Profitable Investing

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    1. Terry V. Waggoner, J.D.
      Feb 14 2009, 09:22:26 am

      Thanks for the opportunity to extol the virtues of a newsletter that I’m stunned is not yet listed in the rankings.

      I have subscribed to Richard E. Band’s ‘Profitable Investing’ since around 1986. Current rate for a single year of 12 issues plus 24/7 website access, weekly (at least) Richard’s Journal updates, and as-needed Flash Alerts posted and/or by email, is $249.00. The price has risen very slowly from $179.00 as I recall to today’s fee. Multi-year rates are less.

      Below is a link to ‘About Richard’ at his site. Below the link is an excerpt copied therefrom. My testimony continues below those items:

      A self-proclaimed “New Hampshire skinflint,” Richard designs his investment philosophy for safety first. Through good markets and bad, his recommendations for conservative investors have grown 1,100% since 1984. Twice in the late 1990s, Profitable Investing ranked #1 for 5-year risk-adjusted return—according to independent analyst Mark Hulbert. For the past seven years (through December 31, 2006), his Total Return Portfolio has comfortably beaten the Standard & Poor’s 500 index, despite a hefty weighting in bonds and cash.


      As to my experience, here’s the bottom line………. if I had stayed solely with Richard, I would have far more wealth than I have today.

      The main part of my ‘dwindled resources’ have and are based on his recommendations which, by the way, target age ranges from investing for children to elderly investing in an 8-page newsletter. I have had my 83-year old mother in his ‘care’, so to speak, and I recommend my grown children read him.

      Where I went wrong was deciding to allow about 40% of my investing dollars, largely in my self-directed Rollover IRA, to ‘leave the reservation’, R. Band, and follow the plethora of newsletters and teasers that largely made me angry with myself and has made Stock Gumshoe a Blessing for me and for all your readers. I am an ‘Irregular’ subscriber, by the way, and appreciate your services greatly.

      In my quest to hit the ball out of the park, I subscribed to, no exaggeration, about 80% of the letters that your other readers have reviewed, some that are not yet reviewed, and I stayed with some way too long. My results were largely negative over time but there were some fun upticks and some stocks I found and still hold. It was a high tuition to pay, but, that’s life.

      I am in the process of ‘firing’ the remaining few. Even though those are fairly inexpensive, they are nonetheless annoying. I now simply delete the avalanche of self-serving cross-selling by the main publishers in the field of financial newsletters.

      I know this is long but I have been doing this for a long time. I will stay with Richard Band and will continue to enjoy your work and encourage others to do so.

      Thanks again and Blessings,

      Terry V. Waggoner, J.D.
      Southern California

    2. Cee Howard
      Feb 14 2009, 09:45:02 am

      I’ve subscribed to Richard Band and Navellier, two opposites: conservative and value-oriented versus hard charging and growthy. Each has pluses, but each tends to hang on a bit too long, especially in this market environment. Please, RB, you rode C to the bottom, I got out two years ago! LN’s done that occasionally, but he’s most known for his bombastic pronouncements and top tier record. Prior to October 2007, I did well with both (didn’t we all?) but that’s whisked away. Actually, I can’t complain too much: on a bad day I’m down 15% now and on a good one, down 10 percent. Now, with more time to devote, I’m focusing on what Investors Business Daily has to teach me.

    3. sponger
      Feb 14 2009, 11:01:41 am

      I always called him Richard “Bland”, because of the conservative nature of his recommendations. He deserves credit for two things: (1) He has always emphasized dividend paying stocks to be purchased when in value mode;
      (2) his copy is always a “good read” and of educational value.
      It has been a few years since I stopped my subscription, but more recently, judging from the promotional email teasers I receive, he seems to be joining the more boisterous doom and gloom group exemplified by Martin Weiss and gang. “The world will fall apart but I will save you” type of promotion. His ability to pull that off is highly questionable when you consider his track record, which is good if you believe beating the S&P by seldom more than 2% is good enough. He cannot claim much more than that, and Hulbert’s Financial Digest doesn’t rate him highly either. But, what the heck,
      2% better than S&P might be something to brag about these days. Let’s just say, if you have significant savings, Profitable Investing may help you keep it. If you don’t, don’t count on Richard Bland to lead you to riches.

    4. Shoe Guy
      Mar 20 2009, 11:47:19 am

      Steady, reasoned, consistent, all the adjectives you would look for in a financial advisor. I have subscribed for a couple of decades, and if I hadn’t gone off with new suitors on occaision such as Navellier, etc., I would have more of my assets intact. Richard has had his toughest year, but has not abandoned the slow and steady value-oriented approach to managing your portfolio.

    5. Chick
      Aug 29 2009, 02:09:40 am

      I have been subscribing to Profitable Investing (P.I.) for over ten years, and I’d like to know where my profits are. I found this web site looking for P.I. returns for 2008 because Richard Band did not publish the 2008 performance in his newsletter. Richard Band did, however, say it was ‘painful’. I could buy these figures from Hulbert, but isn’t it outrageous that the performance figures are not inclusive in the subscription?

      I know you won’t believe this, but I lost money in the stock market in 2008. Before then, I was just about breaking even with P.I. It seems to me P.I. is a great part of my problem. Am I imputing my personal portfolio plunge unjustly to P.I.? Objective portfolio performance figures would help me decide if the fault lies not in my newsletter, but in myself. Alas, I have to go grubbing on the net to find this information.

