Travis Johnson, Stock Gumshoe

Author Bio

Travis Johnson is an individual investor who founded Stock Gumshoe in 2007 as a way to air his dissections of overhyped marketing pitches... and to share the "secret" stocks that stock newsletters hype to get your attention and your subscription dollars. His thinking? If you already know what the "secret" stock is, you can make a much more reasonable and thoughtful decision about whether or not to commit to an expensive newsletter subscription. (And if you don't pay for the info, you'll be more free to think for yourself about whether or not the investment is worth your money.) In his charmed life he has been, among other things, a university faculty member, a fundraiser, a writer, and a world-champion ice-cream scooper. Now he runs Stock Gumshoe for you, allowing us all to discuss and dissect the latest overheated stock ideas... as well as review and talk about investment newsletters and enjoy the commentary and opinions of Stock Gumshoe's other special contributors and the discussion with our unusually attractive, erudite and polite readers. He lives with Mrs. Gumshoe and all their little Gumshoes in the wilds of Western Massachusetts.

Author Archives

  • Bonus Buy Note: Real Money Portfolio

    I must confess having made another iconoclastic little investment this week — even as I make clear that although I’ve really invested in it, and it’s in my Real Money Portfolio (with a likelihood that I will ignore it for a while as it settles in as a newly public company), it’s extremely illiquid and […]

  • Profit taking in options

    Just a brief note here to let you know that I’ve sold a little over half of my Shopify (SHOP) options position. I was pondering whether to hold on to this speculative position in the April $60 SHOP calls last month, since the one clear remaining catalyst before option expiration would be their quarterly report […]

  • Stop Loss Sale (partial) posted

    Just an FYI for folks who follow my personal “real money” portfolio — today, following Kerrisdale Capital’s short attack on Northern Dynasty (NAK), I sold an additional part of my warrant position when it hit my mental stop loss level of about C$2.50 (the stock was nearing C$3). That books a total profit of roughly […]

  • Annual Review – Income

    We’re closing in on the end of my annual navel-gazing exercise in portfolio review, and today it’s time to look at the “income” stocks in my portfolio. During the week next week I’ll catch up with a few smaller positions that don’t fit into the neat sectors I’ve divvied up thus far, like Disney, for […]

  • Annual Review: Insurance and Conglomerates

    Throughout January these Friday Files are taking on the form of my “Annual Review” of my holdings, which will culminate in a clearer listing of what I own and focus on, including portfolio allocations that I have personally, and a clearer delineation between the stuff I write about because it’s interesting, and the stuff I […]

  • Annual Review — Technology

    Today I continue my annual navel-gazing for you, as I look at each position in my portfolio — though this year, as I mentioned in our kickoff last week, I’m changing the way I describe, report and follow these stocks for you, largely so that I can be clearer about my preferences and opinions and […]

