Stansberry Research Review – Scam or Legit?

Stansberry Research
Review of: Stansberry Research
Reviewed by:
Rating:
2.5
On July 16, 2013
Last modified: July 31, 2014

Summary:

Stansberry’s Investment Advisory monthly newsletter is chocked full of good detailed investing analysis. Though we question their marketing, and the run in with the SEC.

For this review, I subscribed to the Stansberry & Associates Investment Research’s most popular and flagship newsletter — Stansberry’s Investment Advisory. Stansberry Research is the largest independent investment newsletter publication in the world with a reported 500,000 plus subscribers.

They are a part of the newsletter conglomerate Agora Inc, which owns most of the investment newsletters out there. If you have heard of Porter Stansberry, the founder and head writer of Stansberry Research, you know he is from the controversial “End of America” promotion.

I’m not going to get into too much detail about the video, because you can watch it yourself from the link above.

What I will say, is the promotion appears to be all hype, but does have a lot of solid economics and facts within the video. The conclusions of course are Porter’s opinion though.

What You Get When You Sign Up

Once you sign up for the newsletter, you gain access to a member’s only section. This grants you access to all sorts of information, where you can see all of Porter’s monthly reports going back to the founding of his business in 1999.

This is a nice feature and lends transparency to previous calls on how great/poorly they did. I’ve seen many newsletters not do this, and only give you access to the most current newsletter.

You also have access Stansberry’s special reports. Reports such as:

  • The Gold Investor’s Manual
  • America’s Big Power Shift
  • The World’s Most Valuable Asset in a Time of Crisis

I’ll say from the start, I have mixed feelings about this review. In all honesty when I purchased the Stansberry’s Investment Advisory to review, I was expecting complete garbage analysis.

This is based upon the way the material like the “End of America” promotes it. Meaning I was expecting all sizzle, and no steak research. What I found was quite different, and actually very good.

Details of the Newsletter Analysis

For the monthly newsletter, Porter and his editors tell a great story, with detailed analysis of the investments in question. If you haven’t read any other financial newsletters, let me state many are about as interesting as reading a phonebook.

Porter makes reading each newsletter interesting and has the financial, and economic data to back up his position. All of this makes a very compelling argument for the investments he recommends. The newsletter appears to only focus on large cap stocks.

Porter’s investment style is by means of value investing. If you are going to do your own active investing, I believe value investing is really the only method you have any chance of succeeding. So the recommendations he and his staff make are not by some technical indicators.

Is it Worth the Price?

The monthly report is very cheap, with the annual price of $149.95! I’ve read other research reports that weren’t nearly as detailed in their analysis, and were for hundreds of dollars more per year. The monthly reports offer a summary of the macro economic conditions. As well as one-to-three specific stock recommendations for the month. Also included is any update to the current portfolio of stocks.

While Stansberry’s monthly newsletters are very good, the free special reports he offers are, in my opinion, complete garbage. They don’t contain enough actionable information to be usable for a novice, and an advanced investor would more than likely have enough information on such subjects, or you can find more information available on the web for free.

These are the positive aspects of Stansberry’s newsletter. For the negatives, keep on reading below.

The Problem With Predictions

One of the issues I have is the way the material is marketed. While the “End of America” appears to be very well researched and everything Stansberry presents is factual — more than likely the outcome is a black swan event. Or even worse, it’s an event that’s impossible to time.

This is wherein lies the problem with any prediction — financial or otherwise. So more than likely this is a marketing technique to gain attention and attract new subscribers. After all if America wasn’t ending, would you sign up?

That isn’t to say you shouldn’t prepare for black swan events, you most certainly should. Without question, I recommend some portion of your portfolio to outlier events. That’s not to say I believe the world is going to end tomorrow, and from what I can gather neither does Porter.

A Run-in With the SEC

The other issue is Stansberry’s run-in with the SEC in 2003. I’ve read both Porter’s stance and the SEC ruling. Though the case is somewhat perplexing — and actually previously unheard of about a financial newsletter — the SEC stated he performed insider trading, yet never owned the stock, nor did he ever profit directly from the stock.

In addition, the stock did go up in price and the information was correct, just not the timing of it. So directly Stansberry never profited from this information, and only reported this information to it’s subscribers. So take this issue however you see it. Either way, it should be known that the firm has had a run in with the SEC, and if anything likes to push the legal edge in some of it’s research.

Though this is to say Stansberry’s, or any other investment newsletter for that matter, should be taken with a grain of salt — no one can predict the future, and the future can be changed by unexpected forces. So while Porter might be eventually correct in his predictions, the timing can be hard to predict.

As the famous economist John Maynard Keynes once said: “Markets can remain irrational longer than you can remain solvent.”

Don’t Blindly Take Investment Advice

If you do subscribe to this newsletter, do what I do — for this newsletter or any other financial advice — caveat emptor. I only use an investment newsletter’s recommendations as a starting point for picking my investments. I don’t except what’s recommended blindly, and nor should you.

Specifically read up on the trends the author believes is happening, and at the same time find counterpoints to their argument. What you should understand with any investment advice, is it’s an opinion and nothing more or less.

As an investment newsletter, Stansberry and his team’s goal is to sell you newsletter subscriptions. Since that is where their bread and butter lies, they are going to attempt to hook you in via some controversial marketing tactic. Although Stansberry’s research is independent from any traditional bank or investment house, and their analysts are not allowed to own any of the securities they recommend.

Investment performance of Porter’s newsletter has been hard to find. Unfortunately Hulbert Financial Digest doesn’t track any of Stansberry’s newsletters. The newsletter is cheap enough to purchase annually and should be a no-brainer in terms of cost. If you do get only one investing nugget annually from the newsletter, it’s well worth the subscription.

