Oxford Club / The Communique

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    1. Skeeter
      Jan 28 2009, 03:29:25 pm

      The Communique is the monthly newsletter that the Oxford Club produces. It is definitely an interesting read. There are specific trade recommendations given as are the explanations of why they are recommending them. You receive this newsletter every month regardless of the level of membership you join at. I believe the higher the membership the earlier you receive it, but not certain on this.
      I originally subscribe to the Oxford Club in 2003 at the minimum level $99 to try it out. I was tracking the recommendations before I joined any deeper. I would say most panned out.
      I did join later at the highest level of membership for $5000. I did have issues after joining for I feel I did not receive but about half of what I should have received and I did complain but did not receive any customer service at all, they had my money now. I joined specifically for a certain newsletter portion and started receiving it but then they stopped sending it. I got caught in the middle of changes at the time I joined so, they decided not to give me access to the things I thought I was going to have. They separated the newsletters into different offerings and although I joined before they did that, I still did not get all of them as expected.

      Overall, I would say it is information and I paid, not getting a refund, so I guess I have to take what I can get.

    2. John Parken
      Jan 29 2009, 03:05:10 pm

      I am a regular member. You receive the “Communique” twice monthly. I have to say that their advice is usually spot on. I especially like their 25% trailing stops on stock buys. I usually go a bit lighter and sell at a 20% stop loss. The one thing about them is that they continually push their higher priced products claiming even better returns. I don’t bite on any of that stuff. It’s just a simple “delete” in my email inbox. That’s why I rated their customer service as so-so. Overall, I would give their picks an A-. I must say I have made money with them, and did not lose as much as the ordinary investor in this bear market.

    3. Dusty
      Jan 29 2009, 10:24:54 pm

      Oxford Club is entry level, a screen for finding prospects to whom a pitch can be made for more expensive offerings. The stock picks are OK but it is important to buy them about the same time they are added to the Club Portfolio and sell them when advised. The fine bragging record of OC picks depends upon buys at the bottom of the Telecom Crash and selling at the end of 2007 or very early 2008. Little concern is given to the current chaos. It is not a time to be invested for bull market conditions and this is all the Club is set up for. They are presently providing picks to buy and sell- usually at a loss- so subscribers will think that the system is doing something. I paid my subscription in the spring of 2006 because someone I respected was a ‘member.’ I intend to let my subscription lapse at the end of this cycle. I was pushed to ‘buy’ at the top of the market and as my portfolio values fell I was hit with both ‘sell’ and advice that selling is the wrong thing to do. I did keep the “Perpetual Income” CEF’s. Oxford Club is still pushing ‘buy’ on those. Judgement will have to wait until all this is over. They also are haughty about their “Allocation Model.” Good advice, but impractical for a small investor. They could care less. Oxford Club is a part of Agora and Agora overall, in my opinion, should be viewed with skepticism and extreme caution; especially so by the small and independent investor.

    4. Chicken Little
      Feb 7 2009, 10:08:50 am

      I’ve subscribed since 2005. I found their recommendations better than average with several spectacular ones. They use a 25% trailing stop and this bear market really hammered them. For a time, the entire “Trading Portfolio” was stopped out and empty. They seem to have gotten back on track of late with some recent picks doing well.

      BTW, the Communique is published twice monthly except there is no mid-month report in January. And starting this month, the mid-month report is available only on-line; it will no longer be mailed to subscribers.

      I consider Oxford Club a decent value for not too much money. But, oh yeah, you do get a lot of ads to upgrade your membership.

    5. Clint
      Feb 7 2009, 10:11:08 pm

      I joined the Oxford Club and was almost immediately sorry. There were some interesting pitches on the Communique but over time I didn’t feel they were particularly interesting and I got really REALLY tired of getting all the constant pitches in small type and large type and REALLY large type for additional services, promises of wealth and returns, etc. etc. I can read just fine, and I never felt treated as a member, just as someone they can throw more pitches at. I canceled after a year and I now throw out or delete anything from Monument Street (Oxford and all the related services).

