Travis Johnson, Stock Gumshoe

Author Bio

Travis Johnson is an individual investor who founded Stock Gumshoe in 2007 as a way to air his dissections of overhyped marketing pitches... and to share the "secret" stocks that stock newsletters hype to get your attention and your subscription dollars. His thinking? If you already know what the "secret" stock is, you can make a much more reasonable and thoughtful decision about whether or not to commit to an expensive newsletter subscription. (And if you don't pay for the info, you'll be more free to think for yourself about whether or not the investment is worth your money.) In his charmed life he has been, among other things, a university faculty member, a fundraiser, a writer, and a world-champion ice-cream scooper. Now he runs Stock Gumshoe for you, allowing us all to discuss and dissect the latest overheated stock ideas... as well as review and talk about investment newsletters and enjoy the commentary and opinions of Stock Gumshoe's other special contributors and the discussion with our unusually attractive, erudite and polite readers. He lives with Mrs. Gumshoe and all their little Gumshoes in the wilds of Western Massachusetts.

Author Archives

  • Friday File: Earningspalooza Begins!

    I’ve got some notes (mostly brief, I hope) to share about the various quarterly earnings reports that have hit my Real Money Portfolio stocks this week… but I have gotten a pile of reader questions so I wanted to start with a look at Sandstorm Gold (SAND), which announced a pretty big deal earlier in […]

  • Small Buy Note — Mutual Conversion

    I’m on vacation this week so won’t be penning my regular Friday File, but I did want to note that I just did get an order filled for a small position in PCSB Financial (PCSB), the bank that did a mutual conversion offering to its account holders last month and went public on the Nasdaq […]

  • Small Personal Buy

    As I noted was my intention in the Friday File last week, I’ve now added Skyworks Solutions to my personal portfolio… it’s going in as a 0.5% position at roughly $98 a share, for those who are keeping track (it will be in the next update to my Real Money Portfolio). No other real news, […]

  • Starting to Track 2017 Teaser Picks

    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. […]

  • Bonus Buy Note: Real Money Portfolio

    I must confess having made another iconoclastic little investment this week — even as I make clear that although I’ve really invested in it, and it’s in my Real Money Portfolio (with a likelihood that I will ignore it for a while as it settles in as a newly public company), it’s extremely illiquid and […]

  • Profit taking in options

    Just a brief note here to let you know that I’ve sold a little over half of my Shopify (SHOP) options position. I was pondering whether to hold on to this speculative position in the April $60 SHOP calls last month, since the one clear remaining catalyst before option expiration would be their quarterly report […]

  • Stop Loss Sale (partial) posted

    Just an FYI for folks who follow my personal “real money” portfolio — today, following Kerrisdale Capital’s short attack on Northern Dynasty (NAK), I sold an additional part of my warrant position when it hit my mental stop loss level of about C$2.50 (the stock was nearing C$3). That books a total profit of roughly […]

  • Annual Review – Income

    We’re closing in on the end of my annual navel-gazing exercise in portfolio review, and today it’s time to look at the “income” stocks in my portfolio. During the week next week I’ll catch up with a few smaller positions that don’t fit into the neat sectors I’ve divvied up thus far, like Disney, for […]

  • Annual Review: Insurance and Conglomerates

    Throughout January these Friday Files are taking on the form of my “Annual Review” of my holdings, which will culminate in a clearer listing of what I own and focus on, including portfolio allocations that I have personally, and a clearer delineation between the stuff I write about because it’s interesting, and the stuff I […]