A No Obligation Way to Get Stansberry’s Advice

If you are on the fence with Stansberry’s research, you do have a completely no obligation way to get some investment ideas — listen to Porter’s podcast. The Stansberry Radio podcast I enjoy listening to, and it’s one of the best “out of the box” financial podcasts out there today.

Both the free and premium subscription are a no holds barred on any subject — even some of the traditionally taboo subjects in investing and economics. I personally have no issue with it, but I can see how others could be offended by this podcast.

Though listening to the podcast I have a much different opinion of Porter than previously. I guess you can say I’m a fan — at least listening to his opinion. Acting on his opinion, through his podcast or his newsletter, is another story.

Readers: If you purchased any of Stansberry’s newsletters, what did you think of them?

Comments

  1. Gene in L.A. says:

    Thanks. I just watched his newest video–an hour and a half!–and then googled him to see what the general opinion was. A lot of what he says makes sense, but I’m not sure I want to risk the subscription amount. (I’m 66 and on a fixed income already.) So far, in fact, your review has the most positive take on what he’s saying.

    • Larry Ludwig says:

      Hi Gene,

      Just being clear it’s one man’s opinion on the future. The people who are complete negative on Stansberry usually attack the person and not the issues he presents. The issues he present could very well affect the country in a negative way. He isn’t the fist, nor last to mention this.

      The questions remains if it happens, how it unfolds, and when. Meaning the outcome – is almost impossible to predict. Again, in my opinion Stansberry, he is selling you a hook to lead you into his products/services. Meaning I like the content in the newsletters themselves, but don’t like the marketing tactics. But to each their own.

      If unsure, I also mentioned you can listen to his podcast at no cost, though you won’t get stock recommendations like the newsletter has. See it as a way to “try before you buy”.

      From my understanding Stansberry products have a 90 day return policy. Though I haven’t tried to cancel the subscription myself.

    • pam says:

      I am a subscriber for about 2 years to a number of his newsletters. I have learned more from his newsletters and education than most other ones I have tried. I have earned at least 10 times over what the subscription was worth. Especially the option selling education is excellent. I wish I had discovered this before. I highly recommend it if you want to learn more about the financial markets and conservative advice. I too don’t like the marketing method, but they offer youroney back if not happy with the service.

  2. Ken says:

    Dear Author:

    > So directly Stansberry never profited from this information, and only reported this information to it’s subscribers.

    You forgot to mention that he charged $1,000 to each person who wanted this report and made $1 MILLION total off of the report sales. Stansberry was ordered to pay $1.5 million in restitution and civil penalties for disseminating false stock information and defrauding public investors through a financial newsletter.

    Please get your facts straight!!

    • Larry Ludwig says:

      Ken,

      I am more than familiar with this case, and read quite a bit for this review. This is a very unusual case for the SEC to get involved.

      Yes Stansberry charged $1,000 per individual for this “insider information”.

      My point was, Stansberry did NOT directly profit from the stock. Stansberry did not do a “pump and dump”. If anything, you could argue on the way it was presented it was more of a FTC than SEC complaint. Lastly what part of the newsletter was “false stock information”? Everything presented turned out to be 100% accurate.

      • David Marchant says:

        Your defense of Stansberry has entered into ‘Loony Tunes’ territory. It is very reckless and irresponsible.

        Stansberry was found to have committed a crude fraud and, as with all frauds, he did so for personal gain, which was substantial. To argue over exactly how he profited is unimportant. The only thing that is important is that he ripped off his clients for personal benefit. As the judge noted: “Stansberry profited handsomely from Pirate’s gain from the fraudulent scheme.” So much so that the judge slapped Stansberry with the maximum fine allowable.

        Your statement that: “In addition, the stock did go up in price and the information was correct, just not the timing of it.” Well, duh! What do you expect to happen to a share price when someone like Stansberry aggressively publishes lies? Your claim that “the information was correct” is contradicted by the judgment, with the judge concluding that: “The Super Insider Solicitation and the Special Report contain numerous statements that were untrue.”

        The judge had such a low opinion of Stansberry that he stated future violations of U. S. securities laws were inevitable, specifically: “If Stansberry were to provide an assurance, that there would be no future violations, the Court would not find him particularly credible.”

        Stansberry is a fear-mongering clown. Your defense of him is indefensible.

        • Larry Ludwig says:

          David,

          I don’t have the stock ticker in front of me, yes there was a slight increase after publication (was very minor if I remember correctly), but I am referring to 2-3 weeks later in time (which was a substantial increase). I don’t see how the second increase could be attributed to Stansberry’s research unless I am missing a piece of the puzzle.

          Who says I was defending him??

          “Acting on his opinion, through his podcast or his newsletter, is another story.”

          The primary purpose of this article was to review the newsletter, but also mention in full disclosure to readers of this site the SEC judgement.

          Regardless of the final judgement, the SEC getting involved for a case like this has happened in less than a handful of times. Let me repeat again, no insider trading was involved.

          Even if statements told by Stansberry were untrue or stupid, how should this be a SEC case? How many registered advisors would fall under this same claim then??

          I’m not suggesting it’s right, but people either by accident or on purpose make inaccurate/false statements all the time. Should the SEC get involved for all of these cases when dealing with financial information?

          As I stated previously IMHO this should have been FTC issue because the claims made by Stansberry.

          • David Marchant says:

            Re. “Let me repeat again, no insider trading was involved.” You don’t know this. I would be surprised if there wasn’t insider trading since, being an investigative reporter who specializes in exposing serious financial crime, I know how these schemes work and I expect that such trades would have occurred using offshore structures, making them more difficult and expensive to detect and investigate.

            Your argument that, if the SEC prosecutes one they should prosecute all, is inane. As with all regulatory agencies, they have to pick and choose their battles.

            The sheer size and influence of Agora made it difficult for regulators to ignore and raised specific issues of stock manipulation masquerading as journalism.

