Small Stock Specialist (defunct)

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13 Comments
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Paul
Paul
10 years ago

I don’t have any specifics about this penny stock newsletter, but Stansberry launched an earlier “stocks under $10” letter by Dan Ferris in 2007, and it quickly became “stocks under $5” — and that was before the market meltdown! Beware of all things Stanberry.

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Cee Howard
Cee Howard
10 years ago

Don’t have much track record yet with Frank Curzio, but he appears to be a careful analyst, sincere and dedicated and willing to go the extra mile with subscribers.I have bought DEER and am watching with interest. I would caution that the Stansberry group are generally not for investor newbies, and suspect they would agree.

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Alan in Los Angeles
Alan in Los Angeles
10 years ago

I ranked it 3 stars on performance and consistency since it is a very new offering and doesn’t have a track record. I ranked it 5 on value and interesting to read since the initial subscription price was only $99 and Frank writes good articles. He also has an excellent podcast that is free to everyone. My main complaint about the service so far is that Frank has a tendency to go after stocks with very low volume, perhaps this is normal with under 10 stocks, but it does wreak havoc when he publishes his picks. As your rightly guessed, DEER, was his latest and it skyrocketed in AH trading and had major action the next day. He has enough subscribers that his picks can move the market quickly on a thinly traded stock. I think that is the biggest detraction from his newsletter. I’d also like him to do a portfolio format like he did at the street.com but I understand that is not the way Stansberry does things. Also I miss the almost daily email updates that Frank used to send out on his picks as news came out and affected the pick. A big example, his shorting IMAX, now things have changed but no updates. Faster feedback would be nice. So far I’d say the newsletter has been of help.

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Lauren in PA
Lauren in PA
10 years ago

I first heard Frank on Andrew Horowitz’s Disciplined Investor podcast and was impressed with his keen insight. Frank also has his own podcast, S&A Investor Radio. My $99 subscription is good value. I believe it is now $250. He offers good analysis of stocks ‘around $10’. I actually am glad he is not holding steadfast to his $10 limit in his quest for stock buy recommendations. As with all stock evaluations you have to do your homework too. So far so good. I will be able to give a more objective evaluation in a few more months. As a subscriber you also get to hear the daily musings of Porter Stansberry. You may not always agree with his viewpoint, he does have his share of detractors. But he always makes you think and balances the sometimes seemingly irrational exuberance that seems to prevail at times.

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TheMoneyGeek
10 years ago

I took up Frank on his introductory offer of $99 for the Penny Stock Specialist and was quickly upsold to two years for $250 with a 30-day money back guarantee. Frank is passionate and well schooled in fundamental analysis of stocks and has a good grasp of the markets and macro-economy. His free podcast is quite educational and entertaining.

As it turned out, I did take advantage of the 30-day money back guarantee because I felt that the picks were a bit too risky for my taste and I was bothered by the fact that although the new picks were released after-hours, they became well bid up before the market opened the next day. I wonder if some people or lifetime members got the picks before the market closed and were able to get in ahead of the pack.

One other thing that bothered me is that Frank had talked about most of the picks on his list on one podcast or another at some point, so when I subscribed, I was surprised that I had already heard of every stock on the buy list. If that’s the case, then why pay for a subscription?

I am no investor newbie, but many of the picks will likely take 18-24 months to pan out or even make money, and many enter very long downtrends or sideways movement before they start up-trending, so I’m not sure how much technical analysis takes place before recommending a stock.

Finally, I was overwhelmed with the amount of “spam” and e-mails I would get on a daily basis from Stansberry & Associates (S&A) after I became a paying member. While some had useful content, most were pushing some picks or investment choice designed to get you to subscribe to other newsletters. I had always thought of S&A as a highly respected research house; but when I began to get the marketing pieces they sent out, I was appalled at the marketing and hyped approached they took that could have been straight out of a late night infomercial. There are far better ways to promote your newsletter than to come out looking like you’re hawking Ginsu knives.

To get a refund, they would not allow an e-mail request; their reply was for me to call in for it. I spoke with my salesman who asked why I wanted to unsubscribe. I told him and my refund appeared on my credit card within days. I had also submitted e-mail questions to S&A about their suggested methods for trading under-$10 stocks, but I never received any replies.

Frank is an excellent podcaster and analyst and I will continue to listen to him. But it bothers me when newsletter writers brag about the gains their picks have garnered when those gains have been either scored in the after-hours market before most of us have a chance to buy in or rely on a high-tick in the price of a stock that virtually no one would have had an opportunity to sell at. Unfortunately, S&A cheapens his brand with all the unnecessary hyped up marketing approaches.

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RHALAN
RHALAN
10 years ago

The MONEYGEEK review is spot on. Many of Frank’s picks have been bid up very quickly, either in AH or early morning trading and you can’t even participate. I don’t think this is due to advance knowledge but that Frank picks very thinly traded stocks and even a few thousand shares can move the price up high. If you wait for the initial rush to die down you can sometimes get it at a lower price.

What is really alarming is the very large number of picks that got stopped out at 25% or more below the initial buy price. I don’t know the exact number, but it seems to be in the 50-60% range which indicates an enormous volatility, perhaps again aggravated by the thin trading volume. A thinly traded stock can easily go down 25% in a few days on any bad news.

MONEYGEEK is spot on when he talks about the horrific spamming that you get from Stansberry even though you are a paid subscriber. Probably 1 out of 10 emails from Stansberry are legit discussions on investments, the rest are teasers. It is incredibly annoying to get these when you have paid for a subscription. You can’t block the teasers since they have the same return email address as the legit stuff so you have to labor through all of them.

I don’t mind Frank talking up the stocks on his Podcast after you get a chance to buy them, why not get some hype on a stock you own. I can see if you didn’t buy quickly and he hypes it why you would be upset, it can be a two edged sword.

