Starting to Track 2017 Teaser Picks

The spreadsheets have caught up with the new year... what's up and down so far?

By Travis Johnson, Stock Gumshoe, March 28, 2017

Today I’ve gotten bogged down in a couple articles that haven’t yet reached fruition, but I also have some good news — the redoubtable Lynn, who keeps so many things running smoothly here at Stock Gumshoe despite my best efforts to gum up the works, has gotten our initial 2017 Spreadsheet up for your consideration.

For folks who don’t know, we track each teaser pick made by the newsletters — we don’t really know when they recommended the stock to their subscribers most of the time, and we certainly never get a note when they sell their position, so the basic rule for the tracking spreadsheets is that we assume someone bought the shares the day the newsletter ran a teaser ad promoting them (and we wrote about it), and we hold them forever. Because of the restrictions for live spreadsheets from Google, we have each year in a separate spreadsheet for you to browse as you like — but they are not “end of the year” numbers or annualized numbers or anything fancy like that, even back to 2007 that spreadsheet still just indicates what the return would be if you bought the stock the day it was teased by a newsletter in one of their ads, and held it until right now.

We still have to go back and do some updating in some of the older spreadsheets for events that sometimes get missed a few years after a teaser runs, like acquisitions or splits that impact the shares, but you can browse back through those years in case you’re ever looking for some long-term perspective on the promises made by investment newsletter sales copywriters — and yes, our original articles are linked from each spreadsheet as well, so you could go back and get a sense of what kind of potential was being talked up for the stocks being teased. Unfortunately, we usually find that the same kind of potential is touted for the huge winners (like the Fool’s teasing of Netflix back in 2007, for 5,700% gains) and the huge losers.

There are always, as you might guess, more losers than winners — but sometimes it’s pretty close, we’ve had years in which half the teased stocks either beat the S&P or were, at the least, in positive territory. More typically, about a third of the stocks tend to be successful and 2/3 relatively unsuccessful ideas… and the middle ground of ideas that are either a little better or a little worse than the market is pretty large.

And for those who ask, yes, that Motley Fool pitch about Netflix is a rarity, indeed… we see nearly every newsletter pitch giving us dreams of 1,000%+ returns, but as of now, if you had bought every single stock that was teased by a newsletter and uncovered by Stock Gumshoe over the past decade, that NFLX pitch would be the only 1,000% return you’d have. There are several 100% gainers in most years, which I’m sure is helped by the fact that the market overall has risen pretty steadily for eight years, but the true huge gains are extremely rare. Much, much more rare than the 95-100% losses, which usually significantly outnumber the 100%+ gainers in any given year.

And, of course, I try to remember to throw in some rearward-facing humility and note that I wasn’t all that enthused about Netflix back in 2007, when it was at $10-15 or so a share (split adjusted, that would be about $2.50) — it was expensive and uncertain and in a huge transition back then, so you had to be a believer that the online streaming business would really take off, replace the DVD-by-mail business, and generate dramatic growth. As I recall, I gave it a “meh” response at the time and never owned the shares… oops.

But sometimes, of course, there are good ideas hiding in these newsletter promotions — and sometimes when we look into the details and think for ourselves we’ll find that they’ll be good enough, or attractively valued enough, to knock us out of our complacency and make us buy shares. Hopefully we’ll be won over by more 200% gainers than 95% losers in the years to come.

Curious about the top of the list for this young year? So far the darling stock is Shopify (SHOP), which was pitched by the Motley Fool last Summer as well but really got re-pushed by the Motley Fool Rule Breakers folks in a big way starting in January, when they told anyone who would listen that it’s “like buying Amazon in 1997” (and I’ve seen that same ad again just today, so presumably they’re still fans) … and close behind that is Mobileye (MBLY), thanks to the premium takeover bid that stock received from Intel (INTC) about three weeks ago. Both of those are up close to 50% (I own some SHOP call options personally in my Real Money Portfolio, for full disclosure, and will probably write some more about that position for the Irregulars on Friday as I try to figure out what to do with them).

And yes, for ye of little faith, we have also had two 50% drops already in just the first stirrings of this new year — a junior miner and a junior oil explorer have both fallen that far since they were pitched back in January, I’ll let you explore the spreadsheets to discover which ones… our tracking sheets are always available here.

Notice any patterns or ideas hiding in those teased stocks? See any splits or acquisitions or other errors we should fix? Ideas for how we should improve this 2008-vintage tracking technology? Please let us know with a comment below…

Are you getting our free Daily Update
"reveal" emails? If not,
just click here...



34
Share your thoughts...

avatar
21 Comment threads
13 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
26 Comment authors
John BoudreauxmacariesJAMES A HOLSTEINCarbon BigfootTravis Johnson, Stock Gumshoe Recent comment authors

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

gumjax
Guest
gumjax

I remembered one thing I learned from The Motley Sharpy’s back in the 90’s. Buy what you know and use and believe in. I did it occasionally including NFLX right after it went public. Only problem was I only invested $2500. I held on like a bronco rider. Still have shares at split-adjusted cost of 94 cents. Made of for lots of mistakes and then some. Did same with Costco but not nearly as dramatic because I remembered that adage much later. Often, we get too old to practice what we learned.

fundyman
Guest
fundyman

Wise words, gumjax. I agree with the “buy what you know” and am certainly all too familiar with the “getting to old to practice what we learned” challenge.