            You are grasping for excuses and are trying to bog down the issues in minutiae. The only thing that matters is that Stansberry committed a blatant fraud involving a publicly-traded security, he profited “handsomely” from it, and he was held accountable for his dishonest actions. Who cares who prosecuted him or whether he profited from insider trading, commissions, bonuses, etc.? It is irrelevant.

            Stansberry is a fraudster and a complete joke among anyone with an ounce of common sense. No-one with any credibility takes him seriously.

            • Larry Ludwig says:

              “You don’t know this.”

              That is true, but no evidence was found and wasn’t the basis of the SEC case. I am too well aware of the shell companies to make this difficult, but not impossible based upon the size of the stock referenced in the case.

              Then again the SEC didn’t catch Madoff, and the evidence was presented to them years prior. In general the SEC is a joke, but is a whole other topic.

              “The sheer size and influence of Agora made it difficult for regulators to ignore and raised specific issues of stock manipulation masquerading as journalism.”

              The situation you mention is possible but is pure conjecture.

            • Observer says:

              David: Your comments on Porter Stansberry’s fraud conviction, I have to say, are far more accurate than Larry’s broad generalities about it. I not only followed the case closely, but met the SEC lawyers involved and testified for the SEC in a related aspect of the case.

              Problem was, Porter did not just “sorta miss” on his timing, he gave specific dates for buying and then for selling a specific stock in order to “double” one’s money; to quote from the court finding, Porter’s promotional hype proclaimed boldly: “DOUBLE YOUR MONEY ON MAY 22ND ON THIS SUPER INSIDER TIP.” Porter’s e-mail claimed analysts at [his company] PirateInvestor.com had come into possession of certain details about the pending approval of a major international agreement that “will create more than $2.5 billion in profits for one small company.” Stansberry’s e-mail maintained investors would “make a fortune” because PirateInvestor.com had a “senior executive inside the company” as a source for its inside information. PirateInvestor.com claimed this executive was “definitely in a position to know the intimate deals of this agreement” and when it would be approved. Therefore, the e-mail announced that PirateInvestor.com was in a position to “tell you EXACTLY WHEN the deal will be finalized and announced to the public.”

              The court went on to say: The e-mail encouraged recipients to stake their entire investment portfolios on this unnamed company and suggested investors would be able to double their “investment dollar in a single day.” Finally, the e-mail stated PirateInvestor.com “can even tell you exactly which day to buy (May 21st) and which day to sell (May 23rd). There is nothing else you have to do.”

              As David says, Porter charged $1,000 for access to his “insider information.” If it was supposedly on the up-and-up, it’s not clear why Porter wrote his promotion in pseudonym – as “Jay McDaniels” – and I’ve never seen Porter explain it. (The alleged “insider” at the company concerned denied giving Porter any such information, and had another person confirm his version of his talk with Porter.) The share price for the company did go up about 25% between 13 and 22 May, according to the court – trading volume increased over 17 times – but then the price dropped back 15% on 23 May when the Porter-hyped announcement was not made on 22 May. It would have taken something like an $18,000 investment (incredibly risky in a situation like this) for anyone just to make back their $1,000 outlay for Porter’s “hot tip.” Not remotely close to “doubling” one’s money “in a single day.” As I recall, the stock did double, or more, but not for 2-3 years…and long after Porter had written, only months after his May debacle, that the stock was no longer a good long-term investment. So one would have had to take Porter’s recommendation to buy, ignore his recommendation to sell, and ignore his advice that the stock was no longer a good long-term investment in order to benefit in any significant way. “Just a bit” unlikely…and illogical.

              The judge in the court case, in addition to fining Stansberry and his company $1.5 million, wrote that he felt that Porter had “lied” at trial. Porter lost on appeal, with the appellate court firmly upholding the original judge’s decision, and the US Supreme Court refused to review the case. I believe Porter has written that he spent something like $3 million on attorney/court fees.

              While the court decision does not refer to “stock manipulation” by Agora (I’m pretty sure), it does have a section noting Agora’s blatant hyping of its products as a related aspect of its decision; to quote from the court decision:

              “Agora’s On-going Efforts to Disseminate False Information to the Investing Public

              “Agora promoted other securities in its newsletters. Even after Agora became aware of the Commission’s [SEC] investigation, its newsletters have continued to publish e-mails promoting numerous securities accompanied by fantastic claims of quick profits or inside information.”

  3. Needing-Some-Truth says:

    To Mr. Ludwig (Author)
    My concerns are his recommendations of investments he’s claiming we should go into.
    You stated his investment ideas were not really worth much, but THAT is why I’d be subscribing to his monthly news letter, to get those “secret extras” he promised.

    I’m very new to all this investment stuff, and need a new source of income now, at 60 years of age.

    With banks just giving less than 1% interest, and most just giving 1/10th of 1% , I’m tired of keeping my savings in my savings account.
    I had planned to live on the bank interest, or at least supplement expenses with it, and hoped to get more than just $80 interest for the amount I have in there, now..!!
    (I have expenses down to under $800 per month, so this hope was possible before the interest rates went so low)

    I have a fixed amount of savings to live on, with NO income at the moment, so even a “small” price of this subscription means less money for food or bills to pay, for that month, if it turns out to be a total waste of money.
    Also, …If the guy IS a liar, or SCAM artist, I doubt I’d get a refund, as stated in his promo.

    Can you tell us, and me, if the promises mentioned in the 90 minute video, what the news letter will show, actually make sense to invest in?
    We’re these the FREE extras you say we’re not worth much?

    It said he’d show the following;
    - The worlds most valuable asset in a time of crisis.
    - The 100% Secret: The Easiest way to make money in a risky Stock Market.
    - Secrets of the Silver Market.
    - The Gold Investors Manual.
    - The 4 Investment Assets you DO NOT have to report to the U.S. Government.

    I was hoping to have all this explained to me, being new to investing, and don’t know how-to, or even wanted to research it.

