Outstanding Investments

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    1. Richard
      Jan 28 2009, 04:36:06 pm

      Of all the newsletter I receive, and I am a sucker for about a dozen, my favorite is Kevin Kerr’s and Bryon King’s Outstanding Investments. You can get a pretty good evaluation of a newsletter’s pitch from its recommended portfolio. I have been a subscriber to OI for a couple of years and I found that their recommended portfolio most accurately follows my own investment outlook.
      A quick way to observe their investment philosophy is to list the major sectors of their portfolio. First is Oil & Gas, both drillers and servicers. Second is Power, with recommendations in coal and uranium producers, Third is Alternative Technology, with plays in geothermal, sun, and wind. Fourth is Precious Metals with suggestions of Gold, Silver, both in mining and personal accumulation. Last is Infrastructure & Logistics with transportation, and engineering taking the lead.
      Following their recommendations has been quite successful for me, although they like the rest of the world have been hit hard with the current recession. However it is my opinion that their recommendations have a good chance of leading the market in its recovery.

    2. Tampat
      Feb 7 2009, 09:41:39 am

      I have subscribed to this service for about 9 months. I believe they advertise they were ranked #1 newsletter the past 5 years. When I began many of their rec’s were up a great deal, but then they got killed like so many others with the market downturn. My biggest complaint is they dont seem to recommend when to sell, looks like a long term buy and hold service. They will need some gigantic gains to get back to break even.
      They do give good analysis, but I wont renew when the service is up.

    3. McDrifter
      Feb 7 2009, 09:42:50 am

      I second what Richard said. OI does a very good job at explaining their picks and they are down to earth picks not some obscure fringe stock. I have done well with their picks in the short time I’ve been with them (2 months). The most consistent picks I have come across.

    4. farley 5
      Feb 7 2009, 05:11:10 pm

      Just a case of being in the right place at the right time and then not telling subscribers when to get out. Absolutely no consideration of supply and demand. Without names, in reverse purchase order,

      Oil & Gas, -1.89%, -82.52%, -55.35%, -44.60%, -59.32%, -35.58%, -3.97%, -39.32%, -41.96%, +7% sold in5-14-08, -38.07%, -54.62%, -30.35%, +142.59% purchased in 3-10-03, +236.38% purchased in 4-1-01, and +126.70 purchased in 11-1-00.

      Power, -29.89%, -38.81%, +87% sold in 12-11-07, -22%, -57.48%, -69.46%, and -16.48%.

      Alternative Technology, -67.03%, -45.90%, -89.60%, -3.58%, -32.16%, -72.31%, +17.10% purchased in 6-9-06, -63.04%, and -48.62%.

      Precious metals, -83.91%, -79-25%, -61.54%, +45.92% purchased in 9-5-07, -15.26%, +44.55% in 11-14-05, +79.24 in ’05, +110.76% in ’05, +110.76%, +79.03%, 165.74% in ‘01, and +293.13 in 2001.

      Infrastructure, +4.94%, -19.53%, -10.78%, -64.54%, -25%, -4.86%, -33.76%, +31.67% in 2005, -29.51%, and -15.98%.

      If my track record was this bad, I would be fired.

    5. jchere
      Feb 7 2009, 09:21:57 pm

      I subscribed early last year. I canceled last month. I found that their recomendations looked good until I looked closer.

      They list the total gain and not CAGR. As a result, the investments of 2-6 years ago have large growth #s. As they seem to buy and hold, several of the older holdings have good looking #s until you calculate CAGR. Some still have good returns but they don’t look so good as the gross numbers. Ie: 150% gain, but they have held for 5 years. Now we are talking 8.4% CAGR. Their recomendations in the last year have largely negative gains. Only by adding their old summary #s into the balance do they look good. I have done better (+12%)in the last year than what I was paying them for.

    6. adamtapps
      Feb 8 2009, 04:33:07 pm

      All their picks were losers, none of the selections reached
      a positive number. Their number one rating was when the market
      was doing well. There never was a sell signal on any of their
      stock picks. I lost a bundle. The agora newsletter in my
      opinion is a scam.

    7. thomas
      Feb 8 2009, 07:44:20 pm

      I bought Hecla at 1,, rode it up to 13 and sold, then read that OI recommended to buy it up to 15, will double to 30 in 2 years. I bought it back. Then the stock rather quickly fell to 1, and now is less than 2.
      Notes to the editor Byron King did not get answered, and I found his attitude arrogant. He never told us when to get out, or acknowledge that the dynamics of the company and sector had dramatically changed.
      I dont believe he is “the best newsletter performer in the last 5 years”. I will cancel within my full money back guarantee.

