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Recommendations regarding Lyn Alden's site?
Old 11-27-2020, 06:00 PM   #1
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Recommendations regarding Lyn Alden's site?

She's an engineer by trade who runs an investing website and a monthly(?) investment newsletter at www. lynalden. com

From what I've read, she seems level-headed and thorough, and she's got both data and logic to back up her assertions.

I've also noticed that many of her articles that I've read back up my own personal gut-level read of the economic situation. So maybe I'm being blinded by my own bias, because as Sydney Tremaine put it: “No one agrees with other people’s opinions, they merely agree with their own opinion expressed by somebody else.”

So does anybody else have experience with Ms. Alden's newsletter, investing advice, etc?
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Old 12-07-2020, 05:37 AM   #2
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I do not subscribe to her "Stock Waves" service over at SeekingAlpha, but have read a few of her articles published there. I think she is a well reasoned thinker/analyst who tends to concentrate on the macro picture first and then individual sectors and companies. A few months ago I tried reading her article "Money-Printing: 2020 Vs. 2008" which I thought was very good until it went behind the paywall. Though she writes well, some of the topics get so in depth they require a better background than I possess.

I have not tried to track her specific stock recommendations.
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Old 12-11-2020, 03:59 PM   #3
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I think she is a well reasoned thinker/analyst who tends to concentrate on the macro picture first and then individual sectors and companies...I have not tried to track her specific stock recommendations.
Thanks, Triangle! That was my read as well.

I haven't tried to track her recommendations either [yet].

Her approach is not necessarily incompatible with indexing, but I've been so well-schooled in the indexing mentality that her approach seems foreign and suspicious, at least to me.

But her arguments are so well-reasoned and well-supported that I have trouble dismissing them. It makes sense to buy value stocks at depressed prices, and it makes sense that there are reliable indicators of good values--Warren Buffett says hi! But the trouble, of course, is that it's vanishingly difficult to do so.

Lyn sells books/stock valuation tools on her site, but that doesn't necessarily mean she's engaging in some sort of chicanery.

I'm just wondering about others' experiences before I go any further and subscribe to her newsletter, or buy her books/tools.
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Old 12-26-2020, 04:36 PM   #4
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I followed her trading recommendations for a year, and found that I didn't have the funds to follow all her recommendations. That being said, the problem wasn't her! I still love to read her analysis and make the occasional trade based on her recommendation.

I respect her and tend to follow her just based on the depth of her analysis. She is a fantastic researcher and gives a coherent methodology to her trades. I highly recommend her.
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Old 12-26-2020, 07:30 PM   #5
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Old 12-27-2020, 06:34 AM   #6
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This is a good example of a wandering article:
https://www.lynalden.com/recession/

Of course what she really recommends requires a free subscription. I'm not really interested in more opinion at this time. I always go back to Bogle or Bernstein for a refresher, and have been content with indexing results for 90% of the portfolio.
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Old 12-27-2020, 03:26 PM   #7
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This is a good example of a wandering article:
https://www.lynalden.com/recession/

Of course what she really recommends requires a free subscription. I'm not really interested in more opinion at this time. I always go back to Bogle or Bernstein for a refresher, and have been content with indexing results for 90% of the portfolio.
I don't think the article is wandering at all. It provides a lot of info under the assumption the reader is new to the topic.

What you are saying is that you want very short articles in Bogle or Bernstein...and I guess short quips in Early Retirement.
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Old 01-10-2021, 01:16 PM   #8
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I followed her trading recommendations for a year, and found that I didn't have the funds to follow all her recommendations. That being said, the problem wasn't her! I still love to read her analysis and make the occasional trade based on her recommendation.

I respect her and tend to follow her just based on the depth of her analysis. She is a fantastic researcher and gives a coherent methodology to her trades. I highly recommend her.
Thank you! To me, her analysis seems good; I just wanted additional input from others who may be familiar with her work.
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Old 01-10-2021, 01:44 PM   #9
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@Onward - thanks, I've seen a lot of references to Random Walk and I'll get around to reading it eventually.

In this particular instance, I was hoping for feedback on Lyn Alden's work specifically. I welcome good information from whatever sources I can access!
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Old 01-10-2021, 01:56 PM   #10
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These newsletter people always make me smile. She has no finance training and no experience in the industry. Her financial ideas are so wildly successful that she holds down a day job working as a worker bee ("Technical Lead") for the FAA -- unrelated to markets or finance, and her company office is a post office box. Her alma mater (Rowan University) is rated #187 on US News' ranking list, barely above the bottom half.

But, hey, she might guess right. There are enough of these letters that someone always does.



