What’s Your Favorite Newsletter?

Your fellow Gumshoe readers are crying out for your opinion -- please help!

By Travis Johnson, Stock Gumshoe, February 26, 2013

That’s the question that I receive from readers more often than any other — and my response is always disappointing, because I don’t and can’t really have one.

And the real answer is getting to be a bit of an overused question here at Gumshoe HQ — a big “what do you think?” for the masses of Gumshoedom — but it’s at the core of what we’re trying to do.

OK, so most of what I spend my time at is sifting through investment newsletter teasers and finding the truth (and sometimes the gem) that’s buried beneath the pile of, well, fertilizer. But we’re really all about people getting more fully informed, putting some of the hype aside, and making their own choices and sharing opinions — no newsletter is going to manage your portfolio for you, or make you rich, or turn around a sagging financial life.

But lots of them can help. I’m not anti-newsletter, I don’t think the folks who put out these missives every day or week or month are criminals or shysters … with some exceptions, of course — most of them, at least those from the major publishers that we see most often, are really trying to come up with good recommendations and helpful commentary. I don’t like the hype-filled promises of wealth that fill their ads, because I think those boasts and promises are what stick with people even as the more sensible and nuanced commentary that fills most of the actual newsletter issues is skimmed over or quickly forgotten by many investors. The big promises are what catch our attention, and they remain there in the lizard brain at our core, giving hope for ridiculously flashy financial salvation without work, research, patience, saving, discipline or sacrifice … or luck.

So when we look past the overpromising and the large type that promises 20% dividends or 800% gains, which letters do people actually end up finding most useful (and hopefully profitable)? Is it the background or education that these letters provide, or the udpates on their portfolios, or the unearthing of heretofore unknown investment opportunities or particularly nimble skill in picking buy and sell points for stocks or options? Or is it just the reassurance of having someone in your inbox each week, advising you to stay the course even if the headlines are freaking you out?

I can’t tell you that — I don’t subscribe to these ad-hyping newsletters that I write about, partly because there are too damn many of them, but mostly because it wouldn’t be very fair or sporting as I try to dissect their ads and unearth their “secret” ideas with the help of the Mighty, Mighty Thinkolator.

But your fellow readers can tell you — that’s why, in addition to sharing the teaser picks we unveil, we collect reader reviews of newsletters and allow for lots of free and open commenting on our articles. And we collate and average those reviews to give rankings of the newsletters — not rankings based on my opinion or on any measure of actual portfolio performance, but rankings based on what subscribers actually think of the letter.

The subscriber reviews section of the site is accessible many ways, you can go under one of the Strategies and Sectors options in the green bar and see the top letters for mining and commodity stocks, for example (along with any recent articles we’ve written on that topic), or you can simply go to the “By Ranking” page to see the top rated overall letters, or to the alphabetical listing to see every newsletter on which we’ve collected at least one review or written an article.

We haven’t been calling the reviews to your attention much of late, so for many of these newsletters the subscriber reviews have gotten a bit stale — they might reflect a surge of pessimism from 2009, for example, or a particularly good few months from 2008 or 2011 that made folks love a letter … so we need your help.

If you’ve ever subscribed to a newsletter, please review it for us.

As we’ve seen from many, many comments in recent months, readers are overwhelmed by the number of letters, their crazy marketing aggressiveness, and their inability to keep up with dozens of email updates, so folks clearly want help in separating the wheat from the chaff. Can you help?

If you’ve subscribed to a newsletter, just click on it in the alphabetical listings or search by title (search box is in the green bar above) and on each newsletter page you should see a little box on the right side of the screen for submitting your opinion, thoughts, comments and a star ranking for a few different aspects of the newsletter experience as you see it. (You’ll have to log in to review the letter, it doesn’t matter whether you’re a free or paid member of the site but we had to institute logins to cut down on the overwhelming review spam that some newsletters were trying to flood us with. Please contact us if you have any trouble logging in).

