Revealed: Frank Curzio’s “150 people ONLY” Small Resource Firm for Phase 1

By Travis Johnson, Stock Gumshoe, July 25, 2013

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Well, you probably know the drill by now — if there’s going to be a teaser pitch made for a $5,000 (or $3,000 “on sale”) newsletter, and if that pitch is going to be made by probably the largest marketer in the newsletter world, well, yours truly is going to be inundated with requests to solve the puzzle.

So it is again today — Frank Curzio is sniffing around for 150 new subscribers for his Phase 1 Investor newsletter (that’s the “top of the line” letter published by Stansberry & Associates, it usually recommends little tech, biotech and resource stocks). And to get you interested, he’s hinting around about “a very thinly traded resource firm.”

Here’s the rationale they share in the ad:

“In April of 2009, we did something we had never done before in the history of our business…

“And we thought we’d never do again.

“In short, we came across a gold stock that was so microscopic… So thinly traded… We had to initially limit the invitation to learn the details to less than 200 subscribers.

“That gold stock generated the opportunity for tremendous gains for those who were able to get in…

“Unfortunately, not everyone was able to participate….

“When we first did this in 2009 we limited the opportunity because the stock we were recommending was trading for less than $3 a share and had a market cap of less than $200 million.

“Today, we’ve come across a similar opportunity… But this new stock is even smaller and potentially more lucrative.”

Well, if they pitched that stock more widely in April, 2009 then I might have missed it — we were, of course, publishing back then (going back to 2007 now, Stock Gumshoe is getting a bit long in the tooth). I don’t think we covered any Phase 1 teasers that month.

But still, yes, we can verify that they’ve used the “just 150” or “just 200” slot pitch before (and say, “yeah, right” the the idea that they’d “never do it again”), and they’ve certainly teased several small gold stocks that have had nice runs over the past several years. The most recent one, actually, was a “just 75 slots” pitch back in January of 2012 for Gold Standard Ventures, and that one did have a nice run to a triple before falling back, it’s now cheaper than it was when they touted it (the Stansberry letters almost all use stop losses, so presumably he would have had you sell with some kind of gain if you bought below a dollar way back then).

So what’s the stock they’re touting this time? Well, again it’s a resource company — though this time it’s in the energy space, not in gold or silver. And it’s apparently a very small stock again, so I’ll share my standard warning: Because Curzio’s ad campaign has heightened interest about this pitch, and because it’s such an expensive newsletter and some folks assume that means it’s a “better” pick, when we write about these kinds of stocks they sometimes react violently to the new attention. It all depends on how tiny it really is, and what the “normal” trading volume is … and, of course, on what kind of opinion we might have or you might have — but the standard warning even before I figure out the stock for you (we’re getting to that) is, “be careful.” Tiny stocks that shoot up quickly on a wave of new attention can fall back down just as quickly, even if nothing else happens.

So now… how about the clues from Curzio’s letter?

“It’s a tiny resource firm with a market cap of less than $100 million and it trades for less than $1.50 a share….

“The good news is, if you’re able to get in on this, there’s little doubt in my mind you’ll have the opportunity to make quite a bit of money.

“Of course, there are no guarantees. Trades such as this, especially on very small stocks, carry large and inherent risks. But I believe gains of several hundred percent are possible…”

Curzio said the word of this new energy play and the company profiting from it came from a well-connected wildcatter he knows — I don’t know if this is yet another pitch brought on by their connection to Cactus Schroeder, who the Stansberry folks have relied on in the past for expert info, or if it’s someone else. Here’s what they say about the specifics:

“As soon as I heard about this tiny firm I hopped on a plane to meet our wildcatter contact…

“… we hopped in his pickup truck and began to tour what he believes is one of the largest oil fields this country has ever seen.

“He says oil production could dwarf the Eagle Ford area in Texas. Eagle Ford is currently one of the largest oil fields in the world.

“… look what a Lubbock Texas newspaper said when comparing the Eagle Ford to this new discovery… ‘The 140-mile-long and 70-mile-wide oil shale is anticipated to be one of the largest oil plays in American history. [It’s] depth is equivalent to 10 Eagle Ford Shales stacked on top of each other.'”

So that sounds enticing … and given that quote, we know they’re talking about the Cline Shale — which is a hot new area in West Texas, part of the Permian Basin (names fluctuate a lot when you’re talking about shales at different depths and locations, the Cline is also sometimes called the Lower Wolfcamp Shale, among other monikers). So it’s an established oil and gas area, to be sure — some are saying it might be the largest new oil field discovered in the US since Prudhoe Bay, so the chatter about the Cline Shale is likely to continue for some time. It’s still pretty early days for this formation, but the speculation is that it’s maybe 50% bigger than the Bakken, and will be substantially less expensive to produce, and it has a high ratio of oil and liquids (more valuable) to dry gas (less valuable). So the big picture seems intact, it is really a promising area.

