True Wealth

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    1. Nick Jacobs
      Jan 27 2009, 04:03:04 pm

      “True Wealth”, written by Steve Sjuggerud, is one of the investment newsletters published by Stansberry & Associates. It takes a systematic approach to investment, starting with Sjuggerud’s combination of three technical indicators that tell you whether you should be in the stock market at all – Sjuggerud’s “1-2-3 Stock Market Model”. One of these indicators is the stock market’s overall P/E ratio – less than 17 is a positive signal (“stocks are cheap”), more than 17 is a negative signal (“stocks are expensive”). The second is whether the S&P 500 index is above its 200-day moving average (“market in an uptrend”, positive) or below (negative). The final indicator used to be whether the short-term interest rate had increased in the last 6 months (“bad for stocks”, a negative sign) or not. With all 3 of these indicators “positives”, Sjuggerud recommended you should be heavily invested in stocks. With 2 out of 3 positive, you should still be in stocks, but not so heavily – you should have some other investments. With only 1 positive you should be out of the stock market, because on the average in the past, stocks go down in price when 2 of these 3 indicators are negative.

      The definition of the third indicator changed in September 2008. Instead of interest rates, Sjuggerud now uses a proprietary “sentiment indicator” from The indicator is positive if most people are bearish – it is a contrarian indicator.

      When the stock market is a bad place to invest based on these indicators, Sjuggerud recommends other investments – rare coins, for example, or exchange-traded real-estate funds.

      In general Sjuggerud’s recommendations are good, though he has made some spectacularly bad calls (he recommended ITB when it was at $22, for example, selling after it halved in price). In the early years, True Wealth was profitable for subscribers on the whole. in the last couple of years, though, True Wealth has been a victim of its own success – prices of recommended stocks tend to gap up on the morning after True Wealth comes out. Consequently, there is no way subscribers can get in at a price anywhere near the “reference price” that Sjuggerud uses to measure the performance of his recommendations.

      In summary, True Wealth offers a lot of sensible advice, and may be worth its price for a few months for a novice investor just for that (you can cancel any time for a pro-rata refund). And unlike many stock newsletters, it recognises that there are times when you should be completely out of the stock market. But it is too popular for many of its specific recommendations to be useful.

    2. Bernie Krantz
      Jan 27 2009, 08:20:29 pm

      I recently cancelled this letter also. All of what another reviewer said about the service is true. You cannot get in at the recommended price. If you want to improve your knowledge, it is a big help, but Dr. Sjuggerud seems to have lost his magic touch. As for worst picks, life is too short to dwell on that.

    3. Tampat
      Feb 7 2009, 02:43:39 pm

      I agree with above commentary. Many bad rec’s from Steve in 2008. It is interesting reading but the picks are not good this past year. I actually considered doing the opposite of what he recommended, but didnt. Should have, would have had big gains.

      He recently picked a major winner (PHK), and I am watching for a decent entry on a pull back as I do like this rec. In all fairness, this one has performed so well it may make up for all the losers.

      He primarily rec’s stock or ETF buys, also gold coins, uses a 25% stop for most of them.

      Overall though, I wont renew as my subscription expires soon.

    4. LR
      Feb 7 2009, 03:01:26 pm


      Monthly, some what conservative recommendations from Dr. Steve Sjuggerud. A Stansberry & Associates publication. I have subscribed for 4 years, with some success, and few losses. A longer term outlook, good explanations, a variety of investments, reminds not to chase a stock. Has been recommending gold, especially gold coins, since 03-04. Did get caught with some financials that dropped. Generally holds to 25% trailing stop. Uses a 3 step Stock Market Model: Are Stocks Cheap? Are Stocks Hated? Is the Stock Market in an Uptrend? Currently puts it at HOLD.
      Frequently writes the DAILYWEALTH. Has another newsletter, and Stansberry is often tauting it’s other publications.
      I just extended for $99

    5. custer
      Feb 11 2009, 03:45:48 pm

      Bought into U.S. Gold coins (Eagles & Double Eagles)in ’05/’06. The coins’ buying prices have gone up; but costs of selling are high. I’m not sorry I followed his advice. I am really, really glad I didn’t follow his advice to buy Iceland bonds. His NEW recommendations seem to make significant gains between the day he uses as a “Ref. Date” and the day I get to read the report. Not certain if I’ll renew.

