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

  • 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 […]

  • Friday File: Technology Yield Appeal

    We’re breaking things up a little bit today for the Friday File — this piece is about some investments that interest me personally, and I’ve also got a teaser solution piece for the Irregulars today that you can see here. The investments that are most appealing to me right now are both in the technology […]

  • Notes from Grant’s Conference

    I spent a day and a half in Manhattan to attend the conference run by Grant’s Interest Rate Observer and Jim Grant, and I’ll probably write some additional things about my take on the various presenters and the ideas they might inspire as my thoughts percolate… but these are my initial reactions. First, investment conferences […]

  • Hospital Growth Continues

    I like the deal that Medical Properties Trust (MPW) did this week — thought he market was less enthused. They are purchasing nine acute care hospital properties from Steward Health, which is not far from Gumshoe HQ here in New England, and will also likely have an ongoing relationship with Steward as it tries to […]

  • Friday File Delay

    This week’s Friday File for the Irregulars won’t be finished on time for your edutainment — I will get that out to you either over the weekend or on Monday, depending on how my research progresses over the next few hours. Thanks for your patience!

  • Recent Author Comments

    On Motley Fool's "Like Buying Apple Before the iPhone" Pitch
    A similar idea, with probably similar psychological impact. Funny how much of being an individual investor involves trying to outsmart your own foolish biases and irrational thoughts.[...]
    On Annual Review: Insurance and Conglomerates
    The vast majority is going to the Gates Foundation on Buffett's death, and some of it has already been transferred. That will create more selling pressure on the shares than has been typical of Berkshire over the years, since the foundation is likely to g[...]
    On Annual Review -- Technology
    Really ugly morning for Qualcomm today -- the antitrust suit from the government has now been amplified by a suit from Apple that alleges overcharging and a billion dollar rebate due to AAPL that hasn't been paid. I don't know how this will shake out,[...]
    On Microblog: Gold and Silver and Hard Assets after Trump's Inauguration...2017
    Almost all of the "graphene" stories are pitching potential (or existing) graphite mines, since folks presume that the best source of graphene will be high-purity graphite (though since graphene is not yet something that can be commercially produced at sca[...]
    On Explaining "26(f) Programs" and the "Retirement Blackout" on April 10 teased by Keith Fitz-Gerald
    Davis is very good and well-respected, that's a fairly aggressive global fund but has certainly done well and opened up a little outperformance edge over its benchmark over the past couple years (after pretty much tracking it for many years before that). [...]
    On Explaining "26(f) Programs" and the "Retirement Blackout" on April 10 teased by Keith Fitz-Gerald
    AMZA is an interesting one, that's an actively managed ETF of MLPs.... haven't looked at it closely and I don't know what their strategy is, but that sector has been clobbered over the past couple years so the ongoing high dividend has been countered by th[...]
    On Trump's "Executive Order 0001" Teased by The Casey Report
    Hi omstewart1 -- yes, I'm sure there are a great many ads on the site from companies I wouldn't endorse. The vast majority of the ads you'll see on are served up by Google's automated ad systems, which assign different ads every time the [...]
    On Annual Review: Insurance and Conglomerates
    I sold a while ago when I was raising money for something else, mostly because I didn't see a big opportunity for them to grow and I expect their large dividends to be significantly smaller in the future (which I figure is likely to deter some of the inves[...]
    On Friday File -- Last of the year
    Nothing prevents US citizens from trading in Toronto, some brokers allow you to trade in other countries online and others will place trades for you with a phone call (and usually a higher commission). I prefer Interactive Brokers for convenient online ac[...]
    On Friday File...
    Sadly, I've never owned the "A" shares of Berkshire, those have always been quite out of my league unless I wanted to put my entire portfolio into Berkshire -- though I've had a growing position in the B shares for ten years or so, and it's my largest per[...]
    On "Trump's Gold" from Stansberry's Investment Advisory
    I'm glad to hear you have a strong opinion on it -- my sentiment is that a mine in that location sounds environmentally worrisome, but I've never been there and have only read what I presume are exaggerations on both sides. I don't object to them entering [...]
    On "Trump's Gold" from Stansberry's Investment Advisory
    Huh? To answer your question, yes, Northern Dynasty is a Canadian company -- there are far more mining and exploration companies domiciled in Canada than in the US.[...]
    On Explaining "26(f) Programs" and the "Retirement Blackout" on April 10 teased by Keith Fitz-Gerald
    Ha! Good question, though it never occurred to me that anyone would wonder. I am a single person, writing under my real name. Pieces written by guests or other writers do not carry my byline.[...]
    On Can you really "Collect a 'Cash Rebate' on Nearly EVERY Single Purchase Made in 2016?"
    Yes, as the article states above this is now a permanent part of the tax code and does not have to be written in by Congress every year.[...]
    On "Trump's Gold" from Stansberry's Investment Advisory
    Certainly a good possibility. The overpromising on this one has become huge -- doesn't mean it can't work, but the hurdles are sure higher, and that kind of attention tends to draw in the short-term oriented folks who will sell at the first hint of "no ne[...]
    On "Trump's Gold" from Stansberry's Investment Advisory
    That's certainly a more conservative position, can't argue with it -- though locals are neither 100% for or against it.[...]
    Thanks for the suggestions and ideas, HiP -- the longer I run this site (we'll hit our tenth anniversary in March -- time to come up with a celebration!), the more I find that adjustments and improvements have extremely different impacts on differ[...]
    On Microblog: Electrum~~America's Gold-Based Currency???
    I expect that's the same one they were pitching back in the Fall, I covered it here.[...]
    On $9 Billion in Oil for $30 Million? What's being teased by Penny Oil Speculator?
    Our tracking spreadsheets show which stocks did end up being successful picks -- but they're awfully tough to predict in advance. I do indicate when I have an opinion on a teased stock, which I sometimes do, but I often spend only a few minutes skimming t[...]
    On Explaining "26(f) Programs" and the "Retirement Blackout" on April 10 teased by Keith Fitz-Gerald
    For those who are curious about the basic arguments over index investing, active investing, and "buy and hold" fund investing versus sector or trend timing, I found a recent "white paper" piece from Dodge and Cox interesting and worth a read. The backgrou[...]

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