You can see that article from the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal here (awesome newspaper name, by the way). Or if you want more perpective from newsletterland, there’s another general piece on the promise of the Cline from the Oxford Club folks here (that article suggests a look at large regional player Devon, FYI).

How about some clues to point us at the little company Curzio is teasing? Here you go:

“… among $22 billion Devon Energy… $13 billion Chesapeake Energy… And $31 billion Apache energy… Sits a tiny firm that could make you an absolute fortune….

“Over the past year, this tiny firm increased production by over 200%…

“Which is more than Devon Energy, which only increased production in the area by 24% in the beginning of 2013….

“The tiny firm also has a major interest in a very large tract of land in this new discovery, which is virtually untouched. Its partner in this land is one of the biggest and most successful energy firms in America, which is more than 100 times the size of our tiny firm.”

So apparently it’s not just an explorer, it’s producing now — and we’re told that some hotshot investors have effectively endorsed the stock:

“… some of the smartest investors on the planet have recognized the potential of this company and have invested significant sums of money in it.

“One of them is a private investment firm in Texas. The head of this firm used to be in charge of Morgan Stanley’s Global Oil and Gas Investment Banking division.

“Get this: The private firm currently owns over 15 million shares and continues to buy. As one analyst noted, that’s ‘certainly an encouraging sign.'”

And after Curzio goes on to tell us the he can’t tell us any more, for fear of revealing the secret, he tells us that…

“Right now, this tiny firm has dozens of producing wells and by the end of 2013, it’s estimated they will increase the current number by more than 30%. Conservatively, you could double your money on this stock by the end of the year.

“In fact, one energy analyst says this firm, could double or triple in price but is still largely undiscovered….

“An energy firm with a market cap of over $15 billion, recently leased land near the tiny oil firm’s stake.

“In fact, the huge company got permits for three wells just one mile north of one of the firm’s projects.

“And since the tiny firm owns interests in over 40,000 acres in the area, and has a market cap of less than $100 million it’s a prime candidate for a takeover.

“In other words, some experts are predicting the large energy company is preparing to buy out the tiny firm, which could make you even more money off this stock.”

Well, it’s not a LOT of clues — but thankfully, the Mighty, Mighty Thinkolator is well rested. This stock is almost certainly … Lynden Energy (LVL on the Venture exchange in Canada, LVLEF on the pink sheets).

I can’t say that we’re 100% certain on this one, since we had to sneak in the back door to figure out our target (we found their major investor first, that’s John Lovoi, then tracked down the most likely of his Cline-related holdings), but it all checks out pretty well with the limited clues given so I’m almost certain. We’ll call it 98% sure, but we’re also just making that number up.

Lynden Energy is indeed a very small company, market cap about $90 million … which is, coincidentally, very close to what a consultant estimated last Summer as the net present value of their proven and probable reserves, discounted at 10%. I haven’t checked those numbers but it does mean that there’s at least some fundamental reserves and production backing up the current market cap.

I think I’ve only mentioned Lynden once in this space, that was back when Curzio’s boss Porter Stansberry was pitching the Cline Shale (he was teasing Devon, too, for his “secret shale region) — at the time I noted that there were a small crop of land-rich Cline stocks, and that some of them would probably end up being teased … and Lynden was one of those. It has also been touted by Keith Schaefer over at Oil & Gas Investments Bulletin, who posted this detailed assessment of the stock over a year ago.

Here’s what Keith Schaefer was saying about Lynden in an interview back in February:

“Lynden Energy Corp. (LVL:TSX.V) is a really interesting story. It’s a Permian play in West Texas and has this asset called Mitchell Ranch, with more than 100,000 gross acres in the heart of the Cline shale. Net, it owns about one-third of that. That big a land package in that location in one big block is very rare. If it spun out that asset and IPO’d it, it could probably get $250 million for it, worth $2.50/share. Lynden is just going to sit on the land for a little while and let everybody else prove up the ground around it. That asset could double or triple the current stock price if it gets one really good well out of that play. It raised its own money, so it doesn’t need the Street. Because it doesn’t pay the Street, there’s not a lot of research on it. It’s a bit of an undiscovered gem.”

Lynden does have roughly 40,000 net acres in the Permian Basin, though it’s from a somewhat confusing array of partial interests, joint ventures, etc. The basic story is that their producing property, Wolfberry, is generating the revenue. They’re using that revenue, and selling off some of the producing wells (they sold some of those wells to Breitburn Enerby Partners (BBEP) at the end of last year) to finance further reserves increases in the Wolfberry, but more importantly to push forward on development of their Mitchell Ranch project. Mitchell Ranch is the large acreage position, it’s a 100,000 acre parcel in the eastern shelf of the Permian Basin, which is apparently right where people want to be for Cline Shale/Wolfcamp access. They’ve been pretty clever and patient about the development of this project, it appears — they have a working interest partner for the whole thing, but they’ve effectively sold off a third of the property to a large operator in exchange for access to their data and an overriding gross royalty (1.25%). It’s not really a sale, it appears that they get it back in about six months (that’s 30 months from when the deal was struck in Summer 2011) if the partner isn’t producing and maintaining their interest, but if it’s a successful field as expected, it’s effectively a sale. So that’s what Schaefer means when he says they’re going to “let everybody else prove up the ground around it.”

