Trader’s Advantage

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    1. SnoopyJC
      Sep 14 2009, 07:23:51 pm

      I’ve been a subscriber to Jon Markman’s Trader’s since the beginning of August. It is emailed once a week on Wednesday after the market closes. Each issue begins with a “big picture” analysis, then new swing trade picks are given, followed by an update on current holdings. The picks are typically individual stock names with defined stops and 1/2 off targets. Occasionally a short pick is given, and sometimes a Call or Put option buy is also given. The entries are either “buy at market” or “buy between these prices”. His updates include new price targets and updates stops. Charts are also included of each of his stock picks. A complete history of the newsletter is archived on the website, which is hosted by InvestorPlace Media. Special alerts are also provided in the rare instance he needs to let you know to take a trade in mid-week.

      What I like about Jon’s newsletter is his discipline and his picks are mostly spot on. Yes, some of his picks do stop out, as nobody is ever 100% right, and some of the stocks “run away” before I can get an entry, but most of them do go in the direction he picked. I haven’t been a subscriber long enough to get a decent track-record, but I can say that my entire portfolio is up about 15% since I joined! (And it hasn’t been that long).

      Though Jon does give stops on each of his picks, unlike the ShadowTrader Swing Trader, he doesn’t give you any advice on the number of shares to buy based on your portfolio size, so I am using the method I learned in the @tickerville boot camp – risk no more than 1% of portfolio size on each trade, and compute # shares = (1% of portfolio value) / (share_price – stop_price).

      Jon’s weekly “big picture” analysis is very interesting and provides a well researched viewpoint on where he feels the market is heading. I can’t wait to read it and I look forward to Wednesday night each week!

      Overall, I am a very happy customer, and I’m so happy I also just subscribed to his other newsletter, the Strategic Advantage (which gives a “buy and switch” ETF portfolio more suited for a retirement account)!
      –joe

    2. Stan
      Jan 14 2010, 08:34:54 pm

      I have been a subscriber and have actively traded his recommendations for about 5 months.

      He has been properly bullish the whole time and his picks have been pretty good. He recommends mostly stocks and some options. I haven’t had the funds to buy everything he recommends. I have sometimes traded his option recommendations and have lost big time on those. He’s had one or two option trades that did very well, but I didn’t buy those. Most of his stock trades do well. He has been tight stops.

      He doesn’t provide very much education or training and his website is very basic.

      I like his analysis and clear directions.

      You have to be able to act pretty quickly on his emails.

    3. twohut
      Apr 26 2010, 01:46:41 pm

      Have been a subscriber for about a year. Jon has been right on and most of his picks have been profitable. He seems to miss most “shorts” however and as such I do not short his picks. His longs however seem to be very good with most (70% – 80%) being winners. I have been very happy with Jon and will continue to remain a subscriber.

    4. Fabian
      Apr 26 2010, 06:06:36 pm

      I’m a member since march 2009. It started well but for a couple of months he is loosing it. Lately, the recommendation list is about 20 positions and we kept numb positions for more than a month. Whilst we keep these positions until the stop is reached, he keeps adding more positions from different sector. Lately we reached more than 20 positions but I was thrown out of the table; no more cash to bid further.
      I credit Markman for two things, the first is that he kept is bullish bias when everybody was calling for a sucker rally. Second, but it is a double hedged sword; he is keeping discipline with his stops. As a matter of fact, I don’t understand the general policy. He is extremely bullish (his stance is confirmed by Cabot Market Letter) but he stops you out pretty quickly (about 5%). You often end up chasing momentum stocks and being stopped out. Otherwise, if the position doesn’t move, he keeps it and adds new ones. I don’t think that I’m going to renew this service.

    5. Kim
      Apr 26 2010, 07:01:59 pm

      The way the service is marketing itself can tell you a lot about it. This service gives you a GUARANTEE of 50% gains per month. Any service doing it is worthless. I don’t even have to try it.

      BTW, most services of InvestorPlace Media fall under same category. That includes Nick Atkeson and Andrew Houghton BigMoney and many other services of this publisher.

      Be aware.

    6. Fabian
      May 4 2010, 05:49:50 pm

      Small follow up. On an hypothetical portfolio since March 31 2010 to today May 4, 2010 where you put the same amount of money on each of his proposed bet and 1/10 of this amount on each proposed option bet, your performance for the month with all losers stopped out (cashed) would be -121.22% ! You are wiped out and you own money to your broker.
      Trading is not a science, it’s an art. It’s not an art, it’s scientifically artistic. Neo nihilism.

