In the world of finance, knowledge isn’t just power;it’s money. The more you learn, and the more you’re empowered to put your learnings into practice, the more likely you’ll be to see your personal value grow over time. Of course, the trick in this arena is to seek out reliable sources of information. There are plenty of people and companies that will gladly provide an uninformed opinion, or even misinformation, but a repository of well-researched and actionable advice is much harder to come by. So, to help make that search more manageable, we’re taking some time to highlight one of the most trusted publishers of financial information, Stansberry Research. What followsisa sweeping look at what the publisher offers and how it can benefit a reader who knows the true value of that exceedingly rare resource: knowledge.
To understand the current offerings and methodologies of Stansberry Research, it helpsfirstto take a look at how it began. Porter Stansberry founded the company in 1999 with nothing more than a borrowed laptop ata kitchen table. From that humble start, the founder has worked to build the company’s flagship newsletter, Stansberry’s Investment Advisory, into a widely-read publication known throughout the financial sector.
Of course, this auspicious beginning didn’t appear out of nowhere;Porter was already building a name for his ability to provide financial advice well before he began his own newsletter business. Perhaps best known of his career milestones was his time as the editor of the Fleet Street Letter, the world’s oldest English-language financial newsletter. He not only served in that post to much recognition, but he also carries the distinction of being the newsletter’s first American editor.
The work of the company’s founder has helped set the bar for tone and journalistic integrity of all the advice put forth by the publisher. With a knack for forecasting some of the most calamitous events in market history, Porter has not only helped his readers make substantial gains, but also avoid ruin during times of catastrophe. One such praiseworthy forecast was his accurate prediction of the credit crisis back in 2008, and that Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae were going to zero. That example was so stark that it caught the attention of Barron’s, which praised his work as “remarkably prescient.” “Nothing, as far as we can see,” said Barron’s,“has happened to contradict his dire prophecy.”
As one of the industry’s leading subscription-based publishers of financial information, the company prides itself on its commitment to a set of core values that help guide everything it does. These values can be summed up in two simple principles. The first is that the publisher strives to give customers the information those at the company would want if the roles were reversed. The second is that any published information must come from individuals whom those at the company would want their own families to read and follow.
When analyzed more closely, the above principles speak to one of the reasons the publisher has found success over the years. Though it strives to seek out opportunities that may go overlooked by others, it is always mindful of the quality of itsadvice. If that advice is not good enough for a close member of one’s family, then it is deemed unsuitable for publication. By doggedly adhering to such a high bar, the publisher has created an enduring relationship of trust between itself and its many subscribers.
It should go without saying that, although the work of any organization is heavily influenced by those at the top, the efforts by Stansberry Research to inform its readers arealso driven by a team of talented financial professionals. The publisher’s team of editors and analysts has become known over the years for itsrange of deep and varied advice. The editorial team has made a name for itself by consistently providing readers with well-reasoned thoughts on market influences both at home and abroad.
While the team fielded by the publisher has become known for its advice, that shouldn’t be taken as an indication that the advice provided by different editors is given with a single voice. To the contrary, one of the defining qualities of the company’s approach is what it terms its “mosaic of opinions.” Rather than promote a unified view of the market, this varied approach allows readers greater access to a diverse set of opportunities and strategies. By joining this diversity through a singular philosophy of responsible risk management and contrarian investing, readers cansubscribe to the newsletters which most closely align with their personal investing habits.
In addition to Stansberry’s Investment Advisory, the company has a plethora of publications that focus on different subsets of the financial industry. One of the most highly read of these publications is True Wealth by editor Steve Sjuggerud. That advisory specializes in alternative investments that are both safe and have been overlooked for one reason or another by others in the market. The guiding principle of the publication is that it’s possible to achieve big returns without needing to take oversized risks. Past recommendations from Sjuggerud have focused on off-the-beaten-path opportunities, such as gold coins, timber, and government “tax certificates.”
Another popular publication put forth by the company is Dan Ferris’ Extreme Value. This newsletter, which first launched in 2002, focuses on stocks that are significantly cheaper than their true value would dictate. By utilizingthe opportunity to purchase stocks that are both undervalued and cheap, Dan’s readers have realized impressive returns over the 16years he has been providing recommendations. Past issues extolling Dan’s advice have resulted in gains of around 200% on Alexander & Baldwin and almost 250% [BA1] on International Royalty for readers who opted to act on his information.
A third publication that has become widely read is Retirement Millionaire, edited by Dr. David Eifrig Jr. This newsletter is unique in the publisher’s plethora in that it is not just focused on improving the contents of a reader’s portfolio. Retirement Millionairealso focuses on maximizing the resources that a retiree already has. In other words, it shows how to live like a millionaire in retirement without a lot of money. This is perhaps a fitting newsletter for Eifrig to head, since he has an incredibly unique background in his own right. After a career at Goldman Sachs that lasted over 10years, he decided to switch careers and become a medical doctor. Now, after retiring from medicine, he brings his diverse range of experience to his efforts at the financial publisher.
It’s important at this point to highlight an oft-overused trope when discussing a purveyor of financial advice: thetendency to cherry-pick results. It’s easy to highlight the recommendations of a publication that have resulted in sizable gains while sweeping any losers under the rug. This method of evaluation is so commonplace that it can serve to render any objective measures of success less impactful as readers will, rightly, wonder where they can find the other shoe that has undoubtedly dropped somewhere along the way.
