InvestorPlace Review – Legit Investment Newsletters?

InvestorPlace Media is one of the longest-running investment newsletter publishers in America.

It was formed to avail “world-class investment advice” to all kinds of investors, a task it has been carrying out for a long time.

Having reviewed a few presentations and services offered by the firm, I think it makes sense that I cover the publisher to give you a clear picture of what the firm is all about.

In this article, I give you an overview of what InvestorPlace is, what it offers, and who its newsletter editors are.

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What is InvestorPlace?

InvestorPlace Media is a privately owned publishing company. It is one of the oldest independent financial research firms in America; it has been around for more than 40 years.

InvestorPlace Reviews

It was established in 1974 by Tom Phillips and was initially called Phillips Publishing (under Phillips Investment Resources).

It has its headquarters at Rockville, MD and the current CEO is Brian Hunt.

Tom launched it as a publisher of investment newsletters that were geared towards addressing the needs of self-directed individual investors.

Although it originally only offered print publications, it has since morphed into a multimedia business that publishes videos, articles, podcasts, and webinars. Here is how they describe it on the website:

“…we publish detailed research and recommendations for self-directed investors, financial advisors, and money managers. Most of our products are sold on a subscription basis, much like newspapers and magazines.”

Although it began by offering just a couple of advisory services, it now offers a wide range of services covering value stocks, growth stocks, mutual funds, options, and international portfolios.

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A Bastion of Excellence?

If you have ever watched or read any material put out by InvestorPlace, they always make a point of talking up the correct predictions their experts have made over the years. In the “About Us” page on the website, Brian Hunt has taken the liberty of highlighting some of those good calls over the decades. Here is a sample:

In the Mid-1980s:

“In the mid-1980s, our analysts forecasted the personal computer boom and helped investors make big gains in computer stocks.”

In the Early Nineties:

“Our analysts recommended Internet stocks in the early 1990s … years before they become ‘hot.’”

In 2000:

“Our analysts warned investors that tech stocks were becoming dangerous in 2000 … and shorted many of them, helping readers make big gains as they collapsed.”

As for individual stock picks that went on to yield massive returns, they made the right call on Apple, Google, and Amazon:

“We urged people to buy Apple when it traded for the equivalent of $4 per share… We urged people to buy Amazon before it soared over 2,000% … and we recommended Google stock way back in 2004, before it became the world dominating stock it is today.”

In addition to that, he reminds us that their experts have made numerous appearances on popular media outlets and had their work featured by noteworthy publications:

“Our work has been featured in publications such as Barron’s, Time and The Wall Street Journal. Our analysts have made over 1,000 appearances in outlets like Bloomberg, CNN and CNBC. We’ve even appeared on ABC’s ‘Good Morning America.’”

I should mention that past success does not guarantee future results. Take those achievements with a grain of salt.

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Who are the Experts at InvestorPlace?

InvestorPlace employs industry experts with years of experience in the financial markets. Let’s take a brief look at each of them:

Matt McCall

Matt McCall is one of InvestorPlace’s most prolific editors. He edits Early Stage Investor, Matt McCall’s MoneyWire, Matt McCall’s Investment Opportunities, Cannabis Cash Weekly, and Ultimate Crypto.


In 2004, he founded Penn Financial Group, a firm that gives individual and institutional investors financial advice.

He is also a speaker and author. He has published two books on investing, namely The Next Great Bull Market and The Swing Trader’s Bible.

As for his investment strategy, he opts for a top-down stock-picking approach. This means that he first examines the macro-economic aspects of an investment before drilling down to the properties and merits of the individual stocks.

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Louis Navellier

Louis Navellier edits Growth Investor, Louis Navellier’s Market 360, Accelerated Profits, and Breakthrough Stocks.

If you’d like to gain access to all of his services under one subscription, he also offers Platinum Growth Club.

Speaking of which, I recently reviewed his Tiny Silver Smart Antenna presentation and he was touting the Growth Investor.

Louis Navellier has been giving financial advice for 30 years. He discovered that he had a knack for picking stocks when a professor in college dared him to beat the S&P 500. He beat it by a factor of 3 to 1.

He is a quantitative analyst (usually shortened to “quant”) who makes use of technical analysis to identify investment opportunities. He also strives to find low-risk growth stocks that are likely to outperform the market.

Neil George

Neil George edits Neil George’s Income Investor’s Digest and Profitable Investing: Your Financial Guide for All Seasons.

He has been trading bonds since 1987 and started writing newsletters in 2002. He helps investors find the best bonds to trade in the market.

He has worked for Merrill Lynch, Mark Twain Bank, and Guinness Flight. He has experience in building international trade and brokerage platforms from his time in those financial firms. He once managed a mutual fund worth more than $1 billion.

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Wade Hansen

Wade Hansen edits Strategic Trader in conjunction with John Jagerson.

He is a trader and author. More importantly, he is an investment coach who develops training courses for investors. He has developed courses for Saxo Bank, Thinkorswim Group, and Yahoo Finance.

He and John Jagerson founded Learning Markets and PFX Global to teach investors how to maintain portfolios and develop trading strategies.

He writes op-eds for, Yahoo! Finance, and Forbes.

John Jagerson

John Jagerson co-publishes Strategic Trader with Wade Hansen.