    Doesn’t he explain it all?

    My biggest question… is his advice to get as much gold and silver I can afford, … solid advice, …along with the other promised advice in the FREE news letters – I listed above?

    If you’ve already said NO, the FREE extras weren’t worth much, then, what’s the point for someone such-as myself to get the subscription?

    I wanted all this figured out for me, with step-by-step instructions, and didn’t want to “research” what this guy is claiming he’s already researched in these newsletters.

    This kind of stuff makes me distrust these types of Promotions, especially coming from an Internet Ad.

    • Larry Ludwig says:

      Hi Needing-Some-Truth,

      The newsletter (the company has many others) I review recommends primarily large cap/blue chip stocks, with some exceptions. For example the latest newsletter recommended to buy Sears Holding (SHLD). Other newsletters of Stansberry are more geared towards income, some are for high risk investing, etc..

      If you are looking as a beginner investor, you might learn something from the newsletter and how to analyze a stock. Is the investments he recommend right for you? I cannot answer that and only you know your risk profile.

      Perhaps you need to start with researching into what’s considered acceptable losses to you, and how much risk do you want to take to get some level of returns.

      As I mentioned in the review the supplemental reports, I personally don’t think they add value to me, but perhaps for you they do. The real value is the newsletter itself, everything else IMHO doesn’t add value for me. But perhaps that’s also my level of investment experience.

      • Needing-Some-Truth says:

        Hi, Mr. Ludwig,
        Thanks for that reply.

        I’m a bit confused by his advice to invest in the Stock Market, at all, given his prediction of a complete collapse in the U.S. Dollar, :) unless he’s figuring it’s not going to happen for several years yet, and there’s still time to make some more $$$ before, to put elsewhere.

        What I needed to know, and most curious about, is ;
        What – “The worlds most valuable asset in a time of crisis” – is.
        Was it precious metals? (Gold & Silver)
        If so, that’s not going to give me some immediate $$$ % to live on, at the moment.

        Besides knowing the other EXTRA report items, I listed in the previous post, but if those were the “supplemental reports” you mentioned, being of “little value”, then this guy is no better than any other person predicting the stock market.

        I’ve got several thousand I could spare to invest (around $25,000) for now, but was hoping to start with something that wouldn’t be so risky, and would start giving me a return greater than the ‘under 1% interest’ the bank is giving, now. If that “Sears Holding (SHLD)” was it, I’m still nervous about all this talk of the pending U.S. Dollar collapse. My luck it’ll happen 20 minutes after buying the stock. :)

        I guess EVERY investment is a risk, and now, maybe even the banks are too. !! … :-) … But if some stock or other investment was more likely than not, able to give me more than the bank was giving me, starting right-away, for several years, I could put more $$$ into it and slowly convert that profit into other safer investments, other than the U.S. dollar, later-on.

        Oh well..!
        I guess I’ll be one of the first to suffer the “pending” Dollar Collapse, if / when it actually happens.
        I do know, the longer I do nothing, I’m using the money I could be investing, just to live on now, and eventually I’ll have nothing left to invent in anything.

        Thank you for your time.

        • Needing-Some-Truth says:

          Oops!
          I meant to type …”nothing left to *invest* in anything” … not *invent*

          The iPad auto-correct didn’t do its correct job. :-)

          Bye again :)

        • dv says:

          Farmland apparently. If you type in any of his report titles into Google a free Pdf is usually one of the first 3 links.

    • melvin spinoza says:

      What the main wrong is he wants a small subscriber fee then wallops you with future”$1,000″costs.That is the fraud. And in the initial presentation he attempts to install a fear tactic to get you to make the initial investment:that is,also,fraudulent

  4. happy camper says:

    I’ve been “invested” in Stansberry research / newsletters for a couple of years now. I consider myself a relative novice investor but have learned A LOT over this time frame. I’m in my early 60′s and, like “needing some truth” was / am looking for some investing insights / how to / suggestions / recommendations to help me supplement monthly income. I really appreciate the education info provided and the variety of ways the different editors approach the topic of successfully navigating the markets. My goal is to make about 1% monthly (and as safely as possible). I realize that sounds like dichotomy of possibilities … but I’m actually doing it, for the most part, based almost solely on the info I get from their monthly research. Go Figure, huh?!? I subscribe to their “12% Letter” and the “Investment Advisory” newsletters at about $100 each annually … and made that back in just one or two trades .

  5. Ed says:

    I’ve also been invested in Stansberry research and have multiple subscriptions that have all paid for themselves many times over. The key here is to take action on the advice and consistently execute and manage for losses. I have been actively trading for many years and was wanting to learn how to sell options for income as a start, this is how i found stansberry. There are three subscriptions offered that follow this strategy that I use, Alpha, Advanced income and Retirement Trader. the former and later have performed exceedingly well the advanced income subsription has a bias toward gold and has taken a little bit of a beating as the author is looking for the gold value play. I am familiar with the other services but primarily go with the the ones mentioned and am very happy with my ROI and have no hesitation to recommend it to investors prepared to do the work and learn the strategy. I enjoy the macro research that Porter puts out, in my opinion he is genuinely interested in putting his opinion out there and in many cases it is in contrast to the main brokerage house as he is not pushing any ‘borrows’…and he continually educates on the secrets of successful investing over the long term, again in contrast to mainstream advice.

  6. Keith says:

    I signed up for the $69 two year subscription after wading through that long long long End of America video. I didn’t realize I was plunking down $69 to test my anti-Spam resolve. The spam faucet has been definitely turn on high since signing up for the basic newsletter. I really hate that about this whole thing. However, I HAVE gleaned many worthwhile nuggets and have begun investing for a Roth IRA basing my picks on recommendations I’ve gotten – not just from the actual newsletter, but also from stuff I’ve gleaned from the spam. They also had an “open house” that had what I thought were some good ideas. So while I really really dislike all the spam, I feel like I’ve gotten enough good ideas that so far the $69 I spent has been worth it.

