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. The Casey Daily Dispatch is free to join, while the other available newsletters have various subscription fees.
In terms of its investing philosophy, Casey Research embraces free markets and believes that government interference is the primary force driving market dislocations. It is these dislocations where the Casey crew seeks to identify the most profitable investments.
The firm does not advocate trading strategies in order to take advantage of these dislocations, but rather recommends 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.
A few years back, Stansberry Research 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 10 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 has also been a regular keynote speaker at FreedomFest, the world's “largest gathering of free minds.”
Although 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:
Casey Daily Dispatch
This is a free, six-days-a-week report that you can subscribe to stay up to date on market events. It's run by managing editor Rachel Bodden, and it's an excellent way to familiarize yourself with Casey Research before deciding to pay.
This flagship 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. Strategic Investor costs $199 for one year.
The subscription includes:
- Immediate access to Strategic Investor – typically about 40 easy-to-read pages, packed with information, insight and actionable recommendations.
- Immediate online access to the archives of past issues.
- A library packed with valuable subscriber-only special reports and articles.
Super Spike Advisory
This service 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 on small companies that are on the brink of discoveries that can explode their share prices — and the value of your portfolio — overnight. This service costs $4,000 for one year and is headed by equity analyst Andrey Dashkov.
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.
This advisory from Casey Research focuses on active trading strategies and is run by John Pangere and David Forest. It's a monthly report, and the goal is to outperform the market and passive investing strategies by making more active trades using the Strategic Trader system.
This service costs $4,000 per year like Super Spike Advisory.
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.
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.
Casey Research is a popular investment advisory service, although it definitely takes on a more contrarian viewpoint for investing. And there are numerous other advisory services you might consider depending on your own investing philosophy and budget.
The Motley Fool is one of the most popular options out there, and it has a range of advisory services to choose from. Stock Advisor, its entry-level and most popular service, only costs $99 for the first year. But there's a range of more niche services for sectors like cloud computing, cryptocurrency investing, green tech, and AI.
As mentioned, Stansberry Research is another premium investing newsletter you can sign up for. You can also explore options like Zacks Investment Research or various premium Seeking Alpha offerings as well.
Ultimately, you have to decide how much additional research and investment advice you need to help you with your investing strategies. Passive investors won't find as much use in many of these services, but for active stock trading and to become a more well-rounded investor overall, many of these services can be worth the cost.
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.