You can see Lynden’s latest annual report here, which is a year old (fiscal year ends in June, apparently), and their latest release from the March quarter here. They’re currently profitable because of their recent asset sale to Breitburn, but even without that they have had decent operating earnings from their Wolfberry wells. The cash flow is still going back into Wolfberry wells to continue increasing production, but they are apparently participating in seismic studies on the Mitchell Ranch property to begin to plan exploratory wells there. I only skimmed the info, but I didn’t see any word on the big E&P company that bought in to that third of the Mitchell Ranch property or what they might have learned from any exploration there, but there is also apparently a lot of drilling activity in the neighborhood so perhaps they’re learning more as their competitors drill.

That’s about all I know about Lynden, it appears to be a relatively conservative company focused on developing a potentially large Cline Shale/Wolfcamp asset, but I have no idea how quickly any such development might move … or, indeed, whether they’ll be successful at finding meaningful reserves as they expect. They’ve been building up their Wolfberry production for a couple years now and the larger Mitchell Ranch property has mostly just sat there as a “this might be big” project, so it appears we’re still waiting on that. I don’t know whether they’re going to want to be passive and develop it slowly or if they’re hoping for some big breakthrough drilling form neighboring explorers or from their partner on the property so they can sell out at a big premium, but so far the indication is that they’re going to sell off wells once they’re proven and producing and use that money to find new reserves. I can’t tell you whether it’s a great buy here or not, I’m no expert at evaluating energy projects and I haven’t looked that closely at Lynden yet … but I’m sure there are some oil and gas mavens out there who know more about this one than I do, so I’d be delighted to hear your opinion with a comment below.

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Share Your Thoughts

ShowHide Comments (76)
    1. Earl McHugh
      Jul 25 2013, 11:44:44 am

      I have learned by closely watching for some time that the best thing to do is NEVER BUY ANYTHING STANSBERRY RECOMMENDS.

      • tim shroo
        Jul 25 2013, 12:21:03 pm

        I have done extremely well with Stansberry recommendations. I have never been impressed with their Phase One Investor ideas, but Curzio also wrotes another newsletter for them that i have greatly profited from; i especially like his suggestions for small cap firms with a very long history of paying good and growing dividends. Several of their other writers have benefited me greatly, as well (Sjuggerud, Eifrig, Ferris, Badiali, etc.) I have particularly high regard for their integrity. On a couple of their newsletters i have subscribed and then canceled after the trial period, and they have always given me back a full refund. I still subscribe to several of their newsletters, though.

        • sagenot
          Jul 25 2013, 04:00:05 pm

          Yep, Porter’s letter is hot/hot/hot this year (wait until Bernanke tapers y’all!) I too like Franks smaller stock letter, he monitors that letter closely, pulls the plug before losing too much profit or curbing his few losses in a timely manner. Probably the best value around on small cap stocks, but of course our Travis is no slacker in that dept. either.

    2. Hank Hartfelder
      Jul 25 2013, 12:33:15 pm

      Thanks for sharing this information. Was a subscriber to this sham of a newsletter a few years ago, you get sucked into his hype and eventually will lose money as I did on his supposedly doubling, tripling and quadrupling of his far out picks.

    3. Jay Kay
      Jul 25 2013, 12:55:29 pm

      I really wonder what Curzio tells his “high end” subscribers. Could it be something like this: “First of all, buy now before word leaks out about this company. Then, after the stock spikes from recommendations from people like the Stock Gumshoe, sell and wait for the stock to collapse. Then we can buy it again and ride it higher once more.”

      • 17 |
        Patrick Allen
        Jul 25 2013, 09:15:31 pm

        The paradigm I enjoy in Stock Gumshoe is that he is not making the recommendations, but revealing those of the loud and expressive news/stock -letters and reports, which in some cases appear to aim to pump stock prices. I used to subscribe to Motley Fool, which was generally very good and measured in its stocks; except that I was bombarded excessively with teasers about their other products, and everything was an immensely long read before getting to the guts of the story. Stock Gumshoe distils all that and much more very efficiently.

