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

Friday File: Operation SPARCSTAR!

Huh, you say? Operation SPARCSTAR? True, not all of you will have seen this ad — it’s for a UK newsletter, but it caught my eye and I thought it might be interesting to dig in and see what they’re pitching. And I’m actually in London at the moment, so it seems appropriate to toss […]

Smallcap Discoveries says “Big Pharma NEEDS this company to cure cancer” and asks, “What if you could live to 200?”

I’ve only written once about the Smallcap Discoveries service, so when several readers sent in questions about its “what if you could live to 200?” pitch, I decided to dig in a little. Longevity is a frequent focus of the alternative health crowd, promising life extension to those most obviously interested in the topic (who […]

Looking into Chris Mayer’s “The 100-to-1 Project: How a Company Solving the Opioid Crisis Could Show You a Fortune”

Today we check in again on Chris Mayer, he’s sending out ads for his Chris Mayer’s FOCUS newsletter ($2,500) over at Bonner & Partners, and his ideas are often interesting. His big focus in recent years has been trying to back-test qualitatively to identify the things that made huge investment successes possible — and specifically […]

Recent Author Comments

On Friday File: What's that "Cancer Sniper" Stock promising a "5,320% Bonanza?"
Yep, that was the basis of the “Superman flies again” pitch a few years ago.[...]
On What the heck is "Brandt Oil?"
The battery makers aren't necessarily surging -- Panasonic, for example, has been down all year, and they're one of the largest lithium ion battery makers in the world. Cobalt prices surged into the spring, but then fell about 30% in the summer, and that'[...]
On Alex Green's "Single Stock Retirement Plan"
Rough quarter for Foxconn this time out, they reported a decline in profit a couple days ago -- though the stock is cheap enough that it didn't fall dramatically on the news. Continued margin pressure, continued focus on building their new businesses (as [...]
On Friday File pt. 1: What's Ernie Tremblay's $7 Prostate Cancer Fighter?
Why would it appear that way? We're just going by the promises in the ad, which builds this "you'll make a fortune" premise on the back of the ~50 million US men over 50... you need a big number to come up with absurdly huge profit targets. Though yes[...]
On Friday File pt. 1: What's Ernie Tremblay's $7 Prostate Cancer Fighter?
Thanks for the feedback -- this idea of taking something that is perhaps valuable and important for a subset of the population and inflating it into something 50 million people will be using next year (thereby making you rich) is pretty typical in stock te[...]
On Friday File pt. 1: What's Ernie Tremblay's $7 Prostate Cancer Fighter?
I think that's just a reference to PSMA (prostate-specific membrane antigen) -- there's a good brief note about it here on the Sloan Kettering website:[...]
On "Hyper-X" Weapons and "The Next Cold War"
I think of most of the pot stocks as "not ready for prime time," so I'm probably not the one to ask. There are a great many pot stock promoting newsletters out there these days, and almost as many self-proclaimed experts in marijuana as there are in crypt[...]
On Will 136 Million Tons of "Super Salt" provide "a monopoly on the entire supply of this new form of energy?"
Thanks, Magma -- didn't know that... though I guess we still don't have much of a picture of what the cost and production of the Jadar project might be if it does get built. The real positive about the project that might not be appreciated, is that it c[...]
On What the heck is "NanoCrystal Electricity?" Will it "Magically Power Everything" and "pay out 78 times your money?"
Another quarter, another announcement that product launches are not proceeding nearly as quickly as management had expected, and another few months of essentially no revenue, though Dialog did ship enough WattUp chips to generate a little bit of royalty re[...]
On Will 136 Million Tons of "Super Salt" provide "a monopoly on the entire supply of this new form of energy?"
If you look from the right angle, Skousen kinda has Gru’s nose :)[...]
On What's the "Tiny $6 Million Company" with a "Stunning Patent Verdict?"
Thanks Bryan... welcome aboard![...]
On Biotech Discussion... continued
For what it's worth, that's the reason I tend not to dabble in clinical-stage biotechs -- you have the double uncertainties of science-in-progress, with drugs that could succeed or fail or do something in between, and the actual market dynamics (pricing an[...]
On Can Americans now collect "Federal Rent Checks?"
Sounds like a typical scam, not related to investing but more likely they get you excited then tell you that you have to pay some fee or tax in order to receive the "cashier's check", which you do because it seems so small compared to the check... then you[...]
On Microblog: What is the next superstock military stock selling for .80 cents a share
Interesting to hear that blast from the past, Kraken used to be called Kraken Sonar, it was teased by a penny stock newsletter more than two years ago... glad it finally got some traction for you![...]
On Microblog: GOOG vs. GOOGL
I haven't written about that disparity in quite a while, mostly because the premium for the voting shares has finally eroded, but back in 2015 I shifted all of my holdings from GOOGL to GOOG because the non-voting shares (GOOG) were trading at a 5% discoun[...]
On "Free Shares" of "Covert IPO" Biotech to hit $100 Billion?
I expect probably 1:1, but there’s no real way to quantify the assets so it’s partly just a trial balloon to see how the market values AgeX.[...]
On "Free Shares" of "Covert IPO" Biotech to hit $100 Billion?
The specific preclinical drugs are for diseases that tend to be exacerbated by aging bodies — diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease.[...]
On Can Americans now collect "Federal Rent Checks?"
$800/month on a $60,000 investment would be about a 20% annual return. My immediate reaction is that you can’t do that without taking a lot of principal risk... or getting lucky. Even half of that return would have to accept some meaningful risk of los[...]
On Friday File: Turmoil in Tech-Land, earningspalooza continues, plus some small buys and a couple new watchlist stocks
One real driver, financially, is having advertising money continue to move from television and other outlets to digital and social, the move is happening but it’s still not proportional to the time spent online versus watching television.[...]
On Invisible Fiber and a "$150,000 windfall by July 27" -- What's Jeff Brown at Bonner talking about?
Earnings disappointed a little bit, mostly due to a bit of pricing pressure as their customers try to keep costs down during the early stage of 5G investment, so now I guess it's the "$5.50 Digital King" :)[...]

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