    7. John K
      May 13 2010, 02:43:55 pm

      I’ve been with Trader’s Advantage for about 6 months now. I’ve tried several other services in the past including Gorilla Trades (2 years) which I think is very similar. TA is a little more aggressive than Gorilla Trades. Jon Markman has no problem recommending small cap stocks and ETFs and he will throw in some option recommendations now & then. Performance has been so-so over the past several months. In general the picks have been good and the well-defined stops keep you from losing all your money. I do agree with another reviewer that the portfolio can get bloated with 20+ stocks which eats up all your cash reserves. The service changed recently and you now get daily updates which can be a good or bad thing. It seems like Jon feels the need to make new recommendations on a daily basis which leads to alot of trading. I almost liked it better when I was only getting a couple of updates per week. One thing I have learned with this service as well as other services is that most of the time you’re treading water, sometimes up sometimes down. It’s the once in awhile big wins that make the system pay-off. The problem is knowing *which* stock is going to hit. So you keep trading, treading water, until the big win comes along. That’s where the money is made. I believe that’s Jon Markman’s strategy and so far it seems to be working.

    8. JohnK
      May 27 2010, 11:44:42 am

      Just wanted to post a follow-up review. Ever since Markman went to daily updates the performance has gone downhill. For the month of May, 14 of 18 trades stopped-out for a loss. I’ve also found a couple of times when stops were triggered but Markman failed to update the portfolio accordingly. I’ve sent several emails regarding the discrepancies and have yet to receive a response, thus the 1-star rating for customer service. I plan to cancel my service at the end of the month.

    9. Vincent Clark
      Jun 7 2010, 03:02:07 pm

      JohnK put it out there for you. I decided to opt in for a year after listening to an interview with John Markman on the disciplined investor podcast. Boy, was I in for a surprise. I placed 12 trades before canceling and one of them went north. Flipping a coin would have been much more worth it while I’d be rich if I would have played the inverse of the recommendations.

      Customer service was great and quick to cancel my membership without too many questions or offers to keep me in. The letter is well written and interesting, but just flat wrong…

    10. Lukester
      Jul 3 2010, 10:04:57 pm

      I’ve read the above reviews with fascination, after receiving a Jon Markman promo and reading it today. The trend described by the above comments, all very sober minded and attentive to detail (thanks to all of you for your wonderfully detailed reporting!) – the trend reiterates an insight I had about *so many* of these newsletters several months ago here at the wonderful Stock Gumshoe website.

      Has anyone notice the extraordinary tracking of favorable reviews to the macro trend of the markets. *All* of these newsletters were looking like freaking geniuses springing up off the March 2009 lows. The market was so oversold, that a massively reliable trend followed – REBOUND – and a very big, long and deep one! This allowed many quick witted trading advisories to fasten firmly onto the new trend’s *predictability* as we worked off deeply oversold states across all indexes and sectors.

      What does that create? It creates a whole armada of newsletters and advisories who suddenly started firing on all cylinders, from around Nov. 2008 – Mar. 2009 and cruising right on up to March 2010 when the massive oversold rally finally exhausted itself. Now – the main market trend becomes weak and uncertain, and all of these professed genius market timers start skipping a beat regularly and their previously genius-like market timing (when the market trend was hugely predictable) sags badly as we enter a highly turbulent and treacherous period when their professed unerring market timer skills get put through the *real* stress test.

      Conclusion? The markets at major transitions are like swirling water at the bottom of a waterfall – down the waterfall everyone looked like a genius. But down in the pond where the waterfall ends, and the “next direction” becomes a treacherously uncertain thesis, many of these geniuses former stellar track records falter badly. If you put on this pair of spectacles, and scan through many of the newsletter review threads here at Stock Gumshoe like an archeologist – you can easily begin to see the chronology – many of them are largely pessimistice and meagre in their praise of any newsletter during the 2007-2008 market collapse.