    8. eds
      Feb 11 2009, 07:21:03 pm

      Farley hit the nail on the head. Right place right time-not really much prowess. No sell disciplne, no attention to supply/demand. Has several stocks in the portfolio which are down 80% and should have recommended selling earlier. Completelty missed the commodity crash and continued recommending oil stocks right up to $147 despite the parabolic move.

    9. Bernie
      Feb 11 2009, 11:28:43 pm

      I subscribed to OI back in 2007 and I noted that most of the stock picks which had made good money had been around for awhile. Example:Eca was purchased originally in November 2000 and as of my last letter dated December 2008 stock had gained 157 percent. I cancelled in December 2008 for a lack of success. The publication is very good for information and the Editor Byron King is a very nice person but seldon ever recomends a sell. Out of 48 stocks only one had a sell and that was to sell half your holdings. Ten of the stocks were in the plus category from 18 percent to 308 percent. The stock with the 308 percent was Suncor energy purchased in April 2001. The balance of the stocks were in minus territory from a minus 3 percent to a minus 75 percent. It is in my opinion not a good choice but with the market being down, OI might be a good choice for new subscribers. One of my choices was Hecla Mining which went from my purchase price of $10.80 to $2.80 before I sold. I purchased 16 of the recomended stocks and experienced some huge losses.

    10. Elton's Dad
      Feb 15 2009, 03:16:18 pm

      I have subscribed to OI for 3 years off and on. I lost money a few years ago on the last big downturn. My objection is their advertizing copy (reports) are written late in the year for next year and by the spring they are out of date. You can get sucked in with their write-ups from last year while the whole market tanks.

      I agree with the thought that some time this year may be a good time for some of their quality pics to recover if you are strong enough to take further downturns and can hold for the long term–years.

    11. MJ
      Feb 16 2009, 11:22:25 am

      I too lost a bundle on Agora’s pick of Hecla Mining. I believe it is still rated a buy on their news letter. In fact it’s worth so little I keep it in my portfolio as a reminder… Can’t say much positive about Agora except that they have a decent fundamental, entertaining out look at the markets and driving influences. They push investing in gold to the point of being obnoxious…

    12. NK
      Feb 27 2009, 02:45:58 pm

      Agree with farley 5.

      OI is al about hard assets. If hard assets do good OI does good. When oil was at 147 OI subscribers were the happiest of all. Byron shud have sold off then and he knew that oil prices were too high. But the market sell off took him by surprise too like many others. But really there is no excuse for lack of timing. Otherwise i would running an advisory too.
      For what it does OI is great. And who knows with peak oil coming of age maybe his portfolio will rise again like the phoenix. But still getting burnt by more than 50% is not excusable. The problem is it will always tell you to buy no matter what. It should be used in conjunction with a market timing advisory to help you get in/out at the right time.

    13. ala
      Mar 5 2009, 04:22:10 pm

      When I first subscribed just over a year ago, I did an appraisal within the first 4 months and saw that the Hulbert praise had shortcomings. Yes, they did not give an exit point or buy more now hold etc., which was the reason I left Maybury’s Early Warning Report. I decided to use a few of their recc. as a basis for my own research. I Isolated a few : MDR, NG,HL,STP,IFX,DMLtsx,TRN. Bought NG at 0.49,IFX at an aggregate of $1.05,deep & at a loss of about48%,HL at $2.60,also about -50%as I write but intend to hold on as BUY and hold for may be 2 years. I intend to renew my subscription purely as a starting point for my own due diligence

    14. Computer Guy
      Mar 23 2009, 03:59:30 pm

      I subscribed to OA in September 2008, not long before the stock market decided to tank. I have rollover IRA: I’m not currently adding money to it, and I cannot withdraw the funds without paying taxes and a substantial penalty.

      I am fairly new to the stock market. I figured that some advice would be helpful, but I can’t pay for the advice with funds from the IRA itself.

      So first of all, OA is an inexpensive newsletter; one should set expectations accordingly.

      Second, much more savvy stockholders than I have lost their shirts in recent markets.

      Third, I like the focus areas that OA has: Oil & Gas, Alternative Technology, Precious Metals, and Infrastructure & Logistics

      Advice usually arrives at least monthly via E-mail just after the market closes for the day, which I find a nuisance, but I can deal with it. I’m not trying to trade often, I just want to find a good place to park the funds so they will grow.

