Sunday, May 15, 2005


"A deception carried out for the sake of publicity."

It won't come as a surprise to anyone who is trying to make a buck in the stock market that there is a lot of hype out there seeking to separate us from our money. A few blogs ago, I suggested that readers click on some of the ads atop my blog and see if there is anything worthwhile up there. The first two ads I clicked on were Fred Hager and Jim Cramer. The former advertised that his portfolio was up 150% in 2004. True. But YTD 2005, four of his top picks, EBAY, QCOM, RMBS, and ERES are down a collective 27%. Ouch.

As for Slim Jim, his Action Alerts portfolio is down 2.88% YTD, ahead of an S&P which is down 4.93% YTD. Is this a reason to subscribe, to lose less then the market averages?

Now I am a subscriber to both services, but not for their long term stock picks. Since both services can move markets at times, or at least individual stocks, it does pay me to be abreast of their alerts. But barely so. Is there something of value here for the individual investor? Hard to say. Hager does a thorough analysis of his stocks and maybe ultimately his long term buy and hold the best of the best philosophy may win out. We'll know in a few years, or by the end of this decade, if you can wait.

As for Slim Jim, as I pointed out to a friend recently, he is like driving by a bad car wreck, you know it's gruesome, but you just have to look and then spend the rest of the day kicking yourself for being so senselessly repulsed.

Yet the quest goes on and I still recommend clicking away at the Google ads, seeing what's out there and reporting back if anything seems worthwhile. In the meantime, one service that doesn't appear in the ads that I have had some success with, not blindly buying their recommendations but getting leads and ideas from their picks, is BI Research. No hype, just good analysis and a slate of stocks you may not hear about elsewhere.


Anonymous said...

Hello Allan:

While I normally throw away anything that remotely resembles junk mail, I received a solicitation from the Oxford Club and actually opened, read and considered joining at the "Premiere Membership" level for the nominal annual fee of $79. They of course HYPE their tremendous results, but they also have several "Clubhouses" for members in DC, London, Paris & Central America (can you say tax haven?). Call me a snob, but I do prefer the ambiance of private clubs over elbow jostling amongst the great unwashed masses. Getting back to the point, does the Oxford Club have the juice to move the market when their recommendations are released? I don't know Allan, but if you haven't already (I know you usually are a step ahead of me) you may want to take a look at their web site:

Cheers to you!
Greg Reiman

Allan said...

Hi Greg, The Oxford Club is not on my list, although I've looked at their offerings. Not enough oomph.

Greg Reiman said...

Hi Allan:

Well I subscribed to the Oxford Club, and then got sucked into their promo for an additional subscription to the Porter Stansberry (remember Aegis on GTR) newsletter. Talk about $179 buck down the crapper, instead of any useful information, I must get 5-10 emails a day from them promoting additional members only super-secret add on advisory subscriptions. I thought I ordered Steak, but all I got was sizzle.

Live and learn.

Thanks again!
Greg Reiman