    6. adamtapps
      Feb 14 2009, 10:51:02 pm

      I was a subscriber off and on the past five years. There are
      so many spin-offs in the Agora family trying to sell every-
      thing under the sun. No longer interested in any thing the
      Agora is putting out, I have lost money with this organizatiion.

    7. SageNot
      Feb 16 2009, 11:30:30 am

      Sadly I’ve been a member off & on since the ’80’s. Have cancelled them at least 3X & I have to agree with most of the nay sayers above. OC is an incomplete investing service, & offered very little protection to their subscribers during 2008. It’s as if they never expect to see bear markets or severe market corrections.

      If you had one more rating category above it would have t/b the measurement of the “heads in the sand” approach to a sharp reversing market. How many 25% stop losses did their portfolio suffer when it crashed & burned? They had the company of the Madoff’s & most of the major Wall St. crooks in the 2008 decline & we know how fraudulent those folks were.

    8. Tom C.
      Feb 24 2009, 04:33:31 pm

      I’ve been a member of the OC since 4/06. I originally signed up for their basic $99. per year membership and in the Trading Circle in 7/07. I had some good returns in the basic membership but lost pretty good in the Tading Circle.
      These guys are the absolute masters of the teaser letter and inundate their members with attempts to sell you more” get rich quick schemes “.
      I’m still looking for a really good newsletter.

    9. Trinette
      Feb 24 2009, 05:24:03 pm

      I have seen this letter over the years, and have seen the quality fall greatly. To Tom C, if you are looking for a good newsletter, try the Weber Global Opportunities Letter. They don’t try to sell you more expensive products.Read the reviews on this site.

    10. Reuben
      Mar 17 2009, 08:27:54 pm

      I subscribed quite a few years ago. A year or so later in a moment of utter madness I took one of their special offers to upgrade to a lifetime subscription. I don’t have any record of what I paid initially, but now I pay an additional $25 per year to continue. If I could replay history I probably would not have subscribed, but since I am already there I will keep it.

      A couple of their writers do seem to be reasonably knowledgeable, but on the whole I think they overrate their own expertise. I have taken some of their recommendations, with mixed results. As others have written, it’s important to follow their trailing stops, which I have not always done.

      Customer service is not too good. They will bombard you continuously with all kinds of teasers and come-ons for all the other services of Agora publishing. Even a forceful request to customer service to cease and desist doesn’t work for long.

    11. Jimbo
      Mar 19 2009, 01:18:55 pm

      Subscribed in 1980’s and now lifetime member, on $25/year. Have seen this service go from good to not quite so good as new philosophies dominated. Point: start a new high-dollar letter with a flashy pick, and fold it when it depletes; and hey, infrastructure costs more when it gets top-heavy. Point: Forget the subscribers when the market tanks; we don’t time the markets, just use stops. Point: Develop picks according to new market conditions, such as more volatility, more mortality, more surprises, more extremes, less safety, and more show biz.
      A bright light in Oxford Club now is Alex. For sheer mind, Bill towers still, doom and all, and I will ever be indebted to him. Yes, try them. I did. Not for everyone, now. You have to be able to ignore the junk mail style copywriting, and see talent and value on its own merits. Not recommended for small or beginning investors.

    12. jsarz
      Mar 19 2009, 05:48:31 pm

      I tried patience with this newsletter – however their portfolios were decimated over the last year or so. I can understand normal portfolios taking a hit – but they have a Perpetual Income portfolio which is “income based” and supposedly safer than the rest. Unfortunately they were asleep at the wheel when the credit crisis hit this portfolio as well with 70% losses. This portfolio is one retirees depend on for income.. On top of that they had “buy” recs on it all the way down. Now they finally switched to be cautious note with 6 holds and 2 buy – when in actuality now is the time to buy.. Oxford never again!