      OA often makes recommendations to buy, and occasionally to sell. A few stocks in their portfolio have the recommendation to “hold”. My semi-fixed trading balance means I have to sell something to buy something else, so I cannot easily buy all their recommendations. Currently there seem to be more losers than winners in the bunch that I selected.

      Here are stocks I currently own that I bought on the recommendation of OA. Close prices are as of close on Monday, 23 Mar 2009.

      Symbol Name Share Cost Close % Gain
      AA Alcoa Inc $12.34 $7.28 -41.00%
      AUY Yamana Gold $5.04 $9.25 83.55%
      BP British Petroleum $47.26 $41.75 -11.66%
      HL Hecla Mining $3.14 $2.09 -33.37%
      IFX Infeon Technologies AG $3.71 $1.06 -71.43%
      KGC Kinross Gold $15.21 $18.09 18.93%
      MDR McDermott International $16.99 $14.19 -16.48%
      NAT Nordic Am Tanker $31.78 $28.90 -9.06%
      NG Nova Gold $3.12 $2.32 -25.68%

      In most cases, the stock price went down at some point after the OA recommendation, so in almost every case, I was able to buy under the OA recommended entry price, sometimes by a substantial margin.

      Having bought most stocks at below the recommended price, I have one clear winner: Yamana Gold, up 83.55% The other gainer is Kinross Gold, up 18.93%
      Big losers include Infeon Technologies, down 71.43%, and Alcoa Inc, down 41.00%.

      If I had closed out my position on these stocks today, I would have sustained a 4.64% overall loss. This is hardly a stirring endorsement for the OA newsletter, but it could be worse.

      These stocks are only a small sample of the recommendations made by OA. The selection of these stocks represents my bias for precious metals, and my preference for inexpensive stocks. I do not own the same number of shares of each stock. This selection of stocks does not constitute my entire portfolio.

      Agora Financial publishes a large number of newsletters, which they advertise profusely. I admit to subscribing to two other inexpensive Agora newsletters, Capital & Crisis and Penny Stock Fortunes. Reviews of those newsletters will be forthcoming. A cynical person might say that Agora starts a new newsletter every time they think up a compelling advertisement campaign.

      I suspect that OA looks like a much better buy in a bull market, but that can be said of almost any financial newsletter. Since I still hold all the above stocks, the jury is still out. I plan to retire in 2020 at the age of 70, if my finances allow it. A lot can happen in 11 years. I do not know yet if I will renew in September.

    15. Oliver Vandagriff
      Mar 24 2009, 06:36:19 pm

      I subscribed to outstanding Investments about 9 months ago. If I had followed all their picks in equal amounts of stock, I would have lost more than 8%. I can only guess, but their analysts must have bought more stock (or options) in some of the winners than most of the losers. Of course they don’t share that information. I have looked for trends in trading on specific stocks on the day the email alert is received, and the following day. I have noticed that in 70% of those suggested picks, they will inevitably rise (average 4.3%) then lose it back within the next few trading periods. So my suggestion is, buy their pick (on the best performers), then sell them within 24 to 36 hours and get out. And I only buy them when I can catch them relatively low with the technicals indicating the stock is likely to rise. In other words, buy low and sell on the first rally. Period. They do not advocate that. Some of their “Holds” are down 20% or more.

    16. MichaelC
      Mar 27 2009, 01:40:01 pm

      This one did great as long as oil and commodity prices went up. No stop losses; Byron fell in love with every pick and rode them all the way down so I dropped this service last year. Customer service sucked. Nobody ever returned and e-mail question and it was a pain getting anybody on the phone.

    17. DrH
      Mar 28 2009, 11:11:48 am

      I subscribed to OI last month. They sent me a packet of 6 folders. All of the information was old (probably 12-18 months old). They had some recommendations for companies (on their HOT LIST) that said “buy now at $32 … up to $34”. That stock is currently trading at $13 and hasn’t been $32 for over a year. Not impressed.
      Over all, the companies they recommended seem to be good and their explanations for why they recommended them are good. But, with the market collapse, all of those companies are down. Now might be a good time to start buying those companies but if you would have bought them when they recommended them, you’d be down 25-50% just like the market.

    18. john
      Mar 29 2009, 01:41:17 pm

      I have subscribed to OI for 2 years. I am not sure whether I will renew or not.

      It is relatively cheap as newsletters go and if nothing else it is a “good read” providing lots of information and interesting stories.

      As far as buying something because they recommend it goes, I have not done that very often and when I have it hasn’t worked out well. The problem? stories are so engaging that it is far too easy to to fall in love with the companies and forget that the whole purpose of investing and trading is to make money.

      It is a good source of potential watchlist additions, but as for entering positions I thing you need to develop your own criteria.

