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

I’ve gotten a ton of questions about Alex Koyfman’s “AirTesla” pitch over the past week, so we’ll spend a moment on that today. This all ends up being a “next Tesla” pitch to a large degree — essentially, saying that if Tesla can create this trillion-dollar company to lead the electric vehicle revolution, and grow […]

For our 14th annual Turkey of the Year we’ve got a little something new… I always include my worst pick of the year when I’m covering the Turkey of the Year, too, to be fair… but this time around, they are one and the same. I too bought the Turkey, and I too paid the […]

I don’t know what will happen in the world, but I just looked over my regularly updated Annual Review spreadsheet… and it looks like about a dozen of the stocks I owned as of last February are in my “buy” range right now. Those are in many cases contextual, otherwise we wouldn’t be able to […]

Sometimes I forget that not every Gumshoe readers scours through all of my articles, or has ardently followed every teaser solution we’ve published since 2007… so as I see the same questions over and over and over, sometimes responding to emails to let people know what kind of story they’re being sold, I do find […]

I’ve seen this ad circulated so many times, with adjusting deadlines, that I didn’t realize I hadn’t specifically covered this pitch for my favorite readers… at least, not in its current iteration with a new company in that “Day Zero” position. “Day Zero” is now trumpeted as being December 9, 2021, but a year or […]

Infrastructure week! Looks like there’s a big ol chunk of cash that will be rolling downhill in the coming years for all the construction companies, broadband companies, materials companies, etc. after Congress finally passed the bipartisan infrastructure bill that they’ve been sitting on for months. Certainly our roads and bridges and public transport systems and […]

The National Institute for Cannabis Investors (NICI), a publishing subsidiary of Money Map Press, is pitching its entry-level membership now ($39/yr) by dangling the promise of a “next IIPR” stock… and that’s a stock I own and have written about a lot over the years, so the ad caught my eye. Innovative Industrial Properties (IIPR) […]

Keith Kohl is selling his Topline Trader service, which is a weekly trading advisory, by using the promise of a “next Intel” investment in the early stages of the quantum computing era. Topline Trader used to be sold as a trading service that bets on biotech catalyst events, but I guess they’ve branched out. It’s […]

Biotech-focused newsletter that does short-term trading — from their website: “Our strategy here at Topline Trader is simple: Identity major catalyst events in drug development, and position ourselves to profit handsomely from the wild price swings that follow.”

Jeff Brown’s latest pitch about an “Apple Car” is similar to stories that have made the rounds several times over the past five years, teasing companies from Tesla to Magna International as potential partners for this secretive project to put four wheels on an iPhone and take over the world. Here’s a little taste, it […]

This one’s going to sound a little familiar, but we’ll give it a quick once-over for the folks who haven’t been aboard the good ship Gumshoe for long. The Motley Fool is pitching their flagship Stock Advisor newsletter with a pitch about a company that they think might become a “hall of fame” investment like […]

Dave Forest at Casey Research is selling his Strategic Trader newsletter ($1,750, no refunds) by promising new subscribers a report about how to profit from the warrant windfalls that Jeff Bezos has engineered for Amazon.com (AMZN). This ad presentation takes the form of an “interview” with Chris Hurt, a Disney-trained host who may look familiar […]

Here’s the headline that has driven some Gumshoe reader questions our way… “The iPhone Mega-Upgrade “Apple Is Reportedly Building a Secret $330 Million Facility to Add One New Technology to Its iPhones, iPads and Laptops. “Here’s Why Investors in One $10 Stock Could Make Big Money as a Result…” So what’s the story? It’s an […]

Recent Author Comments

On Koyfman teases "AirTesla" -- Electric Flight to create "More Millionaires Than Tesla" ... what's he talking about?

You've certainly been right about Tesla and I've been wrong, and I agree that Musk's aggressive promotion of EVs is good for the planet, and it has certainly been good for shareholders. I wouldn't urge anyone to listen to me about Tesla, given how wrong I[...]

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On Casey's "Dangerous IMF Agenda to 'Reset' the U.S. Dollar"

"Discrete" means in an individual and distinct action. "Discreet" means circumspect and careful. I used the former. What I mean is that the dollar is likely to continue losing its value, as it has done for 100 years or more, but that we're not going [...]