    One last comment, I was distressed this morning when I found out about the fruad conviction. I admit, I am tempted to cancel my subscription because I don’t like the idea of getting advice from someone who is not honest or is a used-car salesman. I read several articles including those that had forgiving/understanding attitudes and scathing ones. Like Mr. Ludwig suggests, I am inclined to listen to the ideas rather than the personality. This whole affair strikes me as “dirty used car sales tactics” at best and actual fraud at worst. For now I will continue my subscription as I believe there are useful ideas but understanding this fraud conviction will help me to focus on the idea and dilute the marketing hype – hopefully.

    @ Needing-Some-Truth Farmland is the suggestion for best thing to own in a crisis. That’s the thing that ‘hooked’ me when I paid the $69. It makes sense. Unlike Mr. Ludwig, that tidbit had some value for me but like you, I’m a novice at this investing stuff. I signed up because 1) the ad hooked me because I think America is falling apart at the seams, and 2) I am approaching retirement in a few short years and need to hustle to build something that I can live on.

    • Craig Anderson says:

      I’d be very careful about buying farmland. Yes, it can be great if you know what you are doing and have water but aquifers across the country are being depleted. Wells that used to be a hundred feet deep are sometimes now 500 feet deep. But I’m from a farming family and it’s a great life if you like hard work and nature. Nowadays though, you gotta know business too. And the little guy is always at the mercy of the big guys.

  7. Amy says:

    Can someone tell me, what is the “World’s Most Valuable Asset in a Time of Crisis”? Of course, I am selling my house in less than two years and have my house on an arm loan. I did this to lower my payments. I know I have to seek because I will no longer be getting child support. Should I sell now and get out before another crash? If interest rates go up like I expect they will if the dollar id devalued, I will be in big trouble. This video scared the crap out of me….Any advise from anyone reading this??

  8. Patrice says:

    Amy, my advise to you is to trust in God and read your Bible. You also must do what you have to do, as well. God is not blind to what’s going on in our world and He will take care of His people in crisis. We have promises from the Bible that we can be assured of: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Psalm46:1 God bless you.

  9. Pascal says:

    Be careful!!

    I subscribed by curiosity and after two months of getting so many emails (they are sending about 3/day on average) all written in the same “be careful”, “we are screwed”, “multiply your investment by x10″, “we will unveil a secret investment strategy”, etc. I decided to cancel.

    Here’s their answer:
    Thank you very much for contacting Stansberry and Associates.

    For security reasons and to prevent banking errors you must contact us by phone to cancel a paid subscription. Submitted emails to cancel a subscription will not be processed. To cancel a paid subscription, please call (888) 261-2693 or for international subscribers (443) 839-0986. Our customer service center is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.-8 p.m. EST.

    Of course!! I can sign up online without problem, that’s very secure, but I need to call to resign (for my own security!!).

    This is purely a marketing machine providing “some” valuable information you can find elsewhere, all written in a sensational style to attract dreamers.

    I would recommend to stay away!

  10. George says:

    I have had mostly good experiences in my 3 years using S&A investment advice but let me offer some caveats.
    The value of the service has diminished significantly during that period. I think that they have some excellent principal analysts. But since I first signed up Stansberry has increased the number of newsletters by a factor of two or three. These are all separate subscriptions at costs ranging from a few hundred to thousands of dollars per year. However, his staff has not increased in quantity or quality. The net result is that my original subscriptions are netting me less and less information and to return to the original level of advice, I would have to subscribe to many more expensive publications.
    I have had no problems in cancelling two trial subscriptions.

    • Larry Ludwig says:

      Hi George,

      Thanks for your comment. Though from my research on Linkedin, there are 71 confirmed employees (with accounts on that service) at Stansberry and Associates. According to a recent podcast, I believe Porter stated he has over 150 employees work at the firm, and has increased in the past year. I cannot confirm that exact number. I do know from again the podcasts new employees that work for Stansberry that were never interviewed previously.

  11. Joe says:

    Here is my advise for people who grip about a $69 newsletter but expect to get information the will yield “retirement income” Go to the sharks on Wall Street. See how they treat you and what the cost will be. You are kidding yourself. A cheap newsletter that will give you awesome information you can profit from, never lead you astray, you can cancel on a whim, and will only provide you the information as you want it. People surely to live in a dream land. It is said you rarely get what you want, but usually get what you deserve.

  12. Steve says:

    I’m still waiting on:
    - The worlds most valuable asset in a time of crisis.
    - The 100% Secret: The Easiest way to make money in a risky Stock Market.
    - Secrets of the Silver Market.
    - The Gold Investors Manual.
    - The 4 Investment Assets you DO NOT have to report to the U.S. Government.

    • Larry Ludwig says:

      Steve,

      You do realize these are available via the web site right?

      • Steve says:

        I didn’t get that far, Larry. Thank you. They were to be provided immediately when I signed up for the newsletter but were not. Are they aslo free on the web site? And which web site would that be?

    • Ashley says:

      Steve, what were your thoughts on the special reports? Is it worth the $49.50?

  13. jef wakefield says:

    I have a subscription which gives me access to ten of Stansberrys publications. I tried several of them out first over a two year period before I purchased this subscription and found them to be interesting and educational. I have been investing for about five years on my own and have tried many other services but most were no good. Stansberry was the one that gave me good research and provided actual positive results. I agree it’s a starting pooint and you need to do further research yourself before investing. They have tough me many basic lessons that I was resisted when I started investing such as using stop losses, dividend reinvestment, buying capitol efficient companies and keeping notes on my investment theory from the start. They have a lot of value investing type letters, but also offer letters specific to options, bonds and income portfolios. I’ve been pretty happy with them.