      As mentioned before, when natural resources enter another uptrend, this one will probably start looking better.

      One thing I DO appreciate is that by leaving their picks on the list for a long time they are being more honest about their performance than most. How many services show you a list of just winners with no reference to their misses? Too many in my experience.

    19. Greg
      Mar 30 2009, 09:21:01 am

      I’ve subscribed to Outstanding Investments for about six months now. They are the good, the bad, and the ugly of investment newsletters. The good is they provide some interesting ideas and a good general education into market segments that should have some long term value. The bad is as previously stated, they don’t adjust their portfolio or holdings to account for the substantial market turbulance that we have today, rather sticking to more of a longer term buy and hold philosphy which is risky in today’s bear market. The bad is they have a horrible “read non-existent” statement of risk. I was reading a marketing piece from them yesterday and asking myself is this piece even legal under the SEC regulations? I always thought that every piece of advertising needed a balanced view of the risks and the rewards, but this piece had only the rewards and NONE of the risk even though the underlying assets were options that are hugely risky. This newsletter has value in the information, but certainly buyer beware…

    20. NYCguy
      Apr 25 2009, 09:22:56 pm

      I have subscribed to OI for many years (from shortly after Meyers left as editor). OI picks in the natural resource sector, especially oil/ngas were very good. However, their timing is non-existent. So if you were an early subscriber like me, you might have made 100% or more on some of the picks, but if you didn’t sell you’ve given it all back and then some. I can’t recommend this newsletter because it doesn’t take profits, use stop losses, or use any sort of hedging technique to minimize the risk. However, I do enjoy Byron King’s writing, and Kevin Kerr is a genius/guru.

    21. Max
      Apr 29 2009, 07:56:39 am

      They had a good run for 5 years on PM, energy, oil etc. but they never sold anything even though their other newsletters warned about the impending doom that came late 08. At the top the portfolio was up huge, but at the bottom? early 09 out of maybe close to 100 stocks only a few were in the black. Stocks went from +190% to -50% in few months!

      This newsletter is concentrating mostly PM, oil etc. so until they start moving again there is no hope for it. Only thing that is good is the price: $69.

    22. John
      May 2 2009, 04:22:25 pm

      I just cancelled my subscription after 3 months. With the low price, I did not expect a lot. However, it has less to offer than I expected. I like their areas of focus mentioned in the first review, but their picks are pretty conventional. You can come up with a lot of these yourself without a lot of work. They take a couple of pages to review each pick, but there are very few original ideas in the writeup – most of the info can be found on the company’s website. Also, there is very little follow up of previous picks. Nearly all their active picks are rated “buy” with no ranking. Some of these go back to the early 2000’s with no apparent followup since then. I guess they want you to take their word for – sort of the color by numbers investing style -just do what you’re told. In short, if you’re going to pay for advice, there should be more original content and occasional followup on recommendations.

    23. Barbara
      May 26 2009, 12:14:43 pm

      Overall, I’m a VERY happy subscriber. That is, I’m a happy “$1-per-week” subscriber to a $50 newsletter.

      I subscribed to Outstanding Investments in May 2008. It was just as oil was running up to $147. When I signed up, I vowed that I would not just plunge in and start buying stocks just because some newsletter writer was talking about them. For a $1-per-week newsletter, I wanted to spend a couple of months just reading the email updates and other issues. I figured I’d just take it from there. At $50 per year it seemed like a good way to get some education.

      I don’t think I was all that “smart” by not buying into the list of OI stocks. Maybe it’s just me being cautious. All the same, I didn’t buy into any of the OI recommendations until the fall. When the stock market started to tank in August and September, I froze. But in November I figured that stock prices were really low. (Yeah, they could go lower.) But my gut instinct said to start buying, and this time I used many of the OI stocks as a guide.

      The end result is that by starting to buy from the OI list last November and December, I’ve done REALLY WELL with the OI stocks. I picked up a bunch of great stocks at super-bottom prices – energy, oil service, gold, others. I’ve been riding the price appreciation through the winter and into the spring.

      It’s not just the stock ideas, either. I like the weekly emails from the editor Byron King. He’s incredibly smart about energy issues, and understands precious metals. He must spend a great deal of time studying and learning the subject matter, because he puts things into a great context.

      Really, if all you want are the stock picks, you’re missing the best part of the newsletter. You’re not enjoying a great, running dialog with a super-smart guy who understands how the world works. For those of you who complain about how you “lost money” by following an advice newsletter that costs $1 per week? Well, maybe you’re getting what you paid for.

