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Old 11-25-2021, 09:22 AM   #21
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The claim in the add about the S&P since Feb 2002 looks false to me. The Yahoo S&P 500 Total Return calculation shows the S&P returned 591% from End of January 2002 through end of July 2021 (use Total Return to get the effect of dividends). So even though the Motley Fool folks got to cherry pick the time period, it offered no advantage. Sure there are big winners now and then, but also losers too. If you buy the index, you also get a share of the winners and losers.

Advisors often leave out their own fees too, so not even sure the claims of their gains are real.

Note that if true that they beating the index on a time weighted basis, that's another way of saying they're trailing the index in recent years, since performance is equal by the end.
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Old 11-25-2021, 10:35 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by travelover View Post
I can never understand why people with such great stock picking skills spend their days trying to shill $99 newsletters.
That's such a tired, weak take. If they have 100,000 subscribers (which I would think is conservative)that's an extra $10 million a year. Who wouldn't want that? And many of their services cost more, a lot more.
Plus, you can have all the great stock picks in the world but if you don't have the money to invest what good is it?
Not to mention 100,000 people faithfully purchasing your recommendations should have a positive effect on your stock pick prices, where's the downside?
You don't like investment newsletters, I get it. But to suggest they shouldn't monetize their skill is just really silly.
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Old 11-25-2021, 10:50 AM   #23
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Happy Thanksgiving!

I checked the RB performance page. All active reccís from December 2004 are there. Naturally, this is available for subscribers.
Happy Thanksgiving to you, too.

I login to "Rule Breakers", click "Buy Recommendations", then click page [10]. That last page shows me a stock from Oct 2013, and one from Sept 2013. I don't see anything before Sept 2013.
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Old 11-25-2021, 10:57 AM   #24
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Because for me, the alternative to some stock pickers newsletter picks is to just buy and hold. That is what I do, so that is what I compare to. Simple. Do-able. So I do it.
That's what Motley Fool does as well - recommend stocks to buy and hold for years. They ask new members to hold stocks at least 5 years. You can pick stocks, and still practice buy & hold.


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OK, I think you refer to post # 12, which does seem to match my description. So if their buy/sell/buy/sell S&P under-performed a buy & hold S&P, that just helps confirm that buy & hold the S&P is better than any timing (although their timing wasn't aimed at maximizing S&P, but still). Those kinds of shenanigan comparisons also have me doubting their performance numbers as well:
Post #12 mentioned stocks with 10x return. I don't follow how you draw the conclusion they don't beat the S&P 500 with those kind of returns. Did you mean this section of post #12?

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Originally Posted by Ducati52 View Post
I've invested in quite a few of their recommendations over the years, and made huge returns - 10x and above - on quite a few. But I always used their recommendations as just that - something I'd like to dig deeper into, and do my due diligence before investing. Like an IPO, I'd usually wait for the initial exuberance to die down before investing.
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Old 11-25-2021, 11:06 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by garyt View Post
That's such a tired, weak take. If they have 100,000 subscribers (which I would think is conservative)that's an extra $10 million a year. Who wouldn't want that? And many of their services cost more, a lot more.
Plus, you can have all the great stock picks in the world but if you don't have the money to invest what good is it?
Not to mention 100,000 people faithfully purchasing your recommendations should have a positive effect on your stock pick prices, where's the downside?
You don't like investment newsletters, I get it. But to suggest they shouldn't monetize their skill is just really silly.
That is such ridiculous logic.

Seriously, you ask what if they don't have any money to invest? Who takes advice from someone too poor to invest?

Yes, they are monetizing their skills, but their skills are convincing people that they have insight that they lack. Pickpockets monetize their skills.

PT Barnum was right.


Oh, and Happy Thanksgiving!
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Old 11-25-2021, 11:39 AM   #26
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After I paid for Rule Breakers, I went through every buy recommendation and entered them into a spreadsheet. Using their first buy recommendation and price, I calculated the gain and then the CAGR. Looking at the picks I entered into a spreadsheet, 88 beat the market (over 10.74%/year) and 31 underperformed. If you exclude stocks under a year old, that would be 85 beat and 24 underperformed. I was too lazy to research stocks that are no longer around, so I don't know the mix of acquired/collapsed stocks. That's an impressive ratio.

I see a public advertisement where Rule Breakers mentions a few stock picks and their performance from 2017-2020: Tesla +1320% and Shopify +4628% (VTI +82%). If you bought 24 stocks that went bankrupt, but also Shopify and Tesla, you beat the market. Now consider that the 24 multi-year losers had a median -3%/year performance, not bankruptcy. And that Tesla performance is extremely modest of them - Rule Breakers recommended Tesla long before 2017, and left out their +58% YTD performance. Tesla has done much better than +1320%, but they limited the time frame for comparison.
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Old 11-25-2021, 09:35 PM   #27
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Happy Thanksgiving to you, too.