    13. JPA
      Mar 21 2009, 08:23:01 am

      Like so many other subscribers, Oxford has tried to get me to do the lifetime bit at a very expensive price. I didn’t bite and I’m glad I didn’t. I subscribe to several newsletters and have found duplication in their recommendations, many from sources affiliated with the same group or with Stansberry & Associates, which I will talk about at another time. OC held firm on DSU for far too long and cost me serious money, only to lately recommend selling it in favor of BLW, which I have already lost 12% on. Who gives a damn what the dividend yield is if the value drops that much that fast!! In one of the two issues each month, members can place ads for things for sale, not what I am paying for. And each featured author of an article has his own newsletter which he is pushing for you to subscribe to. The only other guy who has more newsletters than anyone out there is Steven Leeb. I will not renew OC after nearly ten years with them.

    14. M Martiz
      Mar 21 2009, 04:18:20 pm

      Agora products have been much like the Stansberry publications. Excellent, timely information. Incredibly informative — however, once again, I just don’t have the kind of money to get the kinds of returns that matter. Overall excellent material.

    15. Jill K.
      Mar 23 2009, 09:40:29 pm

      I’ve subscribed twice. Once at the $79 level for the first year, then let it expire and then again but at $49/year but I wouldn’t be able to place a “free ad”. I don’t care about the ad. What I noticed was being inundated with emails and snail mail for subscriptions at exhorbitant amounts of money. Many of these ads appear to tout the same information but teased in a different story. They are avid about dollar cost averaging all the way up and all the way down until the stop-loss is hit. I won’t subscribe again. I figure I can save a forest from their snail mail. Between Tickerhound and Stock Gumshoe, you don’t really need the others.

    16. Richway
      Mar 28 2009, 01:43:29 am

      I am also sad to say they hooked me into the Chairman’s Circle, and what a waste of a lot of money. Anyone can use 25% stops and get lucky once every few years. I am so disgusted with them and Stansberry I don’t even know if I will continue paying the yearly fee to continue their service.

      I really did not like seeing Alex sitting in first class when leaving a retreat, after they tried charging extra for my Spouse to attend, and of course they had a couple of huckster’s at the retreat trying to get private placement money for some wild–s oil scheme. All these Agora pubs and their spinoffs are no better than Madoff. Please don’t waste your money.

    17. John Parken
      Apr 22 2009, 12:39:18 pm

      Oxford Club Communique — i find it’s choices very good and always based on logical financial reasons. Of course, no newsletter is always correct about their selections, but I find that more often than not, their selections have done quite well, even in our recent economic downturn. And I always follow their advice to have a 25% trailing sell stop of every one of their recommendations. Overall, of the 4-5 newsletters I have paid for in the past, this one ranks weel above those. I give them an overall ‘4’.

    18. max thweatt
      Apr 24 2009, 01:12:50 pm

      i have been a subscriber to several of the oxford publications for approx 18 months.they seem to be fairly accurate with their forecasts.i also like the fact that they don’t seem to have so many of the teasers that you refer to.cost for most of the service’s is $49.95.i will renew my subscriptions with them.

    19. Craiger
      May 19 2009, 12:45:14 pm

      I am a lifetime member and have subscribed to the Oxford Club for about a decade. I have never attended a seminar or subscribed to any supplemental offerings. Reading the prior reviews makes me sad. The best of this club are the 4 pillars of wealth. The allocation model, and the stop loss based on the closing high price are the top two. All of their investment recommendations must be plugged into the allocation model to achieve results. They do state this, but not very often in the monthly letters. The best use of this club is to focus on the letters, then under the “Members Only” menu look into: Allocation Model, Urgent Investor Reports, and Oxford Portfolio Updates. Keep in mind this club is conservative, some of the Portfolio Update choices are too risky to put on any of the actual picks lists. The allocation model will show you which picks fit into which allocation piece. The Urgent Investor Reports are all of those teaser reports they offer to new subscribers and a very good education source. The four pillars are in the Reports section too. They also have great reading lists for investors at any level. I gave my oldest son the gone fishing portfolio, and explained how to reallocate annually. For the uninformed or uninterested, that portfolio with annual reallocation is better than an investment advisor, and a whole lot cheaper. I agree about the e-mails, too many, too long, and of little value. The Portfolio Updates are a much better and less frequent source for a similar type of info. The Ox Club is not making quick pick/gains for you. Every pick has to be weighed in relation to the allocation model. With few exception the recommended investment in any one security is 2%, maximum of 4% under certain circumstances. The four pillars have been back tested and will be checked against our current volatility soon, but I am confident if you adhere to the four pillars you will be consistently better off than any other investment newsletter. You won’t get rich quick, but you won’t get poor quick either. I know OxClub often reads like a get rich quick newsletter, but it’s not. It’s conservative and steady. Customer service is best by phone. I have had poor results via e-mail and immediate results – every time by phone. Be sure to call during their business hours.
      As far as Agora and the get rich quicker people, I’ve discovered the GumShoe now so I’ll just tune them out. The next $50 I earn will go to support the Gumshoe and I will have two long term newsletter subscriptions. I also subscribe to one of Leebs newsletters, but will let it laps, another review. Craiger.