    4. Myron Martin
      Myron Martin
      Jul 25 2013, 01:02:04 pm

      Earl: That is a pretty provocative statement, so you had a bad experience with a stock or two, we all do at one time or another. Have been reading Stansberry for over two decades and they have some excellent analysts and have made some great calls, you are way too cynical in your blanket statement. Granted the past 2 years have been difficult for investors as well as analysts, but ultimately we are all responsible for our own investment decisions. Blaming an individual analyst (or firm employing him) for not having a crystal ball and seeing a general market downturn looming is a “cheap shot” in my view, you expect perfection?

      • Alan Harris
        Jul 25 2013, 02:11:42 pm

        Im not sure Gumshoe is the place for personal attacks. If you have had better experience of Stansberry, speak your truth and leave others to weigh the info. Of course no one has a crystal ball….thats where skill and judgement come in and thats what you are paying for. But if they have had a ‘difficult’ time for 2 years and still have the gall to charge £3000 a reco………! I know which side my DD comes down on.

      • Thomas Valdes
        Aug 5 2013, 11:42:46 am

        Myron, you’re absolutely right about your assessment of Stansberry’s advice.
        I’ve been a reader for several years and can attest to +63% in my investments because of them. Know when to hold them and when to fold them.

    5. vivian lewis
      Jul 25 2013, 01:41:08 pm

      I have a backdoor way to benefit from Texas shale growth which is an extremely conservative play which I write about for readers of some of whom are also stock gumshoe followers. Like Travis I too sometime suffer from a senior moment but just to make him feel better this stock also benefited from Prudhoe Bay in Alaska. It is an old established foreign firm in the oil business which wrote up for The Economist and have been following since the mid-1960s. I sold some to pay my share of a house down payment. But kept enough. If you want to learn more legitimately visit and sign up for my super cheap newsletter, $399 per year for nearly daily blogs of stock advice.

      • Alan Harris
        Jul 25 2013, 02:19:22 pm

        I have a better Idea Travis. Stuff this info in the mighty mighty thinkoltaor and save us all $399.
        Is this a sponsored advert??

        • 3984 |
          Travis Johnson, Stock Gumshoe
          Jul 25 2013, 02:27:01 pm

          No, Vivian’s just trying to sneak in a promo. If it’s an old, established foreign firm in oil services that she’s been following since the 1960s, I expect it’s $100+ Billion giant Schlumberger (SLB), though that’s just a guess.

        • Alan Harris
          Jul 25 2013, 02:28:43 pm

          Mid 60’s ??? 50yrs and they still haven’t struck oil ???? If you started at 20years of age, that certainly qualifies still writing about it as a something more than a senior moment. And at $399pa that’s $20,000 per reader. Jez, by now you should be able to afford to buy your own well.

          • 3984 |
            Travis Johnson, Stock Gumshoe
            Jul 25 2013, 02:37:33 pm

            Vivian started her newsletter close to 25 years ago, I believe, but she worked overseas before that. I know you’ve got your tongue firmly in cheek, Alan, but just in case anyone’s confused, SLB is the dominant global oil services stock — they don’t produce oil for themselves, though their workers and rigs have certainly “struck oil” many times.

            • Alan Harris
              Jul 25 2013, 03:00:42 pm

              Sorry Travis….I forget others are reading my Gumshoe, so I accept the scolding. You will understand mine of 2:28 was still being typed while yours of 2:27, unveiling SLB, was there for all to see.

      • 3984 |
        Travis Johnson, Stock Gumshoe
        Jul 25 2013, 02:39:21 pm

        That can easily happen for a brief while if there’s a spurt of interest in a thinly-traded pink sheets stock and the pink sheet shares fail to keep up perfectly with the home listing for a little while. Doesn’t usually last long for Canadian stocks, since it’s easy for Market Makers to arbitrage between the US and Canadian exchanges.

    6. 29 |
      stephen gillis
      Jul 25 2013, 02:31:05 pm

      I own this one (up about 40% currently) and have spoken to management a couple of times. So far they seem to have the right approach to this play and they also seem to be on the up and up. Definitely not a place to put money you can’t afford to lose, but if the cards fall the right way it could turn out to be one of those multi-baggers you can brag about to your friends.

