TheStreet Review: Should You Pay for Action Alerts PLUS?
TheStreet is a financial media and investing platform founded by investor Jim Cramer in 1996. It was acquired by TheMaven in 2019. Not only has it become popular among investors, but the articles and advice provided on the site are frequently quoted by other financial news media.
But TheStreet isn't just a media outlet. It also provides an investment subscription service called “Action Alerts PLUS,” which is the service we'll spend the most time on in this TheStreet Review.
Our Rating - 7
TheStreet offers articles on investing, personal finance, retirement, technology, cryptocurrencies and the markets, as well as a number of premium research features. Investors can get access to in-depth analysis and commentary on stocks, cryptocurrencies, and more.
What Is TheStreet?
TheStreet offers articles on investing, personal finance, retirement, technology, cryptocurrencies and the markets. It also offers a video library, in case you prefer to get your news in video format. And it offers premium content, called “TheStreet Smarts,” which offers in-depth investing analysis daily.
The other premium service offered by TheStreet — and the service we're going to focus on in this review — is the Action Alerts PLUS service. This function of TheStreet provides participants with portfolio and stock recommendations, serving primarily as a stock-picking advisory service.
What Does TheStreet Offer?
Action Alerts PLUS is guided by co-portfolio managers, Bob Lang and Chris “Bulldog” Versace.
Lang has 23 years of finance experience and even created his own hedge fund and options trading company. He also authored Know Your Options and is allegedly the gentleman who coined the term “FANG,” as in “FAANG stocks.”
Versace has 28 years of cross-industry knowledge and experience. He co-authored NASDAQ Daily Markets and Cocktail Investing: Distilling Every Noise into Clear Investing Signals.
The recommended portfolio includes stocks from nine S&P sectors. (There is actually a total of 11.) But it is overweight in companies believed to be set to outperform the rest of the market. Holdings are analyzed using both technical and fundamental analysis. That analysis is performed on a daily basis to enable investors to take action as needed.
Action Alerts PLUS provides you with an opportunity to manage and increase your investment portfolio with clear fundamental and technical analysis from the financial experts at TheStreet.
How Does TheStreet Work?
While Action Alerts PLUS is the primary premium subscription service offered by TheStreet, there are some additional services, including:
TheStreet Smarts: With this subscription you get access to premium information and analysis, delivered to your email daily.
Stocks Under $10: With this subscription you get access to S&P 500 picks that are all under $10, along with six free bonus reports.
Real Money: This provides exclusive access to daily market commentary, top stock picks from a team of Wall Street experts, complete coverage of the Real Money Stock of the Day, the latest news, and alternative investments, including cannabis and cryptocurrency.
Real Money Pro: This subscription provides actionable ideas from investment pros, money managers, journalists and analysts. You can interact directly with experts to get opinions, analyses and trading advice.
Top Stocks: TheStreet's stock market experts and portfolio managers provide stock picks, starting points for stock analysis and stock ideas worth researching.
Retirement Daily: This option provides articles on Social Security and Medicare, planning and living in retirement, and their “Ask Bob” series, addressing very specific issues related to retirement.
Quant Ratings: With this subscription, you get access to TheStreet's proprietary stock rating screener, as well as in-depth stock analysis and in-depth research reports, updated daily. The service also provides real-time alerts any time a stock is either upgraded or downgraded.
Real Money Pro Portfolio: Learn to trade like a pro with the help of financial experts from TheStreet.
Chairman's Club: This is a catch-all premium service that gives you access to the other services offered by TheStreet.
Crypto Investor: This premium service provides exclusive news, charts and insights, and real market signals on the crypto market. It also includes a weekly interview with a major player in the crypto space.
Main Features of TheStreet
Action Alerts PLUS features include:
Real-time trade alerts of every buy or sell decision made in the portfolio sent by email or text. This lets you make trades even before TheStreet does.
24/7 access to the Action Alerts PLUS portfolio lets you follow the open and closed positions in the portfolio, as well as pending trades.
Members-only monthly calls give you insights and advice on every portfolio stock from the team. This is presented in a live webinar each month.
Fees & Limits
TheStreet's financial website, thestreet.com, is free. But if you want to subscribe to the Action Alerts PLUS service, three pricing plans are offered:
- Monthly membership: $29.99
- Annual membership: $299.99
- Two-year membership: $499.99, or about $250 per year
As a bonus, each subscription service you sign up for comes with a 14-day free trial. You need to put your credit card on file, but you'll be able to test drive the product. This gives you an opportunity to cancel the service if you don't find it satisfactory.
