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

Nick Hodge and Gerardo del Real did not disappear for long when their newsletters stopped being published by the Outside Club… they’re back with new letters from a publisher they’re now calling Daily Profit, including Gerardo del Real’s Junior Resource Monthly (currently “on sale” for $99, this is effectively a restart of the Junior Mining […]

With each passing day this week, I became more and more interested in “boring” stocks — there is ALWAYS a temptation to chase hot ideas, and I’m certainly not immune to speculation, but the GameStop (GME) craziness is too much. Plenty of folks have asked me about it, so I’ll just blather on about that […]

Everyone seems to love a “micro cap” these days, so the latest teaser pitch from Dylan Jovine over at Behind the Markets for his “upgrade” newsletter caught my eye — it’s called Breakthrough Wealth ($997/yr, 30-day refund policy), and he’s pitching a service that he says will be shooting for 1,000% gains in small companies. […]

Portfolio/”best of” service that summarizes and recommends picks from other Motley Fool newsletter services, including Stock Advisor and Rule Breakers, and also recommends a few of its own ideas.

Bad news… Dream Finders Homes (DFH) did not partner up with Boston Omaha’s Yellowstone Acquisition SPAC (YSAC) to go public, as I had harbored some small hope they might… but good news, too, because DFH did go public this week, which came as a surprise to me on Thursday, since I hadn’t noticed the original […]

I’ve gotten a lot of questions in the past couple days about Jeff Brown’s “Pre-IPO Code” presentation, in which he teases the idea of this “Pre-IPO” investing strategy as he pitches his new Blank Check Speculator newsletter. And I’ve got good news… and bad news. The good news is, I can explain what he’s talking […]

“Upgrade” newsletter from Brownstone, launched early in 2021 and intending to recommend a dozen or so Special Purpose Acquisition Corporations (SPACs) per year, most likely pre-deal SPACs that have not yet announced a merger target.

Stock Gumshoe is closed in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. today, as the markets are also closed, but for those looking for a little reading… I’m sharing here a taste of the Friday File from a month ago. What follows was the final section of the Friday File I published on December 18 […]

I don’t know what’s going to happen to interest rates, taxes, GDP growth or the stock market, all of which are intertwined, but right now the sentiment expressed by the market seems still to be vaccine-driven optimism about economic recovery from the pandemic, which implies that the renewed push to speed up vaccinations will lead […]

Yesterday I spent some time on a pitch for a “Diamond in the Rough” stock from Jim Woods and promised to follow up… so that’s the plan this afternoon. The bigger theme of the ad was that Woods has a list of five “Guardian Angel” stocks that will help you survive pandemics and recessions… and […]

Recent Author Comments

On What's Green's "#1 Tech IPO for 2021?" Teased as "The Fastest-Growing Software Company in History"

Revenues were a little better than expected for the fourth quarter, up to $190 million... continued extremely strong revenue retention rate (168%), very strong backlog with remaining performance obligation of $1.3 billion. At 100X sales though, that's r[...]

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On Friday File: Some Risk Reduction Strategy, A Couple Watchlist Stocks, and Annual Review pt. 5

I think I answered that as best I can above -- the market has almost never seen these kinds of valuations before, so there's no guarantee that if we collapse from here that these stocks will all bounce back, certainly not within a short time period like 1-[...]

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On Friday File: Some Risk Reduction Strategy, A Couple Watchlist Stocks, and Annual Review pt. 5

Sure, I can't provide personal advice but when there are questions of general appeal that I can answer to some degree, I do try to answer them in future Friday Files or comments.[...]

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On What's Green's "#1 Tech IPO for 2021?" Teased as "The Fastest-Growing Software Company in History"

It's starting to melt up here now, you can come back![...]

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On Friday File: Some Risk Reduction Strategy, A Couple Watchlist Stocks, and Annual Review pt. 5

Nope, have never looked at that one.[...]

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On Microblog: A newsletter empire comes public.