    6. turnkeyusa
      Feb 11 2009, 07:31:03 pm

      Interesting macro points but one big mistake: Iceland. Funds frozen in ISK. How did S.S. write so much about the dangers of leverage in housing and hedge funds while not seeing Iceland as a sovereign run like a leveraged hedge fund set to blow up. Same for Japanese REITs, recommended near their peak, but which may be cheap now.

    7. MrSkeptic
      Feb 12 2009, 05:50:22 pm

      Subscribed from 2002-2007. Very interesting to read, made some good money on early picks like Rayonier. Unfortunately, he started making too many bad picks, flogging his other services (remember his ‘stock short’ newsletter that bombed?) and pushing illiquid investments like Iceland bonds (which would have killed your portfolio) or rare gold coins.

    8. Bruno in TX
      Feb 14 2009, 12:38:56 pm

      I subscribed for 3 years a few years ago. I never did follow his recommendations because they always seemed over-simplified, stressing the positive and ignoring the possible downside risks. I stayed away from those Iceland bonds also.
      They sounded good at the time, but I was a little suspicious since, if I’m not mistaken, he comes from Iceland and there seemed to be a positive bias because of that. They also seemed too illiquid to me. If you are going to do something like that, Everbank offers a lot of choices and there is more liquidity. Although I think even Everbank had a problem with the Icelandic currency when it crashed. Seems like there is no place to hide right now.

    9. Mitchell
      Feb 15 2009, 02:47:35 pm

      I largely agree with others here; the thing that has struck me lately is that with many of the picks over the last 1.5 years, he’s been too early. He recently acknowledged that and is now watching for “uptrends” in securities before buying. It’s to his credit, although with his experience in the industry, and as a self-styled “conservative” investor, one would have expected this to be a consistent part of the analysis.

      I also agree that his writiing, while quite interesting and informative, is not rigorous enough in balancing material with info/narrative on chief risks to the pick.

      I will continue to subscribe, and have done well with several of his picks (SA, PHK, biotech, NLY) but have lost on ITB, bank and a few other recs.

    10. Chris Grande
      Mar 10 2009, 11:19:27 am

      I subscribed to True Wealth because I liked the effort he put into his work and the way Steve thought.

      Knowing full well about the financial crisis and having avoided it pretty much 100%, I still allowed his write up on Thornburg Mortgage (TMA) to convince me to buy 150 sh. In theory his analysis was correct but he forgot that they borrowed using callable debt which killed the company. It opened up one day about 60-70% below the previous day price of course triggering his 25% stop loss.

      His gold coin purchases years ago are profitable, but he was really striking out over the year I subscribed – trying to get back into homebuilders, virtual banks (NLY, TMA types), regional banks etc. Thankfully TMA was the only one I bought – my senses and thesis kept me out of his other picks (in part of my practice I deal a lot with real estate so I have a better view there on banks and builders).

      I gave this 3 stars for value since for $49 a year, his picks performed about as well as the picks you get from Barrons or any other publication costing the same – so they are of equal ‘value’ to me. They were prompt and courteous when I canceled.

      His sister publication, Stansberry research I tried too. Average performance and his best winners seem to be from a few years ago. basically, they subscribe to Marc Faber, Dennis Gartman and a few others and regurgitate – not a bad business model. When they go off on their own, they get into trouble. i will give Stansberry kudos for shorting GM though again, Jimmy Rogers has said “short GM at any price” for years.

      There is just no substitute for your own knowledge of an industry inside and out and knowing a macro trend when you see one.


    11. JPA
      Mar 21 2009, 08:57:35 am

      The man, Steve Sjuggerud, is a myth to me. He has some outstanding picks and then he totally blows it by focusing on one stock which bombs. The 2006 Stock of the Year to own by Steve was Orleans Homebuilders, which he tauted and set a 50% stop loss against. At the time, the stock was at $6 to $8 per share. It is now at $1.80 and was as low as $1. In 2007, Quest Capital was his Stock of the Year and sold for about $2.40. It now sells for $0.79, although making money and paying a good dividend. Had you owned a lot of shares of these two, you would have taken a bath, as I did. Also, gold coins are not for everyone and, for a while, that is all he focused on. Of late, he seems to be back on track and destined to outdo his sole big winner in the Stansberry contest, Seabridge Gold. I hope he picks several winners in the next six months, I kind of like reading his newsletter and think the man has a good investing mind, albeit too early at times.

