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

True Momentum

One of half a dozen Paul Mampilly-connected newsletters at Banyan Hill, this one is a “trading service” that attempts to pick a couple midsize stocks each month that have “true momentum” (which seems to be a qualitative assessment of the business prospects, not a market momentum measure).

What’s the “Single-Stock Retirement Plan?” Crowdability teases that “Starting Jan. 7th, This Tiny $3 Stock Could Ignite a $20 Trillion Bull Market…”

This ad has been running for a week or so, since Crowdability hosted their “special presentation” to make the original pitch on October 23, and readers have been peppering me with questions… which makes sense, the idea of a “single stock retirement plan” is very compelling (Oxford Club has used it to pitch a different […]

“Day Zero” — What’s Jeff Siegel talking about when he says, “November 13th, 2019 will be the most profitable day in the history of mankind.”

This article was originally published on March 21, 2019 when the “deadline” touted was March 25. We’ve lightly updated our piece below, but much of it (like the ad) is unchanged from March. The latest ad for Green Chip Stocks is a doozy — reminiscent of the many “the world is about to change” ads […]

Investing Whisperer

Small-cap stock picking service from Keith Schaefer in 2019 — he has run an energy focused newsletter for a decade or so (Oil and Gas Investments Bulletin), but this one is an “all sector” product. Aims to recommend 6-12 stocks a year, often really tiny companies, with a portfolio of 5-15 stocks at any one […]

“The #1 Penny Stock of 2020” teased by Paradigm… “It holds the $8.18 Trillion Cure to Man’s Biggest Problem”

Hard to believe that the major publishers didn’t already have something called The Penny Stock Letter, but this is the first time I’ve seen the title — it’s an entry-level newsletter from Paradigm Press, one of the many publishers in the Baltimore Agoraplex, and they’re promoting it with a big teaser campaign now that hints […]

Friday File: REIT Beat and More

A pretty quiet week as I try not to overreact to market gyrations, so we’ll be briefer than usual this Friday… but there are a few interesting things to talk about…. Crown Castle (CCI) reported a “beat and raise” quarter this week, if just barely. They raised their dividend roughly as expected this week, bumping […]

Recent Author Comments

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 »
On Microblog: Biggest Turkey Of All Times
I hear you, Nokia (NOK) was a substantial (20%+) loser for me as well -- a case of a great story and a strong product lineup that should have been in the right place at the right time, with political tailwinds... but still failed. There' still a decent ch[...]
On Motley Fool's "Dawn of the T288 Era" -- What are those Secret AR Stocks hinted at by Eric Bleeker?
Likely unchanged, the Fool often repeats pitches like that for years... but haven’t looked at the latest one yet.[...]
On "Son of a Police Office Shocks the World" (Solved and Revisited)
The Fool has been promoting Universal Display (OLED) with that tagline for several years now. Haven’t looked at it recently.[...]
On What are "Prime Profits" from Amazon? The Wealth Advisory teases that "Amazon is Legally Obligated to Make You Richer"
These are investments, you can “get a check” if you invest, but the checks are dividends, and are likely to be roughly 3-5% of the amount you invested.[...]
On 2019 Turkey of the Year
I’d have to go back and check, but if there were any big recoveries I probably would have noticed. More than half of those companies don’t exist anymore, either going bankrupt or getting acquired on the cheap.[...]
On "The 5G Device Every American Will Need" leads to "The #1 Tech Stock for 2019"
The optical equipment companies have not done very well yet, for the most part, though perhaps that will change. Crown Castle has the biggest fiber network among the REITs, I think, though UNIT also has a lot. The actual cable is Corning.[...]
On Four (or Five) Stocks for the "World's Best Business"
Nope, what’s to like?[...]
On 2019 Turkey of the Year
Thanks. And if you call me Trevor, I get at least one free typo :)[...]
On 2019 Turkey of the Year
He touted Novartis as the dividend play, they’re partnered with TORC, and I think the spiel was that TORC was the special big-potential opportunity. Might have been a special report, sometimes they tout things that aren’t formal recommendations in th[...]

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