    20. theaccusersgift
      Jul 27 2009, 03:41:51 pm

      While occasionally I will see a good pick in the other portfolios, the portfolio for which I subscribe, and in my opinion the only portfolio worth reading is the “Gone Fishin’ Portfolio”.
      Hulbert has tracked the performance of the “Gone Fishing Portfolio” and it is one of the better diversified portfolios in his review, beaten only by the asset allocation portfolio of http://www.fundadvice.com.
      If you don’t want to subscribe to the Oxford Club, the Investment U newsletter is free and also occasionally tracks the “Gone Fishing Portfolio”.
      Alex Green, the author of the “Gone Fishing Portfolio”, has also published a book available at http://www.amazon.com which also includes an ETF portfolio in addition to the Vanguard portfolio.
      My ratings are only for the “Gone Fishing Portfolio”, the rest of the newsletter is barely worth reading, although the rest of the newsletter occasionally has some good ideas.

    21. Bruce Hicks
      Aug 31 2009, 03:42:50 pm

      I have been a member of Oxford Report off and on again for the past 20 years. Each time I subscribed, I was seduced by the “tickler” ads or emails. So far, I have made NO PROFIT from their ‘information’ etc. I also have learned that they have a parent company AGORA FINANCIAL. It seems that all the “Subsidaries” do is to advertise subscriptions to each of the OTHER newsletters of companies under the AGORA umbrella. It seems to be a BIG CIRCLE!

    22. greg
      Sep 11 2009, 03:26:22 pm

      I have subscribed to a number of newsletters, but this is the only one I have kept. I have had it over four years and if I had to choose one to keep it would be this one. Their “secret” is the use of a 25% stop loss. Once I figured this important piece of information out, I cannot complain about the returns. They generally recommend one stock a month with the goal of buying and holding until it hits the 25% stop loss. Most of their recommendations are solid, established companies with little speculation. The articles are interesting and membership does have its rewards. The only drawback is the amount of mail and “special” offers once you become a subscriber. I also subscribed to their premium services, but would not recommend it unless you have capital to play with. Overall, it is the best service I have had.

    23. Kim
      Oct 24 2009, 10:48:02 am

      Some reviewers say that the quality and performance of this newsletter decreased over years. However, according to Hulbert, the track record has been actually significantly better during the time that Alexander Green has been editor.

      From the end of 2001 through June 30, 2009, according to the Hulbert Financial Digest’s calculations, the Oxford Club has produced an 8.1% annualized return, vs. a 0.0% annualized gain for the Wilshire 5000. This service is currently in 5th place for risk-adjusted performance over the trailing ten years among the 87 newsletters for which the Hulbert Financial Digest has at least a decade’s worth of data.

      For $79 a year, it’s a great value for money. Some newsletters charge this amount per month.

