This is the request I got yesterday:
“How about a HK stock for a change? Stansberry has just merged or taken over Churchouse – I think the advertising has picked up Stansberry techniques…”
Sounds like a good idea.
If those names don’t sound familiar, Peter Churchouse has been a pretty well-known investing pundit in Asia for a long time (he did equity research for Morgan Stanley and then moved on to focus on real estate, including a real estate hedge fund before starting his newsletter), and his Churchouse Publishing recently merged with Kim Iskyan’s Truewealth Publishing and the two partnered up with Stansberry Research, the largest group in the Agora-affiliated web of publishers, to form Stansberry Churchouse Research (Iskyan’s first newsletter that I’m aware of was the short-lived Stansberry Global Contrarian letter, that stopped publishing in 2015).
The end result was that Iskyan’s brand-new Asia Alpha Advisory, which launched just last year as an Asia-focused newsletter for global investors, was merged into The Churchouse Letter, though presumably they’ll also be coming up with other newsletters to sell in the future. And it’s that Churchouse Letter that’s being promoted here as their “flagship” letter for $99 a year.
So what is it that they’re pitching? This is the intro to their “exclusive preview” promotion:
“How the share price of a company with ties to one of Japan’s most prominent & wealthy families could double in a matter of months.”
And, lest you worry that this is a Japanese stock (which are a bit tougher to trade sometimes), or something more mysterious, we get this from Iskyan’s ad letter:
“This is a straight-up stock play.
“There’s nothing tricky about it.
“It’s not a Japan-listed stock, and you don’t need to buy any Japanese Yen to take advantage of this opportunity.
“No derivatives, currency trading, no allegedly game-changing deadline that might miraculously make this investment explode thousands of percent.”
So that’s refreshingly un-hypey… though there’s plenty of repetition of the fact that they expect this stock to double in the next year — we may forget that that’s a lot, given the many hyped promotions that talk up 5,000% gains, but 100% gains in a year would, of course, be a big deal.
But we still want to know what the stock is and get some perspective before we pony up for a subscription, right? Otherwise we’re subjecting ourselves to all kinds of extra psychological baggage.
(I repeat this mantra too often, but here goes again: if you pay for a promoted stock tip, you’re likely to anchor all your thoughts about that stock on the “it’s going up 100%!” idea that first got you interested, and your brain will also try to convince you that the tip is brilliant as a way to justify the newsletter purchase you made. Pay for newsletters if you want to learn something about the way the editor thinks or learn about new markets or stock analysis techniques, or believe they’ll have interesting ideas or good writing, but make sure to think for yourself about the stocks, too, and don’t sign up for a newsletter just to get a “hot tip” idea).
So what’s this mysterious stock?
“Peter and Tama have uncovered a Japanese company whose roots go back to the 16th Century.
“They started out as one of Japan’s wealthiest and most prestigious merchant families.
“Between 1603 and 1867, this company made their fortune running cargo of rice and sake.
“Then, in 1959, things changed.
“A certain sport became intensely popular among wealthy Japanese.Are you getting our free Daily Update
"reveal" emails? If not,
just click here...
“This sport remains the favourite pastime of the world’s wealthy and elite.
“And this company is, today, one of the most reputable equipment manufacturers for that sport.”
So what is that, you reckon? Polo? Sailing? Buzkashi?
No, it is, of course, golf. We even get the hints that “Hollywood A-listers” like Jack Nicholson and Danny DeVito own this company’s products, and that Donald Trump received them as a gift after the election.
There’s a handy-dandy timeline in the ad, too, so we know that the company got into financial trouble in the mid-200s, was taken over by a Chinese businessman in 2009-2010, and now has “a renewed strength” — the ad notes that they grew their income more than 40% in