Reviews are moderated to try to cut down on spam, so your review might not show up instantly. And though we add new letters and trading services frequently there are some newsletters in the cast of thousands that just aren’t in our system yet, so please contact us if you’d like to submit a review of a letter that you don’t yet see on the site and we’ll cheerfully add it.

And I’ve got an extra inducement for you today.

The person who submits the most thoughtful and helpful reviews over the next couple days will either get upgraded to a lifetime membership in the Stock Gumshoe Irregulars (a $200 value, if we do say so ourselves), or, if you’re already a lifer, I’ll send you or your favorite charity a check for $100. They can be positive or negative reviews, and you can submit one or two or a dozen or more, whatever you have time and inclination to share.

So please, think of the letters and services you find helpful and useful, and those that you’ve found frustrating and disappointing, and share your opinions with us. Not only will you be helping your fellow investors to sift through the fog, but you might even earn a little something for yourself. And while you’re at it, hop on over to the most recent plea for help from one of our valued readers and let them know what your top two or three newsletters are with a brief comment.

Thanks for participating in this great adventure, and thanks for reading and commenting and reviewing and sharing your experiences with the great Gumshoe community — you make my work a daily delight, and I do appreciate it.

Leave a Reply

132 Comments on "What’s Your Favorite Newsletter?"

avatar

jim ellis
Guest
0
jim ellis
February 27, 2013 2:27 am
Let me preface by acknowlodging i am very new to managing my own investments;6 or 7 months now. In that time ive subscribed to seemingly every site available and have found that only 2 i look foward to reading. One is travis here at stock gumshoe, and i look foward to being an irregular in the future. The other is the daily newsletter from Small Maybe they just speak my language, but they certainly seem worth my money as well. They rarely suggest trades (although i cannot confirm this anymore as i am not an EO member yet) and when… Read more »
bmc123
Guest
0
bmc123
February 27, 2013 5:34 am
I’m an Oxford Club subscriber. I’ve tried a few others but they were hit & miss over the long term – and I basically like to invest long-term. The Oxford Club’s recommendations are solid and their get in points are usually very good, thereby setting you up nicely for a long-term holding. They monitor their portfolios and they issue an alert if the stock falls below their 25% trailing stop, which is really helpful (although I monitor my own portfolio very closely already). You can lock in a pretty decent price if you allow them to automatically renew your subscription.… Read more »
Val
Guest
0
February 27, 2013 5:44 am
Travis, our GumShoe, does an Excellent job: diligent, insightful, thorough, knowledgeable – I tell friends he is brilliant but am concerned that it may go to his head. Thanks to all (above) for sharing, I read all with much interest and learned. Though he does not make specific pics, other than gold and now he is a bit bigger than ever before on Silver: Richard Russell, the Dow Theory man. He is 88 years old and still going amazingly strong. Never a Letter of his that does not have interest and even insight. Mark Skousen, who I also follow, hosted… Read more »
Slick Rick
Guest
0
Slick Rick
February 27, 2013 2:09 pm

Sure sounds like “Ass Beating” advice to me!