    24. fred
      Oct 24 2009, 02:20:01 pm

      Subscribed twice. Can’t say they really made me
      any money, but then, I use these things for my own
      research – rather than just blindly buying what
      a pundit says to buy – and what should we really
      expect for $79.00 a year? Sure, this entry level
      letter is offered cheaply to bait people to buy the
      more expensive services – but no one has to bite.
      I regard Alex Green highly for the integrity of
      his recommendations and clearly communicating
      about them. I also think Oxford, customer
      service wise, has some execellent educational
      materials – I particularly like their idea to
      buy more of your solid winners and let them run.
      I have made nice gains using this idea alone.
      They do often get stopped out of a stock without
      there being a really apparent, company specific,
      reason – and I have noticed that their “stopped out”
      stocks often perform well thereafter.
      If I subscribe again, I’ll take a new twist. Don’t
      rush to buy new recommendations – and focus hard,
      research wise, on their stopped out stocks. Often,
      they still offer great – perhaps greater – value
      at 25% less in price – an even better risk/reward.

    25. tt
      Nov 25 2009, 02:33:59 am

      I have been reading newsletters for a long long time. I enjoy Travis’s writeups but was suprised he didn’t remark on the “honest pitch” aspects of Alex’s write up. Most authors would have you believe government contracts were sure to launch this companys stock. Alex merely suggests he feels its
      a possibility – so would I, especially if they made one of these machines to look at your feet so you don’t have to take off your shoes at the airport.
      Alex Green has a terrific track record in picking stocks, and providing a range of lower risk portfolios. he does not bat a thousand- nobody does.
      Travis seems to agree this is one solid company. Alex is offering a fairly priced strong performer in the strongest sector given our recession, with, he believes a strong upside potential with or without a container inspection contract.
      He recommended it last year if I recall, and its still has this upside potential in my view. The main juice here I think is the limited number of solid companies with upside will attract institutional money- why? Alex would say the bottom line is believable earnings growth. And institutional money really moves these stocks.

    26. BB in Boulder
      Nov 25 2009, 07:21:41 pm

      I have been a basic member $99 for many years. Never bought any higher priced pitches. Still subscribing I agree with the comments about way too many teaser letters and have asked them to stop pitching to me to no results. I’ve never gone to their investment ‘parties’ or cruises.

      That said I hired an independent financial advisor last year and what they advised was no better that the GFP (Gone Fishing Portfolio). If you can take the long term view, the GFP – either mutuals or exchange traded funds is solid advice as it most of Alex Green’s stuff.

      The rest of it is hit or miss. Take the monthly ‘special picks’ as input and do the research yourself. I think the value lies in following their assett allocation and using the trading stops. Nobody picks all winners so yes you get stopped early sometimes but you avoid those crash and burns as well. For the price, I haven’t found a better letter.

    27. john peters
      Dec 1 2009, 03:55:15 am

      i didnt subscribe as i died of boredom and sceptical astonishment (not cancer) before i got to the end of this
      letter. if they got to the point a bit more quickly and left out
      all the bullsh*t they might avoid the derision their ad deserves

    28. Phil
      Jan 4 2010, 10:00:55 pm

      As a former bond trader/salesman then direct mail copywriter I’m always fascinated by the insanely long teaser letters these online research guys send out. I’m also a sap for them. I subscribed to Oxford a few years back when they were using the very same “fights cancer and terrorism” ad they are repeating now. I then received all the follow up letters from other online researchers. I subsequently became involved with Stansberry & Associates, eventually joined their Alliance. Stansberry seems a bit impressed with himself and may or may not be kinda wacky politically, depending on your persuasion, but he’s either been lucky or is just plain smart because I find a lot of his info rings true in my mind and in my accounts. He apparently has a good feel for talent because a few of the other people he has writing for him come up with pretty knowledgable stuff. He predicted a number of 2009’s bankruptcies and has a decent hand at tearing apart finance reports. One of the best investments I’ve made though I wish I didn’t have to filter through all of his nauseating tripe to get the good information.

