International Speculator

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Rog Blake
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Rog Blake
February 9, 2009 7:48 pm

Doug Casey started The International Speculator well over 20 years ago, but I started subscribing around 2004. Originally, it was advertised as focused on any opportunities around the world likely to double in the next 12 months. This included real estate, stocks, currencies, and anything else that would fit the description.

While this sounds good, no one can be an expert on every topic. Casey’s main interest is gold, followed by real estate. He is biased toward the obscure, so he focuses on junior mining companies (often penny stocks) and locations most subscribers only read about.

His opinions and trip reports can make for interesting and enjoyable reading, but after a while he sounds like a broken record. I dug up his books from the 70’s and found that the message was still the same, only the company names have changed (the dollar is doomed! Buy bullion! Juniors are the next stock craze! The Greater Depression is upon us!). Despite claiming to be an optimist, this is doom and gloom material.

Although I rated the performance as average, I got clobbered more than the rest of the market last year with my Casey picks. Many were down 60-70% from earlier this year. For a guy who constantly defends speculation, I was surprised to see notes of caution when the market crashed. Previously, any time one of their picks fell, they suggested readers back up the truck.

They recently published an issue stating their performance for the past year. Not surprisingly, it’s quite rosy and doesn’t match the performance of the stocks I bought based on their recommendations. They like to pat themselves on the back for correctly calling a situation, but they generally don’t admit to mistakes.

Since I originally subscribed, this newsletter has forked into multiple newsletters and raised prices. What was once covered in one newsletter is now covered in Big Gold, Casey Energy Opportunities, International Speculator, The Casey Report, Without Borders, and their latest is some commodity/futures focused publication.

I’m sure I’m paying way too much for advice on how to lose money. I have found that buying shortly after they recommend selling can be profitable. Their calls to sell come way too late. Their calls to buy are often a bit late as well, which may be justification for their more expensive services.

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Bob Wilber
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Bob Wilber
February 23, 2009 6:45 pm

The bottom line is: If you want to lose money, just buy all the recommended stocks in International Speculator. I started subscribing in January 2006. Pretty much all their recommendations are Canadian junior mining stocks, focused on gold and silver. I was up about 40% overall in the fall of 2007 but then the crash came. If IS had recommended a decent stop loss policy I might still have most of my money. As it is, I’m now down about 50% from my initial investment and down about 65% from the peak. But what really knocks my rating of IS down is their latest (Feb 2009) issue, in which they purported to review their performance over the last couple of years. They claimed huge gains for 2006 and 2007 (65% and 140%, respectively) vs. my actual cumulative gain over 2 years of 40%, and claimed a mere 11% loss for 2008 vs. my actual loss of 65%. The disparity between what they claim and what I got is so huge that I have to regard them as fraudulent.

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Victor K.
Victor K.
November 28, 2017 11:16 pm
Reply to  Bob Wilber

Yep, they were myopic in their strategy at one point. I have done really well with a few recomnendations, but these stocks are so volatile, that’s why they don’t have a workable stop loss policy. At one point, a little late in the game, they started to clarify their stategy of how mining stocks should fit in an overall investment policy. My opinion now is that only a small portion of a portfolio should be in these stocks, which is what Casey/Stansberry now says.

steve
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steve
May 23, 2009 8:27 pm

casey research terrible sell signals to much political garbage 4 years to lose tons and they cange recos all the time leaving you on your own. would not reco it

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MikeW
MikeW
June 7, 2009 12:55 pm

International Speculator – Doug Casey et al.,
Been a subscriber for a full two years. This newsletter’s recently proclaimed performance is disingenuous enough to prompt my review.
Doug Casey and his group were slaughtered on their small mining company shares in 2008. Anyone who bought originally two years ago is down 80%. This newsletter recommended doubling up in September of 2008 and those recommendations are down 30%. Of course if you had any money left and bought in December of 2008 you are up over 100% if it was a first time buy. The newsletter touts this latter success rate.
Also a big recommender of cattle. Down 30% since recommendation in Spring of 2008. They don’t talk about that one anymore.
Also a big recommender of mutual funds tied into rising interest rates such as RRPIX. They were too early (recommended June 2008)and those recommendations are down 12%, being down over 30% at one point late last year. However, the Casey group are touting 8% gains in their recent newsletter. I’m not sure when they thought they recommended those funds (I’ll refresh their memories – it was June). If you bought their recommedation in June 2008 you are down, if you bought in January 2009 you are up.
So…..like most newsletters you can buy them for their entertainment value (Casey can be entertaining), just don’t count on their investment advice.

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steve leuschner
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steve leuschner
August 27, 2009 7:46 pm

i just stopped renewing energy specultor and IS . five years of subscriptions to the Casey research family . what a load of crap . they dont respond when you point out that the great returns they claim are put into questions by subscribers they just ignore you i’d like to go to one of thier paid investment conferences and just give casey stick sell signals were nmon existant then he printed a small blurb in his site making an excuse as to why he cost most of his IS subscribers to lose their shirts they suck this place is great thanks for providing this forum

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Mike
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Mike
December 8, 2010 6:09 pm

I have subscribed since 2006. This is NOT for short-term trading. It IS for making the most of the trend of the decade, which is the destruction of the US dollar, and many other currencies of insolvent countries. This leads to buying SOME junior gold and silver miners. They all got slaughtered in 2008. I kept some and they are all back strong now. The ones I regret are the ones I sold. I have been more consistently following their recommendations since 2009, with great results.

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