Gumshoe Gives Back — 2020 Charitable Membership Drive Ends Dec. 11

Renew, upgrade or sign up this week to help us make some big charitable donations!

By Travis Johnson, Stock Gumshoe, December 7, 2020

We do things a little differently at Stock Gumshoe — we love our free readers, we don’t have sales, we don’t offer “limited time only” promotions or trial periods to get you in the door as a paid member, and we don’t try to upsell you every ten minutes. Every once in a while we raise our prices to keep up with expenses, and to make sure that I can re-gild my solid gold bathtub every now and then (I’ve got a lot of corrosive muck to wash off after wading through marketing manure every day, after all), and that’s about it.

But once a year I do run a new membership drive and try to get new paid members to sign up… and that’s what we’re doing today. So if you’ve been thinking about maybe joining this most exclusive club of premium Stock Gumshoe members, well, right now is a great time.

So what’s the urgency? Why the limited-time-offer “must sign up by December 11!” stuff?

The urgency is that your membership payment will be donated to some worthy causes if you join us as a Stock Gumshoe Irregular this week.

If that’s all the inducement you need, then I’ll let you get right to it — Click here to sign up now.

If you don’t know what the Stock Gumshoe Irregulars are, you’re not alone (everyone suggests that we change the name to something simpler, but I’m stubborn). The Irregulars are our premium members who pay to keep Stock Gumshoe going, and the name was inspired by Sherlock Holmes’ Baker Street Irregulars, who helped gather clues for Holmes’ cases.

(They were also what we euphemistically would have called “street urchins” back in those days, so if you’d prefer to associate the name with something more glamorous, like the swashbuckling Irregulars British spy ring in 1940s Washington (with Roald Dahl the most famous alum of that group) or something else, well, have at it. And no, we are not trying to endorse any of the many “Irregular” military groups around the world.)

What do you get for being a premium member?

What the Stock Gumshoe Irregulars get is, well, mostly more of what the free members get.

And, sometimes, less.

Irregulars get access to my Real Money Portfolio, including some detail on all those positions and notifications when I buy or sell anything.   That is the best way I can put my money where my mouth is and tell you what I really think of a company or how I think a portfolio should be positioned now, because this is real money, and it represents the vast majority of my family’s investable assets.  These are investments, not opinions. I can’t give you personal advice, but I can tell you what I’m personally doing.

That may be an exciting benefit at times when my portfolio is clobbering the market, like it is this year, though that’s certainly not always the case.  This probably won’t be a series of stock picks that turns you into an overnight millionaire, to be clear, this year’s extreme outperformance is unlikely to be repeated — but I’ll certainly keep trying.  I hope my portfolio will continue to do well over time, and that sharing my thinking about buying, selling, and analyzing those holdings will be of some benefit to you as you implement your own investing strategy and build your portfolio.

And that “less is more” value? Probably the most-loved feature for our paid members is the “Irregulars Quick Take” that I post at the top of all of my articles — not all of you have the time to appreciate my blatheration when I’m slogging through the solution to a newsletter teaser pitch, and that feature gives you the instant ID of the stock being teased (or whatever else the article might be about), and a quick summary of my thoughts.

And the Irregulars get Fridays… on the last day of the work week, I write something just for our paid members that I call the Friday File. Sometimes that’s another teaser solution article if one catches my attention that day, sometimes it’s more of a “big picture” article, and it usually includes updates or some commentary on the Real Money Portfolio holdings (and often a trade or two that I’ve made).  I’m likely to comment on any big news that impacts the 50 or so stocks I typically own, and I keep a “might buy someday” watchlist and write from time to time about some of my non-stock holdings as well, including mutual funds, options speculations, and the like. I also share more of my opinions and big-picture blatherations with the smaller group of Irregulars from time to time… some love that, some ignore it — your call.

In terms of notifications for investment changes in my portfolio, here’s the deal: If I buy or sell a stock that amounts to more than 1/10 of 1% of my equity portfolio, I’ll send out an email that day to let you know in a Trade Note. For smaller trades or little options positions, I’ll update you once a week in the Friday File.

And there are other benefits, of course — you get to start your own discussion threads if you’re interested, which can occasionally turn into sharing pretty long and involved commentaries… some of our readers write more than I do from time to time.

