Premium investment newsletters and publications can be incredibly expensive propositions and getting the most out of them requires understanding and work. In an ideal world, an investment newsletter will tell you what to do. You do it. You make a little more money than you would if you did everything yourself. Unfortunately that's not the way things always work. Some of these products can be fairly complicated. Some products don't actually out-perform the market as a whole, some consistently lose money. Some don't actually recommend things. Some try to teach as they go.
It can all be pretty confusing. Our purpose in this section of the site is to help you understand what you need to know and do in order to make the most of these products. A few years ago, I was the head of operations for a company that sold access to a dozen or so of these investment newsletter products. Some of them were really good. Some weren't. What we will do is present to you what we feel are worthwhile products and explain to you how to use them and what they are good for -- they are not all created equally.
We are evaluating these products based on a set of criteria. We are looking for:
- Ease of Understanding
- Is there a model portfolio
- Does the product provide lessons and reasoning behind recommendations
- How does the product perform as compared to the market (* meaning it's benchmark)
- Do you need a lot of investable assets to use the product
As we make our evaluations, we will review all of the products and provide you with a lot of detail about how the product works as well as the items listed above. Once we have evaluated a bunch of products, we will summarize our findings on this page. We will categorize our findings so that you can look at the products that focus on your situation and your goals. We will provide an equally weighted rating for each product based on our criteria and finally we will provide you with some recommendations as to whether the product is worth investing in.
We will break our analysis and our recommendations into 3 sets. First will be general publications. While these products do provide recommendations, they typically follow more of a publishing model, like Barron's or TheStreets' Real Money product. The second collection will be the investment newsletter products that specifically feature either a real-world portfolio or a model portfolio. The final collection will be purely a collection of data tools and screeners that are designed for the more advanced user that wants to have more control over the decisions that they make, but need and want to have additional information at their disposal. Services like Zacks and TheStreet and Edgar Online offer such products.
Stay tuned, we should have things rolling in the next 2 weeks so that we can start the year off with some momentum.
please note, it's highly likely that we will give a good and positive rating to Barron's. We here at FinPlan have subscribed to this product for a number of years. But that's just a little preview, stay tuned.