The best way to make money with a market newsletter is to write one.
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Old 01-10-2021, 02:28 PM   #11
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These newsletter people always make me smile. She has no finance training and no experience in the industry. Her financial ideas are so wildly successful that she holds down a day job working as a worker bee ("Technical Lead") for the FAA -- unrelated to markets or finance, and her company office is a post office box. Her alma mater (Rowan University) is rated #187 on US News' ranking list, barely above the bottom half.
...
The best way to make money with a market newsletter is to write one.
The U.S. News ranking of her alma mater is irrelevant. If that magazine were ever called to give a deposition before Congress, they'd say the same things about their ratings that Moody's, Fitch, and Standard & Poor's said to Congress regarding their ratings of CDOs:

As for her training and experience, I've long learned to distrust appeals to authority. I found out the hard way that the emperor has no clothes--many well-credentialed 'authorities' only repeat what they've been told by others, and are completely blindsided if something happens outside their own experience. Basically, everybody fakes it.

Let's be honest, how many people here are CFAs or experienced editors at lifestyle magazines? Yet we continually dispense financial and lifestyle advice, right?

In the marketplace of ideas, it only matters if you're right. And, preferably, if you make your reasoning transparent, so we can determine if you're right because you're lucky like Orlando the cat or if you're right because you are reasoning correctly.
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Old 01-10-2021, 02:48 PM   #12
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... In the marketplace of ideas, it only matters if you're right. ...
Actually, given the random nature of markets and the number of prognosticators, someone is always right simply due to luck.

What matters is a verified track record of being right often enough to indicate skill. The academics have been looking for investing skill for years and have still not found any. For example: Ken French on picking a manager: https://famafrench.dimensional.com/v...-managers.aspx

To me, opting to peddle a newsletter is prima facie evidence that the advice is not useful. Either she doesn't believe in her own advice or she has actually tried to use it and failed. The need to keep an inconsequential day job is just a nail in the coffin.

In the remote possibility that there are people with some skill in this area, they are certainly not giving their expertise away to subscribers for a few bucks a month (or for free!), nor are they offering their skills for hire to others as portfolio managers. This is French's point about who gets the rents.
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Old 01-10-2021, 02:59 PM   #13
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...given the random nature of markets and the number of prognosticators, someone is always right simply due to luck...
Agreed.

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...The academics have been looking for investing skill for years and have still not found any.
Agreed again, though off the top of my head, I'd note the exceptions of Warren Buffett and Peter Lynch.

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The need to keep an inconsequential day job is just a nail in the coffin.
Not really. Based on what I've read on her site, she's in her early 30s. While there are a few who have indeed retired that early, she may well be uncomfortable with the risk of spending 60 years on what she's accumulated to date. She grew up poor [even homeless for a time, if you believe that she's telling the truth], so that lends credence to the explanation of risk aversion.

You're also ignoring the possibility of altruism in the domain of information. Consider Paul Merriman, who spent 30-some years running an investment advisory firm. Now that he's retired, he's sharing his ideas for free: How to invest series complimentary download | Paul Merriman

If I felt comfortable enough, I might do something similar for free. But I don't feel comfortable enough, so I don't share my ideas. Instead, I try to see what's wrong with them before I implement them, knowing that I might not find out that I'm wrong until 10 years have passed...
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Old 01-12-2021, 08:27 AM   #14
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If I felt comfortable enough, I might do something similar for free. But I don't feel comfortable enough, so I don't share my ideas. Instead, I try to see what's wrong with them before I implement them, knowing that I might not find out that I'm wrong until 10 years have passed...

I would consider that she is just offering another opinion. Much of what she says is just a collection of facts and observations, that's it....nothing more. Sure she has a basic understanding of the financial markets and finance in general, so do millions of others, many hang around here. All the data that has ever been collected, study after study, show that after 10 years a passive strategy consistently beats more than 90% of the stock pickers (active strategy). It's super easy to understand why mathematically but the financial service industry wants to make you stupid and poor, there are tremendous fees to be had for them. Now, it is certainly a good idea to read and learn about finance so as to understand the basics. The second somebody spouts a strategy that relies on predicting anything about the future, personally I would run away as fast as you can. As Daniel Kahneman famously said "If someone tells you that they have a strong hunch about a financial event about to appear, the safe thing to do is not to believe them"
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Old 01-12-2021, 11:53 PM   #15
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The U.S. News ranking of her alma mater is irrelevant. If that magazine were ever called to give a deposition before Congress, they'd say the same things about their ratings that Moody's, Fitch, and Standard & Poor's said to Congress regarding their ratings of CDOs:

As for her training and experience, I've long learned to distrust appeals to authority. I found out the hard way that the emperor has no clothes--many well-credentialed 'authorities' only repeat what they've been told by others, and are completely blindsided if something happens outside their own experience. Basically, everybody fakes it.