  • Recent Author Comments

    On Friday File: IPO's, Conversions, and the Watchlist (and one sale)
    Oh, and thanks for the perspective on PPAs, hadn't seen any detail on that.[...]
    On Friday File: IPO's, Conversions, and the Watchlist (and one sale)
    Yes, but you generally have to be an account holder before the conversion is announced... and for first preference, often a year or so before the conversion is announced. For a while there were investors who would open up $100 accounts at dozens or hundre[...]
    On Friday File: IPO's, Conversions, and the Watchlist (and one sale)
    You find out when they announce it, usually, many brokers keep a running list of scheduled IPOs but the dates can shift. No date has been announced for that one by the company or its bankers yet. This one will list on Nasdaq, so presumably once schedule[...]
    On Grant's Conference - Notes and Ideas (and one related buy, so far)
    Registration statement for Terrapin 3 is here: https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1608298/000114420414043616/v384098_424b4.htm (That's the SPAC that Yatra merged with to go public) Merger details were proposed here: http://www.terrapin3.com/wp-cont[...]
    On Grant's Conference - Notes and Ideas (and one related buy, so far)
    in this case the warrants are listed, so they trade just like a stock. Most brokers should treat them just like stocks and don't impose special restrictions... though they're usually much less liquid and, as leveraged derivatives, have higher risk.[...]
    On Morgan Report's "Fuse is Lit on This Silver Miner" Stock
    They didn't release any results about new resources or "targets" in mid-March... though they do roughly fit the "4X higher in 2011" clue (as do a lot of silver juniors, of course) May be a better stock, for all I know (it's definitely more advanced than[...]
    On Chris Mayer's "This is the most urgent and compelling investment situation I’ve seen since 2014…"
    I listened to much of the "special event" today -- Mayer is indeed recommending a mutual conversion (he calls them thrift conversions) that he says is going to go public "any day now". He did explain the process of demutualization more in the presentation[...]
    On Grant's Conference - Notes and Ideas (and one related buy, so far)
    Thanks, I liked the MIT conference and got some good insight there -- including a few ideas I'm digging through, though it was largely macro-focused and quantitative.[...]
    On Grant's Conference - Notes and Ideas (and one related buy, so far)
    There are some broad bond ETFs that are mostly in Europe, though I don't think there are any remaining that are just in Euro bonds -- and I don't think there are any inverse euro bond ETFs, either, so you'd have to buy puts or short the bond funds. There [...]
    On Grant's Conference - Notes and Ideas (and one related buy, so far)
    Warrants are typically quite difficult to find, mostly because there aren't very many of them that trade on the public markets (and the vast majority are for junior mining stocks). There is no central official listing, though a few people have started bus[...]
    On Chris Mayer's "This is the most urgent and compelling investment situation I’ve seen since 2014…"
    You don't, unless you're a savings account holder well before conversion and can buy in before the public. But buying after the first public offering has worked well, on average. There have been a lot of folks, even some hedge funds, who go around ope[...]
    On 2017 No Brainer TRUMP Presidency Pick
    That's a decent average, from what I've read, but it depends a lot on where you are -- can be $25-30 in parts of the Permian, $60 or more in parts of the Bakken.[...]
    On The Rest of the 12 Biotechs of Christmas
    Unfortunately, our experience is that longer and more complete RSS feeds lead to piracy very quickly.[...]
    On The Rest of the 12 Biotechs of Christmas
    Just saw this thread of notes. We can resolve these strange ordering problems when we know about them -- this one was related to the good ol' "position sizing" debate of last month, if a post is deleted its "children" screw things up. We can fix it when [...]
    On Bonus Buy Note: Real Money Portfolio
    They do use reinsurance to attempt to limit their possible losses. I haven't seen any disclosures about what their net exposure might be at any point in time, or how aggressive they are about using reinsurance right now.[...]
    On "$1 Silver Trade Poised to Surge 406% in the Next 90 Days"
    Shouldn't be nearly as impacted as the futures-dependent ETFs -- SLV is not perfect at tracking the price of silver, but there's no decay rate like there is for funds that rely on futures. They have been very close to the silver price over the past decade[...]
    On "$1 Silver Trade Poised to Surge 406% in the Next 90 Days"
    I can't give personal advice, of course, and don't know your situation -- but if I were in that situation I don't think owning physical precious metals would be a priority. I consider gold and silver to be more of a long-term insurance plan against possib[...]
    On Microblog: Gold and Silver and Hard Assets after Trump's Inauguration...2017
    Haven't looked at them in a long time, but they were promoted a few years ago and seemed a long way from being "real" back then. New technology for old industries always sounds cool to non-experts like me, but it's usually not nearly as practical as promo[...]
    On Microblog: Scandium, Cobalt, and Water Purification: CleanTeQ Holdings
    Not really a play on currency in the long run, since they probably won't earn much in Aussie $ and any short-term impact gets zeroed out when you sell your shares and spend the money in US$. The shares will be identical, the occasional differences in pri[...]
    On Bonus Buy Note: Real Money Portfolio
    A very reasonable concern. I suspect the impact will be far less notable than the bluster, but we'll see. For insurance companies, it's very much a question of whether they can analyze risk well enough -- and that includes risks of climate extremes, w[...]

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