    12. NYCguy
      Mar 22 2009, 08:17:12 pm

      I have subscribed to True Wealth for several years. I like much of Dr. Sjugg’s reasoning and analysis. However, as others have pointed out he has had some real flop’s in the last few years, and has jumped back in prematurely, only to get stopped out with big losses. For whatever reasons, I did not take any of those recommendations. In some cases I actually did the opposite of what he did because I was convinced that his indicators were wrong. Seeing as we are in an unprecedented downturn, I would say that the majority of “professional” investors have been fooled by this one. I still find value in what he writes, and think his research is excellent.

    13. DG
      Mar 24 2009, 12:49:30 pm

      This is the biggest piece of junk for the whole year of 2008. He continues so far in 2009. This guy does not have a speck of common sense. On rare occasions he does hit a winner, but it is unusual. Take his picks and you will lose money. Even his boss, P. Stansberry evaluates his performance as mediocre. He is consistent, a consistent loser, so beware of his “advice”. Fortunately, I did not take his picks, but, I did watch them go down.

    14. FCU
      Apr 21 2009, 11:59:19 am

      I am relatively new investor, I have tried several of the S&A products. I tried True Wealth for a year and some of the picks were horrendous…TMA, ITB, etc. as other posters have mentioned. As another poster mentioned, does not make any effort to explain the possible risk of any pick, it is all about the positives. Why is he trying to sell me on his picks? I have already bought the newsletter. No concept of risk/reward, and the thinking behind some of his picks is just flawed. Why was he picking a bottom in homebuilders in early 2008? Again, risk-reward!

    15. Mike Pearson
      Apr 23 2009, 08:21:49 am

      Stansberry Research puts out some the most over the top marketing pieces I have ever seen. I was introduced to True Wealth by a colleague which is good because had I seen their marketing material first I would have never tried their service. I have been a subscriber for many years now and I really like several of the products they put out with True Wealth being my favorite. The author is extremely bright but an often time is a little early to the party on some of his predictions. I would highly recommend this newsletter and the customer service is great. I have signed for some of their other letters that I didn’t like or didn’t fit my investment style and was promptly refunded after calling to cancel. I don’t care what newsletter you are reading make sure you don’t blindly follow anyone. Read their reccomendations and insight and then do your own research.

    16. robbie
      Apr 24 2009, 12:10:21 pm

      S.S. is like MOST newsletter writers — If they were any good they would be making $ IN THE MARKET INSTEAD of flogging their half-baked recomendations to the marks who subscribe. I had a subscription a couple of years ago and quit half way thru. Looks like he hasn’t improved any

    17. Bill D
      Apr 27 2009, 01:04:11 pm

      I signed up last year for $49 bucks. I can tell you that he has bombed since i was there. The only thing GOOD that i got out of it was Seabridge Gold and the recent write up about the location…..of which another stock SSRI (silver standard resources) has claims. Not only did he try and pick bottoms in housing etc, he went back in stocks at year end, then SOLD EVERYTHING………..two weeks before the bottom. Then 2 weeks later, he says NOW is the time to re-enter. He seems like a educated value picker, but his performance is HORRID since i got there. And i often wonder about his ENTRY prices. We always get updates to buy when the stock has already shot up. He has only one good thing so far. His price. But what good is price if he can’t pick anything good. In my opinion, he is highly over rated.

    18. Tom in Maine
      Jun 14 2009, 08:19:53 am

      I’ve been subscribing to True Wealth for a number of years now, at least since 2003. As other reviewers have noted, his “reference price” usually bears no resemblance to the price available to subscribers. I’ve always attributed that to my being late to the party with the spike occurring prior to my getting around to reading the letter. I bought gold early because of him, though: Kruggerrands, a few Eagles, and new gold Buffalos. They’re all up. I also bought a few St Gaudens and a $2.5 Liberty that have risen some, but I’ve been holding them for years. On the other hand, I lost big with Thornburg, ITB, KRE, and a number of his other picks. I still think he has good ideas, though, and it’s up to me to make sure the chart is looking good before I buy and to set and follow an exit point, so I’m continuing to use True Wealth and Oxford Club (another of the Baltimore group’s publications) for ideas. For people thinking of subscribing to any of their publications: be sure to set up an email account just for them because they’ll spam you to death with all their marketing hype.

    19. Doug in Utah
      Jul 11 2009, 11:04:20 am

      I was a customer of the incredibly confusing Agora consortium about 5 years ago when I subscribed to the Oxford Club Newsletter. I found the newsletter informative and valuable. I made a ton of money (on a percentage basis) on Intuitive Surgical, buying at $25 and selling (to early) at around $110.