    24. JHEII
      Jul 14 2009, 02:09:10 pm

      Been a subscriber for several years and just have not got the hang of this newsletter nor made any good profits. Today’s email gave almost 20 sells almost all will be losers so Agora must be planning something new or they think the world is ending.

      I will not resubscribe as I am trying to extricate myself from all the Agora Publications which have all been losers for me.

    25. Kevin
      Jul 15 2009, 12:56:59 pm

      Just look at the stocks on the back of the newsletter – the overall performance has been a disaster for the last few years. You can agree with their long term philosophy, but that does not make them good stock pickers or market timers. They claim to be long term “buy and hold”, but they occasionally give sell recommendations, but always on a stock in which they have lost a fortune. I can not recall ever seeing them give a sell recommendation on a stock which they had made money.

    26. oilman
      Jul 30 2009, 11:17:45 am

      I subscribed to this for one year, but fortunately didn’t buy anything they recommended. The paper losses were about 80% loss in one year! If you note their “up” picks, they picked them several years ago. Anything they have recommended in the last year or two has been an absolute disaster. If you were lucky enough to buy in Jan-March, sure they are up, but so is everything.

      Look at their recommended purchase price, and where it is now. Disaster after disaster.

      Customer service was non-existant and they refused to answer my emails.

      Agora Publishing basically has over 150 newsletters they produce. They loudly trumpet the (very) few that are temporarily up, and totally ignore the poor performers (until they are temporarily hot). When they give poor advice, which is often, they totally ignore it. It never happened. Then they tout their lastest newsletter to get folks hooked and money coming in the door.

    27. wesm
      Aug 24 2009, 06:46:29 pm

      Outstanding Investments–Agora Financial Group. Well written. Seems to give in depth analysis, but like all advisors I read, the picks are not up to much. I think advisors problem right now are the tricky times were are in. Wesm

    28. GudStock
      Sep 9 2009, 04:40:27 pm

      Subscribed early ’08 to Out. Inv., after seeing them ranked so highly in Hulberts. You can imagine their ‘performance’ the next 1-1/2 yrs., however I DID renew since every newsletter(as well as almost every investment)TANKED! I still like them, I subscribe to several newsletters, however THANK GOODNESS I finally discovered “Stock Gumshoe,” cause those Teaser ads drove me crazy! Thank you, Stock GumShoe.

    29. Gary Nole
      Nov 18 2009, 12:57:05 pm

      I bought the Outstanding Investments newsletter for the gold recommendation. It said that NG(Nova Gold) was its best gold recc. I have found now that of all of the minor gold stocks available that NG is the very worst of them all performance wise. It has stagnated, gone up and then gone down to about where it started. All I will say is O. I. reccs are not very good on gold.Very disappointed .

    30. Subscriber
      Nov 23 2009, 12:02:42 pm

      This newsletter is about picks from oil and natural resources
      industry. During 2003-2008, anybody could have thrown a dart
      at any company in these industries and made money since
      every company in this industry was going up. After the energy
      bubble bust, most of the picks have lost over 70% value.
      Unless you think that the energy boom has legs, I would stay
      away from this newsletter. My take is that the easy money
      in energy industry was made during 2003-2008. From this point
      onwards the future results are bound to be disappointing.

    31. hfj
      Feb 15 2010, 06:41:13 am

      An interesting newsletter with a long term view and a focus on natural resource picks (I would say – in order to make the comment relatively short – that it has the same qualities and limitations as, a.o., Leeb’s Complete Investor).

    32. downtrodden
      Feb 23 2010, 02:01:19 am

      I subscribed to this letter a few years back and dropped it, but succumbed to a two-year, $98 come on in late 2008. The result, more money flushed.

      As others have noted, it does little good that a recommendation from five years ago is up 300 percent if the subscriber came onboard within the past two years, when most of the recommendations have, to put it charitably, stunk. And, remember if you check the current portfolio, many losers have been sent to loser Heaven, dropped from the portfolio, along with their putrid performances.

      But what bothers me most is this: Last year King added MarkWest and in his explanation, alluded to the stock having
      “dropped near $10 per share for a short time in December (2008)”

      Because it seemed to me that King has a penchant for recommending stocks after big moves, I checked myself, and found that MarkWest had hit a 52-week low of $6.55 in December. I guess that’s near $10, but it’s much nearer to $7 or even $6. Repeated emails, asking for an explanation were not answered.

      That silence spoke volumes. My subscription will NOT be renewed. Even if they gave me the thing, the cost in terms of lost capital would be too high.

