Travis Johnson, Stock Gumshoe

Author Bio

Travis Johnson, Stock Gumshoe
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

Everyone seems to love a “micro cap” these days, so the latest teaser pitch from Dylan Jovine over at Behind the Markets for his “upgrade” newsletter caught my eye — it’s called Breakthrough Wealth ($997/yr, 30-day refund policy), and he’s pitching a service that he says will be shooting for 1,000% gains in small companies. […]

Portfolio/”best of” service that summarizes and recommends picks from other Motley Fool newsletter services, including Stock Advisor and Rule Breakers, and also recommends a few of its own ideas.

Bad news… Dream Finders Homes (DFH) did not partner up with Boston Omaha’s Yellowstone Acquisition SPAC (YSAC) to go public, as I had harbored some small hope they might… but good news, too, because DFH did go public this week, which came as a surprise to me on Thursday, since I hadn’t noticed the original […]

I’ve gotten a lot of questions in the past couple days about Jeff Brown’s “Pre-IPO Code” presentation, in which he teases the idea of this “Pre-IPO” investing strategy as he pitches his new Blank Check Speculator newsletter. And I’ve got good news… and bad news. The good news is, I can explain what he’s talking […]

“Upgrade” newsletter from Brownstone, launched early in 2021 and intending to recommend a dozen or so Special Purpose Acquisition Corporations (SPACs) per year, most likely pre-deal SPACs that have not yet announced a merger target.

Stock Gumshoe is closed in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. today, as the markets are also closed, but for those looking for a little reading… I’m sharing here a taste of the Friday File from a month ago. What follows was the final section of the Friday File I published on December 18 […]

I don’t know what’s going to happen to interest rates, taxes, GDP growth or the stock market, all of which are intertwined, but right now the sentiment expressed by the market seems still to be vaccine-driven optimism about economic recovery from the pandemic, which implies that the renewed push to speed up vaccinations will lead […]

Yesterday I spent some time on a pitch for a “Diamond in the Rough” stock from Jim Woods and promised to follow up… so that’s the plan this afternoon. The bigger theme of the ad was that Woods has a list of five “Guardian Angel” stocks that will help you survive pandemics and recessions… and […]

This email hit the inbox and caught my eye today, from publisher Roger Michalski for one of the Eagle Financial publications: “Seeing that consumers — the driving force behind our economy — are consuming in record numbers online… “e-Commerce certainly is the place to be. “The profit numbers shown here prove it. “But where is […]

Yesterday it was someone pitching the “No. 1 Income Play of 2021,” today it’s the “No. 1 Tech Stock for 2021” — that’s the nature of January, it’s prediction time and everyone wants to stake their claim on prescience. This one’s from Ian King, who’s pitching his Automatic Fortunes newsletter ($97/yr) and talking up the […]

We’ve covered some teaser pitches from Brett Owens in the past, he has mostly specialized in targeting closed-end funds that he thinks provide good income, at least when it comes to recent pitches I’ve seen. We’ve covered some past ads where he pitched income-focused investments that have worked out reasonably well and some where those […]

Happy New Year! The fact that this week’s portfolio moves included a little stop loss selling and some nibbles in asset management, insurance and music royalties probably tells you all you need to know about how cautious I feel to start this year… though, as always, I try not to have my personal sentiment drive […]

This article was originally published on June 29, when Alexander Green was first touting this as the “#1 Microcap for 2020” — that ad has been repurposed and lightly updated as they pitch the same stock as the “#1 Microcap for 2021,” so we’re re-posting this here to answer reader questions. We have not updated […]

Recent Author Comments

On "#1 Micro-Cap Stock for February" teased -- what's up with this "1,000% gains starting February 22" pitch from Behind the Markets?

They reported some results yesterday -- a third of people in the trial experienced weight loss of 5% in three months for their latest cohort. That sounds worse than the numbers that got folks excited last year, but I haven't been following it closely... i[...]

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On Microblog: Paul Mampilly's 100x deal

Many data providers will tell you the number of shares that are sold short, or the short shares as a percent of the float. Those are shares that have been borrowed and sold short, if it's a meaningful part of the float that can certainly impact the price.[...]

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On Jim Woods' "Diamond in the Rough" e-commerce play

Yep, here you go: https://www.stockgumshoe.com/reviews/international-speculator/whats-the-81-cent-stock-that-dave-forest-calls-the-5g-keystone/[...]

