Updated Performance Rankings

By Travis Johnson, Stock Gumshoe, April 17, 2008

Hi folks — just a quick note to let you know that I have updated the Stock Gumshoe Tracking Spreadsheet and brought it in to the fold as part of the main site, so you can now find it linked from the “Tracking” tab at the top of the page.

I will continue to updated the listing every month or so, and to update the sorting every few days. This one now includes every definitively sleuthed pick through the end of March (going back to March of last year when the Gumshoe began publishing).

There are now 250 individual touted stock picks on the spreadsheet, but one thing remains the same: only a few have had remarkable short term performance. There are still fewer than ten stocks that have 100% returns so far, even though many of these picks are six months to a year old, and even though many of them were “sold” to us with the promise of outsize thousand-percent returns (a few have had dramatic spikes in the interim, but none have ever approaced even a 400 or 500% return).

That doesn’t mean they’ll all remain stinkers, of course, and there are probably a few hidden gems down at the bottom of the spreadsheet, but I like to review this whenever I feel myself losing my healthy sheen of skepticism. The market has gone down, so have most of the “world-beater” stocks.

Also, do keep in mind that I have absolutely no way of tracking or monitoring sales — some of these picks are undoubtedly no longer in the portfolios of the advisers who selected them, but rarely does a newsletter build an ad campaign around the stocks they’ve sold. Think of this as the “emotional investor” portfolio of the enthusiast who excitedly opened the email ad, subscribed to find out the name of the stock, and bought that stock that day to hold close to his heart for the long term.

Some other tidbits, apart from the names of the top performers (which have largely been the same for months, though Contango and Netflix have moved up fairly recently)?

Of roughly 250 picks, only about 50 of them are up by 20% or more. So … 20% are up by 20% … and only a bit fewer than 40% of the picks are up at all, the majority of the stocks are near the unchanged line or below. Probably no big surprise, since a good chunk of these shares were picked before last summer’s cataclysm in the markets.

I continue to hope that I’ll get around to tweaking this data and mining it to find some more stuff of interest, but haven’t gotten there yet … hope springs eternal.

The 50-100% gainers keep me interested in looking … and the ones that are down by 80% keep me careful. And I’m reminded that there are often gems where you least expect them — even newsletters whose ads have touted mostly very poor performers often get one or two really good ones in there … like Andrew Mickey of Breakaway Investor, who has recommended a sea of red, but also picked Natural Gas Services, one of the stocks that has done really well lately and looks intriguing. Or Robert Hsu, who has almost reached the top of the heap with Mosaic but has also seen many of his teaser picks fall significantly along with the rest of the China-related stocks.

If you see anything in the spreadsheet that seems interesting or surprising (or if I’ve missed anything, like a stock split, that skews the data unfairly), feel free to let us all know.

Share your thoughts...

1 Comment on "Updated Performance Rankings"

Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


An interesting list. A quick count on my part showed about 2/3’s are losers (0%). Even though the “best” winners have an absolute greater % than the “worst” loser’s absolute %, intuitively it appears that if you randomly selected a sample, you would be a net loser. Drive the point home, you still have to do your homework.

Best Wishes,