Cancellation policy: To cancel your subscription, you must contact the company by phone — no other means is acceptable, not even email or a written request. The company doesn't specifically spell out the refund calculation but only states, “If you're entitled to a refund we will seek to credit your account within 7 to 14 business days following your call.”
Here are the fees for other subscriptions offered by TheStreet:
|Stocks Under $10||$29.99 per month||$16.67 per month ($199.99/year)||$14.58 per month ($349.99 for two years)|
|Real Money||$34.99 per month||$20.83 per month ($249.99/year)||$14.58 per month ($349.99 for two years)|
|Real Money Pro||$99.99 per month||$66.67 per month ($799.99/year)||$41.67 per month ($999.99 for two years)|
|Top Stocks||$99.99 per month||$41.67 per ($499.99/year)||$37.50 per month ($899.99 for two years)|
|Retirement Daily||$29.99 per month||$8.33 per month ($99.99/year)||$7.50 per month ($179.99 for two years)|
|Quant Ratings||$9.99 per month||$4.17 per month ($49.99/year)||$3.75 per month ($89.99 for two years)|
|Real Money Pro Portfolio||$199.99 per month||$108.33 per month ($1299.99/year)||$70.83 per month ($1700.00 for two years)|
|Chairman's Club||$299.99 per month||$233.33 per month ($2,800/year)||$208.33 per month ($5,000 for two years)|
|Crypto Investor||$29.99 per month||$16.67 per month ($199.99/year)||N/A|
|TheStreet Smarts||$6.99 per month||$5.00 per month ($59.99/year)||N/A|
Once again, each of the above subscriptions begins with a 14-day free trial.
Who Is TheStreet For?
TheStreet and Action Alerts PLUS, as well as the other subscription services offered, are designed primarily for stock picking and portfolio management. But what distinguishes Action Alerts PLUS from the competition is that it also serves as an investment mentoring program.
Through the 24/7 access to the Action Alerts PLUS portfolio, you get real-time alerts on pending trades, and you can see exactly what's going on in the portfolio. If you're a new investor, or even an experienced one, you can gain real insight from professional investment managers.
The portfolio monitoring capability also serves another important purpose. There are plenty of stock-picking services that tell you what stocks to buy and even when (for example, by issuing a buy or strike price).
But monitoring the portfolio also lets you know when stocks are being sold. That can be an important way to minimize portfolio losses, since the portfolio managers will presumably be selling stocks they believe are likely to underperform going forward.
How Do I Open an Account?
Each subscription service has its own signup process, but it's similar for each.
For example, to sign up for Action Alerts PLUS, click the “Get Started for Free” button. This takes you immediately to the “Choose Your Plan” screen.
There you choose the plan you want from the three options available: monthly, annual or two years. Note that while each plan is displayed with a monthly equivalent payment, both the annual and two-year plans require payment up front. The monthly figures are just to provide a comparison with the actual monthly plan.
Once you select the payment plan you want, you enter your email address.
How's the Customer Service?
Customer service is provided in three forms: toll-free phone call, email and an in-app contact form.
Customer service is available Monday through Friday, 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM, Eastern Time. Email and in-app contact receive responses within one to two business days.
TheStreet, Inc., has a Better Business Bureau rating of A+, the highest rating the agency assigns on a scale of A+ to F. Just four complaints have been filed with the BBB in the past three years, which is extremely low for such a popular service.
Pros & Cons
As a stock advisory service, Action Alerts PLUS has plenty of competition.
The Motley Fool Stock Advisor has long been one of the most popular stock advisory services in the industry. Members get a weekly stock pick from a market expert, as well as two stock recommendations each month from the company's founders, Tom and David Gardner. Read our Motley Fool review.
Morningstar is a respected source of investment information and is commonly used by investment professionals. When you sign up for the service, you can use the online portfolio manager and take advantage of the security screener, analyst's reports and the Portfolio X-Ray tool. Check out our Morningstar review.
Zacks is another popular service that's designed to assist active traders. Zacks is well respected throughout the investment industry for news and information. They also offer a robust trading platform, Zacks Trade, as well as three premium stock advisories. See our full review of Zacks.
Bottom Line — Is TheStreet Worth It?
If you enjoy picking individual stocks, TheStreet's fee of less than $30 per month for the Action Alerts PLUS service could be worth the price. You get the benefit of the stock-picking service, plus the portfolio monitoring feature provides real insight into the mechanics of successfully managing your investments.
However, if you prefer more passive investments like index mutual funds and ETFs, you should probably pass on TheStreet (and all other premium newsletters for that matter). Most of the top online stock brokers provide plenty of education and resources for free that investors can use to build a well-diversified portfolio.