Tradie
Guest
0
Tradie
February 27, 2013 5:57 am
Apparently what these people are selling is what we all have (ass hole i.e. opinion). You are doing excellent job no doubt about that. Full point. Just as an individual, do I need all this? Information is the most important for alla individuals, there is many ways to acquire what is important under the circumstances, though it boils down to individuals to recognize what is important for them, according their own circumstances. We as outsiders can only observe what follows, but we do not have the tools or any say on that. We all are responsible for our own action… Read more »
Slick Rick
Guest
0
Slick Rick
February 27, 2013 9:41 am
First let me say that Stockgumshoe is an excellent newsletter , and that Travis Johnson , the editor, is a sincere , highly intelligent, and a consummate professional ! Great stock newsletters are about as rare as hen’s teeth, but I currently subscribe to 2 of the best….. IMHO out there. I went to the Stock Tips Experts website and received this message, “As of February 1 2013, the Stock Tip Experts has reached its maximum number of subscribers and is not accepting new subscribers for the remainder of 2013.” Basically 5 experts each give out their picks but only… Read more »
investletters
Member
0
investletters
February 27, 2013 9:44 am
We subscribe to a lot of newsletters because for many decades we have been responsible for managing money. It seemed like a good idea to start a website reviewing those newsletters and re-printing their free content, albeit with teasers. The truth of the matter is that most newsletters have their day in the sun, usually corresponding with a cooperative stock market. For instance, we just let lapse our subscription to “The Trend Letter” for a number of reasons, the imminent part being that you have to subscribe with PayPal and I hate the way PayPal operates. But more importantly, they… Read more »
Slick Rick
Guest
0
Slick Rick
June 23, 2015 2:28 pm
I hate Pay Pal also ……..they will not help you if you have trouble securing a refund from a cancelled newsletter. It seems that some newsletters almost force you to go through the ridiculous Pay Pal ! One instance where I went through Pay Pal they utilized my Citi Bank credit card to secure payment. When I tried to obtain a refund well within the money back guarantee guidelines they could offer no help. Finally went back to my Citi Card credit , and they interceded and got me the refund. I hope Pay Pal goes out of existence ,… Read more »
Scott
Guest
0
Scott
February 27, 2013 9:58 am
Going to age myself, but I truly miss the Zweig Forecast. A classic in a league of its own. Nothing has even come close since the newsletter stoped publication. That said, I stumbled upon Agora’s Lifetime Income Report and it was very well done. Funny thing is – I canceled the subscription yesterday due to their most recent marketing pitch on “The God Switch.” When they tagged “Why the Pope really resigned…” they crossed the line. The pitch was for another newsletter under Agora, but if we don’t vote with our dollars and elevate the discourse, we may find that… Read more »
SageNot
Guest
0
SageNot
February 27, 2013 10:32 am

Wouldn’t it depend on what your goal is? If you want yield, you wouldn’t want growth stocks or stock options, would you?

Chris Weber, Alex Green & Jeff Clark are very experienced, very successful investors , but over the long haul do they do any better than Dan Ferris or Doc Eifrig Jr.? IMHO you use the very useful Stock Gumshoe analysis to help you choose which letter in particular helps you separate the wheat from the chaff of any service Travis might be reviewing.

No, Travis hasn’t rewarded me, I’m just being honest here. 🙂

lmasek
Irregular
0
lmasek
February 27, 2013 12:26 pm
I subcribed to Jim Cramer’s Action Alerts for one year. I’m not sure this qualifies as a news letter, but I did find it almost impossible to act on his email alterts that he claims to provide in advance of his trades. Typically they arrive only minutes before he executes his trade, and unless you sit at a computer and monitor this all day, you will as I did have very little success getting in and out of the market at the same point as Mr. Cramer. Like him or hate him, he can still move a stock price to… Read more »
Lynn Clark, Stock Gumshoe
Admin
60
February 27, 2013 1:18 pm
Dear Len: I’m sorry about the email trouble. I’ve looked into this, and in your case, the emails are being sent to you and aren’t being bounced back, which usually means your email provider is reading them as spam, and they may be in your spam folder. To ensure that our emails reach you, you should add our email addresses (Irregulars@stockgumshoe.com and ILoveStockSpam@gmail.com) to your address book or whitelist, if your provider offers one. This link gives instructions as to how to add emails to the safe list on various types of email accounts: http://www.cheetahmail.com/deliverability/reach-the-inbox/ Whitelisting our email addresses is… Read more »
CARL CORNELIUS MD
Guest
0
CARL CORNELIUS MD
February 27, 2013 7:58 pm
I have taken a dozen or more letters in the past and now take 6 or more. The one that really gets me is one from Wall Street Insider for one named SMALL CAP ALERT, which promises $3,775 for alert #4 and similar alerts quarterly for a price of $2,495.00 per year which is a reduced rate. The author states that he has had positive results for 31 of his last 33 alerts plus gains on other recos in between. He states that he told his publisher that he will give up his position if his alerts don’t come through… Read more »
solyom
Member
1
solyom
February 27, 2013 8:03 pm
I like Morningstar mostly for the information it provides. I like to do my own Valuations and use Morningstar as a check. Their articles on investing I would judge as fairly good at least the ones in areas of interest. I use Seeking Alpha to obtain information and investing ideas. I recently found Guru Focus and found their educational articles to be quite good, well written and informative. I still and using only the free part of the web site as I am in the evaluation stage of their site. Some of the Guru’s are well known even legendary like… Read more »
jmoli
Member
1
jmoli
February 27, 2013 9:42 pm
When I started investing in the stock market a few years back, I followed the advise of free services (like newsletters and websites). It was the logical thing to do (I thought) since nowadays most every source of “good” info is available online for free (like wikipedia, diccionaries, and google). Their marketing ads make it even simpler to fall for that “common sense truth”. But I learned the HARD WAY that those free market recommendation newsletters and website services were mostly about pumps and dumps (like WLOC and ALIF) or about bad companies that go nowhere. I lost about $2,000… Read more »
jpdupre
Member
0
jpdupre
February 27, 2013 10:13 pm

