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

This year has seen more than its share of wildly successful investments, largely playing off of the pandemic — led by biotechnology stocks trying to treat, fight or prevent COVID-19 infections, and the (mostly technology) stocks that rode the accelerating adoption of remote work and play in the wake of “stay at home” and “social […]

I’ve gotten a few reader questions about this new pitch from Shah Gilani over at Money Map Press, and we haven’t covered any of his teaser pitches in a long time so it seems like we’re due to take a look. He’s selling charter memberships to something he calls the Hyperdrive Portfolio, with his goal […]

Growth-oriented model portfolio subscription that aims to build a portfolio of “triple in 18 months” positions and trade around those positions along the way to goose returns (averaging up, adding options speculations, and selling options for income). Launched November 2020.

This article was originally published on June 16, 2020. The ad is circulating again now, and seems unchanged from when we first covered it, so we’re re-posting it here to help answer reader questions. What follows has not been updated or revised since June, as of today the stock has risen in value by about […]

This is the pitch that caught a lot of Gumshoe reader eyes over the past couple days: “This is essentially the opportunity we have before us today… “To not only be an investor in a Hollywood brand, but to earn multiple checks per year… “While seeing a realistic chance for 16X gains or more.” It’s […]

Premium-priced “private equity” service from McCall, aims to invest in Reg. A and other private offerings available to non-accredited investors, generally available direct through the investee company and with less regulatory oversight or information than public investments.

Steve Sjuggerud over at Stansberry has a new ad out pitching a “secret currency,” designed to entice you to subscribe to his True Wealth newsletter (that’s one of Stansberry’s “entry level” letters, currently on sale for $49/yr)… and, as usual, we’ve got plenty of questions about it — so let’s see what answers we can […]

Narratives and emotion drive the market in the short term, so last week we saw the tech stocks and COVID winners take another surge higher, perhaps in some surge of “election finally done” relief or just from the indications of a likely split government ahead… this week, some combination of Joe Biden’s election victory being […]

There was a new teaser email from the Oxford Income Letter folks this morning that caught my eye… and in these tumultuous days, when I don’t really feel like doing any trading around these short-term gyrations caused by pandemic panic and political pandering, I confess to being extra-interested in relatively stable dividend-paying investments. So let’s […]

“Election-proof… Pandemic-proof… Crash-proof… This tiny tech stock is the rare…TRIPLE THREAT” That’s the teaser headline from the ads I got over the weekend about Dave Lashmet’s favorite COVID-19 testing stock, a pick that he’s apparently making for his Stansberry Venture Technology newsletter… and Stansberry has a massive reach, and it’s a very expensive service (currently […]

Quite a week, no? As expected, my predictions about the election were wrong… and, perhaps more importantly, even anyone making a prediction about how the election returns were going to come out would have probably been wrong in guessing what might happen to the market in the wake of those results. I expected there to […]

Recent Author Comments

On Trend Trader's "The Secret $5 Company Behind Elon's Race to Own the Internet"

Have covered both many times, neither has impressed me enough to buy them at this point. Lack of business for AKTS and lack of real growth potential for INSG were my primary concerns, though it’s always possible I’ll end up being wrong. Haven’t loo[...]

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On Trend Trader's "The Secret $5 Company Behind Elon's Race to Own the Internet"

A different kind of company, though quite similar in terms of revenue and valuation. Like Gilat, Orbcomm has been in a "failure to grow" mode for a while. Orbcomm does have a satellite constellation but they use it primarily to offer global "asset tra[...]

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On Trend Trader's "The Secret $5 Company Behind Elon's Race to Own the Internet"

Globalstar did have a constellation at a somewhat higher orbit, as I recall, though they were more of an Iridium competitor with sat phones 20 years ago and that still seems to be their primary business. Almost every satellite company works with the gove[...]

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On Investigating Mampilly's pitch about a "12 million mile battery" from Tesla's "employee #7"

A123 went bankrupt in 2012 thanks in large part to the recall they did and their partnership with the first iteration of Fisker, wiping out investors... their assets were acquired by Wanxiang shortly thereafter.[...]

