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

Profit Line

Service that recommends one or two trades per month, with some connection to insider buying signals — they say they “have a strategy that allows us to follow insiders into their next massive gain, allowing investors to profit.”

“How Did a Tiny, $20 Million Startup Make Tesla’s Entire Product Line Obsolete?” — What’s the tiny electric motor stock teased by Alex Koyfman?

This article was originally published on October 18, 2018, we’re re-sharing it here with a minor update because Koyfman is now apparently taking advantage of the fact that Tesla’s in the news again by teasing this as a new spiel, his emails catch your attention with “Here’s why Elon’s Truck is Dumb” subject lines, but […]

Jeff Brown’s “New CURE” Tease

I’ve gotten a big pile of questions about the latest teaser pitch from Jeff Brown, who is now taking credit for the rise of the CRISPR stocks and sees another big surge coming. And for what it’s worth, he was one of the early newsletter guys promoting the three primary CRISPR stocks a few years […]

2019 Turkey of the Year

Turn down the football game and bring out the pies, it’s that time again! Stock Gumshoe is mostly closed down for the holiday week, but we do have to continue our annual tradition of calling out our “Turkey of the Year” … so take a pause from arguing with your family and join us, won’t […]

IPO Insider

High end monthly newsletter recommending IPOs, promoted as using a proprietary system to identify the best 10 or so newly public stocks to invest in during a given year. Spittler previously worked on International Speculator for Casey Research.

Recent Author Comments

On Friday File: Buying Beauty, Selling Ugly
It’s hard to buy richly-valued stocks, and sometimes they’re disasters... my general strategy, with these kinds of names, is to judge them on operational strength, growth, and scalability rather than current earnings, buy only the ones that I understan[...]
On Help Others & Help Stock Gumshoe -- 2019 Charitable Membership Drive
We're delighted to have you aboard, whatever the motivation -- thanks! And thanks for the kind words, I love this work and it's wonderful to have enough support to be able to keep doing it![...]
On Help Others & Help Stock Gumshoe -- 2019 Charitable Membership Drive
Thanks so much![...]
On Ferris' "The Hands-Down, No. 1 Pick of My Career" Pitch
Indeed... though still gold-focused, so therefore plays to the niche they like instead of the broad-based mutual funds they used to run. Management fees are falling everywhere, but I assume they're hoping that their sector focus will let them cling to hig[...]
On Help Others & Help Stock Gumshoe -- 2019 Charitable Membership Drive
We usually have someone who gets mad about whatever we choose and sends discussion off track, so I don't emphasize the individual recipients as much as I used to... but recent recipients have included the Cape Fear Literacy Council, Friends of Hampshire Co[...]
On "Easily Make $104,000" from "Chaos in the Global Shipping Markets on January 1, 2020"
It's also generally true that most of the major shifts that have a specific deadline might be new to investors or seem dramatic, but have also been planned for by the industry for years, which tends to soften the impact.[...]
On What's this "Dark Burst" Business from Michael Robinson?
I’ve often heard similar sentiment (“the cheaper letter is better”) from readers over the past decade.[...]
On Microblog: Dark Burst Device
Could be, just remember that ABB is a $50 billion giant — more driven by global factory automation and electrical infrastructure projects than by any new tech or solar solution.[...]
On What's this "Dark Burst" Business from Michael Robinson?
OK, you used a lot fewer words than I did :)[...]
On What's this "Dark Burst" Business from Michael Robinson?
Perhaps so, but that’s not the investment Michael Robinson is hinting at.[...]
On Microblog: Dark Burst Device
Good comment (and first to the right answer, I think!) I just released my story on this one here.[...]
On Microblog: Dark Burst Device
I've taken a quick look and should be able to write it up for Monday morning, but I'll leave you in suspense over the weekend :)[...]
On Cash Machine's "Enroll in the Next 24 Hours" pitch for 8.53% Income Fund
Not bad. And the Roth is probably a good place for that stuff (unless you're buying muni bond closed-end funds that have tax advantages)[...]
On Cash Machine's "Enroll in the Next 24 Hours" pitch for 8.53% Income Fund
I suppose that's true over the long term, though it depends on the portfolio (if the bonds in their portfolio are fixed-rate and fall in value because interest rates rise, it's not as though they have other cash sitting around that they can use to buy high[...]
On Cash Machine's "Enroll in the Next 24 Hours" pitch for 8.53% Income Fund
No, I don't currently hold any closed-end funds.[...]
On Cash Machine's "Enroll in the Next 24 Hours" pitch for 8.53% Income Fund
Might be more compelling for other reasons, but PFFA doesn't match the specific clues and ACV does, particularly the detailed insider ownership match is what convinces me it's definitely the right answer. PFFA is certainly less volatile, and has so far [...]
On Microblog: What is Motley Fool's pick that will be 23 times bigger than Netflix? thanks Travis
The stocks they’ve teased with similar language in the past couple years have been TTD, Tencent and a few other gaming stocks (maybe EA, would have to recheck), but haven’t seen any new pitches like this recently so it’s likely a repeat of either TTD[...]
On Cash Machine's "Enroll in the Next 24 Hours" pitch for 8.53% Income Fund
Thanks for the feedback, those high yielders can indeed bite back sometimes. No sick thing as a non-risky 8%+ yield these days, I’m afraid.[...]
On Cash Machine's "Enroll in the Next 24 Hours" pitch for 8.53% Income Fund
Good point, I haven’t looked into how they classify their distributions.[...]
On Microblog: re article: Goodbye, Old iPhone: This Could Be 40X Better
This one has been about OLED over the years, they've re-used that pitch many times and it probably hasn't changed (though I haven't seen the latest iteration yet). I covered that one Go to Comment »

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