumped 201% during that time. The penny stock has far outpaced the broader markets which have remained close to even during the same time frame.

Quest Capital (QCC)

Quest Capital ( QCC) is a real estate mortgage financing company whose borrowers include owners of multi-unit residential buildings, commercial properties and land. Quest generates its revenue off of the interest it collects from its various loans. Since January, Quest's stock has risen an impressive 45.5% and a total of 68% since last September. Additionally, this penny stock posted a net profit margin of +10.8% in its last earnings report. The stock is currently trading at $1.65 per share.

MPG Office Trust (MPG)

MPG Office Trust ( MPG) is another financial penny stock that has found recent success. Over the last nine months, MPG's stock has shot up 60.3%, and it has risen an incredible 122% over the last 52 weeks. In its latest income statement, MPG reported quarterly revenue growth of +3.8% year-over-year. MPG is a full service real estate company with resources in property management, marketing, leasing, acquisitions, development and financing. The penny stock was formerly known as Maguire Properties Inc.

Newcastle Investment (NCT)

Based in New York City, Newcastle Investment ( NCT) is a real estate investment company. This penny stock invests in real estate securities and loans, while also managing a portfolio of real estate investments. Shareholders have been pleased so far in 2010, as Newcastle's stock has climbed 24.4% since January. Over the past 12 months, the stock has jumped 72.2% and it recently posted a second quarter net profit margin of +161%. Finally, the fact that it has outperformed earnings estimates for four consecutive quarters makes this penny stock a strong buying opportunity.

IMPAC Mortgage Holdings (IMH)

IMPAC Mortgage Holdings ( IMH) owns numerous subsidiaries whose primary operations include mortgage and real estate fee-based business activities. Year-to-date, IMPAC has dropped 12%. Despite the drop in stock price, the penny stock reported a net profit margin of 1% and a return on average equity of +42.5% in its last income statement. A profit margin of +27.2% also has company officials pleased.

As of this writing, Louis Navellier did not own a position in any of the stocks named here.

One of Wall Street's renowned growth investors, Louis Navellier is the editor of four investing newsletters: Emerging Growth (formerly known as MPT Review), Blue Chip Growth, Quantum Growth and Global Growth. His longest-running publication, Emerging Growth, has a track record of beating the market nearly 3 to 1. Navellier is the author of a BusinessWeek bestseller, "The Little Book That Makes You Rich," and the chairman and founder of Navellier & Associates, Inc.