    7. vivian lewis
      Jul 25 2013, 03:21:04 pm

      two comments. To Mr. Morgan, if the Scottrade spread is so huge that may mean the market-maker is sleepy or greedy. Small caps from Canada whose ticker symbols end in an F sometimes only price once a day. On-line discount brokerages do not always shop around to find a livelier market-maker. Just use a limit order GTC.
      as for my tip on Schlumberger I am pleased that Travis got it right away proving his deep knowledge of stocks and markets. Even if the Thinkolator did get it wrong about SLB producing oil, something it is just starting to do.
      I also find some of the anti-senior comments on this site offensive. Mr. Harris might reconsider whether an experienced stock-picker is someone to be insulted–or emulated. I am sensitive to prejudice for a reason. They used to put down women. A grandmother nowm when I first met Schlumberger on the Rue Saint-Dominique I already had been a foreign financial reporter for nearly two years. I was a young mother working free-lance for The Economist at age 25. My previous job from which I was fired because I had become pregnant (this WAS the 1960s!) had involved covering a lot of oil and gas news for Platt’s Oilgram, then part of the Business Week empire. US firms like McGraw-Hill then fired people all the for pregnancy and for some reason they were all women. It was illegal in Belgium where I was working but the McG-H guy they sent out from NY to do the deed said that if I sued I would never get a job in journalism again.
      So I know something about the oil industry despite being female. And I know something about the oil industry today despite being a senior. And I know far too much about how easy it is to toss away investment insight because of a prejudice against the person who is offering it.
      By the way Porter Stansbery can be insulted all you want because he doesn’t exist. Bill Bonner of Agora Inc. made up the name.

      • 3984 |
        Travis Johnson, Stock Gumshoe
        Jul 25 2013, 04:09:55 pm

        I have no idea whether or not he was born with the name, but Frank Porter Stansberry is a real person. I also don’t know if he went by his middle name before adopting it for his financial writing career (his mentor, Mark Ford/Michael Masterson, knows quite a bit about the usefulness of pseudonyms). I’ve met him a couple times, I think he’s a couple years younger than I am and he did start out as a copywriter for Agora, which I assume probably still owns part of Stansberry & Associates.

      • Alan Harris
        Jul 25 2013, 04:12:39 pm

        Au contraire Ms Lewis. Being 65 myself, Im hardly likely to support age ism in any form. The comment made was that, if you have been following this company since the mid 60’s, that qualified ‘as a something more than a senior moment’. Given that it was YOU who first mentioned you suffer such moments (I simply referred back to your own words ….if you are having a memory ism problem, see your own comment above in black and white) I refute your appeal for sympathy by way of playing to the crowd. It’s a common (in every sense of the word) and shabby ploy which you have also tried to exploit by slinging in women’s rights in the 60’s, as if times have not moved on. Unless you haven’t noticed MY (our) generation of both women and men, has broken its back to level the playing field so that you may enjoy all the benefits should you ever find yourself pregnant again. I wont rule out the possibility coz you’d only claim Im being age ist again or try to sell me a tip for some biotec stock)
        Rather than continue this here and bore other GS readers, please ask Lynne at GS HQ for my email and I’ll happily respond to any ism you may care to debate. I dont charge $399pa. I believe education should be free to all. You should consider that ism first.

      • Virginia Scanlan
        Jul 26 2013, 07:52:02 am

        Ms. Lewis: Being fired for becoming pregnant is surely an event that will forever remain in one’s memory, because the practice was so unfair. I began my corporate career in the late 60’s. Every time I was offered a new position or promotion, I first was asked if I had any plans to become pregnant. My bosses made it clear that the offer was contingent on my response. They asked me this question knowing full well that I was married to a medical student and our sole support, so I could not choose to become pregnant. That I was a top performer made no difference. Obviously, this inquiry was corporate policy. You should be happy to know that a few years later the company — AT&T and the Bell operating companies — suffered the first ever affirmative action lawsuit, and well deserved. Much to my surprise, a few years later I received back pay, because all of the men in my division who were hired right of college as I was, were paid more based solely on their sex. I am glad that for the most part , these practices are behind us. But one does not easily forget the humiliating intrusion of being asked how one plans to use her fertility. My sympathies. Glad that you landed on your feet.

    8. Henry Tint
      Jul 25 2013, 04:18:10 pm

      Travis..I’m totally stumped. Why you let someone trampled over your grounds, stake their claim commercializing their product. This is unacceptable behavior. Whatever happened to journalistic ethics?

    9. vivian lewis
      Jul 25 2013, 04:34:10 pm

      Mr. Harris, please. It was Travis our Gumshoe himself who made the comment about getting “loopy” when he was hauled up short by another reader because of mistakenly placing Prudhoe Bay in Texas; it’s in Alaska. So my clue included that the company I tip works also in Alaska. Travis got it right off the bat.
      And to Mr. Tint I am not trampling over Travis’ ground. I am saluting him for getting right with not many clues and based just on my tease. I am not showing unacceptable behavior.
      I was giving him a chance to show how good he is even on the fly. Just because I cannot afford an e-mail marketing campaign a la Porter Stansberry doesn’t mean that my stock advice cannot be deciphered by the Great Thinkolator we alldote upon. Or do you think only people who go in for megabuck advertising campaigns with tricky incentives to lure in money deserve to have their stock picks revealed to all the world?
      And what does any of this have to do with journalistic ethics anyway? both Travis and yours truly are doing the best we can to provide fair and true advice. If that’s not ethical journalism surely the hyped-up overpriced over-promoted stuff is even worse.
      And I had no idea there really was a Porter Stansbery because

      • Alan Harris
        Jul 25 2013, 04:42:50 pm

        Theres an ol’ saying ‘When your in a hole, stop digging!’