      Then your market archeologist hits the bottom, right around winter 2008-2009, and the contributor reviews, and the number of stars offered up in review of so many of these newsletters, begin to bounce up robustly as the market’s new firm and highly channeled rebound trend of the past entire year begins to make all these advisors look like geniuses. Four and five stars suddenly start sprouting up everywhere like daisys! =:-)

      This is the real lesson. The macro themes, underpinning what caused the markets to stage the biggest crash in 50 years, and the market dynamic mechanisms, (mechanical reactions as predictable as 200 years of market history!) are what created the massive rebound of the past 12-14 months. Never in recent decades of market history have so many genius newsletters been minted as in the rebound bull market of 2009! (grins). If you dialed your net losses and wins out to a half decade around this event, you’d likely net as much gain or possibly a good deal better, simply by having parked half your net worth in gold bullion. Now, how boring is that? Eh? But quite profitable, without all the trading stress. =:-)

      Watching the massive market trends since year 2000, all fall down (to 2003), all rise up (to 2007) all fall down (to 2008), all rise up (to ???) – you start to look around at all these frenetic trader websites and wonder at the tremendous amounts of energy they (and you!) invest in jumping up and down through the hoops this market places before you. But for all their cleverness, the Jon Markman’s of this world likely don’t net anything significantly more than gold’s rise vs. the S&P, over the past two or three years. Meanwhile they are working themselves up into a lather of frenetic activity. The gains during the bull runs may look dazzling – but you have to net them out against the losses once the clear long runs terminate, and the market flounders before changing major direction once again.

      It’s like a ten year long zigzag where the zigs and zags are larger than our ant’s eye view can reliably predict. Jon gets it right on the long straight runs then when the market enters the treacherous periods like right now, he screws it up just as reliably as all the rest of the newsletters. Yawn. I’d rather find the trend that’s going to net 300%+ across ten years and just stay parked in that. Put those fat brokerage firms on a starvation diet. =:-)

      Did not rate Jon’s letter because I’ve never subscribed. But the chronology of reports here tell the story – his returns are largely influenced by the predictability of the evolving macro trend. Currently highly ambiguous.

    11. spjuliman
      Aug 27 2010, 05:49:39 pm

      Hello, I am subscribed to TA for more than a year and I did
      quite a bit of analysis on his portfolio and picks before I
      started investing real dollars. It is also important to say,
      that I was (?)a big fan of Jon after having read two excellent
      books of him. After 3 months of trading I was down and his
      portfolio was too, so I stopped real money trading, but I
      continued to monitor his portfolio and to read his newsletter
      (now daily). Have a look what happened to the portfolio in 2010:

      Jon Markman Trader’s Advantage Portfolio 1 Jan – 23 Aug 2010

      Winners 60, Looser 110

      Average Performance in %

      Jan 10 -1.60
      Feb 10 -0.40
      Mar 10 0.99
      Apr 10 -14.39
      May 10 -8.48
      Jun 10 -4.48
      Jul 10 -0.98
      Aug 10 -5.65
      ————-
      Average -4.37 (please see below on my calculations of the ave)

      What I don’t understand is how someone like Jon, who uses
      excellent information sources and who has a brilliant background
      knowledge about the markets just doesn’t get his picks right.
      60 winning to 100 loosing trades is a pretty bad ratio, in my
      humble opinion.

      While I still think Jon’s newsletter has its merits in giving
      you a good birds-eye look on the markets, I would not recommend
      to subscribe to the service for building up your portfolio, you will be disappointed. I have to say that I also very much dislike Jon’s misleading advertising showing a list with five +100% winners. To put this into perspective, Jon had his last +100% in Dec 2009, while he took his last total loss (-100%)only in May 2010. Just for the
      information provided in the newsletter, this service is too expensive, you will find similar market analyzes on the web for free. I will therefore discontinue my subscription.

      (NOTE: the performance averages above are calculated by equally-
      weight averaging all the trades from Jon’s CSV-file on “sold positions” available on his website. This does not exactly match
      what Jon is doing, because he sometimes closes only 1/2 of a
      position, and then at a later time the second half. Nevertheless,
      adjusting the calculations to account for Jon’s 2-exit technique will only further reduce the number of winning trades and the averages above – i.e., reality is worth then the numbers shown above)

    12. spjuliman
      Aug 27 2010, 05:51:44 pm

      Hello, I am subscribed to TA for more than a year and I did
      quite a bit of analysis on his portfolio and picks before I
      started investing real dollars. It is also important to say,
      that I was (?)a big fan of Jon after having read two excellent
      books of him. After 3 months of trading I was down and his
      portfolio was too, so I stopped real money trading, but I
      continued to monitor his portfolio and to read his newsletter
      (now daily). Have a look what happened to the portfolio in 2010:

      Jon Markman Trader’s Advantage Portfolio 1 Jan – 23 Aug 2010

      Winners 60, Looser 110

      Average Performance in %

      Jan 10 -1.60
      Feb 10 -0.40
      Mar 10 0.99
      Apr 10 -14.39
      May 10 -8.48
      Jun 10 -4.48
      Jul 10 -0.98
      Aug 10 -5.65
      ————-
      Average -4.37 (please see below on my calculations of the ave)

      What I don’t understand is how someone like Jon, who uses
      excellent information sources and who has a brilliant background
      knowledge about the markets just doesn’t get his picks right.
      60 winning to 100 loosing trades is a pretty bad ratio, in my
      humble opinion.

      While I still think Jon’s newsletter has its merits in giving
      you a good birds-eye look on the markets, I would not recommend
      to subscribe to the service for building up your portfolio, you will be disappointed. I have to say that I also very much dislike Jon’s misleading advertising showing a list with five +100% winners. To put this into perspective, Jon had his last +100% in Dec 2009, while he took his last total loss (-100%)only in May 2010. Just for the
      information provided in the newsletter, this service is too expensive, you will find similar market analyzes on the web for free. I will therefore discontinue my subscription.

      (NOTE: the performance averages above are calculated by equally-
      weight averaging all the trades from Jon’s CSV-file on “sold positions” available on his website. This does not exactly match
      what Jon is doing, because he sometimes closes only 1/2 of a
      position, and then at a later time the second half. Nevertheless,
      adjusting the calculations to account for Jon’s 2-exit technique will only further reduce the number of winning trades and the averages above – i.e., reality is actually worth then the numbers shown above)

    13. Benny Penny
      Nov 13 2010, 10:19:31 am

      I’m a new subscriber here, and I’d like to make a suggestion to you, Travis. You should have an “Essential Posts” page – and start it off with Lukester’s July 3rd post here above. It makes a lot of sense, and gives an aerial view of this whole stock newsletter scene, going back a few years, and especially for the last two years.

      Thanks, Lukester, and everyone else for your on-the-ground reporting.

    14. DCCSYR
      Jan 26 2011, 11:19:53 am

      I’ve subscribed to TA for about half a year (vs. Kim, who never subscribed but felt qualified to give TA all 1 stars; Fabian, who gave 1 star for 5 weeks’ experience; John K, 2 stars, 1 month; or Vincent Clark, 2 stars, 12 trades).

      My experience has been: 13 winners (8 to 100% on recent IBM calls), 2 loses (<4%)
      Currently open positions: 6 gainers (9, 10, 11, 13, 14, 23%); 6 flat (<4%); one 35% loser (NFLX calls); and 1 6% loser.

      This is still short term, but reflects more experience than some other reviewers. I’ve made my subscription fee several times over.

    15. Max
      Feb 4 2011, 08:21:20 am

      I subscribed since Nov 2010. Especially since the new year John is on fire. His picks are extremely well done, however the timing of entry sometimes is a few days pre-mature. But overall this newsletter is worth every penny. John comes across genuine and down to earth (not like crazy idiots like scamy J Lansing). He’s got stops that make sense on all trades and does keep his Portfolio clean and updated. As long as you dont pick ALL his picks but do some sorting and timing yourself this is a great resource!

    16. ezra wilder
      Mar 12 2011, 12:22:02 am

      I have subscribed to Trader’s Advantage (TA) for over one month – Feb 2011 – (I’ve subscribed to his Strategic Advantage for over one year). I paid $995 for the TA. The first three trades I made were his newest at the time – call options on SLB March $95; NG March $14; VLO March $32. To this date – 11 March – I have respectively lost 97%, 91% and 91%. You read that right – loses of almost 100% in three picks. I have requested a return of my $995.

      Feel free to contact me directly at ezrawilder@gmail.com. If I were a lawyer, I’d bring suit against Jon Marknman.

      It was also written that when he operated a hedge fund he followed questionable practices.

      Buyer beware should be the motto because his “marketing” promotes his services as being quite profitable. My GOD, how misdirected.

