- Review: Casey Research
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If you’re at all concerned that storm clouds are gathering over the U.S. economy and financial markets, or that chronic structural problems (like debt) are unlikely to be remedied, you might take a close look at Casey Research. This organization — and its services and newsletters — have been created with those assumptions as the basic premise behind their investment strategies and advice.
With the stock market flirting with new highs every day, and interest rates at near-zero levels, the time may be ripe for a major shift in economic and financial fortunes.
Casey Research can help you to be prepared. It’s what they do.
What is Casey Research?
Casey Research is an investment advisory service founded by the famous contrarian investor, Doug Casey. The service is aimed at helping self-directed investors earn superior returns through innovative investment research designed to take advantage of market dislocations. The company provides this service through several different newsletters.
Casey Research embraces free markets and believes that government interference in the markets is the primary force driving market dislocations. It is these dislocations where they seek to identify the most profitable investments.
The firm does not advocate trading strategies in order to take advantage of these dislocations, but rather quality plays in companies and markets where trends can be identified and exploited.
The investment emphasis is primarily on resources, especially precious metals, and on emerging technologies.
Stansberry Research recently purchased a large interest in the company, but Doug Casey is, and will remain, the chairman of Casey Research for the foreseeable future.
Who is Doug Casey?
Doug Casey is a best-selling author, world-renowned speculator, libertarian philosopher and legendary contrarian investor, and is the founder and force behind Casey Research. There’s nothing conventional about his investment philosophies, and he is frequently at the center of controversies following his public statements. He has lived in ten countries and visited more than 175.
He began investing, and giving investment advice, in the early 1970s. In 1979, he wrote Crisis Investing, which became the best selling financial book of 1980, and was regularly positioned on the New York Times bestseller list.
Other books written by Casey include Strategic Investing, The International Man, Totally Incorrect, and Right on the Money. He is also a regular keynote speaker at FreedomFest, the world’s “largest gathering of free minds.”
Though Casey Research is based in Stowe, Vermont, Casey spends most of his time at La Estancia de Cafayate (Casey’s Gulch), located in the lush wine country of the high red mountains outside Salta, Argentina. He is there because, it is claimed, that “residents enjoy economic and social freedoms not found in the U.S. and some of the best wine and golf on the planet”.
We should also suspect that spending much of his time in such an out-of-the way location gives him an independent investment perspective that isn’t entirely common on Wall Street.
How Does Casey Research Work?
There’s plenty of free content on the website to whet your appetite and to give you a solid idea as to the strategies that are employed. Much of the value in the advice will be influenced by your own personal investment philosophies.
For example, Doug Casey and other members of the Casey Research staff have often opined that the U.S. economy is heading for treacherous times — what Doug Casey sometimes refers to as The Greater Depression. This is a major reason why gold and silver figure so prominently in the investment advice.
If you share that outlook and believe that contrarian investing is a viable strategy to profit from the coming malaise, you will likely find the advice to be valuable. If you disagree, it might be nothing more than interesting to you.
Casey Research Features and Pricing
Each advisory service offered by Casey Research has its own pricing structure, providing investment advice in several different sectors through newsletter subscriptions, including:
This newsletter examines global economics and markets to identify emerging trends and the investment opportunities they offer before the crowd jumps in. There could be recommendations to buy a stock, a physical commodity, an ETF, a mutual fund, or even an option or futures contract to profit from a developing trend. They offer two payment options, 3 months for $87.25, or 12 months for $349.
The subscription includes:
- Immediate access to The Casey Report – typically about 40 easy-to-read pages, packed with information, insight, and actionable recommendations.
- Immediate online access to the archives of past issues.
- Immediate online access to The Casey Report portfolio.
- A library packed with valuable subscriber-only special reports and articles.
This is Casey Research’s guide to making the most of your gold, silver, and other precious metals investments. It focuses on an easy-to-maintain portfolio of mid- to large-cap precious metals producers, stocks that it claims historically rise four times faster than the price of gold after a panic. Big Gold is headed up by precious metals expert Jeff Clark. The advisory team is constantly researching the best companies to own, analyzing precious metals, and the best deals on physical bullion and storage. This includes 12 issues at $149 a year, or two years for only $268 — a discount of 10% over the annual renewal price.
The subscription includes:
- In-depth investigation into the world’s leading resource mining companies.
- Monthly explanations of the fast changing economic forces impacting the precious metals markets.
- Q&A to readers’ questions about precious metals.
- Online access to all the stocks currently being followed.
- A library of valuable articles and special reports.
- Access to archives containing more than six years of articles to give you a solid understanding of the precious metals market.
This service has been in existence for more than 30 years. It concentrates on discovering the best precious metals small-cap exploration companies for speculative investment. This includes companies that mine gold, silver, platinum, and other precious metals, as well as industrial base metals like copper, nickel and lead. The focus is small companies that are on the brink of discoveries that can explode their share prices — and the value of your portfolio — overnight. The Casey International Speculator is headed up by Casey senior metals strategist, Louis James. You can get 12 issues of Casey International Speculator for $995, or three issues $248.75. Each subscription type renews automatically.
