True Income

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K. D.
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K. D.
February 9, 2009 10:57 pm
Subscribed a few months back. Sounded great. . .locked in profits. . .companys already checked out by an expert. Bonds recomended were selling for 70 or 80 cents on the dollar. Now it’s more like 20 cents on the dollar. . .and one is one and a half cents on the dollar. Now bonds are much cheaper. The companys are at greater risk. Supposedly these co’s have enough assets to sell to pay the bond holders if they go bankrupt. I hope so. . .but when? After seeing the value of my investment quickly drop, I asked for a refund… Read more »
MDW
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MDW
February 19, 2009 3:16 pm

Not a subscriber

This is just another of the Agora/Stansberry group publications which, I agree, is great at sales but great at publishing things which do not work out profitably. I once advised them of a major error in a promotion – they did not correct it (or thank me for the notification.)

deepdiver
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CCW
February 24, 2009 10:30 am

This is a relatively new service. Subscribed as a trial, bought three different bonds, one bankrupt (Tribune), others down 65%. Cancelled subscription and hope the bonds I bought can keep paying interest, but payoff is when they become due, if they can pay them off, and that is years away. It was the wrong time for buying those bonds, and he should’ve done better job of analyzing ability to payoff.

EA
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EA
February 25, 2009 11:31 am

market performance

KMK
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KMK
March 12, 2009 4:09 pm

I did subscribe to True Income. Since I had never bought Bonds before, I wanted to see how Mike William’s recommendations did for the first few months before jumping in. It was certainly educational. However, his picks did very poorly, so I asked for a refund and received it promptly (Hence good rating on Customer Service).

Rob L.
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Rob L.
March 21, 2009 8:52 am

Four stars for consistency…because let’s face it, ALL his picks went down in lockstep! now THAT’s consistency!

Customer service is great, and I like having an advisory that recommends high-yield debt…but Mike needs to come up with a few winners here.

I’ve successfully used the newsletter by reading his picks, waiting six months until they’ve gotten even cheaper, and THEN buying. That’s obviously not the way an advisory of this nature should work.

EDWARD P
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EDWARD P
April 1, 2009 4:13 pm
I subscribed to this service in June, 2008. The promotion sounded promising and Mike Williams assured subscribers the junk bonds of the companies he recommended were stable and would be around to pay the interest and the face value of the bonds at maturity. I invested in 3 of his recommendations and purchased 10 of each. One company, the Chicago Tribune is in bankruptcy and has defaulted on a recent interest payment,its now selling for $4.75 another company, Aleris International is now worth 70 cents, the third, Rite-Aid is worth $15. I am sitting on over $19,000 in unrealized losses… Read more »
JohnK
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JohnK
April 2, 2009 11:49 am
Its time to buy Tribune Bonds. Yes they filed for BK. A billion plus in assets is not in the BK. Is the trib good for the $ at the end of the year? Bought RA and continue to receive the biannual interest payments. Will RA pay off face value? Don’t know and won’t know until I think 2013. Didn’t buy Goodyear, but wish I had. Up up and away! I didn’t buy bonds because I wanted to trade on the open bond market. I bought because I wanted steady income. I’m getting it. Mike Williams did warn that the… Read more »
JohnnyHeck
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JohnnyHeck
April 24, 2009 10:18 pm
I think Mike is an honest straight shooter. He is the only letter writer that ever answered one of my inquiries with a personal email response. The problem with Mike’s letter – like most of the others – is that it does not provide critcal numerical backup for it’s assertions. Mike explains clearly with summary data why he thinks that his rec is a reasonable value, but I usually cannot figure out how to verify how he came to his conclusions when I review the 10k,q’s on my own. My due diligence is extremely time consumeing and I don’t think… Read more »
johnK
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johnK
June 25, 2009 4:01 pm
True Income has been good to me. But I haven’t bought everything. My best buy was the RA bond. I was in at 35. I felt bad at 25. Now it is around 74. True income has had some real losers. Trib last I looked was in the teens. Aleris, another loser. But on average I am money ahead and I’m glad I subscribed. With bonds time is important. The bond market is fickle. Who knows what drives it. You have to wait for that maturity date to roll around. That’s the real payday!
S Venton
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S Venton
July 7, 2009 12:42 pm
I subscribed in September,’08. I own bonds from Rite Aid, Freescale, Tribune, and Aleris. With Tribune, I speculated and bought bonds at an average of $60 each, knowing they were in Chapter 11——not a strategy that is recommended by True Income, but a potential windfall if Tribune pays up. I was blindsided by Aleris filing for Chapter 11, because I had a bunch of these bonds already. So, being the speculator I am, I more than doubled my position with Aleris at one-twelfth the price, and if Aleris pays out, I’ll be one super-happy investor. My Freescale and Rite Aid… Read more »
Mike
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Mike
July 11, 2009 7:45 am
I’ve been a subscriber for less than one year to True Income, but I believe I have enough experience to refute some of the complaints about the service. Most of us get plenty of advice on how to invest in stocks, but very little is written about more conservative strategies such as covered calls and bonds, both of which should be a component in everyone’s portfolio. I understood Mike’s position on the recommended bonds to be that they would “generally” be held to maturity, so while my bond portfolio is up 17% so far this year in aggregate, the most… Read more »
Mike Williams
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Mike Williams
November 13, 2009 1:25 pm
My name is Mike Williams, and i write the True income newletter. I have read all of the subscribers’ comments and appreciate the positve and understand the negative comments. On balance, I think these are accurate, fair and balanced reviews. You will note they are time specific. Comments from subscribers at the bottom of the markets in March would be less flattering than comments now. It is important to note True Income is a portfolio approach. Two months out of the year are dedicated to thorough portfolio reviews. And it is important for subscribers not to cherry pick the list,… Read more »
ea
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ea
February 27, 2010 9:18 am