    29. fred
      Jan 6 2010, 12:34:13 pm

      Oops, I did it again! Subscribed, that is, but its OK. Just read Travis’ review on latest Oxford smart grid tout to gain subscribers.
      Need to separate their tout stocks from their real recommendations to buy. Their touts are a bit like Tobin Smith’s – far off to pan out, if they do big time as touted, and ya, these newsletters all have copy writers extraordinare!
      But still, for the money, they have some sound recommendations,
      well researched, and Alex Green and Bassenese both seem
      honorable and very straight forward in explaining their “real” recommendations. That said, sure, the best picks will always be reserved for the high price payers – and no question, the entry level newsletter offers are geared to try to get subscribers to move up – and pay more. But overall,
      newsletter wise, I am staying on board – but only at this entry level rate – this time around.

    30. Alan
      Feb 4 2010, 12:48:54 am

      It’s been a long time since I was affiliated with Oxford Club and Agora, but I actually worked for this newsletter at one time. I think the one thing that I am really most angered with is their shameless promotion of Alex. At one time, they were promoting him as “walking away from a huge Wall Street bonus” just to be with them… Truth is, he did but he had no choice. You see, he was writing for OC AND he was a broker at a major brokerage firm. In fact, the broker he often pointed subscribers to… was his partner! Oh… and by the way, he kinda forgot to tell his brokerage firm that he was writing this newsletter! Big oops. He was asked to leave the firm and return most of the signing bonus they had paid to recruit him.

      Folks above are right that the Communique is a hook to sell “premium” trading services. During the couple of years I was there, I never saw one trading service worth the paper it was printed on. The trouble with the trading services, is that you can’t count on conditions being consistent month after month after month, so being able to sell short or buy momentum or write covered calls and generate a consistent profit time after time is difficult.

      My personal opinion of the premium service, the Chairman’s Circle, is that it is a colossal waste of money. My apologies if I offend anyone. It’s not intended.

    31. Paul Anderberg
      Feb 9 2010, 09:50:52 am

      When I started investigating online investing, I subscribed to quite a few free newsletters. The Oxford Club publishes one called “Investment U.” I have profited from some of their ideas. So I figured that if their FREE service was helpful, their paid-for MEMBER service would be wonderful. WRONG!!!! The only additional “benefit” you get from actually paying these SCUMBAGS is that they inundate you with teases for their pricier services.

    32. Sallie Marsico
      Feb 11 2010, 01:50:48 am

      Just joined Oxford Club. Membership package is classy. Initial foray helped me pick Owens & Minor
      (OMI) out of the pack, based on 3 recommended stocks recommended for 2010, (…but not without checking the company out in the S&P Stock Guide and on line: A rated company, paid dividends since 1926, solid earnings and returns, 208m debt to 1,283m in assets and 14.7m in cash.)

      Then I tried to access the 13 newsletter/reports listed in the membership guide. Not so fast, Watson. Everything was a teaser. One teaser drove me crazy: 617m Michigan company to build connectivity lines for 62 mega watt Fredonia Reactor.

      I’m new to investment advise newsletters, so I’m not surprised
      the “honey” didn’t match the hype. Oh, well……

    33. Charles
      Sep 4 2010, 01:22:02 am

      Oxford’s newsletter is mainly to “Sell” you higher costing “Services” that you thought you were going to get when you subscribed originally. A great tease and a LOT of BULL.

    34. David O
      Dec 6 2010, 03:00:04 pm

      Subscribed to Oxford Club October 2009.I waited patiently for new recommendations. There were a couple losers in the beginning but over the last 8 months they are right on target with great returns and a couple of unbelievable picks. I rejoined and at least they do well in a up market. The Oxford Portfolio is A-, the 7 Deadly Sins is also A-, The Perpetual Income Portfolio is B and the other 2 mutual fund portfolios are worthless. I like them and for $79 they are worth a lot more. I throw out all their other junk. Also, I do my own research to verify their recommendations.

