Is Empire Financial Research by Whitney Tilson Legit?

Empire Financial Research is a publishing company that was established in 2019 by Whitney Tilson.

I recently shared a review of Whitney Tilson TaaS, a presentation that was published by the company.

It was started to provide in-depth research and independent advice to investors, by publishing newsletters, videos, and articles.

In this review, I will provide you with an overview of the services it renders, the approaches that the editors take, and a background of each of them to enable you to make sense of what the company is all about.

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What is Empire Financial Research

Empire Financial Research was started in 2019 by Whitney Tilson. It is a corporate affiliate of InvestorPlace, another independent publisher that has been around for 40+ years.

Empire Financial Research Reviews

Whitney started Empire Financial Research to provide investors with contrarian investment advice by pointing out opportunities they may have overlooked or are unaware even exist.

As contrarians, the editors do not shy away from making bold predictions that are high risk but likely to deliver good returns. As per the “About” page on the official website:

“We’re contrarians on the hunt for investment opportunities that Wall Street has overlooked… and we aren’t afraid to make bold predictions.”

Although you can examine the approaches taken by the experts individually, collectively, their approach is quite flexible. The experts blend conventional advice – such as encouraging readers to buy and hold – with contrarian advice.

They encourage readers to use strategies like short-selling, growth, and value investing, just to mention a few.

They also perform macroeconomic analysis to spot new trends that other investors have not spotted to give their readers the first-mover advantage on lucrative investment opportunities.

Thanks to Whitney’s reputation and ties, the publisher counts some famous Wall Street players among its subscribers. That includes people like Joel Greenblat, Leon Cooperman, Bill Ackman, just to mention a few.

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Who are the Experts at Empire Financial Research”

Whitney Tilson

As we’ve established, Whitney Tilson is the CEO and founder of the company. He is also the editor of the flagship newsletter, the Empire Stock Investor. He also edits the Empire Investment Report.

He did his undergraduate studies at Harvard College, graduating magna cum laude. He spent two years working as a consultant at Boston Consulting Group before doing his MBA at Harvard Business School.

He started and ran a firm called Kase Capital Management. It oversaw three hedge funds and two mutual funds. Tilson started with $1 million and grew AUM to close to $200 million.

He has co-authored two books: More Mortgage Meltdown: 6 Ways to Profit in These Bad Times and The Art of Value Investing: How the World’s Best Investors Beat the Market.

He has written for the Motley Fool, TheStreet.com, Forbes, Financial Times, and Kiplinger’s. He has also been featured on two segments of CBS’s 60 Minutes.

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Enrique Abeyta

Enrique Abeyta edits the Empire Elite Trader. He went to college at the University of Pennsylvania and later graduated from Wharton School of Business cum laude.

While he was at Penn, he helped co-found the Wharton Fellows Fund, which was a student-run endowment investment fund. He also served as Pennsylvania Investment Alliance’s head of research for three years.

After graduating, he worked on Wall Street for more than 20 years where he raised more than $2 billion in assets. He founded and ran two long/short hedge funds.

He started Stadia Capital in 2000 and once grew its assets to $1.7 billion.

In 2007, he started the 360 Global Capital hedge fund. At its peak, assets under management reached $260 million. He later helped start Falcon Edge Capital Fund, which focused on short selling.

His legacy on Wall Street was outperforming the S&P 500 for ten years, generating returns during the bear markets that followed the Global Financial Crisis and the Dot-Com Bubble.

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Steve Culbertson

Steve Culbertson is the senior analyst of the Empire Investment Report (edited by Whitney Tilson). He has more than 15 years of experience in the world of finance.

Before he joined the publisher he was a senior analyst for a New York family office called Montcalm Partners. He was in the equity investing division where he researched stocks, monitored portfolio positions, and sourced investment ideas.

Before that, he was an analyst at a hedge fund called Spencer Capital. Its focus was on value and special situations investing.

He has a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering from Vanderbilt University and an MBA from Columbia Business School.

What Newsletters Does Empire Financial Research Offer?

Empire Stock Investor

Empire Stock Investor is the flagship newsletter. Enrique, Steve, and Whitney (chief editor) all contribute to it.

They have more than 50 years’ combined experience. They find investments that are capable of growing their subscriber’s investments safely without exposing them to excessive risk. It is suited to risk-averse clients.

They mostly deal with large, household name companies although they sometimes branch out and recommend growth stocks that have potential.

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Empire Investment Report

Whitney Tilson and Steve Culbertson run the Empire Investment Report. Steve is the senior analyst and Whitney the lead editor.

They target investments that are capable of beating the market while exposing their readers to relatively low risks.

They deal with small- to mid-cap stocks. Although these companies are relatively well-established, they tend to be names you won’t have heard of. They update the model portfolio every month and hold their positions for two to three years, on average.

Empire Elite Trader

Empire Elite Trader is run by Enrique Abeyta. He recommends short-term investments that involve companies in the mid-cap to the large-cap range.

He encourages his readers to hold their positions for anywhere between a few days and a few months and gives them weekly updates.

At any time, the model portfolio has a maximum of 20 stocks. He is not obsessed with large returns due to the short-term nature of the strategy. He targets quick returns rather than large ones.

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Empire Elite Growth

Enrique Abeyta is the editor. Unlike Empire Elite Trader, which focuses on short-term investments in mid- to large-cap stocks, this one deals with small- to mid-cap growth stocks that are typically held for a longer period.

His model portfolio usually has 10 to 15 stocks (although these numbers are not set in stone). He updates the portfolio every month or whenever he deems it necessary.

Since he deals with growth stocks, they are usually expected to deliver higher-than-usual returns.

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Empire Financial Research Conclusion

Empire Financial Research is an independent publisher of investment newsletters. It is run by a group of experienced financial analysts and former hedge fund managers with over 50 years’ experience in the world of finance.

It offers a variety of newsletters, each with a different approach, to provide you with the variety needed to have a diversified portfolio. Whether you like short-term or long-term investments, there is a newsletter that caters to your needs.

That being said, don’t forget that Empire Financial Research is not authorized to offer you personalized advice. The recommendations they send you should not be misconstrued as personal investment advice. Instead, they should be taken as suggestions. You need to decide whether they suit your investment strategy.

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