Carbon Bigfoot
Guest
Carbon Bigfoot

Our PA Dutch have a saying ” Ve get too soon old and too late schmart”.

Mark Pankin
Guest
Mark Pankin

Another possible way to do the spreadsheet would to show the returns one year after your “buy” date. That would enable a consistent way to evaluate how the picks have done, but would be fairly simple.

alanh
Member
πŸ‘4086

Great work Lynn. An extra that would rub salt in the wound would be a column showing the subscription price and/or the success/FAILURE rate for each publisher.

Olya
Guest

The junior miner will probably be NDM.TO stock which i bought indeed on its peak. So there is my 52% lost. My expectation was such that I double my amount usually available . Good lesson, isn’t it? So let us wait till May to see what NDM will bring as a new step. In the meanwhile, trading volume is very low. And nothing seems to be obvious before next fall.

Add a Topic
5971
David B.
Member
πŸ‘853
David B.

CleanTeq, Nividia and Cara Therapeutics appear to be the biggest winners over the past several years.

epicprince
Member
πŸ‘5
epicprince

~beautiful work

thinairmony
Guest

Great article T J ! How many times I got lost in past thoughts of what if, and I remember, took me well over a hour to read. Now that’s entertainment. I won’t go over any of them but sure any true Gumie knows what I’m saying. Let me leave on this note Thanks to Travis I am riding up to the crest of the best stock I have ever invested in my life. And that would be shopify. Well thanks for the excellent article it was right on. A gem of a gem are far and few, but it’s… Read more Β»

Add a Topic
5971
frankw17
Member
πŸ‘1267

Travis,have you determined which firm and or which analysts has the best track record over the 10 years relative to
total return? I assume the returns did not include dividends.
Great article and informative spread sheets.
Regards,
Frank

Add a Topic
1340
Add a Topic
152
backoffice
Member
πŸ‘315

I can attest to the loses suffered by Motley fool, one being Invesense and the other Container Corp. and a basket full of others. I’ve given up on them for this year.

Add a Topic
329
dunnydame
Member
πŸ‘982
dunnydame

One of my best Motley Fool recommendations was $IPGP. I bought @$17 in January 2008, @$19 in June 2008, and @$55 in February 2012.
I didn’t buy more because I didn’t think they could rise more, silly me! They’re at $120 today and I’m up 458% overall.
Allied Irish Bank $AIB on the other hand – crashed in 2009 after buying in the boom in early 2008.
Penny

Add a Topic
329
Dave S.
Guest
Dave S.

Travis, nice to see that you are still tracking (as I am) the five Louis Navellier “Tech Doublers” (COHR, IPXL, MRX, SXCI, WBMD) hyped on 10/28/2010, of which two (MRX, SXCI) are dead in the water, one (WBMD) is about flat, while IPXL is down about 40%, and the champ COHR, which after FIVE YEARS stuck in a trading range between high 40s and 70s (starting price 42-ish) finally launched in Jan 16 and is up ~5x, providing an average gain for the group of 0.3%. Big whoop… To be fair, IPXL did more than double in 2015 but has… Read more Β»

Add a Topic
2285
Add a Topic
540
Fabian
Guest
Fabian

Gosh, what a mess.

Andrew
Guest

Excellent information Travis, would be interesting to see which sectors have the best strike rate over time and are some research houses only worth listening to in a particular sector.

jameshmwebb
Member
πŸ‘18
jameshmwebb

Brilliant and fascinating, Travis. Thank you so much. It’s interesting that there are so many losers, and more losers than winners, despite all the fantastic claims made by the writers of investment newsletters.

Cody
Guest
Cody

I’m hoping that I can have my own gem soon with CAFD or NBEV stocks… invested a good amount so far for my portfolio, hoping for good things in future years !

4140fm
Member
πŸ‘1
4140fm

I enjoyed the teaser picks. I own quite a few of the stocks mentioned. It’s hard to evaluate these stocks without considering dividends.I track the%yield – then yield @ cost- then total return which is total cost minus total dividends received on a % basis.Sometimes, even if your timing is off,dividends show a better picture of the value of the stocks you bought.

Add a Topic
1340
Add a Topic
1340
Add a Topic
1340
karl
Guest
karl

“the basic rule for the tracking spreadsheets is that we assume someone bought the shares the day the newsletter ran a teaser ad promoting them (and we wrote about it), and we hold them forever.”

Presumably the newsletters not only tell you when to buy the stock but also when to sell. Your results are totally unrealistic if you only buy and hold them forever.

Add a Topic
5971
bosack61
Member
πŸ‘5

STM ROCKS

john
Guest
john

Sorry, looking for the spreadsheet?

JAMES A HOLSTEIN
Guest

I’d like to see a pivot-table to summarize by Publisher & Avg-Pct-Chg.

macaries
Member
πŸ‘11
macaries

Hi Travis, You once covered the internet of things(IOT) Now I think this agora financial pitch by Robert Burke is touting smart dust as the IOT in 2017 can you confirm?

https://pro.agorafinancial.com/p/TAO_smartdust_0317/MTAOT400/FULL

Add a Topic
6137
John Boudreaux
Guest

JBinSC

John Boudreaux
Guest

I’m not a guest.
John Boudreaux