      Call this nitpicking, but my checking reveals that the stock hit a 52-week low of $6.55 in December. I’d have written it “under $7” to provide better context. A run from “near 10” to the current $23.25 is a little better than a double. From the $6.55 figure, it’s better than a triple and pushing a quadruple. I think that’s a significant context difference and am curious why what I believe is a misleading “near $10” description was used? Can you enlighten me?


      Also, I just read your email concerning BP and gold. Specifically, I’m asking, are you recommending initiating and/or adding to positions in Kinross, Anglogold Ashanti, Hecla and Novagold now, or waiting to see the extent of the current bullion pullback before doing so?

    33. Lukester
      Feb 23 2010, 11:44:11 am

      I subscribed to OI from 2003 to 2007 and consider it a very high quality newsletter for picks in the commodities space. Kevin Kerr is a very bright guy. Reading through the posts here I’m struck by the same issue I’ve seen in ALL the other newsletter reviews. There is a disconnect in people’s ability (or is it willingness?) to view the stock market as an arena that ***regularly*** hands out danger and mishap to ***all investments***. What does this mean? The markets primary purpose is to buck as many “long term investors” off it’s back as possible, and it is very good at accomplishing that. W

      Consequently we get a lot of newsletter authors getting panned or praised, based upon how one’s purchased stocks did in the past one, two or three years. People take it as a proved insight that if the stocks dived for two years, this is pure incontrovertible proof that the newsletter was bad. NOT SO! That is THE MARKETS talking back at you – they are telling you that your human’s eye view of their progress is waaaay to short for you to see their larger direction.

      When you dial your focus out to the five year term, that is where you can just barely begin to see the macro trend of the investments you are buying! We’ve just come out of the largest market convulsion in 60 years. The last time commodities went through something this large was 1948-1950! So people look at this “giant hiccup” in the stock market, which made mincemeat out of the carefully chosen portfolio that people like Kevin Kerr oversee, and never question their assumption that his picks were garbage.

      Now go over to the Hulbert Digest, which tracks what newsletters *really* accomplish, and discover that Outstanding Investments really and truly was the top performing commodities newsletter all through the main part of the past decade (!). No foolin’. Then notice that when you scan the ranks of the top performing newsletters *very few* are MARKET TIMERS. What is going on here is a problem of blurry focus. People look at a market convulsion and their only conclusion is “all the stocks Kevin told me to buy went down big-time”.

      This is not an investor’s insight. It is a “hand me my profits on a plate, with a nice bow around it” insight. If you want to invest in commodities, but you are not prepared to avoid the overpowering impulse to sell your commodities stocks during a market collapse that lasted two years, you SHOULD NOT BE OWNING COMMODITIES STOCKS IN THE FIRST PLACE. There is a massive misconception at work here, about what it means to enter into a portfolio of commodities stocks. They are precisely subject to such massive steamroller catastrophic declines as just occurred. People who sell all these wonderful long term commodity stocks like Goldcorp or BHP Billiton or PetroBras because they got seasick from the past two years collapse, will NEVER collect the huge payoff after a decade long or two decade long commodities boom.

      Sorry for the long screed on this point guys, but “they never told me when to sell” is the short term trader’s lament and at the end of another decade of commodities bull market, these players won’t be the ones who collected the really massive reward. The trick is to keep commodities stocks down to a “non greedy” percentage of one’s investments – means a small amount – then you hold them no matter what, for a full decade and you simply add to them at the bottom of the massive collapses. Kevin Kerr and OI are a high quality newsletter with some great picks in the commodities space. Having said that, I will agree with many here that Agora publications in general are a pain in the neck with their endless marketing. But that does not mean there aren’t one or two really good publications in among their garbage.

      Steve Sjuggerud’s True Wealth
      Kevin Kerr’s Outstanding Investments
      Chris Weber’s Global Opportunities

      Nothing is black and white. The truth of things is often sitting there “hiding in plain daylight”. The stocks in OI are often superb long term picks. The commodities bull market has another decade of stellar returns up ahead, but 2010 is going to remain a dangerous back and forth market. You could win a bundle but you could lose your shirt. Nothing’s easy. =:-)

      BTW – I think this market is setting up for another really ugly decline (for a month or two). Starting right about now. So if you’ve been swearing you were going to get out whenever your stocks recovered somewhat from early 2009, right about now’s your chance. Every investing bet that is short the USD can get thrashed really badly if the “BIG BOUNCE” we’ve seen since March 2009 turns out to have really been only a bounce. Very dangerous moment to remain sitting in the markets with a very large exposure. People who insist on remaining fully invested for 2010 should have 50% cash available to average down. BTW Marc Faber agrees with this. Chris Weber agrees with it also. How many of these really smart guys do we want to bet against?