Finally, though, there’s the best benefit of all — the warm feeling you get in your belly from knowing that you are an important part of keeping Stock Gumshoe going as a valuable resource for other investors. I’ve been solving newsletter teasers and writing for readers like you for more than a dozen years now, and I’ve been investing heavily into expanding and improving our community for the benefit of investors… and our paid members make that all possible (yes, we also host some advertisements, which allow us to keep offering valuable articles even for free members, but paying members like you cover more than half of our operating expenses).

And this week, you get a bonus warm fuzzy feeling: the knowledge that you’ll be supporting a worthwhile charity. I haven’t finalized which groups will receive our Stock Gumshoe largesse this year, and the other folks at Stock Gumshoe get to direct some of the total to their favorite charities, but in the past we have generally focused on disaster relief, education, hunger, medical relief and similar causes, both in our local area and around the world, and that’s not likely to change.

The details? We’re trying to set a new record this year for our charitable donations, so I’m making this deal count: I’ll DONATE AN AMOUNT EQUAL TO 100% OF EVERY MEMBERSHIP PAYMENT WE RECEIVE THIS WEEK, including both renewals and new memberships… no gimmicks, no exclusions, no expenses taken off the top (well, except for refunds). So if you’re going to sign up, please do so by midnight on Friday.

It’s simple math: if you join up with an annual payment of $59, I’ll donate $59. Go with the monthly plan and pay $7, I’ll donate $7. Join as a “lifetime” platinum member at $329, and I’ll donate $329. I’m hoping you’ll stick around next year and renew and tell all your friends, as most of our readers do, and then we’ll enjoy your support into the future… but this year, your membership payment will go to support our local food bank, or disaster relief in the path of the latest hurricanes or wildfires, or COVID assistance in hard-hit communities, or literacy programs… or, well, you get the idea.

A small note on logistics:  I used to have Stock Gumshoe, Inc. make the donations directly, but that gave my accountant a headache.   Now it’s simpler, and it leaves more cash in the company to pay for our work:  I make the final call on choosing the charities for this match, and I make that donation personally. Same impact, since I own 100% of Stock Gumshoe, but I just want to be transparent that it’s not technically Stock Gumshoe, Inc. making the donation — I will personally donate whatever the total is of all Stock Gumshoe membership payments this week.  

And to be clear, your membership payment will not be deductible as a charitable donation, there’s no “pass through” in that regard.

Travis and Jonah present their novelty check for the 2020 Pan Mass Challenge bikeathon

And, of course, I know that all of you have your own favorite causes — one of mine is the Pan Mass Challenge that benefits Dana-Farber Cancer center, and I am also very thankful that so many of you participated in supporting my son and I in our cancer-fighting bike ride over the Summer… complete with large novelty check!

So if you are deciding between supporting your favorite charity and joining Stock Gumshoe, please support your favorite charity — there’s a whole lot of need out there in the world, and we’ll be fine, nobody here at Stock Gumshoe is missing any meals.  We will likely be raising the price for membership next year, since we have kept our prices flat while expenses have soared over the past five years, but it won’t be a dramatic price increase.

Thanks for indulging me with a few minutes to pitch our “Gumshoe Gives Back” campaign, and thanks so much for being a Stock Gumshoe reader and helping to build the finest community in cyberspace!



Travis Johnson
Founder and President, Stock Gumshoe

P.S. Sometimes it gets a little hinky when folks are trying to upgrade or sign up, particularly if you’re a free member from long ago but don’t remember your login credentials, so here’s the lowdown:

If you are a free member and already logged in (It would show your name, and “Free Member” in green at the top right of the page), then you can just click here to upgrade to a paid membership in the Irregulars. You’ll keep the same username and email address, everything will be easy and simple.

If you’re already a member of the Irregulars, and you want to know whether your membership is renewing soon, you can click here to see your membership details.

And if you don’t have a username or password, well, then it’s easy as pie to get going — just start here.

If the system tells you that your email address or username is already in our records and you don’t remember your password, you can request a password reset via email… or if that doesn’t work for any reason, you can always contact the redoubtable Lynn (email and she’ll help you get everything cleared up in time to participate in this campaign.  Thanks again!