“America’s #1 Retirement Stock” from Whitney Tilson and Empire Financial

Five Stocks teased as the "Perfect Portfolio"

By Travis Johnson, Stock Gumshoe, December 23, 2019

Whitney Tilson has a new teaser pitch out for his entry-level newsletter… the bait to pull you in to read the ad is “America’s #1 Retirement Stock,” and then he also hints at the other four components of the “perfect portfolio” … so I thought I’d dig into that for you and see what we can learn.

If you don’t know Tilson, he’s a busy guy, a great networker and speaker, and used to run a mutual fund and hedge fund in addition to being a pretty prolific writer… he often wrote for the Motley Fool, and put out a couple books.

I usually find his analysis interesting, and have attended a few of his Value Investing Congress conferences over the years, but he recently came to the world of newsletters in a partnership with Stansberry.

The letter he’s selling today, Empire Stock Investor, costs $49/yr… which means it’s the “front end” newsletter that they use to acquire prospects. It may or may not be a great letter, I expect it’s probably at least a good read, but if you sign up do expect to be inundated with ads for Empire Investment Report ($5,000/yr) or Empire Elite Trader ($69/month) and all the Stansberry newsletters and services.

Here’s the intro that caught my attention…

“Right now, Whitney is spending a small fortune to alert the public to what he calls ‘America’s #1 Retirement Stock.’ He’ll reveal the name of this stock and the ticker symbol, right here in this presentation. You can call your broker and put it in your account in a matter of minutes. Whitney believes there is simply no other investment like this in America.”

Well, “spending a small fortune” seems an absurd claim to make. This is an ad, after all, it costs money to distribute ads and they expect to make that up in subscription revenue. Not sure how emailing this ad around costs him “a small fortune,” but we’ll leave that for the moment.

He loads up on the promise of this “#1 Retirement Stock,” too…

“In fact, Whitney is so confident in this investment idea, he says he’d put 50% of his kids’ college fund into this SINGLE investment.”

Which is pretty bold, since his youngest kid is I think maybe one or two years from starting college.

And there’s a bit in there to fan the flames of those who are worried that they have to ‘save their retirement’…

“Baby Boomers in particular haven’t saved enough.

“The median retirement account for folks over the age of 65 is only $58,000.

“And many will live far longer than they expect, which I fear they are unprepared for.

“It has become clear to me that this is possibly the greatest problem of our era…

“Today I’m doing my small part to help out.

“I’m sharing “America’s #1 Retirement Stock” totally free of charge with you today.”

And he does that, to be fair — he doesn’t say it’s “free with a subscription to my Empire Financial newsletter,” he actually does “reveal” it in the pitch… though it’s not a surprise, he&#