“I Gave up my FBI Security Clearance to Send you This Letter!”

By Travis Johnson, Stock Gumshoe, September 10, 2008

Today’s ad is yet another one that claims a newsletter editor can provide safe passage through the stormy shoals of government data, and lead you to the soft, warm beaches of the millionaires on the other side.

It’s for Inside Strategist, a Stansberry and Associates publication that’s edited by a former FBI employee. Here’s how he introduces himself:

“… my name is Brian Heyliger… and I’m the newest editor at S&A Research. I’ve been hired to share a little-known trading strategy I’ve been using for 5 years now, mostly in my personal account – where I’ve made 4 times my money.”

He holds out the same kind of promise we’ve heard from dozens of other trading services — acting on information before others know it, and making huge gains:

“It’s a way to learn information about almost every publicly traded company in the U.S. – before it affects the stock price. Gains like:
• 572% gains on Fieldpoint Petroleum (FPP)
• 469% gains on Patriot Coal Corp (PCX)
• 362% gains on Iomai (IOMI)”

I wouldn’t turn down my nose at a 500% gain, certainly — I’m lucky to get just one or two of those a year, personally, though they haven’t been thick on the ground in this particular year.

So how does he do it? Or how does he say he does it, at least?

Heyliger is a former FBI employee, and that’s part of his nice little spiel — not that it has anything at all to do with his new profession of professional trading advisor, but that this history helps to sell his services as somehow an unmasking of secret government information.

Which is a bit silly, really, but it works — we’ve seen ads like this for years, from the “anonymous” advisors who don’t want their name to get out because they’re spilling the secrets of the foreign exchange markets or the trading pits, and they fear the vengeance of their former colleagues, or even from higher profile newsletter editors like Mark Skousen, who makes sure to mention his years at the CIA in his newsletter ads (he was a economic analyst there, sadly, not a covert operative).

The lesson? Mystery sells. So lets see if we can unmask a little bit of the “mystery” behind Heyliger’s trading strategy, and give you a fighting chance to understand what’s going on before you throw any of your hard-earned money his way.

That is, as always, the Gumshoe mission: Learn first, pay later.

Some of these newsletters are great, but none of them are as great as their ads make them appear … and the bad ones advertise just as well as the good ones. Our only defense is knowledge — learn what you can about the newsletter, uncover the facts, see if it has the potential to be a good fit for your needs, then make an objective decision about whether or not to subscribe. And if they hold out the name of a special stock that you must own now … well, that’s what the Gumshoe is for, let’s find out the name of the stock first, and research it a little bit, so you can make a decision about the newsletter with a clear head.

All of which should serve to remind you of the Gumshoe’s other mission: to blather on incessantly without getting to the point. A problem I’ll rectify now …

This is how Heyliger describes how he got to this point:

A Federal Trading Secret

“Five years ago, I learned a secret while working at the FBI that’s made me and my family a lot of money. You see, for 7 years, the Bureau paid me a handsome sum to set up clandestine networks around the globe.

“In 2004 I visited NATO’s joint headquarters in Lisbon, Portugal. There I installed a high-security network known as “Black Communications.”

“In 2003, Special Forces in Bogotá, Colombia needed my support for an anti-narcotics mission…

“I also spent time in what might be the most heavily monitored complex in the world: Quantico, Virginia. It’s a laboratory with hidden cameras in every single room.

“That’s when I discovered a secret way to make a fortune in the markets…

“In short, it’s made possible by accessing information directly from the Government – about every publicly traded company in the U.S. – before it affects the stock price…