I like Frank’s style, his openess, his honesty. He is a refreshing change to the talking heads, his interviews are very good, his writing style is good. Perhaps the weakest point is his choosing too many thinly traded stocks for the portfolio. For the low price of his newsletter I’d say it is definitely worth checking out, but be very cautious about jumping into these low volume stocks.

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Caulker
Caulker
9 years ago

Penny Stock Specialist

Frank Curzio does a good job of finding low priced stocks with good prospects. I have had mixed success due also to the more volatile nature of this catagory. His picks are not like all the spam and junk mail paid recos we all seem to get in abundance. Worth subscribing to.

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Michael Arold
9 years ago

Frank is IMO one of the best small cap stock analysts out there. The newsletter name is a little bit misleading, since his picks also include names such as Citigroup with a market cap of 140 Billion USD. Barely a penny stock.
Personally, I would NOT subscribe to the newsletter if Frank would indeed discuss penny stocks, but that’s just me.
Frank offers good fundamental research and can be considered a “value guy”.
I subscribed to the newsletter, because I’m a technical orinted short-term trader and hope to benefit from the fundamental insight. I’m carefully tracking performance of my “penny stock specialist trades” and will evaluate towards the end of 2011 if the newsletter “gave me an edge.”

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PennyChaser
PennyChaser
9 years ago

Frank has some really good picks. Biggest problem is to get the stock at his buy up to price. This is a problem in general with Stansberry. Most Stansberry picks are stocks with low volume and by the time you can get your order in the price has moved up. I realize it is tough to pick penny stocks with high volume. Stansberry should not be able to publish their cost on a stock until one day after the newsletter is published. Too many times they will crow about an incredible run up in their pick at a cost that most of their subscribers never were able to buy at. A one day waiting period to establish a base cost would at least make the marketing a little more honest.

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LongAndStrong
LongAndStrong
9 years ago

As others have said, Frank is a good analyst. But the 25% stop-loss forces you to book a lot of losers, which quickly disappear from his published portfolio. It’s not as bad as his boss, Porter Stansberry, who plays the same game, but it still will drag down your rate of return. I’d rather see a multiple buy strategy where Frank takes another look at down 25% and makes a fresh decision on adding more or selling.

One good thing Frank did when he joined Stansberry is ignore their incredible bearishness all through 2009. They totally missed the market upturn, and Frank started right off saying yeah, the government is screwed up, but, hey, we can make some money here. Stansberry didn’t turn positive until mid-2010. Lately, in the Stansberry Spam, Porter Stansberry has been bragging about being up 22% since the market bottom – in a market that’s doubled!

The whole organization except Frank seems devoted to their World Dominators, the big dull blue chips like MO, KO and WMT. Why they think they can add any value on these stocks for their subscribers escapes me, with dozens of Wall Street analysts covering them. So Frank is a breath of fresh air, although the 25% stops will kill you.

Sjuggerud is the other Stansberry moneymaker, and he doesn’t make as many entry mistakes as Frank, so he doesn’t get stopped out as much. Also Mike Williams has made money with his junk bond picks, so far, but that is really a pro’s game.

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Twinkie
Twinkie
9 years ago

I subscribed 15 months ago for $99 and they have upsold me numerous times – even after I talk myself out of it quite a few times first! Although the pitches ARE embarrassingly crass, I still get lured by something, so it’s clear to me their dreadful ads work. Being upsold to an alliance membership – one that costs $600 for a “lifetime” plus $150 a year maintenance(giving you ALL their $99 letters- 6 or 7 of them?) not only overwhelms me with spam, but ALSO overwhelms me with pure reading, ideas, picks and clashing takes on the market. Porter, Dan Ferris and Jeff Clark have been calling for a market crash since early to mid-December and shorting it, while “Doc” Effrig, Steve and Frank are blissed out and making money. It’s unsettling to someone indecisive, which I obviously am. Curzio’s is one of the better letters,well-researched; he picks more winners than not and does get stopped out on stocks that then go on to make hay. (SD). He picked Sprint as well as Citi, Triquent Semiconductor a long time ago – and Deer the first time I think last winter – it may have stopped out the first time. He writes so convincingly I am more inclined to buy his picks but with over 100 or maybe 150 to consider over a year from so many letters, I am usually too worn out to actually buy much of anything – and of course kick myself when they turn into big winners, which they point out (but I don’t notice the other ones that got stopped out or even lost 100% in the cash of a bad option unless I happen to have bought them). I have noticed that on thinly traded stocks like Matt Badali’s new Jr. Resource Trader, there is a huge spike at market open before I even get his letter, so it appears that someone there buys in ahead of time. Seems odd they would allow that, but Porter is quite cavalier about the fact that he makes a LOT of money selling newsletters. I actually had better, more consistent returns with Motley Fool Pro, but persuaded myself that $1500 was too much to pay for such buy and hold advice. Porter “grades” the newsletters in January and I was amazed at the returns, which made me want some other letters – it took me awhile to realize that a “fair” time period of 18 months including the crash in 2008, followed by one that started in March 2009 and ended December 2010 was going to really skew things a lot, compared to taking the annual return Jan. through Dec. – and the returns are a lot less wonderful and MUCH scarier if you see what happened BEFORE the recovery. One little secret – they sometimes pick up and reccomend each others’ picks after awhile – so while the stock may be up a dollar past Matt’s buy price when Frank or Steve recommend it, it’s the same stock. IOW, I don’t feel the more you pay the more you get for the higher-priced letters. When Jeff is right, it’s great, but I’m not sure his win ratio is that much higher than Frank Curzio’s – whose was only @55% last “period” vs Clark’s 63% on short report.

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Venture Shadow
Venture Shadow
8 years ago