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Author: sheople2 One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 76418  
Subject: Gardner's brothers picks - everyone using them? Date: 12/5/2007 9:11 PM
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When I come to the Fool site I'm always bombarded with ads and articles about the Gardner brothers' newsletters. The returns that their picks get are indeed amazing. Wouldn't I be stupid NOT to use their picks? Why wouldn't anyone and everyone who could spare the $200 get one of these newsletters? I am not a day trader, but rather an investor with a small amount of savings looking for growth over the next 30 years. When I called customer service I was told their picks are intended for people who will only hold them for 5 years - I wish their picks were projected for a longer time frame.

I consider their newsletters to be expensive, so I am trying to decide if I should invest in one of them or not. What do you guys think?

Is this a no-brainer to use their picks? Or am I missing something?

Thanks in advance.
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Author: cliff666 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 60344 of 76418
Subject: Re: Gardner's brothers picks - everyone using th Date: 12/5/2007 9:25 PM
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Is this a no-brainer to use their picks? Or am I missing something?

Thanks in advance.

Never let someone else do your thinking for you.

cliff
Here is another of the Gardner ideas
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foolish_Four

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Author: ptheland Big gold star, 5000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 60347 of 76418
Subject: Re: Gardner's brothers picks - everyone using th Date: 12/6/2007 1:21 AM
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I wouldn't follow the newsletters blindly. Their best use is in thinking about investment strategies.

Most of the money I've lost in the market has been on TMF stock picks. My own picks have, on the whole, made money.

But I have used some their ways of thinking about investments to pick my own stocks. Personally, I think the discussion boards are way better than the newsletters. And a better price, too. ;-)

--Peter

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Author: ptheland Big gold star, 5000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 60348 of 76418
Subject: Re: Gardner's brothers picks - everyone using th Date: 12/6/2007 1:24 AM
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Here is another of the Gardner ideas
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foolish_Four


I actually did better with the Foolish Four than I did with other strategies, particularly the Rule Makers and Rule Breakers. I lost my shirt and pants with those two strategies. Of the three, I lost the least on the F4.

The learning from that experience is that valuation counts. Good companies are fine, but they need to be at a good price as well. At least the F4 had a valuation component to it.

--Peter

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Author: johnubc1 One star, 50 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 60349 of 76418
Subject: Re: Gardner's brothers picks - everyone using th Date: 12/6/2007 7:41 AM
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I subscribe to two Fool Premium Services. I do not buy every recomendation that they have (I do not have the money!) but, when they do make a recomendation, I look at the stock, do my own DD, and then decide if I want to buy. For the stocks that I have bought, my personal return has been great, and I would never have known about those stocks if it had not been for the Fools.

My gains on those stocks far exceed the cost of the advice.

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Author: ResNullius Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 60350 of 76418
Subject: Re: Gardner's brothers picks - everyone using th Date: 12/6/2007 9:36 AM
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I consider their newsletters to be expensive, so I am trying to decide if I should invest in one of them or not. What do you guys think?

I wouldn't pay money for them, not even a penny. I don't even read the junk they send out via e-mail for free. The Garders don't know more than anyone else, which is to say that they don't know much. I read a variety of free financial sites. Taken together, I get a good idea what the guessers of the world are thinking. Why pay for guesses. If you want to retire or stay retired, you should have a long-term investment plan that doesn't change based on what someone else like the Gardners might have to say. Good luck.

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Author: djpeteski Two stars, 250 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 60352 of 76418
Subject: Re: Gardner's brothers picks - everyone using th Date: 12/6/2007 10:47 AM
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I've tried a few of the newsletter and am most happy about inside value.

Income investor is pretty good too, and might be better for your time frame.

Next year I will be trying out hidden gems.

