No. of Recommendations: 8
Short and simple, I can find stocks in the USA that probably have just as much potential upside with a lot less perceived risk. I can for instance find much more information on companies such as Solazyme, Westport Innovations, Linkedin than I could on companies such as YONG or CGA.

My favorite GG company......BAM and BLX. I am comfortable enough with BLX to invest in it.....as a matter of fact, I am more comfortable with BLX than almost every US Bank except WFC.


Agreed, Rob. I plan to hold onto BLX as well, at least for a while. And thanks for your contribution of many hundreds of articles about GG companies. You saved many of us a lot of research time.

It has been an interesting experience with GG. As for the Chinese stocks, I've lost money overall. Fortunately, I gambled on some non-GG Chinese small caps, and got out early with a profit. As you note, the business culture has been a tough lesson. I briefly lived and worked in Asia, but still chose to believe I had sufficient information (mostly from GG) to make good decisions. I was wrong. Good luck to those who are still sticking with the original investment thesis.

Simple, one of the things that whipsawed GG was its original orientation not merely as an international stock-picking service but a value-oriented international stock-picking service. Its poor overall returns -- investing in index funds mimicking either the S&P 500 or MSCI EAFE would have produced better returns than the scorecard over its 5 1/2-year life -- came even as TMF services with no particular international expertise were making more successful foreign picks.

Rule Breakers has a 13-bagger in the Baidu recommendation it made one month before GG's first issue. GG never recommended BIDU because of its valuation, although Tim was actively looking for a dip that would allow him to add it to the scorecard just before his departure for asset management. Alas, that would have missed most of the gains to date anyway. Similarly, Hidden Gems did well for a while with Ctrip, which GG avoided for similar reasons. To refuse to recommend growth stocks in a massively growing economy such as China's kept GG consistent, but certainly didn't help its returns. Anurag made this point repeatedly.

I tried to be supportive of the GG advisers' value orientation, reasoning that TMF subscribers could get their growth fix from RB or SA. But I was unaware that GG's survival was in doubt. Better performance might well have brought more subscribers. Value investing is a long-term activity. You can wait for years for the market to recognize undervaluation. If the advisers had known they had a 5 1/2-year window in which to succeed or shut down, I'm not sure they would have been quite so doctrinaire. Once cannot escape the fact that TMF's global stock-picking service missed the best global stock of its time period while David Gardner, focused mostly on domestic stocks, found time to recommend it twice and delivered multi-bagger returns both times.

I had earlier thought to get rid of most of my GGs (I have all of them minus the speculative picks or where I don't trust management) but have now decided to let them stay. I think for the most part they are excellent firms. Some of these will still tumble but unless I develop a negative vibe for a firm, I will just keep them for the long haul if not add to them. The goal is continued learning process by tracking these firms even if it is going to be a whole lot less. I am already following Nate's orange portfolio.

Good luck, Anurag, although I don't think you'll need it. You seem to have both the skills and the time to follow hundreds of stocks. I'm afraid I don't. I wish I had gotten out of Sterlite when you did. I think GG was generally too slow to admit its mistakes, which did not help overall returns. If I'm not mistaken, General Steel, down more than 90 percent, is a stock to keep an eye on in its final report. That doesn't inspire much faith in a service's selling discipline. The No. 1 rule of the best value investor on the planet is not to lose money. GG sometimes seemed to be the worst of both worlds, lacking the upside potential of the growth investor and the downside protection of the value investor.

This is why I have decided to switch from MDP to Rule Breakers. I was pleasantly surprised to find quite a number of interesting international stocks there.

Moreover, I feel that RB nicely complements my SA subscription by adding different types of opportunities to my investing universe. Just as had been my original intention for GG.


Agreed, Veit. RB and SA are the two services that have remained consistent over time. It should not go unnoticed at TMF HQ that this is because the chief advisers have never changed. One of GG's challenges was the constant turnover in advisers. When first Bill and then Tim were drafted into asset management, it suggested GG was a farm club designed to provide talent to more lucrative activities. TMF seems convinced it gave GG all the support it needed, but I believe it underestimates the importance of the personal connection the best lead advisers establish with subscribers. For me, Bill and Tim both accomplished this. Nathan and Nate didn't have time to.

Thanks to all for the conversation. The dialogue was always the most interesting part of GG.
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