Let's be honest, how many people here are CFAs or experienced editors at lifestyle magazines? Yet we continually dispense financial and lifestyle advice, right?

In the marketplace of ideas, it only matters if you're right. And, preferably, if you make your reasoning transparent, so we can determine if you're right because you're lucky like Orlando the cat or if you're right because you are reasoning correctly.
Bravo! Well said. It's refreshing to hear well-reasoned opinions!
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Old 01-13-2021, 12:32 AM   #16
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I dunno, if I had some special knowledge about the markets, AND could consistently be successful leveraging that knowledge, the last thing I would be doing is sharing that with others.

I'd be living on a remote island (that I owned), having drinks with the little umbrellas all day long!
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Old 01-13-2021, 07:13 AM   #17
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I would consider that she is just offering another opinion. Much of what she says is just a collection of facts and observations, that's it....nothing more.
I'm guessing I have to ask this, but have any of you actually read her newsletter....and I'm not talking about the free one? I ask because her newsletter is that, but also full visibility into her trading, all her holdings, and why she makes the moves she does. I have paid subscriptions to 4-5 newsletters and none provide the background (ie minutia) that she does.

I don't know her and have no affiliation with her. I get the sense that she did all this for herself, then family/friends, and then realized she could monetize her research work. Based on her holdings she is obviously doing well.

I understand why some don't like her. Who is this engineer doing financial stuff part-time get a paid following? My initial position is to not be jealous and petty and see what I can learn from her. So far I think my ~$140/year has been worth it.
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Old 01-13-2021, 08:41 AM   #18
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I'm guessing I have to ask this, but have any of you actually read her newsletter....and I'm not talking about the free one? I ask because her newsletter is that, but also full visibility into her trading, all her holdings, and why she makes the moves she does. I have paid subscriptions to 4-5 newsletters and none provide the background (ie minutia) that she does.

I don't know her and have no affiliation with her. I get the sense that she did all this for herself, then family/friends, and then realized she could monetize her research work. Based on her holdings she is obviously doing well.

I understand why some don't like her. Who is this engineer doing financial stuff part-time get a paid following? My initial position is to not be jealous and petty and see what I can learn from her. So far I think my ~$140/year has been worth it.
For most it's not a question of dislike. It's just that we set an Asset Allocation and go with the flow.

If you feel investing in 4-5 newsletters is worth the admission fee, that is fine with most, but not all, folks here (I guess).
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Old 01-13-2021, 10:29 AM   #19
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... As for her training and experience, I've long learned to distrust appeals to authority. ...
Got it (I think). So you'd be comfortable getting medical treatment from a doctor who flunked out of medical school, flying with a pilot who had never had any flight traiing, and going into court with a criminal defense lawyer who had never been to law school and had never tried a case?

My attitude is different. In the cacophony of ideas, my first move is to look at credentials. I study and listen to Nobel prize winners like Fama, Jensen, Markowitz, and Thaler. I also study and listen to "civilian" experts like William Bernstein, Charles Ellis and David Swensen. My screening via credentials might cause me to miss a gem, but I am not going to live long enough to kiss all the frogs, hoping to find a prince. YMMV, of course.

(Where relevant I have also found https://brokercheck.finra.org/ to be useful. More "authority," I guess.)

A counter argument here might be to observe that nobody can predict the future anyway, so it is basically a bunch of chattering monkeys whose qualifications are irrelevant. So then this woman is as good as any other.
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Old 01-13-2021, 12:03 PM   #20
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I'm guessing I have to ask this, but have any of you actually read her newsletter....and I'm not talking about the free one? I ask because her newsletter is that, but also full visibility into her trading, all her holdings, and why she makes the moves she does. I have paid subscriptions to 4-5 newsletters and none provide the background (ie minutia) that she does.

I don't know her and have no affiliation with her. I get the sense that she did all this for herself, then family/friends, and then realized she could monetize her research work. Based on her holdings she is obviously doing well.

I understand why some don't like her. Who is this engineer doing financial stuff part-time get a paid following? My initial position is to not be jealous and petty and see what I can learn from her. So far I think my ~$140/year has been worth it.

No. I did not read any of her "paid" newsletters.....I don't need to. My feeling is the same about any newsletter, stock picker, active manager, hedge fund....etc. Decades of research show that there is no long term value to be had from any of it. I have no idea how many followers she has but it doesn't really matter. I would say ask yourself this question.....when she makes a recommendation about a stock or bond or whatever, do you think she tells everyone that subscribes before she makes a move in her own account of course not. Here is a good free piece written by Bill Bernstein that doesn't cost a dime....It's somewhat directed at those just starting out but it's also a great refresher for just about anyone.

https://www.etf.com/docs/IfYouCan.pdf
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