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On Microblog: Hidden gem.. TSNP

I suppose it's theoretically possible that there's risk involved in trading suspect stocks, though I've never heard of anyone getting in trouble for that unless they were engaged in illegal promotion or publicizing a stock without disclosing their personal[...]

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On 2020 Turkey of the Year

Have written about it, but never owned it.[...]

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On Ray Blanco's "Halo-Fi" -- What's his teased "Death to Cable" stock?

Branson's satellite launch project, Virgin Orbit, is a private company that was spun out of Virgin Galactic (SPCE), not sure if Virgin Galactic owns any of it anymore -- SPCE is focused on human spaceflight currently, they are not trying to get any satelli[...]

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On 2020 Turkey of the Year

Yes, always read the disclaimers! Those impressive-sounding pitches for penny stocks are so often paid advertisements, and they will always disclose that in the small print -- they know you won't read it, and as long as you tell someone you're screwing th[...]

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On 2020 Turkey of the Year

Yep, I do have a small crypto portfolio (mostly just bitcoin and ethereum), but tend to stay away from the heavily touted little guys -- it's so hard to see a business case for most of them. Which probably means that I'm an old fuddy-duddy now, and I ju[...]

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On 2020 Turkey of the Year

Thanks! Yes, anyone focusing on growth stocks, especially tech and biotech, has probably had an insanely successful year. It's terrifying to hold some of these "50X revenues" stocks, but it was also terrifying at 15X and 30X... hopefully we'll all find[...]

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On 2020 Turkey of the Year

Charlotte's Web would surely have been a good candidate for 2019, don't remember if they were on the short list or not. They've been a little stronger this year, though still awfully weak, the "failure to launch" for mainstream branded CBD stuff with the[...]

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On 2020 Turkey of the Year

Another housecleaning after a few ugly games... who knew that we'd spend decades longing for the consistent mediocrity of the Fontes era?[...]

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On Microblog: Why TaaS Can Make You Rich, Whitney Tilson

That ad has been blanketing the internet since early this year, and I don't think it has been updated or changed -- so the story is probably still the same as when we covered it in detail here: https://www.stockgumshoe.com/reviews/empire-stock-investor/wha[...]

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On Microblog: Auto charge stations

There are plenty of startups trying to take this market at the moment, but it's a terrible business so far -- huge infrastructure spending required, very low revenue opportunity in the near future. I suspect we'll need to see a heavy hand from the governm[...]

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On Microblog: Why is Marketaxess dropping

I expect there's a short-term impact from interest rates normalizing post-election, which might have cut into the trading volume of bonds (over the past three months, the sock has traded more or less in line with the 10-year note rate). Just a guess, I h[...]

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On Microblog: Jeff Brown financial upheaval teaser

Everything holds risk. The dollar has been depreciating and losing value for at least 100 years, and will likely continue to do so -- but when you buy companies that have actual value, that provide a service or product that is in demand and likely to [...]

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On Microblog: Gan vs rush street, which is the better long-term buy?

Rush Street is likely to be bigger and a little cheaper at this point, given what we know from the initial SPAC disclosures. Haven't dug into the business in any detail yet, personally. Rush Street is building consumer-facing brands, it appears, not ju[...]

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On Microblog: The Miracle Cure: How to Profit From the Next Generation of Antibiotics.- teaser from Jef Brown.

We covered Brown's "next antibiotic" pitch back in April -- that stock has done quite well so far, though there's abundant reason to be skeptical of "next generation antibiotics" as investments. I haven't looked to see if he's still talking up the same [...]

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On Checking out Siegel's Pitch about "Spray-On Solar Cells" and "Elon Musk’s Big Bombshell"

Really? Most of the article above is about WNDW.[...]

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On Microblog: Has anyone invested into the Kensington Capital /Quantum Scape SPAC acquisition

I don't think it's a loser, I just think the EV and related stocks have been traded up to bubble valuations... and in Quantumscape's case, it seems to me the business is still at least several years from generating meaningful revenue. Sounds like cool tec[...]

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