I did a review last year this is and up date his performance has been right i have winners and undefined loosers but more than 100% up overall and rising because of the coupons
customer service is sad if you need it
dont take to much time to read it easy to understand
his picks well…are not often avalable in the market but mostly good
i recovered what i paid earned more than 100% and still collecting
the fee a little high,but i`m the buyer so i have to keep pushing for my side
i`ll give him one more star than the previous year

Ken Graber
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Ken Graber
June 16, 2010 2:03 pm

Mike Williams does an excellent job of investigating lower rated bonds and the companies that issue them. His picks have been consistantly profitable for me. His analysis of the companies’ finances are similar to what I would do is I were considering the stock. I am very pleased with the newsletter and have made many thousands in profit.

SWW
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SWW
June 16, 2010 3:41 pm
I subscribed to this letter in 2008-9. Anyone can find junk bonds selling at a discount but the value of this letter is in his analysis — Can They Pay Us — evaluating the prospects for the issuer to make the agreed payments. This is tough and he was wrong on some but overall had a good record in my opinion. I cancelled because the two discount brokers that I use only sell investment grade bonds online and I hate dealing with salesmen (brokers), which I had to do to buy the recommended bonds, almost all of which were in… Read more »
Toeser
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Toeser
June 17, 2010 8:00 am
I have been a subscriber to True Income for nearly 2 ½ years. Read all of the following as opinion please. Volatility in his portfolio has been nearly as high as stocks, but with a more predictable outcome. Bonds that he picked prior to the late 2008, early 2009 crash got hammered along with stocks. But I held, and almost all of them came back and some went on to large profits. He has picked three bonds that have been near or total wipeouts, so these are not “risk free” investments. But most of his picks have done rather well.… Read more »
cos
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cos
August 29, 2010 2:01 pm

I am a very recent subscriber with only my first bond purchase, therefore I did not rate the service. In addition to my bond purchase my portfolio includes; Mutual stock funds, Individual stock purchases, stock and etf options, and gas wells.
I liked the prospect of reasonably certain income at higher than current interest rates.
My purchase is one of the high discount bonds with fairly short duration.
I do not plan to purchase a large number of bonds and will probably terminate my subscription at the end of the year.
I do appreciate the analysis of the likelyhood of full value.

brian s
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brian s
September 13, 2010 2:23 pm

I’ve subscribed for a while now and this is by far the best subscription I’ve ever had…if you read chapter 8 of Intelligent Investor and “get it” you’ll like this service, if not then you should go and get something more flashy. Generally if you look at bonds as trades, you need to look elsewhere, bonds are not stocks and you shouldn’t treat them as such. As a bond newsletter, this is the best I’ve found.

J.C.
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J.C.
March 14, 2011 2:04 pm
I have been in this service since the begining about 3 1/2 years ago. I liked the concept about these bonds and have bought all but few of the recommendation. Only 3 have gone bankrupt and only one of those was I almost totally wiped out. One of them I bought at 50 cent on the dollar and sold at 35 cent on the dollar. The other is currently in bankruptsy and is trading at 40 cents on the dollar.I bought at 60 cents on the dollar. This is the best news letter that I have. It seems people are… Read more »
DrJoe
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DrJoe
April 2, 2011 4:14 pm
OK, i’ve been a subscriber for close to three months. I buy every recommendation because this is a long term set of investments for me. I am looking for yield and will hold until I’m either told to sell or the bonds mature. I have 40 years experience in investing in stocks, futures, options. This is my first adventure into bonds. Needless to say, I am beginning to look more at income coming in, than growth, but what intrigued me was the idea that I could get both, and in double digits without trading all the time. For the record,… Read more »
Mr. Gullible
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Mr. Gullible
April 29, 2011 4:26 pm
Gumshoe’s review of the 32% Clause write up used as encouragement to subscribe to True Income could not be more accurate. As a recent subscriber to True Income, I can say from experience you are right on the money. The bait looked great. Once you invest in his newsletter you can read Williams’ perspective for 2011. It mirrors very closely the relatively dismal analysis Gumshoe provides here. The numbers that encouraged me to subscribe were based on activity that Williams acknowledges is not likely in 2011. Was it ‘bait and switch’? You decide. On the positive side, Williams does appear… Read more »
Goldbug
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Goldbug
July 22, 2011 9:17 pm
I am deeply disappointed about Stansberry cancelling “THE BOND TRADER” with Steve McDonald. I have had great success with Steve McDonald and wished to keep him but every member of the Bond Trader will be rolled over to THIS service. I am so pissed with Stansberry that I gave this service all ones. In fact after reading all the failures here in this log, I think they should have both Mike Williams and Steve McDonald work together and double the salary Steve used to get. Steve seem to speak as though they pointed a gun to his head saying he… Read more »
ira  kellman
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ira kellman
August 29, 2011 6:13 pm