    35. Rick
      Feb 8 2011, 10:17:12 am

      I have subscribed to OC ($79/year) for at least 10 years. I have tried many different newsletters, several trading services and options advisors. As you can tell I am a sucker for long shots. That being said, I have benefited greatly, mostly by applying the general knowledge in their articles to my retirement accounts, selecting V.G. mutual funds in line with their (usually Alex Green’s) view of the upcoming year(s). I also from time to time will buy a 100 shares of a stock pick that resonates with me, and that usually works out positively.
      As has been said, they work great in a bull market, and in the downturn nothing was working except keeping your head low. Trying to time shorts (puts) was brutal. The fact that they kept recommending buys and getting stopped out they justified by saying that you never know when the bear was going to turn around. True enough.
      I wish their pitch for their trading services were true, but they really don’t have a crystal ball anymore than anyone else. It puts a tarnish on their reputation, but apparently it is making them money.
      In the long run, I have made many times more than the $790 +/- I have paid in the last 10 years for the basic subscription.

    36. jrs
      Feb 25 2011, 01:46:17 pm

      I’ve been with the OC for 4 years and have very sparingly cherry picked their recommendations and only after my own research. The picks I settled on have done very well over the years and I have used their small portfolio allocation advice (no more than 4% per stock). Additionally I have employed their trailing stop advice and between these two key trading/investing tools I have done well. My advice is to ignore all the hype and additional sales pitches–if you ever want to know what over-hyped stock pick they are trying to sell use this site to cut through the BS.

    37. MachineGhost
      Nov 20 2011, 12:18:13 pm

      I’ve been a lifetime member since the very early 90’s, so I’ve seen the good, the bad and the ugly.

      The bad in the 90’s was due to ex-Investment Director Chris Weber’s terrible performance (at one point it was -10% for the previous three years according to Hulbert). He was eventually thrown out circa 1998-1999 and replaced with Alex Green, who was recruited by Executive Director, Julia Guth. Those two individuals are pretty much the nuts and bolts of The Oxford Club.

      Green brought basic discipline to the club in the form of total portfolio asset allocation, trailing stops on the Trading Portfolio, All Star Portfolio (buy and hold), Perpetual Income Portfolio (since spun off as a separate portfolio with its own monthly newsletter), Seven Sins Portfolio and the Gone Fishin’ Portfolio. While Green is not a market timing believer and that gospel does permeate the entire Club and its numerous journalist correspondents (there is a revolving door — even Porter Stansberry worked for them at one point before being fired; the Club’s best trade of JDSU’s 900%+ gain is solely due to Stansberry), he did warn members about the dot.com mania bubble in January 2000, three months before the top.

      Green’s huge screwups were in recommending principal-protected, structured notes from Merrill Lynch (MITTS) that left investors with nothing when Merrill Lynch went belly-up in 2008. For the All Star Portfolio, he also recommended “15-year market beater” (it was really just a quirk of year end calendar reporting) Bill Miller’s Legg Mason Value Fund before it lost 50% or so in 2008. Unfortunately, Green is again pushing a new breed of structured notes in a $49 “book”.

      Other than that, the ridiculously high priced advisory services (mostly Green’s) seem overrated. They suffer from the lack of market timing, of which will generate consecutive losing trading during bearish periods. It is really not that difficult to peform basic market timing to improve the risk/reward ratio, yet Green must be overhappy collecting $2K-$5K+ a year from subscribers and not worry about improving his own cooking. Since Green is from Wall Street, the Top 1% mentality must live on.

      In case anyone wonders who is behind parent company Agora’s publishing “empire”, I believe it is perma-bears William Bonner (of The Daily Reckoning) and pretend Libertarian but in the closet Republican James Dale Davidson (formerly of Strategic Investment). Agora was not an “empire” in the beginning. Direct marketing is how Agora grew to be an “empire”, not newsletter performance.

      It is a stretch to call The Oxford Club an exclusive and private financial club when it is simply a direct marketing business. That’s not to say they are not good at what they do or that there isn’t camradie among Club members at seminars, cruises or local chapter meetings, but it is nowhere the same thing as getting access to the real movers and shakers of Wall Street, which is the kind of image they try to hook you on.

      Come to think of it… all of these “investment advisory journalists” seem to get paid six figures while living like a hog and raising their [new] families at our expense. It is not related to stellar outperformance at all, but direct marketing. The Hilton philosophy is alive and well.

    38. Teddy Stanowski
      Jun 8 2012, 05:11:01 pm

      Warning: this is a long review, but i go over almost all of their services and perks. This is my experience only.