  14. William says:

    I am an experienced investor and have subscribed to several of Stansberry’s advisories for several years.
    I have found the advice for the most part to be very helpful. I know, jhowever, how to filter out the BS.
    The best subscription in my opinion, is the Retirement Millionaire written by Doc Eifrig. He gives good, solid, bread and butter advice.
    As to their advice on buying farmland: I have owned, bought and sold farmland for over 30 years. It is extremely illiquid and decades can go by with no appreciation at all. Most big money made in farmland is when

    • William says:

      Got cut off above—-RE: farmland: big money can be made when urban sprawl encroaches and the farmland gets reclassified and developed, as in subdivisions or commercial uses. But how many years does this take? High risk.

  15. Raheel says:

    I thank you for your review of Stansberry Investment Advisory. I find your article unbiased and addresses my concerns from both good and bad angles.

  16. John Goodman says:

    My son and I have used Stansberry Research for over two years now and although we have different investing plans, Stansberry has been most helpful to both of us. I am a retired 67 year old and chose Retirement Trader as the primary tool for investing. This options tool closely aligned with my own investment style so it was quite easy to use. Dr. David Eifrig is very conservative and selects only the best blue chip stocks in which to sell options. So, from my perspective, the parts of Stansberry Research that I use has been and continues to be the most profitable to date.

  17. Patrick Thomas says:

    I have been using Stansberry Research for almost 2 years and have done quite well. I am a lifetime member and am very pleased. No one is 100% right, but these guys are about as good as you will find. I have made my subscription fee back many, many times over. I think the best investing information is Doc Eifrig, Porter Stansberry, and Dan Ferris. The others are good as well, but these guys have enabled me to make some very good profits on my investments. Some people may be more comfortable with their bank, or the new “MyRA” thing with the government, but, as for me, …I am sticking with what works.

  18. cbon says:

    I just stumbled upon the “end of america” video and having listened to the whole thing (in full expectation of an attempt to sell me something at the end), I decided to do a bit more digging. I wanted to know who this guy was and whether or not he was legit. From a full disclosure perspective, I have a degree in economics, an international finance-heavy MBA from a top 12 school, and am a very successful research analyst myself (though not the field of finance). While I am not a financial advisor and would not in any way bill myself as an expert, I would consider myself reasonably knowledgeable about the issues raised in the stansberry video. I also know from an insider’s perspective how the research process that produces his and similar newsletters works. Most research firms have a point of view and highlight the facts that support their perspectives, while de-emphasizing (or ignoring) the facts that don’t. I recognize from the video this tendency and would advise anyone listening to it to do so with a certain level of skepticism and to seek alternative view points before making any investment decisions or following any of the recommendations in either the newsletter or video. That said, the fact that Stansberry evidently makes available all his “prior art” is a fact in his favor. It is not a universal offering.

    All that said, I personally am a very conservative investor, but have a very good track record of knowing when to “get out” of an investment before it all hits the fan. For the past two years, my instincts have been screaming at me to change my diversification strategy. I have stopped contributing to my 401K and have been investing in real estate and gold/silver. For the time being, I’m not putting anything else in the US stock market. This is without any external advice – and frankly to the dismay of the individual I use for tax, estate and investment planning. After listening to the Stansberry video, (and discounting its obvious ulterior motives), I found the factual basis sound. In fact it was one of the better synopsis’s I’ve seen behind all the “zeitgeist” and nervousness among US investors and consumers – including my own. I also tend to value outsider perspectives or contrarian views. They often have an element of truth or reality that while, unpalatable, is often worth considering. So, SEC cases and penalties not withstanding, I think I’m going to invest in the Dr. Eifrig Retirement Millionaire newsletter as an experiment . I look at it as one more source of information that I’m fortunate I can afford, but as with all sources of information, it won’t be the only one I use and I’ll ultimately make up my own mind as to what I believe will work for me, personally, and what won’t – based on my financial goals and risk tolerance. I think the advice from other posters to check out the free podcasts is a reasonable compromise for those unwilling or unable to invest in the newsletter. Again, it’s all just information. There’s no harm in it until you act and for that you should ALWAYS seek multiple opinions. Bottom line, the stansberry video analysis has a good, everyman’s approach to explaining what is fundamentally a pretty complex problem. It is a reasonable place to start for a baseline understanding of some important US economic issues and trends – but strictly as a way of formulating more questions that should probably take you to other sources, so you can get a balanced perspective before making any concrete decisions. As to following the advice, ultimately we each own that call and the ultimate responsibility for ourselves. Remember, buyer beware. Failing to pursue your own due diligence is like accepting a radically invasive, experimental surgical procedure on the recommendation of one doctor. It’s lazy. Please educate yourselves, don’t expect something for nothing, don’t think that a title guarantees quality and always get a second (or third) opinion…then make up your own mind. At the end of the day you are your own best judge of the risk you can tolerate in relation to your financial goals.

  19. Mark says:

    Although I don’t consider myself to be a stupid person, I know that understanding finance and the wonderful world of investing is very difficult for me. How user-friendly are the materials and reports offered by Stansberry Research? How likely would it be that a financial illiterate could be transformed into an effective investor. I have no idea what the “world’s most valuable asset” is but I figure it must have something to do with investing. Would I be correct in saying that?

  20. Steve says:

    I’ve been a subscriber for about 12 years. I have 5 of his newsletters. He DID save me TONS of money on his GM bankruptcy call. BUT FOR his rantings and ravings I might have held on to my GM Bonds for A LOT longer than I did. That one call justified all the money I’ve spend on his news letters. I DO track the stock those news letters recommend as well as stocks recommended by IBD (Investors Business Daily). It’s important to state that NEITHER Stansberry nor IBD will GUARANTEE you make a profit in investing. One has to enter trades based on appropriate breakout points…AND..other Technical Analysis aids. BUT..his news letters DO give insights on various industries, market sectors and high rate of return, dividend paying stocks. My ONLY complaint is that he lets his political views taint his statements (and jiudgement?), at times. If I had any recommendations for him….”tone it down”…subscribers can’t tell sometimes if what he says is due to REAL analysis and not political prejudice.