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On Microblog: What is the name of the stock that will supply electricity to power entire cities that has been developed by a former employee of Tesla known as employee number 7? Any ideas Travis? Thanks

Haven't seen any really different ads along those lines, so I'll keep an eye out but it's probably still the same, [...]

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On Microblog: Paul Mampilly's 100x deal

Melvin Capital was short, which meant they had borrowed GME shares and sold them, with the intention of buying them back at some point in the future at a lower price so they could return those borrowed shares (lots of others were short, too, GME had among [...]

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On Friday File: Dreaming of NVR

I'm sure I'll have some additional comments to share by Friday, but for now I'm just watching the NASCAR race and wondering when we'll see a giant crash -- hopefully we won't see stray wheels come flying up into the stands. I did pull together a list of t[...]

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On Microblog: Hipgnosis Songs Fund is doing a limited subscription offering

True, 1.21 is roughly the average price it has traded at in recent weeks... and a rational price to pay, I think, but no reason to fret about the offering — we’ll be able to buy at that price or lower on the market over the coming months, I’m sure. [...]

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On What's that Motley Fool "Potential 865X Growth" Microcap?

They publish a 10 stocks list each year, and every month in their intro newsletter they pick the 10 “Best Buy” picks for that month out of the hundreds in their model portfolio. That language at the bottom of the article will appear at the bottom of t[...]

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On Digging into Teeka Tiwari's "Genesis" -- What are the "Three Must-Own Stocks that Will Power Blockchain’s 295,000% Revolution"

Thanks mouse... planning to keep waking up every morning to go to work for my favorite readers for as long as I can :)[...]

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On "#1 Micro-Cap Stock for February" teased -- what's up with this "1,000% gains starting February 22" pitch from Behind the Markets?

It has also lost 70-80% a few times. These kinds of companies aren’t for the risk-averse, that’s for sure.[...]

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On "#1 Micro-Cap Stock for February" teased -- what's up with this "1,000% gains starting February 22" pitch from Behind the Markets?

A perfectly valid way to think, but you have to accept that it will keep you out of most smaller or clinical stage biotech companies and relatively young growth companies — some companies get valued by investors based on their income statement or balance[...]

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On Microblog: The 12 Million Mile Battery

Nope, the stocks they can provide access to are not usually the ones that you’d probably most want to buy, in my experience. And the private markets often get ahead of themselves, too, so odds are pretty good that it will be available at similar or bett[...]

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On "#1 Micro-Cap Stock for February" teased -- what's up with this "1,000% gains starting February 22" pitch from Behind the Markets?

Oops, yes — will fix the typo.[...]

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On What's that Motley Fool "Potential 865X Growth" Microcap?

Definitely not a match for those clues, Zynga is huge in comparison ($11 billion market cap)[...]

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On "#1 Micro-Cap Stock for February" teased -- what's up with this "1,000% gains starting February 22" pitch from Behind the Markets?

That’s been true this week, I guess, though these are crazy times... things will presumably settle down again. Someday. In cases where a stock is driven up just because of a teaser ad pitch, that pressure pushing the shares higher usually only lasts a[...]

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On Microblog: Alexander Green's Oxford Communique $3 stock for retirement

Still Hon Hai, which he's been similarly pitching for years -- covered here: https://www.stockgumshoe.com/reviews/oxford-club/alex-greens-single-stock-retirement-plan/[...]

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On Microblog: The 12 Million Mile Battery

Yes, it's Sila... and no, you can't currently invest in it. A bait and switch on the idea of Sila, but an actual investment in something more ordinary -- the ad's been running for almost a year now, covered here: https://www.stockgumshoe.com/reviews/profi[...]

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On What's that Motley Fool "Potential 865X Growth" Microcap?

I’ve never written about a pitch for that one.[...]

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On What's that Motley Fool "Potential 865X Growth" Microcap?

RB and SA can’t recommend microcaps, they’re both so huge they can barely recommend large cap stocks without jolting the share price. This pitch, whether for SHSP or IZEA or something else, is for their smaller (and pricier) Market Pass service.[...]

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On What's that Motley Fool "Potential 865X Growth" Microcap?

Nope, as I said, not sure of this one at all. Sharpspring and a few others are very similar on the few metrics given.[...]

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