        Oh and please call me Alan. Mr Harris sounds so old.

      • Alan Harris
        Jul 25 2013, 06:06:15 pm

        Oh God NOOOO !!!….Travis we need you in one piece.
        I was tempted to offer another ol’ saying when she bleated about making an honest living:

        If you make a better mouse trap, the world will beat a path to your door.

        I do so hope the world doesn’t hear about GS or this sheet will become unmanageable and some blighter will buy you out and charge us $399pa.

        Its 11pm in UK…nighty night and as always….total respect.

      Jul 25 2013, 06:13:06 pm

      Keep up the good work Travis. You have saved me much money over the years by deciphering the expensive touts of many investment newsletters.

    11. Myron Martin
      Myron Martin
      Jul 25 2013, 06:33:44 pm

      Alan: You accuse me of a “personal attack”in my response to Earl, but it was not intended that way at all. He may just be a novice or inexperienced investor, I don’t know his circumstances. I agree with you that $3000. is a lot of money to charge for any newsletter advisory for a years service, and frankly anyone with less than a million $ trading account should not be buying it, no matter how much hype employed in its marketing, but that comes with experience. For a millionaire, several early in “under the radar” pick might make it worthwhile and many gladly pay even more than that for the right information.
      I was merely trying to set the record straight for the benefit of other Gumshoe readers who might take his bad experience (whatever it might be) as a realistic evaluation of one of the most successful publishers in the industry, and yes Vivian; Porter Stansberry is a real person, he was not “invented” by Bill Bonner who I have corresponded with personally on several occasions. So Alan, was that a personal attack correcting Vivian’s misperception however acquired? One more “opinion” that needs clarification was made by JAY in what I consider a cynical vein; indeed there are some unscrupulous organizations that employ “pump and dump” tactics which is essentially what you described. Indeed there are hundreds of them and an experienced investor will identify them quickly by the excessive HYPE and finally the small print at the bottom that discloses (by law) that they have been paid (usually by third parties) for the promo, STAY AWAY unless you want to lose big-time! Legitimate publishers do not, they would quickly decimate their mailing lists and be swamped with refund requests. Correct me if I am wrong, but do I detect a “buy and hold” bias many are still saddled with? The stock market as a whole moves in cycles as do stocks in a given sector, they move up and down on a daily, weekly, monthly and even yearly and multi-year cycles. Anyone who takes the promo by a paid analyst at face value without, “checking the facts” such as how long the company has been in business, the qualifications and history of management, whether the stock price is at a historic low, or historic high, financial status of the company etc. The point being that every stock has good buying points and times to stand aside or sell and wait for a new buying opportunity. This also requires experience, but even professionals get it wrong at times due to un-forseeable market events, acts of God or nature etc. that affect prices, to say nothing of government and bank misinformation and even deliberate manipulation of markets. Its a jungle out there, but every investor needs to learn from their mistakes, take personal responsibility for their individual stock buying decisions and not blame the analyst that provided a stock profile if they blindly invested on their say so, without a thorough personal check of facts!

      • Alan Harris
        Jul 25 2013, 07:08:02 pm

        While (as you say) ‘several early in “under the radar” picks might make it worthwhile and many gladly pay even more than that for the right information’……Even millionaires don’t appreciate paying $5 for (as you say) 2 yrs of ‘difficult’ advice.

        Re Bill Boner (sorry: Bonner): ‘was that a personal attack correcting Vivian’s misperception however acquired?’ Actually that was Travis….perhaps you should do some more research and refer your comments to him . I dont think he needs my help !!!!
        Re: ‘there are some unscrupulous organizations that employ “pump and dump” tactics’ ……curiously I made $10k in the last 3 days on ticker SOUL and 2k on XUII, plus a couple of others in the last 6 weeks from paid p&d’s….. It must all be a question of timing or luck I guess. Lost a bundle on APPL and SAND though (….thanks Travis 🙂
        If you have to ‘Check the facts’ so hard, whats the point of paying for the advice? I dont read up on dripping taps after I employ a plumber for $200. I sue his ass if my ceiling falls in.
        Im really sorry but its late in UK so Im off to bed. But before I go, may I respectfully suggest you get a second opinion or do some research on that new medicine you appear to be taking.

      • Randy Katz
        Jul 26 2013, 07:39:15 pm

        I own most of the Stansberry & Associates less expensive newsletters on a lifetime subscription which I was offered after purchasing a few. I think Porter Stansberry himself has a few good recommendations but I believe he is a very shifty / unstable character and it affects his ability to give good advice. His employees/associates, on the other hand, are for the most part excellent. Especially Doc (Dr. David Eifrig Jr.). I have received great benefit from Retirement Millionaire, The 12% Letter and Small-Stock Specialist though I don’t agree with all of it. I can say with confidence, however, that if one followed Dr. Eifrig 100% they could not go wrong. One thing I am not hearing in many of your comments are how you manage risk (Position Size, Trailing Stops and/or Stop Losses, Balancing after exceptional gains, etc…). I dearly hope most of you are doing that so you will be around in the years to come to continue to offer excellent and sometimes entertaining comments, thanks!