  21. Craig Anderson says:

    Rule x of investing: Anyone who sets up his pitch with excessive gloom and doom scare tactics is likely a charlatan. The positive comments probably come from his employees. Sorry, Porter is going straight away into my trash heap.
    By the way, I also hear that Armageddon is coming any day now…just like it has been for centuries.

  22. dewey says:

    I first heard of Porter via the end of America video.. which I thought was “out there” albeit, interesting. I did subscribe to his Investment Advisory after reading one.. and they’ve been useful. I’ve made some money investing in the stocks he suggests.. I tend to concentrate on Energy stocks.. and so I have no complaints about his advice.

    I think anyone that invests money, MUST take investment advice from anyone with a grain of salt. I will say that Porter seems to own up to bad calls on stocks in a frank manner. I’ve not yet lost money on anything I bought that he suggested.. but he has made some bad calls.

    So.. its an interesting newsletter.. I think worth the money. .

  23. David says:

    I cannot believe that folk would be so gullible as to even contemplate subscribing to this garbage. The SEC wins a case against him, slaps him with a fine; labels the case fraudulent and then they still think about it?

    The only case to be made here is that he is relatively good at marketing and as in all good marketing schemes you get your own to comment as well, thus creating an anomaly of confusion.

    There are no “financial guru’s” who would take a few hundred $ to give you sound advice based on real research, but tons of marketing “scams” who prey on the gullible.

    Either do your own research (which is a lot of hard work) or invest your money with a reputable licensed firm, who have a history of R.O.I. and pay the com – there is no short cut.

    As for “fear mongering” and conspiracy theorists; don’t let them make you their food chain – of course there is risk, without risk there can be no reward, however as soon as you see the forecast (as in the timing of the risk) be aware that it is just another marketing scheme with the intent of gain based on your fear.

  24. James says:

    Larry, thanks for providing this platform for what has turned out to be an informative and very productive discussion! I don’t generally comment on boards but I feel I need to here.
    Yes, the Stansberry group uses aggressive, sensationalist marketing and you have to filter out the come-ons, but once you get beyond that and into the articles by Amber Mason, or or Dr. Steve Sjuggerud, or Porter himself, there is a treasure trove of smart, insightful, actionable ideas AND the rationale behind them so you can do follow up investigations and make your own decisions.
    Nobody can predict the future and nobody who needs a “steady income now” belongs in the market, but knowledge is power and, though I’ve had MerrillLynch and Dean Whitter accounts for 30 years, nobody ever sat down and explained exactly how to analyze the value and investability of a cpmpany from their balance and cash flow sheets or even where to find that information, as Stansberry did in one of the many online instructional videos on the site . None of us wants to see our country fall apart but we ALL need to be informed about the goings on of world and national financial conditions so we can invest intelligently for whatever the future holds. Yes, Stansberry marketing catastrophizes to get attention and to enlist subscribers (and it apparently works) and the “P.T. Barnum approach can be annoying BUT there is a lot of substance to support the contrarian warnings and even alternative opinions from some of the other Stansberry analysts so you can form your own opinions.
    Big investment houses simply can’t afford to deliver bad news. Markets do unpredictable things, and if they know the fundamentals are going to make it tumble and they tell clients to sell, they are in trouble with the client if it doesn’t fall quickly enough and the client “loses out” on profits. If they say nothing and just let the client lose money, they are not at fault because “everybody’s losing money right now”.
    Of course, casual investors don’t know that “everybody” didn’t lose money and that, had they taken the time to be well informed about market conditions, they might have either profited or at least avoided the 30% hit they probably took in 2008.
    An intelligent investor needs to look at well thought out and well researched contrarian opinions even if they are tinged with “bally-hoo”, and Stansberry’s group is the best place I’ve seen to get it.

  25. imphillyboy says:

    As for me I’m looking at WHOS AGAINST HIM and who’s in favor of his research. You have to know what that the GOV> and the propaganda houses stand to gain from anyone learning about how to play the game. I think they want everyone to be invested in the wrong places when the axe comes down!!! Think about this, when the asset grab comes down like it did in Greece Et/al wouldn’t they want to grab as much as possible? Come on LOOK at who’s smearing Stanberry on Google!!! Media Matters, come White House talking points! listen to Alex Jones if you have the stones!!

  26. AndYourChicksForFree says:

    Why it would be strange to think that someone claiming to sell you the best advice on how to profit from other’s misfortune and idiocy would not be trying to do the same by you is beyond me. If you are truly worried about the state of the U.S. and the world, you should invest your money and time in things that actually profit your community, country, and humanity, not peddlers of greed and fear. I will never understand how a person can be hyper distrustful of their government and society yet completely unable to recognize when someone is directly exploiting them.

  27. InvestorXYZ says:

    AndYourChicksForFree don’t understand investing. The vast majority of investors will try to buy the best investments they can locate either by them self or with a professional or collection of professionals. This does not mean that someone will necessarily lose money. For every buyer there is a seller. The seller could have sold for a profit and the buyer may also end up with a profit as well. There are actually a 9-scenario potential outcome for a simple 2-trade position. There are also many options and a very wide array of hedging. Individuals exclusively invest for themselves. Some persons are philanthropists, but not the average investor. No advisory service wants investors to lose money because that damages their business. All these things are self evident. Regarding the US Government and local governments, most entities are in perpetual growth mode with expanding deficit spending, while free enterprise may already be shrinking. More than a few companies have gone abroad to escape expanding US taxes caused by socialistic government. The Common Core agenda in US Government education will damage students as it teaches less and promotes socialism. US trends are very disturbing under Obama as he degrades America.