Mike Williams analysis is always thorough and his picks often interesting. My problem is that I started investing with himvery early and had two of the three bonds I bought go bad.One we sold at at major loss and Tribune at a very small profit after a couple of years of real pain.
If you are going to buy all or most of his suggestions the letter makes sense but not if you are going to pick at it. You don’t get general market help from his picks.

Charles
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September 19, 2011 6:13 am
The first thing I did was read his long introductory emailed pitch touting his newsletter. The second thing I did was come to this site to see if there were any negative reviews. I was not at all surprised to see how poorly people had fared, and how much money they had lost, using his advice. When I see one of these pitches, where the writer starts telling you about his children and grandchildren and his lovely wife first, rather than the investment, my radar starts beeping. Instead of wading thru 45 minutes of calculated come-on, you can simply close… Read more »
Bob
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Bob
November 19, 2011 2:33 am

I bought six of the bonds that were recommended. Three of the issuing corporations are now in bankruptcy and their bonds are near worthless. What I make on the other three bonds won’t come close to making up the losses.

The junk bonds Mark Williams recommends are far riskier than he or Porter Stansberry let on. You’ll be better off making a measly 3 – 5% on high rated corporate bonds than trying to get 8 – 12% on the sticks of dynamite hawked in this newsletter.

Wayne
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February 11, 2012 5:27 pm

I started in September 2011 and bought five of the bonds (the least number that Mike Williams recommends to purchase) in my IRA account and my wife’s IRA account. I guess we just lucked out because all five bonds with a total purchase value of almost $200K are all making money and paying the expected interest. We recently retired and are using the interest aspart of our income. The average percent gain is 8.25% and ranges from a low of 1.45% to 13.67%.

Bob
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Bob
March 8, 2012 11:53 pm
Complain to S&A about the crappy performance of their bond newsletter, and guess what — you get to be insulted by Porter Stansberry himself in the S&A Digest. Porter: “Mike Williams constantly reminds his readers to buy a portfolio of bonds, not just one or two. To buy only six is to invite volatility and risk into your portfolio.” Then he says, “To put so many of these risky bonds into a small portfolio was a huge mistake. ” Then he says, “Here’s what I suggest: Start with a small amount of capital. Just buy a single bond. ” So… Read more »
car13lin
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car13lin
May 15, 2012 3:02 pm

Slothower

Bob
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Bob
May 31, 2012 2:26 pm
Just a quick update. First, a correction — the author of the newsletter was Mike Williams, not Mark Williams. My bad. I just sold one of the three remaining bonds at a loss — Edison Mission Energy. The company didn’t go bankrupt (yet) but the bond was downgraded by both Moodys and Fitch and the company is considered be likely to default on its debt. It was my decision to sell, not a recommendation of the newsletter. But then, the newsletter didn’t recommend selling the A&P bonds or the General Maritime bonds either, when they first showed signs of serious… Read more »
Bob
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Bob
June 1, 2012 12:09 pm

From the May 25 S&A Digest:
Porter Stansberry: “Mike Williams is no longer with Stansberry & Associates. We parted as friends, and we wish him the best. We don’t make substantive comments about changes to our staff because all personnel issues touch directly on the privacy of our employees.”

rew2
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rew2
January 16, 2013 5:32 pm
I’m the same reviewer who appears as “Bob” in previous reviews for this newsletter. My final update: Of the two modest winners remaining in my portfolio, one of them, Albertsons, tanked after they changed the terms for bond holders to their disadvantage. In the newsletter they recommended that people load up on the bond at its new cheap price but I smell another A&P — remember how when that one tanked Porter told people to snap it up? So I sold it at a loss. The final score: Two total wipe outs, three big losers, and one modest winner. Porter… Read more »
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