I login to "Rule Breakers", click "Buy Recommendations", then click page [10]. That last page shows me a stock from Oct 2013, and one from Sept 2013. I don't see anything before Sept 2013.
When I login I see a More tab on upper right. Click that, then Performance

That shows all stocks since 2004. If that doesnít work, try customer service.
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Old 11-26-2021, 07:42 AM   #28
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When I login I see a More tab on upper right. Click that, then Performance

That shows all stocks since 2004. If that doesnít work, try customer service.
Thanks, that's very helpful. I think that's a more complete picture, although it does have some gaps, like 2006 having 4 entries.
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Old 11-26-2021, 10:16 AM   #29
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Not hard to understand at all, it sounds like a smoke and mirrors shell game (prove me wrong)!

"so you canít just look at historic returns of the S&P."
- Oh, yes I can! And do!

I think you are saying that to compare, you must match up the time/amount in market with their buy's times/amounts - same $ invested at the same time. Nope, that's where the smoke starts clouding the view.

Because for me, the alternative to some stock pickers newsletter picks is to just buy and hold. That is what I do, so that is what I compare to. Simple. Do-able. So I do it.

OK, I think you refer to post # 12, which does seem to match my description. So if their buy/sell/buy/sell S&P under-performed a buy & hold S&P, that just helps confirm that buy & hold the S&P is better than any timing (although their timing wasn't aimed at maximizing S&P, but still). Those kinds of shenanigan comparisons also have me doubting their performance numbers as well:

Another way to view it: If I didn't buy their newsletter, I wouldn't know their timing to buy/sell the S&P, so I wouldn't be able to compare anyhow! It's a totally bogus, adulterated 'benchmark'. Adds to my skepticism.

-ERD50
The time weighted method they use is proper. As I wrote above, SA is a stock idea service, not a real money portfolio. The measurement method needs to be consistent with a dollar cost averaging style.
This is how we all would need to measure our own results from day 1.

SA adds 2 stocks per month, so an equal purchase of some benchmark is needed to compare them. Itís not hard to understand. This isnít a lump sum investment in 2002 and forget about it.

And I believe their results were confirmed by Mark Hulbert, so go tell him heís wrong too.

Hereís the thing about MF, they have always encouraged the use of cheap index investments. They have a cheap Retirement newsletter which has reference portfolios consisting of mutual funds, and another with ETFs. One can copy those to get a diversified, tax efficient portfolio. For those who wish to go further, they offer services for that too. But itís not necessary and they ARE the first to say that.

Haters gotta hate I guess.
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Old 11-26-2021, 10:24 AM   #30
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A reminder, threads in this sub-forum not the place for some of the arguments being attempted in recent days:

https://www.early-retirement.org/for...ng-110405.html

"Many members wish to discuss specific opportunities and alternatives without the distraction of more popular index/passive investing methods. All members are free to post in all threads in both forums, but we ask that debating/challenging investment approaches be limited to FIRE and Money."
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Old 11-26-2021, 10:36 AM   #31
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For those that may have missed it, there was a thread from earlier this year about SA:

https://www.early-retirement.org/for...-106666-3.html

Post #44 from Running_Man is especially worth reading.
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Old 11-26-2021, 10:46 AM   #32
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That is such ridiculous logic.

Seriously, you ask what if they don't have any money to invest? Who takes advice from someone too poor to invest?

Yes, they are monetizing their skills, but their skills are convincing people that they have insight that they lack. Pickpockets monetize their skills.

PT Barnum was right.


Oh, and Happy Thanksgiving!
Again, lots of people here don't like anything but index funds and if they don't like it, it can't work. And they can't help themselves from saying it. Nobody's saying you have to use them.
As to not having money to invest, it obviously doesn't apply to them as I'm sure they were quite profitable before they started their investment services, but everybody has to start somewhere. There was a time when I didn't have money to invest in stocks I liked. Some college nerd without a penny in his pocket could become the next Peter Lynch. And no matter how much you have, more is better, right?
You're PT Barnum comment shows where you stand. I and others here have posted some of their big gains, and we've stated that we did real well with their recs but we have to be "Suckers who are born every minute" because you and others don't think it can work. The negativity here can be strong some times.
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Old 11-27-2021, 09:09 AM   #33
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What am I missing about Stock Advisor (SA) that makes it perform better than Rule Breakers (RB)?

They've revealed AMZN publicly, and from their data SA picked it 200x ago. Maybe Amazon ensured SA beating RB? On the flip side, I've read that David Gardner's picks (including AMZN) performed better than his brother Tom... so should I focus on RB, which David runs?

(And thanks, mods, for clearing away the non-active investing discussion)
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Old 11-27-2021, 11:31 AM   #34
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I can't speak for their long term "advice", but I got a free account earlier this year and thought I'd look at what they advised at that time. Here was their "can't lose" long term holds from February 23 and their performance to date:

PINS: (43.39%)
LMND: (59.16%)
FVRR: (-46.57%)
ZM: (-43.27%)
CRWD: +6.53%
IDXX: +15.67%

Total for the portfolio (19.62%)
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