  • Recent Author Comments

    On Friday File: Earningspalooza Begins!
    My primary worry on that front would be if the Turkish operator is somehow politically opposed to Erdogan, which doesn't seem to be the case. But yes, certainly opposition-connected assets and companies are being seized in Turkey, it's a real risk. Inter[...]
    On "Gold Anomaly" and the "Coming Surge in Platinum Stocks"
    Good point![...]
    On Kramer: "If you don’t take a small position in this marijuana stock, you’ll regret it for the rest of your life."
    I'm sure those are reasonable concerns (though irrelevant when it comes to the pharmaceutical companies like GWPH), but it's also important to have those kinds of numbers in context. Investors are easily swayed by a piece of knowledge like "six gallons a [...]
    On Long Idea of the Year
    I don't know anything about this stock and haven't read the article yet, but "Grey market" is usually just a reference to OTC trading that's even more unsupported by the company and illiquid than regular "pink sheet" or OTC stocks. You can usually still b[...]
    On Mizrahi's "This ONE STOCK is the 'Next Berkshire'" Pitch
    Hi Vic, I posted my thoughts on the last Grant's Conference here. I try to attend most of these, but the next one is in October, not June -- I[...]
    You're falling in to the marketing pit, I'm afraid.[...]
    On Sniffing out Kent Moors' "OBL Superfuel" -- What's the White Gold "1,693X more powerful than gasoline?"
    He was a professor of political science at Duquesne for many years, now retired.[...]
    On Navellier's "The Almost Perfect Stock" Set to Double Investors' Money in 2017
    Sorry, no -- sounds like a question for a tax lawyer.[...]
    There are no "gallons" of lithium, it's just an ingredient in lithium ion batteries -- discussed in more detail here:[...]
    It's just lithium carbonate, pop over and read this article for more details:[...]
    On What's the "Tiny 'Spare Change' Stock Set To Deliver $87 Million Windfall?"
    Thanks! Our ability comes mostly from the ads that readers send in with questions -- keep sending us ads and questions that you're curious about (and that we haven't covered before, preferably :)), and we'll know what you want the Thinkolator to be tasked[...]
    On Sniffing out Kent Moors' "OBL Superfuel" -- What's the White Gold "1,693X more powerful than gasoline?"
    It's ridiculous puffery that obscures the simple truth and abuses science in the name of generating newsletter subscriptions. The company is real, if quite speculative, and Moors presumably makes real recommendations about stocks in his newsletters (good [...]
    On Microblog:
    Sure, that ad argues that the debt ceiling debate and/or government shutdown will cause bitcoin to skyrocket -- I wrote about that a couple months ago here, presumably they haven't changed the ad recently:[...]
    On Microblog: and "The Square Principle"
    I've heard of the square principle as a mathematical concept, but don't know what it means to chartists -- and I'm far from expert on most of the chart-reading techniques. Hopefully someone else will have some feedback for you.[...]
    On What's the "Tiny 'Spare Change' Stock Set To Deliver $87 Million Windfall?"
    Should be right there at the top[...]
    On Microblog: Can Someone PLEASE let us know what they are referring to "The Next Bitcoin" by Palm Beach Letter
    Hello, they were talking up Ethereum last year but then added some more to the most recent version of the ad -- I wrote about it[...]
    On Microblog: clean tech
    Do you mean an actual company called Clean Tech? I don't own any of them and haven't written much about them, but the one that gets the most attention these days among our readers is Clean TeQ Holdings, an Australian company -- their ticker is CLQ in Aust[...]
    On Microblog: Why sudden drop in Express scripts(ESRX)?
    ESRX has been under pressure for a while -- I mentioned it briefly as a short idea after the Grant's Conference a couple months ago, the rationale is that the business essentially is a commodity and it was clear that they were charging more than the other [...]
    On The Conversation: ScyNexis ($SCYX) CFO Eric Francois
    We have a hiccup somewhere with both article formatting and the comment subscription link at the moment, sorry for the inconvenience.[...]
    On Sniffing out Kent Moors' "OBL Superfuel" -- What's the White Gold "1,693X more powerful than gasoline?"
    Lithium, which is all "OBL" is, isn't burned to make or run the batteries. There may be toxic parts of the manufacturing process, and if you live in an area where your electricity comes from coal-fired power plants then you're creating emissions by rechar[...]

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