        • Randy Katz
          Jul 26 2013, 07:41:03 pm

          ps – I get tempted to buy into the more expensive newsletters at Stansberry from time to time but I do not as I remember I would need X set aside to execute for a year or so in order to justify the cost and I do not have that yet. When I do I will begin with Dr Eifrig’s Retirement Trader which is an Options play.

            • Time for androgyny, that's Pat
              Jul 28 2013, 09:54:55 am

              Randy Katz sums up the Stansberry outfit pretty good. That’s how I see them, too. Their ad strategies and up sells are atrocious, though, very P.T. Barnum-esque in nature.

    12. frank johnson
      Jul 25 2013, 06:42:11 pm

      If you want to buy Canadian stocks without those big spreads , you can buy on line with Fidelity for usually .01 spread for about $19 per transaction.

      • 3984 |
        Travis Johnson, Stock Gumshoe
        Jul 25 2013, 09:03:54 pm

        I think we’ve officially mixed everything up now! Vivian was working in Paris before I was born. Don’t know how old she is, nor does it matter, but I’ll be turning 43 in a couple weeks.

        • Cabaokeguy
          Jul 25 2013, 09:28:21 pm

          Well happy early b-day Travis. 43 was a lot of fun…I think…yeah, totally fun…I think…how about this, you’re not dead!!! Make it fun. Oh, and keep up the good work.

    13. vivian lewis
      Jul 26 2013, 10:40:12 am

      now that Alan has revealed that he is British he will have to answer for a continued British bad habit over women’s rights: the refusal to let ladies use the facilities of clubland. In the USA thanks to pioneers like Helen Thomas, a journalist who just died, and Flora Lewis (no relation) some of these silly sexist traditions have fallen by the wayside. But not, alas, in London! The Garrick, with which my husband’s NYC club used to have exchange rights, will not let women use its facilities or even dine there, so his club had to end its relationship.
      Back in the 1960s one of my missions in my early days in Paris was to be accepted as a member in good standing of the Harvard Club, based on my having a Harvard AB (in Latin) issued by Radcliffe, the women’s college there. We (me and a buddy named Livanos) bearded the president of the club at his office at First National City Bank on the Champs-Elysees and were not even admitted into his presence. He showed he was stupid as well as bigoted by not accepting a Greek shipping heiress’s petition. He got his comeuppance two years later when it turned out that a Citi staffer was cheating the bank in its foreign exchange dealing. The bigot was recalled to the USA and lost his posh lifestyle, the company apartment, the great French meals, the time off for “volunteer” service to his Alma Mater.
      So clubland barriers rankle. Alan thinks all this is so 1960s. Maybe he would like to help bring Britain into the 21st century.

      • Alan Harris
        Jul 26 2013, 05:12:32 pm

        I think we’ve covered sexiism and age ism. Not too keen to add racism or nationalism to the list. But if the Gentlemans Club is such a burning issue for you, maybe try the most exclusive club of all ……… the US Presidents Club. Theres never been a lady member. At least the UK had a female prime minister and a queen or three.

    14. vivian lewis
      Jul 26 2013, 10:57:41 am

      thanks to Virginia Scanlon for pointing out the iniquitous anti-pregnancy policies of the 1960s. McGraw-Hill sent a special envoy to Brussels where I was working to sack me, paying real money for his trip. I was at that time McGraw-Hill World News Brussels Bureau Chief (acting), covering the Benelux and the European Community. By firing me they not only avoided paying maternity leave; they also pulled my health insurance which (had I not been married) would have resulted in my having no coverage for giving birth. Luckily I was married. But I had to change doctors and go do a more down-market maternity hospital. Instead of the post Edith Clavell clinic our daughter was born in the local maternity hospital in Ixelles.
      When she was 3 months old we moved to Paris. I had been taken on a free-lance by The Economist even before the birth after I told my McG-H tale to Andrew Knight, then the editor of the business and economics part of the magazine. He went on to higher things.
      Like everyone in newsletters, I worked for Bill Bonner’s Agora Inc. for a time. When we first moved back to the USA in 1987 we lived in Washington and I worked for his flagship, International Living, in Baltimore (I commute-shared with another lady). I even babysat for young Will Bonner when I had to spend the night in Baltimore for some reason, giving Bonner and his wife a chance to escape.
      Then when my husband was moved to the UN in New York in 1988 I persuaded Bill to finance the start-up of Global Investing, then a print newsletter. After a year he decided it wasn’t suitable for the Agora Inc mass marketing machine and sold me the title (and the subscription liabilities) for $1. Bill was always a shrewd and aggressive businessman but very honorable in dealing with his staff and writers. Will who was a tiny toddler then is now the heir apparent.