      The Oxford Club is my first investment newsletter that I have come across since I started to get into investing a couple years ago. I was promoted by Early to Rise when Michael Masterson (or Mark Ford who runs he Palm Beach Letter) was running it. It was a good offer and they offered a lot of “fraternal” perks to go along with the newsletter. I liked what I heard and the educational opportunities and went with it.

      Went through a whole year of not making use of their picks but following on a play account and keeping any eye on it. I was at the bottom of the barrel membership and I only received the Communique and the Perpetual Income newsletter along with Alexander Green’s Spiritual Wealth which I enjoy reading. Throughout my membership I periodically receive emails and mail pieces along with the newsletters. Half of them are good advice such as portfolio picks, stops, buys and holds. I like their asset allocation strategy and their trail stop strategy. It’s simple but effective and their education behind their picks is sound. They believe in profits = stock gains which is a strong correlation in the market, despite headline driven events.

      The other half are marketing pieces for upgrade in service and potential investment ideas and affiliated partners. Since I got this newsletter through ETR, the marketing and sales strategy is very similar and effective to get people to buy. A tad bit annoying as well since I am also subscribed to Investment U (free version) and I get the same promotional offers. But as any business in tough economic times, it is going to do what it can to generate and upgrade new and current customers. That is expected and I am able to see pass it to find value.

      This year (2012) I am putting their good picks to use and I must admit that no stock is bullet proof to headline driven news (such as Europe crashing or congressional fiscal irresponsibility), however I will say that between the Communique and Perpetual Income newsletters, they make pretty solid picks. Communique focuses on growth stocks and I will say with my experience that 70-80% of them are winners for me and are excellent choices. The losers that I have have not yet hit their 25% trail stop strategy which is the only reason why I keep them, but at the same time I tend to put my money’s worth in my winners to continue the growth.

      The Perpetual Income I will say is 50/50 with winner sand losers. Their picks with dividends do not perform as well and are not really high yields but this is an excellent strategy. Their picks tend to have less volatility then the follow the yield strategy which will fluctuate more than Mitt Romney’s positions (haha?) At the same time however, I am wishing they perform better, but again, 25% trail stop is in place and I adjust it accordingly. They also don’t always pick stocks when I get their newsletter so they are picky (which is good). The better bonus is Steve McDonald’s bond column which is excellent advice for picking bonds and how to play them in this shaky market.

      The club has a lot of perks like discounts with brokers, services, discount rates for travel and member exchanges for even bigger discounted rates and they have club houses in a few locations so the fraternal feel is there. They also have conferences quite often though I have yet to go to one.

      It’s a solid long term investment newsletter and is great for educational purposes and teaches you some good discipline. I became a lifetime fellowship member and hopefully I’ll test out the VIP services later this year or next year.

      As for price, they have offers all the time and you will pay anywhere from $79 to $7000 for a one time fee to join a certain membership level, and then there’s a low annual maintenance fee of like $50 a year. If you can swing it, it’s financially a no brainer. I paid $375 (low offer) to become a fellowship and I like my perks.

      As with any newsletter, do your due diligence. Research their pick, see what fits with your portfolio, check past performance and where they are heading (any new acquisitions or profit surges coming up? Is their business model continuous despite the economy?) And you will do well.

      I may not always go with their picks, but when I do, I do well and I have become a better investor today.

    39. R L Beatty
      Jul 29 2012, 09:06:54 am

      I have been a lifetime member of the Oxford Club for nearly 30 years. More recently they were ranked in the top 10 newsletter for the past decade (2000-2010) Their service is intended for long term investors, not for short-term investing or trading. If you are seeking long term investing advice, their service is great.

    40. Al Germain
      Feb 26 2013, 07:02:08 pm

      I have subscribed to OC for the past 5 years and find it good value for money. I have also subscribed to at least half-a-dozen other newsletters over the same period and have dropped all of them. The OC appears to have a good cross section of contributors. They are quick to recognize a mistake and advise accordingly.

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