I have subscribed to Investech from Mr. James Stack for about a year. Considering that my goal is guidance on general market direction, rather than a model portfolio or the latest can’t miss stock, I am very pleased with the results. Again, this is a limited time period. I am a bit disappointed that they no longer provide specific stock recommendations, only ETF’s, particularly since this was part of my subscription price. I still do not hesitate to say all five stars.

rigdale
Irregular
2
February 27, 2013 11:09 pm
I started with funds maybe 24 years ago, and reading MorningStar at the library. I started resenting the fund fees, switched to reading ValueLine, and dipping my toe in stocks about 3 years later. I never looked back. I have usually had a subscription at all times, maybe 18-19 different ones over the years. Now I’m at my 2 favorites, Gumshoe irregular lifetime, and ValueLine at the library 1/2 day a month. I look over the issues since I was last there, print up bunches of reports each month, and keep them for 1/2 year or until I replace them… Read more »
Ray Lavallee
Guest
0
Ray Lavallee
February 27, 2013 11:22 pm
Comments on Newsletters: 1. Morningstar Stock Investor — Honest thoughtful evaluations. Used to seek out VALUE stocks. Monitor Star & moat status and Fair Value updates. 2. Prudent Speculator — Provided monthly ideas for current value-rated stocks. Well done but dropped when they raised the price. 3. Oxford Club — Very pleased with Analysis, use of 25% Stop Loss, Asset Allocation Model and timely e-mail Alerts. Provides ideas for further analysis. 4. Wall Street Daily — Provides speculative ideas and 35% Stop Loss. limit to 1% of potfolio. 5.Perpetual Income — My personal favorite to invest in income generating stocks.… Read more »
Paul LaRocca
Guest
0
Paul LaRocca
February 28, 2013 1:43 pm
The best in Biotech is Prohostbiotech, which is run by people with a real background in science and who cover a sufficient number of biotech stocks to provide a solid range from conservative giants like Amgen to moderates to smaller, highly speculative biotech concerns; they follow their recommendations with biweekly analysis of their entire field of choices, as well as almost daily news reports, primarily on the companies they follow. The service is rather expensive, but they do respond (and rapidly) to individual subscribers’ questions. They also comment on irrational factors moving this area of the market, as well as… Read more »
snsm
Guest
0
snsm
February 28, 2013 8:05 pm

Yes, you’re the best. Your Thinkolater appeals to me, and your writing is thoughtful and intelligent as well as humorous. I do subscribe to Arch Crawford’s mostly astrological newsletters, although I suspect he uses technicals and fundamentals also. he’s esp. good at market timing and I think has been rated high in that category by Hulbert (but I haven’t checked lately…) His monthly newsletter comments on daily astrological events, and he’s good at advocating stops. I like astrology which perks up life. but, you take the Gold Medal.