Ever cognizant of these types of practices, Stansberry Research has a policy that sets it apart from others in its field when it comes to evaluating its own work. Thecompanycharacterizes this policy as itsadherence to transparency and accountability. With the knowledge that the information provided by itsvarious publications is only of value insofar as it can be trusted by readers, the publisher has made a commitment to publicly evaluateits investment recommendations every year. In addition, all of its investment newsletters include a track record with each monthly issue. This allows readers to form an independent opinion regardingthe reliability of the company’s advice. This policy alone has set the publisher apart from its competitors over the years, and has helped cultivate the spirit of goodwill for which it has become known.
Beyond its public evaluation of its own track record and constant drive to present readers with the most informed opinions and analysis as possible, perhaps one of the greatest indicators of the impact Stansberry Research has had is the growth of its subscriber base. With the company approaching its 20th anniversary, it has long enjoyed a consistent growth in annual subscribers as word of its unique take on financial analysis has become widespread. At present, the company’s subscriber base numbers more than 500,000 worldwide. While this number is impressive in its own right, it is made even more impressive by the number of lifetime subscribers that accompanies it, which currently sits at over 70,000. With so many people making the decision to receive the publisher’s advice for life, it is clear that this advice has made a positive impact in the financial decision-making of many.
Beyond newsletters, the publisher has also begun to offer a variety of other investment resources over the years to further help its customers grow their understanding of the market. One of the chief ways the companyaccomplishes thisis through the creation and distribution of a weekly podcast calledthe Stansberry Investor Hour Podcast. This podcast, hosted by Porter Stansberry and Buck Sexton, provideslisteners with candid and in-depth discussions of the week’s most important headlines. Topics of discussion often touch on a range of issues, such as business, politics, social issues, and, of course, financial markets.
The personalities the showbringson the air have also helped build its reputation as a top source of information presented in a fashion that is both entertaining and informative. Past guests have included investment experts, thought leaders, and authors. Among these guests have been Jim Grant, PJ O’Rourke, and Glenn Beck. In addition, the show’s co-host Buck Sexton compliments Porter with a variety of experience in his own right. Not only is he known from a range of other podcasts and television shows, he is also a former CIA intelligence officer, who made the transition to on-air personality after his time with the agency.
Episodes of the show are often an hour in length or more, which allows the hosts to take a deep dive into the topics they tackle each week. With topics that include large-scale corporate maneuvering and complex technological issues, the added depth provides the show with a more complete level of relevance when compared with others of its kind. This nuanced take on providing listeners with information is in line with the company’s overall philosophies that have guided its written advice for years.
Though the advice and research provided by the publisher’s various offerings are intended to be helpful to a wide range of investors, it is true that a certain amount of knowledge about finance and the market is needed in order to get the greatest benefit. For this reason, along with others, the company goes beyond newsletters and podcasts to offer additional materials intended to help readers form a more complete understanding of various aspects of finance. These materials, found through the company’s education center, are offered in the form of a series of blog posts curated for different levels of knowledge.
Beginner resources focus on investment basics, such as building retirement funds, understanding market essentials, and allowing investments time to realize their potential. These entry-level resources also include numerous essays from analysts at the company, including Porter himself. With a style that touches on personal life lessons from the experts that make up the publisher’s team, these resources areideal for a beginner looking to go beyond mere glossaries or foundational concepts, and instead understand investing on a more personal level.
When readers advance to the intermediate resources available through the company’s website, they’ll find a compilation of posts focused on some of the more abstract, yet still foundational, components of investing. These types of posts are aimed at building a more thorough understanding of how businesses operate and how those operations interact with the market at large. Materials at this level are also focused on detailing basic buy and sell strategies that incorporate the right inputs for an investor’s personal portfolio goals.
After completing the readings at the first two levels, investors are ready to move on to the final collection of posts intended for those with an advanced understanding of finance. Topics in this category are more focused on moving past the building blocks of a sound portfolio and into creating a portfolio that is far more diversified and resistant to unpredictable market forces. Many of the posts in this section touch on investments that fall outside the purview of the typical investor’s portfolio and are aimed at generating higher returns with less exposure to risk.
As would perhaps be expected from a company that has become known for the quality of written materials it puts out, Stansberry Research has also released its fair share of books over the years to providea deeper look at some of the topics most relevant to its readers. Many of these books focus on specific types of assets withproperties that make them more or less suitable for portfolios of differing situations. One example is High Income Retirement: How to Safely Earn 12% to 20% Income Streams on Your Savings. In this book, Dr. David Eifrig explains how stock options work and how to use them to reduce risk. And he shows readers how to make profitable trades, safely.
Another example of the type of literature the company publishes is its book titled: The Battle for America: Why the Next Election Will Cause the Biggest Financial Crisis in U.S. History: This book, put out by Porter himself and written to inform on the precarious nature of markets to come. The series warns readers of a looming crisis poised to strike financial markets, and how that crisis could affect those who do not take adequate precautions. In addition, the series advises readerson steps they may want to take to prepare for the tumultuous financial waters to come. With the country currently in the throws of the longest-running bull market in history, this contrarian and forward-looking take on the market is exactly the kind of out-of-the-box thinking for which Porter and the publisher have become known.
With so many sources of information on the internet and through other media sources in the present day and age, it has become more important than ever to seek out advice from trusted individuals and organizations. With a track record of success that spans almost 20years, Stansberry Research has longshownitself to be such an organization, one that is made up of some of the most knowledgeableminds in the industry. With an already large subscriber base that is growing every day, it is clear that the publisher has proven its worth to many seeking value in the market. Use the above overview to better understand its offerings and consider how thecompany’s advicecouldbe useful in your own financial endeavors.