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Author: CMStwrt Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 60353 of 76418
Subject: Re: Gardner's brothers picks - everyone using th Date: 12/6/2007 3:26 PM
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sheaple2, using their picks is not a no-brainer. The main reason I say that is that there are way too many picks to actually use. I recently subscribed to their Stock Advisor letter, after seeing a number of stocks I already own mentioned in various MF articles that push the Stock Advisor. My thinking was that if the letter recommends the kind of stocks I am looking for, and highlights a good stock that I otherwise would have missed, that one stock could more than pay for the subscription for the rest of my life. The problem is that the letter recommends 24 stocks per year and I'll likely only average one new stock per year. What's more, there are several other MF newsletters, each of which claims that it's approach beats the market (and has the figures to prove it). Put them all together and there have to be upwards of 75 recommendations per year.

There's a lot of information on this site and the challenge clearly is to separate the wheat from the chaff. As far as I know, all the letters offer 30-day free trials. I'd say to sign up for one or two, look at their past picks to see if they are the kind of stocks you would be comfortable with. Download some of the archived letters to see if you like their approach and their thinking. If it's not for you, cancel and try another. Keep whichever one you think you'd be most comfortable with.

The point is that you have to invest and there are a number of approaches that will work if you pursue them diligently over the next 30 years. The most important thing is to find an approach you can actually follow, because if you jump back and forth from concentrating on value to only growth stocks to just small caps to nothing but blue chip income, you're bound to switch at the wrong times and ruin your performance.

What I'd truly love to see is a MF "best of the best" letter, that would allow one to build a portfolio with a core of a few big cap income stocks you could expect to hold for the rest of your life, and supplement that with a value stock, a small cap (growth or value) or a foreign stock as something really good pops up on their radar screen. The problem is that to be truly valuable, it could recommend no more than a few stocks per year, and very few subscribers would be willing to pay $200 for only one or two or three recommendations.

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Author: ptheland Big gold star, 5000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 60354 of 76418
Subject: Re: Gardner's brothers picks - everyone using th Date: 12/6/2007 3:41 PM
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The problem is that to be truly valuable, it could recommend no more than a few stocks per year, and very few subscribers would be willing to pay $200 for only one or two or three recommendations.

That's the key issue. Most people subscribing to an investment newsletter (any investment newsletter) want stock picks. They want something they can go out and buy today that will double their money by next month. Or something like that.

The problem is that there aren't that many good stock choices that often. There may only be one or two stocks worth buying in a year. And there may be a year or two where there simply isn't anything worth buying. It's tough to sell a newsletter on that basis. "Hey, give me $200 a year, and I may or may not tell you about a good stock in the next 12 months."

So instead we get a dozen newsletters from TMF, all picking something every month.

--Peter

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Author: ZippyKitty Two stars, 250 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 60356 of 76418
Subject: Re: Gardner's brothers picks - everyone using th Date: 12/6/2007 9:15 PM
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I subscribe to Hidden gems. I mostly did it to learn about stock picking. The boards there are very good I find (although the boards here are good too). I think if you were disciplined, you could learn everything I am learning by subscribing without subscribing, however this way I am more motivated and the learning is more focused.

I would not suggest following the recs blindly. First off, there is a well known "pop" right after the stock is rec'ed. Usually it comes back down though - so I use that time to learn more... not always enough - but more.

I am getting out of it what I wanted to get out it. Which learning to fish. But you can learn to fish elsewhere on this site and beyond. This one is working for me.

ZK

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Author: CHERYLK2 Two stars, 250 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 60357 of 76418
Subject: Re: Gardner's brothers picks - everyone using th Date: 12/7/2007 2:58 AM
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If the amount you are planning on investing in a year isn't that high, buying a newsletter might not be a good idea IMO.

I would take the amount of money you are planning to invest in a year, and then add up the amount of your expenses for buying (and selling) for the number of stocks you are thinking of purchasing along with the cost of the newsletter and any other expenses (taxes when you sell if in a taxable account for example) you will have and see what percentage these costs are.