tanglewood
Irregular
170
March 2, 2013 7:33 pm

Paul, does Prohostbiotech have any opinion on Questcor Pharmaceuticals QCOR?

flyinkel
Irregular
15
February 28, 2013 10:25 pm
Favorite is FUNDGRAF found here, http://rayparsons.com/fundgraf/ He’s a brainiac that developed his own investing bull/bear weighted equation for mutual funds/ETFs. 1) it’s free, 3 quick pages 2) easy to follow portfolios 3) updated 1x week, usually WED 4) Has real money portfolios; earning 8.5% to 12% average annually since 1984, without gut-wrenching ups and downs. Called the 2008 exit before it happened. 5) you can choose to time the market or stay “all in”, and he gives real results for both 6) gives you a “no lower than” number for the DJIA where he wants you “all out” 7) nice… Read more »
Evan Foreman
Guest
0
March 2, 2013 2:18 pm

We would all be better of by asking, when invited to subscribe to the latest financial news letter or advisory service, the following question. “If this person or company knows so much about financial matters with such startling profits, why does he or it want my few dollars for a subscription when by following his or its own advice, he or it would now have profited billions?”

This may be the best financial advice you will ever get – and it is free.

doug9694
Member
9
April 5, 2015 11:21 pm

You are so right! It only takes 3% profit every trading day compounded to double your
money every month. Falcon Stocks probably comes the closest at 93% ave. for their 52 stocks a year.

Don Buchanan
Guest
0
March 2, 2013 3:50 pm

Hi have been following Carla Pasternaks Income investing and find the info accurate and concise. Carla is a canadian from Calgary Alberta and she gives alot more canadian content which is very weak in most newsletter coverage. As a canadian we could use some more coverage so please wake up and smell the coffee. Once you tasted our Tim Hortons brand you will want to move here.

johnnyfouraces
Member
0
johnnyfouraces
March 2, 2013 4:24 pm

Without a question, Daily Wealth Trader. They don’t just tell you when to buy something. They teach when to get out and why. Their picks are solid as are the results. After going through 20 newsletters over the past 12 years, I finally found a keeper.

artg
Irregular
0
artg
March 2, 2013 11:11 pm
As an alternative to newsletters, as a Fidelity Brokerage customer, I use screens of their highest rated research companies such as Ford, Ativo, EVA Dimensions, GMI, Thomson Reuters, etc. It is a very simple screen that combines one or several research companies on their “strong buy”, “buy”, “outperform”, selections. Additional screen criteria can be added to the list. This method works because the research companies have varying methods to come up with their lists (technical, quantitative, and performance analysis). This generates a consensus list of recommendations down to a manageable size to do further research from AAII, Morningstar, Seeking Alpha,… Read more »
Anthony
Guest
0
Anthony
March 3, 2013 7:00 am

Buying stocks on someone elses opinion has too many pitfalls.You have to row your own boat and be patient,sometimes very patient. Stock Gumshoe is the counter balance to all news letters.
After thirty years of investing you get to see the big picture,and the profit from buying when stocks are out of favour,and selling very rarely,patience is the name of the game.

numbers
Member
0
numbers
March 3, 2013 9:23 am

I had Mining Spectator with Greg McCoach and he did have a few home runs, but I feel his track record was not accurate because he kept Poly Met in his averages forever to balance out his blunders. I really enjoyed the Gumshoe’s tract record and it opened my eyes to the one that had the best picks also had some of the worse. I am looking for the one that is conservative enough to get good picks without terrible blunders. I do appreciate Gumshoe and the members candid remarks keep it coming!

