For those of you who haven’t been with the Gumshoe since day one, you’ll probably notice that there are a lot of these teaser emails that come up again, and again, and again. Sometimes the email changes a little bit, sometimes they just update the stock prices in the teasers, sometimes there’s a new hook — but by and large, they’re the same teasers … for the same newsletters.
Just thought I’d share with you some emails that I’ve seen several times in the last couple weeks that are oldies but goodies, and let you know that there are oldie-but-goodie Gumshoe writeups for you to savor if you care for a trip down memory lane. And this way, I don’t have to email individual responses to the dozens of new readers who are coming across these fabulous teasers in their inboxes for the first time.
So … first, “The tiny company walking in the footsteps of Microsoft,” courtesy of the Motley Fool’s Hidden Gems? Also known as the “Crazy idea that dazzled Bill Gates?”
That’s still Ctrip, which I wrote up here in March (updated). This has been a HG favorite for awhile. All that business about the Oracle engineers and the guy who had an idea that was so great that Bill Gates invested in it? That’s all about the founding of Expedia, which if you’ll recall used to be a Microsoft affiliate. The Oracle engineers were a bunch of techies who went to China and copied the Expedia idea to start their own Chinese online travel agency. They’re also the same folks behind Home Inns, by the way, another popular (though pretty richly valued) China travel stock that’s getting a lot of attention as we run up to the Olympics.
The Global Gains folks over at the Motley Fool also recommended Home Inns — or teased it, to be fair — a little while back as a “Tier Two Monster.” And Robert Hsu has pushed both Ctrip and Home Inns in past teasers, if memory serves — I don’t know if he still likes them at these prices or not.
I’m sure the HG folks are rolling in cabbage from this CTRP recommendation already (they’re up about 60% on the recommendation since I saw the first teaser email), but apparently they still like it and think it’s among their best ideas, so take that as far as you want.
What else has been making the rounds again lately?
Well, Andrew Mickey at Breakaway Investor is really convinced that we shouldn’t miss out on the GPS revolution — specifically, the GPS-in-cell-phone revolution.
So he’s still pushing one of his favorites as the next crossover defense department technology breakthrough … I wrote about this one back in June, and he’s down about 10% on it so far (it did spike up quite a bit higher for a while, but then hit a rough patch).
Others that are coming back to the well? Perhaps one time too many for some?
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Tobin Smith has been jabbering about LED technology breakthroughs in ChangeWave Investor or ChangeWave MicroCap for quite some time … for the last couple months it’s all been teasing the same company, according to several Gumshoe readers and forum participants, Lighting Scence Group, which has some kind of deal with the big daddy of LED lighting, Philips. They’ve had an odd summer, a few spikes that might have been related to the Toby recommendations, and they are up a bit since early June, but the ride might make you queasy — down 9% today, which isn’t at all unusual for their recent past.
And again with the Motley Fool — they’ve found some more teasers that must work, and they’re sticking with them. They have a strong history of this — their teasers that tout Markel as the next Berkshire Hathaway for Inside Value have been around for longer than I’ve owned Markel stock, which has been a few years now. And while I don’t see the teasers for Whole Foods as the “New American Super Brand” every day anymore, as I did all Spring, I do still see them every few weeks. They’ve ridden that one all the way down during the WFMI message board hijinks and the glumness over the Wild Oats merger, then back up over the last month or so as the stock recovered … and I wouldn’t be surprised to see it come back next year, too.
But the latest one that’s making the rounds for the Fool multiple times has been the one for the Income Investor service, the teaser about Business Development Companies that supposedly offer a government-guaranteed 16% annual return. Must be working, since I’m seeing it again this week.
And some relatively new teasers are clearly making some good hay for their publishers — I can’t tell you how man times in a day I run across the teasers for the 801K plan from Tom Dyson’s 12% Letter, usually sent in by readers. Though this one, successful as it appears to be, is a good reminder that you’ve got to keep your editing pencil sharp if you want to impress the readers — the first time this teaser made the rounds one of the companies prominently teased was clearly Thornburg Mortgage. Want to guess whether or not that part of the teaser remained in the ad copy after mid-August? TMA may recover, but now’s not the time to try to sell a newsletter based on your ability to pick a stock that falls close to 75% …
Just as an aside, I do want to commend Dyson for calling his letter the 12% Letter … that seems much more like truth in advertising to me than the 25% Cash Machine from ChangeWave, though they follow fairly similar strategies (and the 25% guys had their own blowup, RAIT Financial, thanks to the same mortgage crisis).
Some teasers that continue to be rehashed are just updated with the stellar performance of their stocks — Greg McCoach, who runs the Mining Speculator, has just one teaser that I’ve ever seen, but it’s been out there for ages. He used to call it Lake Superior’s $2.6 Trillion Secret” — which I wrote up in two parts because it kicked my butt for a while, here’s part one and part two. Back then it was a teaser for Duluth Metals and Polymet, and now he calls it “The Secret Behind Minnesota’s Pay Dirt” … and it’s still Duluth and Polymet, with just a few changes to the percentages and price points. You may have noticed Duluth is near the top of the Gumshoe spreadsheet with more than a double since I first saw this teaser, and Polymet is up a respectable 30% or so … so heck, why not keep working this vein?
To close out our review of recent reruns … I’m also continuing to see a lot of traffic from Steve Sjuggerud’s Macau Property penny stock, which is still Speymill Macau — that one has meandered a bit, mostly lower since the initial tease back in mid-June. And Mark Skousen is continuing to advertise with the Chinese Metal Monopoly, which is still Chalco (and which has had a ridiculously good run this Summer, so his July teaser on this was well timed)
I’m a big fan of recycling, of course — that newspaper can only sit in the bathroom basket for so long before it needs to get out there and be made into some natural-fiber diapers to be sold at Whole Foods … but you can take it too far.
The Taipan teasers for Range Resources, for example, which talked up possible 800% returns by October, ran for quite a while during the Spring and Summer before they realized that the Somali political crisis was peaking and October was starting to seem pretty close at hand for a stock that hadn’t yet really moved. Today, a week from October, I’m relieved to look back and say that I haven’t seen this one resurface for at least a few weeks. And no, the stock still hasn’t really moved … that 800% is looking more elusive every day, though one never knows when — or if — a lottery ticket like this will pay off.
So … for the long-time faithful, sorry about the trip down memory lane. We’ll be making some new memories soon, I promise. And for those who are new to the Gumshoe, I hope you enjoyed this little game of catch-up … and I can almost promise you that we’ll all be seeing these old favorites again soon.
Happy sleuthing, happy investing, and happy Wednesday, everyone.