    17. Bewildered former Jon Fan
      Mar 18 2011, 04:47:42 pm

      I subscribed to Trader’s Advantage (TA) for over one month now- Feb 2011. Like Ezra above, The first three trades I made were his newest at the time – call options on SLB March $95; NG March $14; To this date – 18 March – I have lost 100%. You read that right – losses of 100% in two picks.
      I did not do my due diligence and trusted Jon (having read his books and seen his marketing promises for TA, for which I have paid a very heavy price, in the thousands of dollars….

      Summary of Jon Markman’s 2009 – March 15 2011 trading
      2011

      total 78 trades with avg 16.5% profit

      16 trades negative 21% of total negative
      62 trades positive 79% of total positive

      only 11 trades more than 40% 18% of all positive trades and 14% of total trades

      —————————-
      2010

      total 309 trades with avg 5 % profit

      158 trades negative 51% of trades

      151 trades positive 49% of trades

      only 11 more than 40% 7% of all positive trades and 3.5 % of total trades

      —————————–
      2009

      total 191 trades with avg 12 % profit

      64 trades negative 33% of total negative
      127 trades positive 67% of total positive

      only 19 trades more than 40% 15% of all positive trades and 10% of total trades
      ——————————
      It’s not worth it; you can do better on your own.

    18. hiddendiv
      May 17 2011, 12:52:03 pm

      I tried it out for three months. I lost all I invested into the picks and much more. When a trade was clearly a loser I held on to the stop listed and felt like I was reverse trading into a loser’s target. Plus I was upset the losers were not properly updated and in worst cases not even shown in new updates. My costly opinion after this disaster to my account is that Jon is not even actively involved with this newsletter. He just has his name on it. Some monkeys or disgruntled hourly wage people are just throwing darts and coming up with random call picks. Then I would get very well done web designed e-mail ads to rejoin for a discounted price for months afterwards. Shows where the effort for this newsletter really goes.

    19. AKat56
      Aug 28 2011, 09:39:01 am

      I’ve been a subscriber for over a year now. Jon does very well in up markets, not well in downmarkets for the most part. I have learned not to trust his short positions. They occasionally make a few percent but they stop out much more often and he seems to get into them after they’ve dropped 80% already. I have also had poor results when he refers to something as “seasonally this is a good (or bad) time of year for this stock.

      I tend to trade mainly his option recommendation when he’s been bullish and had some spectacular winners – FFIV, FTNT come to mind – these were in the Fall of last year and they were well over 100% gainers, but this is not the norm. He is good about getting you out with minimal losses for the most part, but his recommendations to use close-only stops can kill you in a market with the type of volatility we’ve had lately.

      I like Jon’s analysis, he sets logical stops, he’s an excellent writer and provides very good insight into markets. You need to think for yourself – it’s your money, and recognize what he is good at: upside swing trades. In a crazy market like we’ve had lately, stops won’t work to your advantage and you will probably be far better off on the sidelines until the market starts heading back up more predictably and then Jon does a great job of locating opportunities for you to focus on.

    20. AKat56
      Aug 28 2011, 09:39:01 am

      I’ve been a subscriber for over a year now. Jon does very well in up markets, not well in downmarkets for the most part. I have learned not to trust his short positions. They occasionally make a few percent but they stop out much more often and he seems to get into them after they’ve dropped 80% already. I have also had poor results when he refers to something as “seasonally this is a good (or bad) time of year for this stock.

      I tend to trade mainly his option recommendation when he’s been bullish and had some spectacular winners – FFIV, FTNT come to mind – these were in the Fall of last year and they were well over 100% gainers, but this is not the norm. He is good about getting you out with minimal losses for the most part, but his recommendations to use close-only stops can kill you in a market with the type of volatility we’ve had lately.

      I like Jon’s analysis, he sets logical stops, he’s an excellent writer and provides very good insight into markets. You need to think for yourself – it’s your money, and recognize what he is good at: upside swing trades. In a crazy market like we’ve had lately, stops won’t work to your advantage and you will probably be far better off on the sidelines until the market starts heading back up more predictably and then Jon does a great job of locating opportunities for you to focus on.

    21. dgill002
      Sep 2 2012, 04:01:19 pm

      Dont waste your time with this newsletter. The return numbers are skewed, they sell portions of a trade and count all of them as winning trades. I found a mistake in one of the daily updates and I wrote to them about it and they never responded. Most of his call buys are losers. Look at his past trades and do your own math and you will see this is not a service that you should pay for. You can get better advice and higher retruns from free news letters. I tried the 3 month trial for $149, but I cancelled it in 30 days for a refund.

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