    34. downtrodden
      Feb 25 2010, 10:13:24 pm


      Interesting “screed.” But …. Kevin Kerr no longer is with Outstanding Investments and hasn’t been for some time. Byron King is flying solo . . . and largely crashing.

      So, in case you were thinking of re-subscribing for more Kerr wisdom, don’t bother.

      If you opt to sign up, you will be provided losers to sit with for multiple years to give it a fair test.

    35. Lukester
      Feb 26 2010, 10:53:39 pm

      Downtrodden – Yeah, I know they’ve had quite a bit of turnover at the helm of that letter. Maybe itsa notsa good as it useta be? It’s definitely hit and miss with those Agora guys. And by the same token, it’s definitely “lotsa gravy” for the publishing house owners, with all that big fat river of subscriber subscriptions coming in, eh? Agora are a real “slick” piece of work, no doubt about it. In the pejorative sense. I just plain don’t like them as they are just too darn glib and packaged to be palatable. But a few of their publications are run by reputable analysts. … Just a *few*. Please don’t mistake me for an AGORA apologist!

    36. Danny K
      Mar 18 2010, 10:39:30 am

      I stumbled accross this newsletter in 2003 and was very enthused with the theories of its editor – John Myers. Specifically he talked about the inevitability of sky-tocketing prices in the area of non-renewable energy (oil and gas) and precious metals. I subscibed and did extremely well for 3 years. The editor was replaced with Byron King and the portfolio has stagnated and crashed. I still read it, but have stopped acting on the recommendations in the last 2 years. I still own stock i should have sold when it peaked – years ago – VLO, TSO specifically.

      I dont like Byron King – i have found John Myers elesewhere

    37. walid
      Apr 8 2010, 12:26:40 pm

      In his article about the oncoming horrible predicted war in the middle east, and in order to stir the fear inward readers,Mr. Byron King narrating funny stories, filled with historical and geographical mistakes such as:
      1- Hormuz strait connects Persian gulf with the Indian Ocean but not with Mideterranian sea,(geographical mistake),
      2- Bab Al-Mandeb in Arabic doesn’t mean the door of tears, it means the door of feeling bad towards a dead person(interpreting mistake),
      3- The coast which is rich of oil is the coast of the Persian gulf but not the Caspian sea(geographical mistake)
      4- pointing out all aspects of conflict in the Middle east without referring to the Israeli role in damaging the image of the United States in the region, nor showing the unlimited support given from the US administrations to the dictator regimes in the area such as Egyptian regime and the Saudi family, both are tyrant regimes,
      5- No mentioning about the 200 nuclear war head stored in the Israeli arsenal,which provoked the nuclear possessing marathon in the area,
      6- Forget to mention the role of the US military invasion to Iraq under the false reasons and leis,which was an invaluable gift to Iran, the main enemy to Iraq, which resulted in enforcing the Shia’ power in Iraq and eastern Saudi Arabia,

    38. J to the E to the F to the F
      Apr 30 2010, 03:24:25 pm

      I think a lot of folks that subscribe to this kind of investment material think that they’re going to invest in recommendations that are going to give instant gratification – and if they don’t, then it’s a ‘scam’ (remember when you assumed your home value would keep going up 8% a year?). I’m enjoying the irony of all of those commenters from last year that formed a negative opinion about OI from the Hecla Mining recommendation (just one example). Well with a little hindsight, that worked out well, didn’t it? Look, you bombed out on the SAME stock that I’m doing exceptionally well with simply because you got OI’s recommendation (at $11) before I, a more recent subscriber, did (at $3). Same newsletter / same stock – different result. But look at what has happened since (personally, I think an even $11 purchase on Hecla might look good a few years from now).

      Look, I can only form an opinion on OI based on my own experience, but that experience so far has been fantastic. I realized that I needed some professional guidance after a period of some hits and more misses on my own – and the simple fact is I’m doing far better using OI as a guide than I was prior. I believe all you can ask of anyone that provides stock recommendations is for a well-researched, good basis for the recommendation. YOU have to understand that you’re taking on some risk from there. I feel like I get excellent research and a good basis for the recommendations – and all for a relatively paltry price.

      If I have a complaint . . . I really wish OI would add a simple ‘hold’ recommendation to the over-simple ‘buy’ and ‘sell’ ratings. OI has a great portfolio but they leave it a little vague on where to really zero in on from purchase to purchase. It’s difficult to look at a portfolio of 40+ companies – all of which are rated ‘BUY’. How about adding ‘hold’ (which means don’t buy at the moment) and various buy levels (like strong buy, moderate buy, etc.) like the rest of the world.