      Here are the good things about P.I. It has a target demographic – 45 years old through retirement. It offers not just stock picks, but target portfolio allocations with a stock component and a fixed income component. Sometimes there are additional components (currently there’s an MLP component added to the mix). You can choose from the model (aka Total Return model) portfolio, the dividend (aka Incredible Dividend Machine) portfolio, a few mutual fund portfolios, and an ETF portfolio (I used that to help manage my 401K). Sometimes the newsletter discusses aspects of personal finance outside of portfolio management that are of interest to its target demographic. The newsletter frequently comes up with ideas I’d never come up with on my own. Each recommendation comes with a ‘buy below’ price. Once in a while, the calls are spectacular! It has a web site which is updated about once a week, sometimes a little more often.

      Here are the bad things. I’m no financial planner, but some of the positions seem risky for retirees. The portfolio has too many positions for the home gamer to manage – the model portfolio currently has forty three (that’s right; 43!) positions. If you spent an hour a week doing your due diligence with each position, you’d have a second full time job! Once in awhile, the calls are spectacularly bad. In today’s world, a twice a week website update is lame.

      The style of investing is buy-and-hold. The good thing is you avoid a lot of tax paperwork and taxes if you buy and hold. The bad thing is that P.I. seems to have no sell discipline whatever. The bad calls really hurt unless you have a sell discipline of your own to protect your profits, or at least to cut your losses. Sell calls are rare for P.I. When the rare sell call comes, it is usually always late — the position has a crushing loss, or it made a spectacular run up, and P.I. rode it right back down again.

      That’s the Achilles heel of P.I. – no sell discipline. I’d be hurting even more than I am now if I had not taken matters into my own hands. (I know; we are big boys and girls and are supposed to take matters into our own hands, but shouldn’t the newsletter that got you in be your beacon out?). It only takes a couple of spectacularly bad calls to put you underwater.

      This has to be said. I find it very worrisome. Richard Band has a weird obsession with Jim Cramer. Pre-crash – about the time I was learning great stuff from Jim Cramer’s Mad Money TV show – P.I. would gratuitously berate Jim Cramer in every issue – and I do mean every issue. This was embarrassing to read – Cramer was teaching me to protect my profits from Band’s bad calls. It was annoying — Richard Band frankly needs to put all that energy into making me money. Post crash, certain ‘Cramerican’ expressions have started creeping into each issue, and onto the web site. I thought Richard Band had learned humility. Unfortunately, the last issue said “I don’t mind watching CNBC’s Jim Cramer, but only if he’s priced at his true value—free!” Hmmn. Mighty bold words from a man who began his August issue with the Cramerican expression “Stay in the game!”, are they not?

      So here I am, on this web site, mulling over whether I will renew when the subscription rolls over in 2010.

      Since this is a beta site, I will say that I’m not sure what ‘consistency’ means; tried to leave that blank but could not. I’d like a way to indicate how practical easy the advice is to implement; as you can see here I find the P.I. portfolio a bit unwieldy.

    6. Cat
      Feb 15 2010, 01:43:34 pm

      Interesting to read and informative. There is usually some bullish and some bearish prediction so that a few issues later he can point back and say “I told you so.”

    7. Jack
      Oct 23 2010, 12:59:45 pm

      I’ve been a Profitable Investing subscriber for over eight years, and I have been generally satisfied with Richard Band’s conservative newsletter advice. However, when my present subscription expires, I will not renew it.

      I do agree with Chick’s August 29, 2009, review. I also found this site while looking for RICHARD BAND’S HASSLE-FREE ETF PORTFOLIO returns — because his newsletter has never posted cumulative YTD returns for any of his portfolios. It IS outrageous that performance figures are not subscription-inclusive.

      Per a response to my email inquiry, on 10/18/10 wrote, “Hulbert in his Financial Digest reports the returns of Richard Hassle-Free ETF Portfolio as being 3.3% overall since Hulbert began tracking them 4/30/04, through 6/30/10. The 5-year return from 4/30/04 for this portfolio through 6/30/10 is 1.3%.”

      Methinks that’s WAY too conservative for my retirement funds, even during the present global economic crisis. I’m 62, and I’m getting completely out.


    8. Phillip Ngaillah
      Nov 4 2010, 05:26:14 pm

      Investing is a major challenge as the investor have to risk when he decide to start or run a business. communication between the investors example sharing the information and experience will be vital.take an example we people from the developing countries where preparation is another challenge because saving of ten years can lead to zero when the investor touch the field. I believe that this system will help show the way forward.

      Phillip Ngaillah, Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania

    9. Sharon Froom
      Jan 2 2014, 04:45:02 pm

      I have subscribed to Profitable Investing for 5 years. No advice to save me from the drop in 2008. Overall the Profitable Investing newsletter is too complicated for the average person. there are 4 portfolio options, then a constant stream of try this, and try that. Some of these recommendations have been a complete bust. AND BEWARE the automatic renewal. They have this in the fine print and it will get you! I cannot get any satisfaction from customer service either. I AM CANCELLING MY SUBSCRIPTION! And now I have to fight with them for my money back.

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