Edgar
Guest
0
Edgar
March 3, 2013 11:54 pm

I currently subscribe to Lifetime Income Report. They are big on stable companies that pay increasing dividends. I have used the system for about a year. and I have to say that I am up about 25% based on my selections of thier recommendations. I am satisfied with the portfolio, however they are part of the Agora empire and as such tease and push newsletters like an addict pushes his/her shtuff. While Lifetime Income Report is good, some of the other Agora products leave something to be desired.

numbers
Member
0
numbers
March 4, 2013 11:39 am

Edgar,

Thanks for your thoughtful input
George

Jeff
Guest
0
Jeff
March 4, 2013 11:14 am

I get Stanford Wealth Management. I don’t follow it religiously, but Mr. Shaefer always provides interesting viewpoints. I was very successful with his recommendations on SAND and MCP, took a small loss with LYSDY.

numbers
Member
0
numbers
March 4, 2013 2:05 pm

What has been on my mind recently is a sold dividend stock that is based in Australia (more stable currency) Anyone have an idea?

canonfodder
Member
80
canonfodder
March 8, 2013 2:47 pm
I just signed on with Lombardi’s 100% Letter. I like the premise. The premise behind this newsletter is that each week, they go to their top stock-pickers and ask them which stocks, out of the many they are recommending, they believe have the best chance to double in price. The results are published each Tuesday. This newsletter is not cheap, costing me $520 per year, but I am supposed to be getting the best ideas from the staff which produces all of Lombardi’s 24 newsletters. We shall see. I do trust Gumshoe more than any. I am an irregular, (in… Read more »
Jorge
Guest
0
Jorge
April 11, 2013 4:52 pm
Hi, I tried Larry Edelson Power portfolio on may 2012 and I unsubscribe 3 or 4 months latter, bad timing and all were losers, the portfolio was down about 3 or 4 % when I got out. But I am also subscribe to his Real wealth report and even though i do not follow must of his recomendations I admire his job and analysis and I have understand and learn a lot of the markets, If I had followed his advise to stay away from bullion i could have cash to buy more gold or silver now or in the… Read more »
archives2001
Irregular
29
archives2001
May 20, 2013 5:51 pm

Only one absolute favorite:
Stockgumshoe Irregulars!!!!!

Slick Rick
Guest
0
Slick Rick
May 21, 2013 4:01 pm
Another GEM stock information service I currently subscribe to is http://www.muathe.com. The man in charge runs the site basically himself with some limited help. He does a great video technical analysis of his picks , with simple easy to understand instructions in the video…….you actually can learn by watching …..or just take his pick. For less than $100 per year , IMHO opinion it is a bargain. You can contact him by phone , and he does respond promptly to your email. The website listed above is very detailed ….and will probably answer all your questions!
jay_
Irregular
0
jay_
December 22, 2013 11:36 am
I became a Reserve member of the Agora service in 2008. Overall the service has good newsletters and actively works to improve the offering. My favorites are Chris Mayer’s newsletter Special Situations and his Capital and Crisis letter – you have to use your own experience research and judgement in any of these letters. I also like Neil George’s Income on Demand and his Lifetime Income Report. Before Neil the Lifetime Income Report was written by Jim Nelson. I made good money with his recommendations. I have taken advantage of some trade suggestions from their services and made money. Others… Read more »
jtkacc
Member
1
May 13, 2015 8:09 pm

I’ve been with Dick Young/Intelligent report for 10-12 years i’ve done
well but now he’s selling just about everything not like him at all. Any ideas
on a dividend type conservative newsletter for a core port.
Sincerely,
Al Coburn
PS I just joined hope to have fun.

dtdarbo
Member
0
dtdarbo
June 23, 2015 8:20 am

My favorite is http://www.specialsituationinvestments.com. I am a small investor and it covers exactly these arbitrage opportunities which are suitable only for smaller amounts of money (total investments in the range of $1000-$10000). Covers odd lots, going private transactions, some merger arbitrage and etc.

Miggy
Guest
0
July 17, 2015 12:42 pm

Great website
mgcarlos3@yahoo.com

wpDiscuz