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On Microblog: Dylan Jovine scary teaser about China invading Taiwan by November 30th and how we can save ourselves by buying his service

That's the most worrisome hotspot in the world, at least when it comes to economic impact, but certainly nobody knows how it will play out. He has pitched hyperspeed weapons development in the past as a play on this arms race/Taiwan standoff, though I hav[...]

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On Microblog: Is $MELI a buy now?

MELI is probably the most value-priced of the emerging market e-commerce plays, though I haven't yet owned it personally -- it is back to the price/sales multiple it has traded at for most of the past decade, so it no longer has a "Covid premium" like most[...]

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On Microblog: Is Lightspeed a buy?

Tough one. I've never had a real handle on what made Lightspeed particularly unique or appealing -- Going by product and market dominance I would most likely opt for SQ or SHOP over LSPD for generic POS technology for retail, and TOST for their restaurant[...]

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On Microblog: teladoc share price fall

I invested in Teladoc a couple years ago, and COVID was indeed a boom for them -- the challenge has been that it didn't result in enough real growth in clients or partners, so it has remained a niche business in an increasingly competitive area. They're p[...]

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On Microblog: Oil Killer

I covered that one back in February here, though the story has changed a bit and I'm probably due for an update -- https://www.stockgumshoe.com/reviews/penny-stock-millionaire/koyfmans-oil-killer-to-hand-you-up-to-11300/[...]

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On Microblog: Solid Carbon Fractionation.

Thanks for the info. Is this different from the old Fischer Tropf process for fractionation relied on by Nazi Germany and Apartheid South Africa when their liquid fuel access was cut off?[...]

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On Microblog: Republic.co

I have not used that particular crowdvesting platform, but it's been around for a while and I don't know of any particular security concerns. Any reputable broker in private shares, crypto or stocks will have you prove your identity first, and that proces[...]

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On Microblog: What is "America’s Next Energy Revolution Will Be Powered by "TriFuel-238"?

That's just a proprietary uranium fuel company, covered here: https://www.stockgumshoe.com/reviews/the-20-trillion-report/whos-teased-as-the-undiscovered-tech-company-behind-the-coming-trifuel-238-revolution/[...]

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On Microblog: Where to Buy? RYAH

Most brokers will let US investors buy OTC stocks, though that's a true penny stock so a lot of brokers will restrict trading to try to protect you. I just checked and this particular one is blocked at my brokers as well (Fidelity and Interactive Broker[...]

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On Infrastructure Firecracker: What's Teased as a first Motley Fool Microcap portfolio pick?

More or less, though almost all of that is within the past 18 months, and probably thanks mostly to infrastructure spending talk.[...]

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On Infrastructure Firecracker: What's Teased as a first Motley Fool Microcap portfolio pick?

Could be, though the Fool’s attention on this seemed heavy over the weekend — doesn’t take much new attention to cause a big move if the company is very small.[...]

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On Friday File: Money Flows to Data Centers

That's why this world of investing is so interesting... lots of ways to win, particularly if you're patient, and lots of different perspectives. Time is indeed the cure, but most of us fear losses more than we appreciate gains, and that creates a lot of v[...]

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On Infrastructure Firecracker: What's Teased as a first Motley Fool Microcap portfolio pick?

Haven't seen any helpful clues regarding other picks from that service, but I'll keep an eye out.[...]

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On Friday File: Money Flows to Data Centers

Oops, thanks![...]

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On Microblog: Tiny $3 “Forever Battery” Stock

They seem to mostly copy our answers, we’ve covered that ad a few times — it originated with Lango’s predecessor. Most recent piece is here: https://www.stockgumshoe.com/reviews/luke-langos-innovation-investor/luke-langos-1-electric-vehicle-stock-of[...]

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On Will the Apple Car mean "R.I.P. Tesla" on November 19?

Fisker isn’t a manufacturer, it’s a designer — their first car will be made by Magna, the next one is planned to be with Foxconn. No idea what Brown thinks at the moment, but I would assume he is picking more than one stock for a particular trend.[...]

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On Friday File: Money Flows to Data Centers

Very likely true, at least in the US markets.[...]

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On Will the Apple Car mean "R.I.P. Tesla" on November 19?

Indeed… the goal of a copywriter is to make you feel like something is almost guaranteed… but avoid actually promising that.[...]

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