    15. Les
      Jul 26 2013, 04:38:11 pm

      WOW! Where else but Gumshoe can you get awesome stock info and insights into News letter history. Fascinating! The stuff people know who follow this site is amazing.
      Thanks Travis for allowing the discussions to take place.

      • 996 |
        Hi Pockets
        Jul 27 2013, 03:16:06 am

        Personally, I do not want to see discussions like this on Gumshoe. I subscribed to learn about investing – not to wade through what seemed like endless drivel.

        Today’s exchange was at least 98% drivel!

    16. 29 |
      stephen gillis
      Jul 27 2013, 08:28:18 pm

      I’m with Hi Pockets on this one. 24 posts (so far) and only a couple about this stock or any stock-related issue. As entertaining as it all might or might not be (not gets my vote) it is certainly not germane to the purported purpose of this site. Maybe a separate section could be available for people who want to reminisce, post irrelevant witticisms, etc. Or perhaps seek another venue as an outlet for your needs. I like a good personal story or a joke as much as anyone, but there must be about a billion other places on the web to post them.

      • Alan Harris
        Jul 27 2013, 09:18:31 pm

        You may think this strange, but I agree with you and Hi Pockets. If you look back to July 25th 4:12 you will see I wrote ”Rather than continue this here and bore other GS readers, please ask Lynne at GS HQ for my email”. Others chose to continue their assault here and, minus their separate email address’, I felt obliged to respond.
        But it has to be said that, if you think there’s more to add on the investing front, stop being a passenger and share your pearls of wisdom.
        Fundamentally, its a silly tease which GS soon laid bare. Consequently the subject has morphed into ‘Are teases (at whatever price), value for money? And ‘Is it right to squat someone else’s thread to flog your own wares (albeit in the transparent guise of testing the thinkolator?)’ It’s been a slow week and dull subject, so the kids are having a bit of a fun. Heck there’s gotta be more to life than just myopic investing.
        Im sorry if you have no new angle to offer, but you will notice the Manage your subscription button below. You can always untick this drivel, so avoid filling your spam box.
        But take heart: there are now new, more interesting Friday File topics, so I dont think you will be bothered again. I for one am signing out.

    17. Randy Katz
      Jul 27 2013, 09:05:28 pm

      So are we buying Lynden Energy or not?! I would buy a half position if I were in a place to. At this point and most likely the next 2 months except for my automatic indexing purchases I am out of buying stocks as a disciplinary effort to “balance” my portfolio. I am short cash in my calculated percentage due mostly to some purchases I made a few months ago and also I bought more MSFT when it dipped.

      • Randy Katz
        Jul 27 2013, 09:09:25 pm

        ps – It looks to me like I need to change my “balancing” strategy a bit to include not only an emergency fund, a cash and cash derivatives position and now I need to include a cash position that waits for excellent purchase opportunities that come along. This is mostly due to the overwhelming amount of good purchase ideas that have accumulated over the last 5-6 months.

    18. Alan Harris
      Jul 27 2013, 10:07:51 pm

      I hate to break this to you. If you look back over the hundreds of GS reviews, you will not find one specific reco…… if GS did, they would have to register as financial advisors.

      You have read Gs’s review….. you have read the readers comments…… you can do your own DD ad infinitum via the internet. But in the end, its your money and your decision. There is no ‘WE’ only ‘You’.

      • Randy Katz
        Jul 27 2013, 11:21:18 pm

        Ooops Alan Harris! My sincere apologies! It was my small attempt at bringing the comments back to the thread topic. The bad news for you, however, is that whether or not you buy or sell stocks you still are part of the big “we” (and especially the micro “we” of those reading Best regards!

        • Randy Katz
          Jul 27 2013, 11:24:13 pm

          pss – If someone posts on that they are buying or not buying a specific stock that does not constitute a recommendation…oh nevermind, I’m outta here for a spell!

    19. Ahawalter
      Jul 28 2013, 10:35:39 pm

      Amazing the things one can learn just by reading, News letters, New news letters, Old news letters, and the various Old old news letter readers comments… yes, just as convoluted as the original comments became, or are still, becoming. Hey, Travis, I enjoyed all of them, and of course, your GS which has saved me several outlays for info. Keep up the good work. Still investing and reading at age 75…or is it, reading and not buying what I read. Gets somewhat confusing. lol. Logging off.

      • 201
        Alan Pennock
        Aug 3 2013, 01:26:14 pm

        Having read it all, I say thanks for the laughs and the info. I wouldn’t change a thing.
        And for you purists, I am looking at VOC energy trusts.

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