If, for example, you are planning on investing $2000 in 2008 and you think you will buy 2 stocks, the buy and sell fees (I doubt you will sell these stocks within the year, but I like to figure in the sell fee for the future) say $7 x 2 ea, totaling $28, and you buy one investment service for $200 - this adds up to $228. How well is your investment going to have to do just to break even after you deduct all those expenses - something to ponder. <G>

Cheryl

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Author: LGM2007 One star, 50 posts Old School Fool Motley Fool One Everlasting Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 60367 of 76418
Subject: Re: Gardner's brothers picks - everyone using th Date: 12/7/2007 3:41 PM
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What I'd truly love to see is a MF "best of the best" letter, that would allow one to build a portfolio with a core of a few big cap income stocks you could expect to hold for the rest of your life, and supplement that with a value stock, a small cap (growth or value) or a foreign stock as something really good pops up on their radar screen.

They have that now - it's new and called Million Dollar Portfolio. But it is more expensive than the others, so may not be worth it if you don't have enough to invest.

I have used MDP and 2 other letters and have done extremely well. I don't buy every pick, rather I focus on their 'best buys now' lists and trade more often than the 3-5 year hold period as stocks move in and out of the best buys space. But I am investing rollover IRA money from past jobs, so it makes sense to have a few letters. Regardless of how ofter you would choose to trade, you will need to read the letters, follow the stocks, and make sure to stay diversified. If following your own stocks is something you would enjoy, and you have some risk tolerance, the letters could work for you too.

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Author: maracle Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 60368 of 76418
Subject: Re: Gardner's brothers picks - everyone using th Date: 12/7/2007 4:46 PM
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Out of curiosity, how many picks are in the MDP newsletter in an average month?

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Author: LGM2007 One star, 50 posts Old School Fool Motley Fool One Everlasting Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 60376 of 76418
Subject: Re: Gardner's brothers picks - everyone using th Date: 12/10/2007 12:18 PM
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Out of curiosity, how many picks are in the MDP newsletter in an average month?

There is no set amount. Right now, presumably because it is new (a month or two old) and they are looking to invest their million dollars without undue concentrations (no more than 5% in one stock, I believe), they have given around a half dozen picks total, with the remainder of the portfolio in the S&P index. Once they are fully invested, they will provide regular updates of course, but new recommendations (buys and sells) will only come as warranted. I like this because it doesn't make me analyze a new month's recommendations to determine if it truly is a great opportunity, or is it recommended because they had to recommend something.

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Author: BordLyron Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 60380 of 76418
Subject: Re: Gardner's brothers picks - everyone using th Date: 12/11/2007 12:59 AM
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I concur with those who say you shouldn't pay too much for a newsletter until you have rather a lot to invest. That said, I am a long-term subscriber to both HG & SA. I do not have either the time, inclination, or ability to do the kind of analysis the teams who prepare these newsletters do, & yes, I have exceeded the S&P rather well using these tools to get ideas. As others have written, I also don't have enough to purchase every recommendation, and in fact there are months when I don't purchase any of the four...

My advice is to do what I did: Sign up for the free 30-day offer, download every old issue, & then immediately cancel the subscription. At your leisure, read the back issues & decide if this is something you want to pay for. I've done this for a further three of the Fool newsletters, & decided they didn't fit my needs. To be frank, I would never have gone beyond SA had HG not been "on sale" at one point & the 30-day downloads not proved usefull...

Byron

(Oh, yeah, as a VeryLongTerm Fool member, the ad-bombardment pisses me off. Alas, what you gonna do...)

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Author: clifp Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 60385 of 76418
Subject: Re: Gardner's brothers picks - everyone using th Date: 12/12/2007 4:57 AM
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I have tried trial (free) subs to the Income, Value, and Global (I think is what was called) newsletter. I guess the fact that I haven't spent $200 or so tells you what I think of them.

In contrast I am very satisfied customer of Morningstar Dividend Investor Newsletter, and pretty happy with Morningstar Stock Investor newsletter.


I prefer M* to the Fool for a couple reason. First, I like that the Morningstar Newsletter editors have excellent access to a variety of M* analyst.

Second and much more importantly the Morningstar newsletters each use two real money $100,000 portfolio. The Motley Fool letters use to be that way but no more. The huge benefit to a real money portfolio is the editor has to decide is buying stock A such a good deal that I should sell stock B to fund. The fools editors basically just say BUY, BUY, BUY with the occassional sell thrown in.

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