The subscription includes:
- Immediate access to the current issue.
- A special feature on topics every speculator in the junior mining sector that will help you become a more successful international speculator.
- Updates every week on breaking news affecting recommended stocks.
- Online access to archives with background information about many of the most popular resource companies.
- Answers to subscribers’ questions on a wide range of precious metals investment topics.
- An interactive portfolio of stocks currently being followed, along with links to research charts and information on corporate structures, management, industry trends, and more.
- A library of subscriber-only special reports
- Access to Casey Research’s Research Tools, including a resource dictionary, the company‘s “Knowledge Base” (an investment Q&A), and articles on investing and investment strategies.
Casey Research sees technology as being the most profitable long-term play of any investment sector, hence the creation of an investment advisory service dedicated to the industry. The service is headed by Casey Chief Technology Investment Strategist Alex Daley. As is the case with the International Speculator, you get 12 issues of Casey Extraordinary Technology for $995.00, or three issues $248.75. Each subscription type renews automatically.
The subscription includes:
- 12 Monthly Editions of Casey Extraordinary Technology—containing in-depth stock and company analyses that could run 30 pages or more. Every month you’ll learn about the very best technology plays and get at least one outstanding profit opportunity.
- Special Email Alerts — as many as 3 times per week — bringing you unusual or urgent opportunities, including buy recommendations, sell recommendations, and updates.
- Access to a library full of research at the Casey Research website, including newsletter archives and extensively detailed status reports delivered weekly on companies that are being held in the Casey Extraordinary Technology model portfolio.
- The very latest information from all corners of the technology sector, from aerospace and defense to semiconductors, electronics, and instruments.
This service is limited to high-net-worth investors who are looking for highly speculative resource opportunities. Subscribers are provided with unique opportunities in junior metals and mining companies. This service is currently closed to new members, but if you‘re interested you can check back periodically to see when it opens up again.
This is one of the newest advisories from Casey Research, and it’s headed up by Doug Casey himself, and his protégé, Nick Giambruno. They search the world looking for the best crisis-related opportunities, giving you a chance to actually profit from crisis. They look to identify “fundamentally sound businesses whose stock prices have been hammered down by fear, crisis, and politically caused distortions”. You can get 12 full months of Crisis Speculator for $349.
The subscription includes:
- Immediate access to this month’s issue, which is packed full of crisis investing opportunities.
- Unlimited access to every past issue of Crisis Speculator and every special report.
- Immediate online access to a portfolio of investment recommendations currently being followed, along with links to research charts and information on corporate structures, management, industry trends, and more.
Periodically, Casey Research opens up Casey’s Club, which is an all-in-one membership that gives you access to all of the company’s investment advisories for one single price. This is a limited arrangement, and membership is currently closed.
With any subscription you can cancel at any time in the first 90 days for a 100% refund.
The Good (Pros)
Very few investments — or investment managers — are able to buck a serious downturn in the financial markets by coming out ahead. In order to have any hope of doing so you almost have to be a contrarian investor, which so few investment managers are. Casey Research gives you an opportunity to profit from market downturns, or more specifically from the crises that often precede them.
Another positive is that Doug Casey has been involved in contrarian investing since the early 1970s. That gives him and his staff a very long time horizon, spanning many market declines and market environments.
The Bad (Cons)
Casey Research is an investment advisory service, not an investment manager. This means that it will be up to you to act on the advice provided, and that can open up a host of variables. Timing is one such variable. A delay in buying or selling a given recommended asset by just a few months could change the investment return substantially.
In addition, Casey Research focuses on non-traditional investments, particularly precious metals, where not a lot of investors have much experience or comfort. That could hamper acting on even the best advice.
The site makes claims of incredible gains on certain past investment recommendations, but there is no mutual fund available through which those investment returns can be objectively verified.
Here is an example of investment returns indicated for select recommendations from the International Speculator:
- A Latin American silver miner, up 146.7% in 17 months
- An Australian-based gold producer, up 106.3% in 14 months
- A Canadian-based gold explorer, up 392.1% in 26 months
In addition, there’s no way to know upfront how many of the investment recommendations didn’t pan out, or might have even took a major hit.
The financial markets are looking very top heavy at the moment, especially with a presidential election looming next year that could shift some of the current dynamics into an entirely different direction. This could be the optimum time to consider moving some of your portfolio into truly contrarian investments that might benefit from a major crisis or series of crises that could send traditional investments into a tailspin.
One or more of the investment advisories from Casey Research could be a good way to begin investing in contrarian asset plays. If you choose to do so, it will probably be best to proceed with caution, and commit only a minority slice of your overall portfolio.
Casey Research does caution that many of their investment recommendations are highly speculative compared to more traditional investment vehicles. The concept is certainly compelling, but the lack of independent investment verification flashes a bright caution signal.