      I went to an Agora conference in Vancouver 4 or 5 years ago. I was impressed, although the products (i.e. advice) has a snake oil flavor to it, I believe there are some good ideas under the snake oil.

      Approximately 3 months ago I subscribed to True Wealth. Now I have become completely overwhelmed and disgusted by the snake oil. As far as I can tell, I have yet to receive what I payed for. But I do receive 5 or 6 very long emails every day, most with a “click to purchase” button at the bottom. I also receive some political commentary which I disagree with. So rather than receiving a useful product for my money, I am tortured with multiple, long, vague, emails. If I had a few hours every day I might (or might not) be able to extract some useful information, but I don’t have that much time.

      These people at Agora/Stansberry & Associates are completely out of touch with real people. So far I have been able to extract one (count ’em, that’s one) stock recommendation from the vast amount of “information” they have sent me. I have spent hours reading. I recommend you stay away.

    20. Doug in Utah
      Jul 12 2009, 11:50:44 am

      I may have been overly harsh in my review above. I did actually receive a True Wealth newsletter in the mail today. The US Postal Service mail. So it appears I am getting what I paid for.

      I was also inaccurate in stating that I get 5-6 emails a day from the Agora/Stansberry group. I believe it’s really 2 or 3 per day. I also get promotional investment mail from other sources, and it is somewhat difficult to determine what is from who. It would be nice if Agora/Stansberry understood that time is a valuable commodity and that they need to condense their communications by a factor of 5 or so.

    21. ron hicks
      Aug 25 2009, 10:24:36 am

      I’ve just renewed for a second year. I like Steve’s approach, but being a contrarian you have to follow your own judgement.
      I’m not yet sure how long term he is, so his timing might be off sometimes which is crucial when entering or leaving a market. Examples: Icelandic Krone obviously was a blunder, but heh I don’t recall anybody saying don’t touch Lehmann Bros with a barge pole the year before they went belly up!

      India was a big hit with him when he visited late last year (?) and I’m sure he’s right long term..very long term.

      He didn’t call the bottom of the hosung market correctly when he proposed KRE at year end 2008, but he has called the end of the recession in booming language in June 2009…we’ll see.

      His one big call (which I was keen on, but missed completely) was his advice on the Hang Seng being cheap cheap cheap because interest rates in the US were low; the USD was weak as hell and the av p/e on the HS was less than 10. January 2009. It’s since doubled! Advice doesn’t come any better than that!

    22. patrick
      Aug 26 2009, 06:09:03 am

      I subscribed in 2007-2008 and have not renewed. I didn’t actually buy any of the recommends although I very nearly bought Thornburg as his case for this was very convincing. My biggest bugbare with the newsletter was phrases such as, last time the S&P 500 did this, mortgage company stocks rose 50%, or phrases of that ilk. I must say that I hadn’t appreciated that the newsletter had a statistical analysis bias when I bought it. However whereas I believe that S.A. is a useful tool in identifying opportunities, a lot more research independant of S.A. is required to understand the Company and it’s issues. As an investor I have found that there is often a good reason why stock appear undervalued and it may be that other people in the market know information that you don’t which is why, you see “value” where others don’t. Also it is much easier to pick winning stocks when in a bull market, when everything is going up!

    23. Daniel
      Sep 3 2009, 01:28:59 pm

      Subscribed to this letter for $49; renewal is $79. Dr Sven has a very good system in place that he call “1-2-3 Stock Market Model; it can help you understand what he thinks the market it going to do using a system traffic light like system. I enjoy his writing style and the informative tidbits of information he provides about the recommended stocks. Really liked the “economic recovery script”; couldn’t really believe it at first but Dr Sven has been right on track with most of the macro views. Actually just today one of his reco’s (SSRI) is zooming …

    24. Caulker
      Sep 20 2010, 02:31:18 pm

      Been with him for several years. Bombed on Icelandic bonds, fortunately his recommended broker got me switched to Swiss after losing “only” 25%. He thinks highly of himself and must have a bent and crippled arm from stroking his back. Tho he will occasionally come up with a winner, I would not advise taking this letter.

    25. j.mcleod
      Sep 25 2010, 08:55:56 am

      My experience with this letter over the past 5 years has been terrific. he tends to go out on a limb and call major turns. When he is wrong as, he was with home builders in the last year, you lose 25% of your investment, as he reco’s 25 % stop lose. I His seabridge gold reco was a HUGH winner. My potfolio would be much smaller without his winning investment ideas. His gold coin reco,s worked excellent. He knew when to sell Ms 70 and get into ms65.