      Keep in mind guys, we live in a world where energy is becoming scarce and fiat currency is losing value – OI offers recommendations that will help we the investor cope with, and perhaps profit greatly from, those realities. The OI portfolio holdings are, IMO, crafted for events that are looming on the horizon.

      Check your ‘day trader’ hat at the door and you’ll be very happy with OI, in my humble opinion.

    39. Dick
      May 12 2010, 08:01:49 pm

      I subscribed for a year or so and dropped it because it underperformed the market. Since Hulbert ranked it high I resubscribed, but again it underperformed and I wont reneww

    40. Dave in AZ
      Jan 29 2011, 11:25:53 pm

      I appreciate and found Byron’s insights into the oil & metals field very interesting.
      That aside, after paying and signing up, I found all of the materials they sent were clearly out of date by about 2 years!! All this talk of deep water drilling, and no mention of BP or how public perception may have changed since the accident! They clearly try to disguise the age of the articles; there are no dates anywhere in the articles. But most importantly, the articles mention great gains on all these investments, but it is not clear the timeframe they are talking about.. a 267% increase sounds good.. but maybe it’s over 10 years, which isn’t very good at all.
      Agora Financial’s other email advice and other articles appear to be pure spam/garbage to sign up for more newsletters. To their credit, they did refund my money without any problem. I do like reading Byron’s views, and if they were timely I would even take some of his advice. But don’t send me a 2 year (or even a 2 month old report) if I’m paying for advice.

    41. thomas glynn
      Mar 8 2011, 09:35:18 pm

      i approciate reading this review. what i want to say is what people might have forgetten is to use a “good ’til cancel” order as protection against loss. use those fibinacci ratios/charts to find support and resistance levels. do not take more than 5% to 7% loss. ok so what if the stock goes up after it was automatically sold? well thats just the insurance you pay for disaster.

    42. Mark Hall
      Mar 13 2011, 09:32:54 pm

      I have been a subscriber for over 5 years. I have consistently made money on their recommendations. They pick the cream of the crop of the natural resource sector, mostly large caps plays. Yes, these resource stocks tanked when the market crashed a couple of years ago along with EVERYTHING else. But almost all of them have recovered to pre-crash levels and then some. I have only two complaints: There are a ton of stocks in their portfolio and it may be hard to buy all of them if you follow other services as well; and they don’t follow a stop loss strategy. If you believe the natural resource sector is where you want part of your portfolio, then you won’t find a better value for the money. Just follow your own stop losses as you should with all of your investments.

    43. Douglas Calhoun
      Feb 26 2013, 12:27:50 pm

      The most vexing aspect of receiving this letter is the deluge of manipulative pitches (averaging 3 per day) that arrive in the inbox of subscribers. I have repeatedly asked to receive only the newsletter in question and not any other related offers and updates and customer service does not respond to my emails. I have written customer service three times and received nothing in response. The overtly smug political tone of everything they send also makes a huge assumption about subscribers that is annoying, to say the least. But that’s just the personality of this service, how about the performance?

      I’m interested in the precious metals area and subscribed for that content. I’m not interested in the energy stocks and don’t pay attention to that portion of the content. The precious metals recommendations are, so far, entirely underwhelming. If you follow the sector at all, you’ll find Byron tipping all the old favorites: metal streamers, known miners, unleveraged ETFs etc. Looking at his portfolio’s performance over time, you can see that his batting average isn’t too hot . . . but then again, at the moment, it’s hard to look good in this sector.

      I will not renew my subscription when offered the choice.

    44. Martyn Thomson
      Feb 26 2013, 12:29:55 pm

      I subscribed for a couple of years then dropped it in a newsletter cull. It was always an interesting and educational read from a geological standpoint. I never lost money on any of the recommendations, because I never bought one!

    45. Paul Bormann
      Sep 17 2013, 01:47:00 am

      Byron King maintains a high rating for his OI investment letter by keeping 12 year old picks in gold funds/stocks that were made by his predecessor. He rarely ever issues a sell reco or takes profits (in the three years I subscribed), just keeps piling up ever larger portfolio that no one could possible keep up with. Doesn’t use trailing stops so large losses can and do occur, like during the gulf BP disaster.
      But the most money I lost was with his Energy & Scarcity Investor letter. I lost many multiples of the over priced $1500/yr I paid ONCE investing in those picks! Not even one of 5 stocks I bought into failed to crash.

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