Fascinating to see behind the curtain, no? It's a pretty extraordinary business, with all that wild marketing and the reader "funnel" really at the heart of it.[...]

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On Friday File: Some Risk Reduction Strategy, A Couple Watchlist Stocks, and Annual Review pt. 5

Over the past few years I've spent 1-2% of my portfolio buying hedges to protect against a loss of more than 20-25%, generally using IWM and SPY, but you could do the same with QQQ (which is much more richly valued, of course, and more volatile -- so the d[...]

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On What's Ian King's "MaaS" Pitch All about?

Could certainly be, we know King teased Aeva/IPV last year (I covered that here) in that pricier newsletter. Sometimes [...]

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On What's Ian King's "MaaS" Pitch All about?

Intel bought Mobileye maybe 4 years ago. They use cameras rather than LiDAR, but last I checked that business was still doing well, too. Don’t know how much impact It has on INTC’s numbers.[...]

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On Microblog: Secure retirement account by Mark Skousan

Yes, that’s some kind of indexed or variable annuity — looked at it last year at one point, and the teased ideas he talked up his wife having chosen at some point in the past was wildly better than anyone would be able to get in the current market, so [...]

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On What's Ian King's "MaaS" Pitch All about?

AEye is in the process of going public through a SPAC merger. Details about which SPAC are above, I don’t remember offhand. If you buy SPAC shares and the deal goes through, then you will own AEye. It will change its name and ticker after the deal i[...]

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On What's Ian King's "MaaS" Pitch All about?

Might work if a couple big winners emerge and you can ignore and hold the basket. That usually feels more apt to me when there are only 1-3 stocks in a segment than when there are 6-8, but maybe I’m just a little overwhelmed by the sudden volume of these[...]

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On What's Ian King's "MaaS" Pitch All about?

AEye has made its SPAC deal, as noted above, it’s just not finalized yet. The “going public” is mostly a formality now, anyone who wants it can buy into the SPAC today if they like. Assuming, of course, that the vote approves the deal and the mer[...]

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On Friday File: Some Risk Reduction Strategy, A Couple Watchlist Stocks, and Annual Review pt. 5

Yes, it's very much a double-down on "cheap" -- find the cheapest dozen or so stock markets (by CAPE), out of the 45 markets they monitor, then within those cheaper markets look at the 30-biggest stocks, and choose the 10 most undervalued stocks a[...]

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On What's Ian King's "MaaS" Pitch All about?

Nope, just not one of the six LiDAR SPACs and also clearly not otherwise a match for the tease -- though I confess I also hadn't noticed Microvision's re-emergence as a LiDAR play.[...]

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On What's Ian King's "MaaS" Pitch All about?

All of these stocks have pretty impressive connections or partnerships of one sort or another, and maybe you're right about LAZR -- that's certainly the consensus view, going just by the market valuation. When I read up on all these stories I say "wow, th[...]

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On What's Ian King's "MaaS" Pitch All about?

It's probably a tossup as to whether Velodyne or Luminar is the "most teased" or "most promoted" by pundits, but they've both gotten a lot of enthusiastic coverage over the past six months.[...]

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On What's Ian King's "MaaS" Pitch All about?

Oh, that Pico stuff? Amazing that they're still around, I remember them being rabidly promoted by someone or other back in 2007 or 2008 for their micro-projection technology, then maybe five years ago by Jeff Brown and others for their 3D sensing tech, wi[...]

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On What's Ian King's "MaaS" Pitch All about?

Ha! Do love that... a Six Pack of SPACs, maybe that will be the next teaser pitch.[...]

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On Friday File: Some Risk Reduction Strategy, A Couple Watchlist Stocks, and Annual Review pt. 5

My latest assessment was that they're both reasonable buys, I own more CCI but have been giving AMT the edge as their valuations converge a bit (AMT has better dividend growth and more cash flow flexibility, CCI a higher current yield), latest numbers were[...]

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