    26. martin
      Nov 9 2010, 06:48:15 pm

      Subscriber for many years but interrupted when I wasn’t investing. Very straight forward and easily understood. Stock picks are above average in returns and safety. It’s an excellent value for the cost.

    27. Caulker
      Nov 10 2010, 09:06:41 am

      True Wealth

      Steve Sjuggerud is a most interesting read! He comes up with enough good picks to more than make up for his bad ones (like Icelandic bonds, even though this reco led to a broker who is doing very well for me with part of my portfolio). Likes to find the unusual or creative investments like sets of gold coins.

    28. Dee G.
      Feb 11 2011, 05:24:53 pm

      I’ve been a subscriber for a little over a year to True Wealth and also S&A Digest. I tried the True Wealth Premium level for the last 5 months and like it better overall. I’ve never dealt directly with customer service so I can’t rate that, but when I did email them they did respond promptly. IMHO: I find the information provided to be an interesting read. My only complaint is the many marketing letters that I get are way too many to follow because they are all to get you into another newsletter for about the same price of $50. and sometimes for thousands! Since I don’t have that kind of time or money to spend on more of the same, I rarely go through those marketing ploys anymore and limit it to the actual newsletter promised. It is a good idea to use a separate email address for them as one person said. I paid 50.00 for True Wealth and upgraded for the same amount and will probably keep it another year or so. Initially it was a learning tool for me. I have not followed that many of their recommendations, however, that is due to my own research of the investment idea. If it doesn’t meet what I’m looking for (I’m mostly just a stock trader and a numbers person so I look at the financials as my primary research) then I don’t buy it. The newsletters do provide me with ideas to look where I might not have looked before. For instance, normally I would avoid “stocks” tied to precious metals but I made quite a bit on the SLW (Silver Wheaton) call to buy before silver took off awhile back. I also got out of an EFT early because of something I read from them and saved me a rather big loss. I think it’s a good buy as long as you stick to your research and follow your own instincts too. It is good idea maker for me, though I can not get their entry price either but then I read them late usually. Happy Investing!

    29. Pharon
      Apr 4 2011, 05:29:14 pm

      I’ve been a True Wealth subscriber for about 5 years now and I think it’s a very good value. Steve is a cautious investor who looks for three things: (1) unpopular/hated, (2) cheap, and (3) in an uptrend. This advice seems to work pretty well, and very few of his recommendations took a nose dive like others did in the summer/fall of 2008. His macro perspective is interesting and entertaining, and the only real downside is that very rarely have I been able to get in on the recommended buy price, probably due to the many thousands of his subscribers. But all in all I would highly recommend.

    30. Ron
      Apr 25 2011, 11:44:18 pm

      I’ve been with True Wealth for 8 years. I agree with much that’s been said but if I had bought gold when he told me to I’d be in a good place. I’m way up on his choices over the years. Yes 2008 was bad but I don’t buy everything he recommends, I use it as a tool. His ‘virtual banks’ have made me money year after year after year. He has a brand new service that rates using a new system. I’m watching, bought two, we’ll see…… I recommend him highly.

    31. Steven Tray
      Dec 1 2012, 05:13:33 pm

      This news letter is great for finding new parts of the markets that have recently turned upward. Combines contrarian approach with early-on trend following. The losers are usually small losses and the winners are sometimes really huge. Fun to read. Only use the picks if you are willing to sell when stops are hit.

    32. Martyn Thomson
      Feb 26 2013, 12:39:46 pm

      Always an interesting read, and good for picking out new investment trends early on. I no longer subscribe, but only because I needed to cut down my subscriptions. One of the better newsletters.

    33. twhites
      Apr 10 2016, 06:17:45 pm

      I’m new here. I see all the responses about Steve Sjuggerud’s True Wealth are dated. Wondering what the current perspective is? Worth investing in the monthly newsletter at $2500 for two years? Thanks

    34. 3538 |
      Apr 10 2016, 07:59:00 pm

      Twhite, I recommend an Irregular membership to Stock Gumshoe at a mere 13 1/2 cents per day any day of this Century. 🙂 The very best investment of my life. 🙂 Best2You-Ben

    35. twhites
      Apr 10 2016, 08:53:19 pm

      Yes, I have that. My question was about the Total wealth newsletter, that has feed back from a couple of years ago, but nothing too recent. Looking for a little fresh insight. Thanks so much

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