  28. Karen says:

    I heard part of the video. As far as an economic collapse is concerned, I agree with him 100%. Even though he may not be a Christian, he is just repeating what the Bible has said years and years ago. This is nothing new for those who are familiar with the Bible. The Bible talks about an economic collapse which will usher in a new world order. Even if you don’t believe that the Bible is a true book, it doesn’t take much to figure out that a collapse is inevitable. Our country is so in debt, that it is going to collapse suddenly. What he is saying is correct. The end of America is coming. We see it happening right before our eyes. Again, even if you don’t believe in the Bible, you can’t deny what is going on in the world today. On another note, Ezekiel 38 outlines the entire upcoming war with Israel and the nations. We are seeing the stage set for that now in the Middle East. The book of Revelation talks about the economy collapse and a NWO. That is about to emerge. Everything happening in our world today is found in Matthew 24. (earthquakes, pestilences, wars, etc.) If you really want to know what’s coming, read the Bible. The only way to escape all this is to ask Jesus to forgive you of your sins and ask Him to be your Savior so that you will go with Him when He returns any day now. You do not want to be left behind when he comes. It’s going to be the worst time to live for the next 7 years. So, I would say that Stanberry’s Research is definitely right on target in accordance with the Bible.

  29. Patrick Thomas says:

    …if you had invested in Cheniere Energy (LNG) or Targa Resources (TRGP) or Chicago Bridge &Iron (CBI) when Stansberry recommended them, …as I did, then you would possibly be as happy as I am as a subscriber to SIA! I am a very satisfied subscriber to Stansberry Flex Alliance, …the only regret I have is that I am not yet a member of the Stansberry Alliance, but Flex works quite well for me!

  30. ACOA Hero says:

    Trying to preserve posessions or save your soul ? Eternal challenge..

  31. Rihard says:

    I am just as confused now as I was before I read all of these negative and positive comments. I feel like i should cash in my investments and hide the cash under my mattress. LOL. And even then would the cash be any good or should I assume the best buy is gold (as he shakes his head)?

  32. Numismatist says:

    Thanks to all the posters here! The best advice I can give, to add to the discussion, would be for everyone to use reason and logic when making ANY decision. This is true whether it is a decision for investing or for virtually any other important decisions you make in life. I noticed some pretty glum ideologies in some of the postings and I think you would do yourself well to apply this same principle with regards to your faith. Try to examine ALL the evidence from EVERY side of any argument. That is, unless you are certain that what you claim to KNOW is pure and absolute truth, in which case, if you have come to that conclusion, then you must have done so by epistemological means OTHER than using reason and logic. In the argument of faith, as the “other” side, I recommend reading books or viewing youtube videos by Dr.Carl Sagan, Dr.Peter Boghossian, Dr.Michael Shermer, Dr.Sam Harris, physics Professors Leonard Mlodinow & Sean Carroll. There are countless others but since “your side” of that particular argument has only one book, I imagine that will give you plenty of time to examine others viewpoints. However, this will take a LONG time to get enough information to merit a rational conclusion, and if you are closed to the idea of revising the means at which you come to those beliefs (epistemology), then I don’t know that I can help you. It is not your religion that I wish you to question, but rather your “faith” as a way of “knowing” the world. “Having faith” is just another way of saying that you are “pretending to know something that you don’t really know”. Personally, I happen to be totally comfortable with admitting that I don’t know the answer to something. Once you learn the scientific method, you will want to start applying it to everything. Science confers power on anyone who takes the trouble to learn it (although too many have been systematically prevented from doing so). Science thrives on, indeed requires, the free exchange of ideas; its values are antithetical to secrecy. Science holds to no special vantage points or privileged positions. Science encourages unconventional opinions and vigorous debate. Science demands adequate reason, coherent argument, rigorous standards of evidence and honesty. Science is a way to call the bluff of those who only pretend to knowledge. It is a bulwark against mysticism, against superstition, against religion misapplied to where it has no business being. If we’re true to its values, it can tell us when we’re being lied to. It provides a mid-course correction to our mistakes. The more widespread its language, rules and methods, the better chance we have of preserving what Thomas Jefferson and his colleagues had in mind. Democracy can also be subverted more thoroughly through the products of science than any pre-industrial demagogue ever dreamed.
    I have been in the precious metals market for quite some time and the best short answer I can give with regards to the comments about whether you should buy gold&silver is YES. Historically gold has been a great hedge against inflation. How much should you invest? The consensus among most “experts” and an opinion that I happen to share is 15% of your total holdings. I advise getting both silver and gold, if you can afford it. Silver reached an all-time high a few years ago at almost $50/ounce. It is currently at about $20/ounce and I believe a fantastic time to buy. The American Precious Metals Exchange or APMEX is a great place to start for initial investors looking to diversify their portfolio. The website has recently been updated and they have lots of useful information as well as a multitude of precious metals products for ANY budget. Its always nice to be able to physically hold your investment, so if you are thinking of getting into metal ALWAYS buy the physical gold or silver and not just a piece of paper.
    Good luck to all!

  33. Willie Evans says:

    Stansberry has a new video out promising to make $320 in five minutes by selling puts options through your brokers account the company will send you the right stock to choose in these options The price tag is $3000 pl feel free to make comments good or bad They say it has a 98% rate of success selling put options

  34. Joe Frattinger says:

    I signed up S & A in early 2013 and have absolutely no regrets. In fact, I’d recommend everyone join the alliance if you can afford the entry fee. He’s made me a lot of money that has impressed my Schwab broker.
    Is Porter a blowhard? Maybe a little. But if he is so scandalous why do investing notables like T. Boone Pickens, Rick Rule, Jim Rickards and others share some of their thoughts with him? Can you judge a person by his associates? I believe so.

Leave Your Comment Below

*