He graduated with a B.S. in Business Administration from Utah Valley University and got his PLD from Harvard Business School.

In addition to starting Learning Markets and PFX Global with Wade, they also co-published a book called Profiting With Forex.

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Eric Fry

He edits The Speculator and Fry’s Investment Report. He also contributes to InvestorPlace Digest.

Before he started writing newsletters, Fry was a professional money manager. He was a specialist at short selling.

In 2016, he won the Portfolios with Purpose Competition which pitted him against 650 other money managers from Wall Street.

Before he joined InvestorPlace, he worked for James Grant.

Jim Lowell

He edits the Fidelity Sector Investor and Fidelity Investor.

Most of his work centers on Fidelity funds, having worked at Fidelity for a couple of years. He has even published a book titled What Every Fidelity Investor Needs to Know.

A self-proclaimed Fidelity fanatic, he guides investors on how to get the most out of what Fidelity has to offer.

He is the chief investment officer at Adviser Investments, a fee-only boutique wealth management firm that specializes in Fidelity and Vanguard Mutual Funds

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Dan Wiener

He edits The Independent Vanguard Fund Analyzer and The Independent Advisor for Vanguard Investors.

Just as Jim Lowell focuses most of his research on Fidelity, Dan Wiener concentrates on Vanguard Funds. He has been doing it for 28 years.

He is the chairman of Adviser Investments (where Jim Lowell is the Chief Investment Officer).

His work has been featured on Barron’s, Kiplinger, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today.

Jeff DeMaso

Jeffery DeMaso co-edits The Independent Adviser for Vanguard Investors with Dan Wiener.

They also work together at Adviser Investments where he is the Director of Research. He joined the company in 2005.

He graduated from Tufts University with a B.A in Economics. He is also a member of the CFA Institute.

Ken Trester

Ken edits Power Options Weekly and Maximum Options.

He is a specialist at options trading as the names of the two newsletters suggest. He began trading them in 1973.

He has written two books on the subject, namely Complete Option Player and 101 Option Trading Secrets.

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What services does InvestorPlace Publish?

InvestorPlace offers a couple of paid investment advisory services. They are:

Growth Investor

Through Growth Investor, Louis Navellier finds big market trends and the best dividend growth stocks to go with them using a proprietary screening system.

His goal is to beat passive index funds, something he claims to have done before in his career.

The stocks he recommends via this service have to be low-risk, high reward investment opportunities. He targets mid- and large-cap stocks.

Investment Opportunities

Matt McCall subjects the stock market to his three-factor test system. This means that his stock picks have to meet his requirements in three areas:

  • Technicals (the numbers)
  • Strong fundamentals
  • The “intangibles” i.e. consumer trends, demographics

This service goes against the buy-and-hold principle because Matt strives for investments that are likely to pay off quicker.

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Early Stage Investor

Matt McCall’s focus is on getting in on good investments early. The goal is to beat other investors, Wall Street and Main Street, to the punch and earn maximum profits from those investments in the process.

The investment strategy he employs is not so different from what Venture Capitalists use when they set out to find good startups.

He emphasizes on finding a few quality investments rather than a large portfolio filled with non-starters.

Accelerated Profits

Louis Navellier has a proprietary trading system that enables him to isolate the best 1% stocks in the market. These are companies that have solid fundamentals and healthy money flows.

The stocks that make the cut are what he refers to as “elite stocks.” They can range from international stocks, large-cap stocks, small-cap stocks, growth stocks, to value stocks.

Typically, they are at the cusp of experiencing growth and he singles them out to keep them for a few weeks.

The downside of this investment strategy is that it requires you to be on the alert, ready to trade frequently. Since things move relatively fast, you cannot afford to falter.

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Breakthrough Stocks

Louis Navellier created this service to serve investors who are looking to grow their wealth fast. If you don’t want to have to wait years to see your investments to bear fruit, you can have a crack at Breakthrough Stocks.

Whereas he takes a more conservative approach in building the Growth Investor portfolio (targeting established companies for), he is aggressive with Breakthrough Stocks and goes after small-cap stocks.

However, he acknowledges that such stocks are more volatile and, therefore, expose you to greater risk. You need a high-risk tolerance if you are planning on subscribing to this one.

Platinum Growth Club

Platinum Growth Club brings together Louis Navellier’s Accelerated Profits, Growth Investor, and Breakthrough Stocks. It is Louis’ “Total Wealth System” because it gives you access to a portfolio featuring all the stock picks drawn from each of those services.

If you are subscribed to more than one of Louis Navellier’s services, you can save money by joining Platinum Growth (but do the math first to see whether everything adds up).

Power Portfolio 2020

Louis Navellier and Matt McCall teamed up to create a portfolio that aggregates their different approaches under a common banner.

Louis is more of a numbers guy, the quant, while Matt leans more towards fundamental analysis. Courtesy of their combined approaches, they bring the best of both worlds.

Power Portfolio is a collection of stocks that they both agreed would yield profits in 2020. They update it according to the economic climate.

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Cannabis Cash Weekly

Matt McCall is a self-proclaimed Marijuana investment expert. With a wave of weed legalization sweeping across dozens of states, Matt thinks it’s only a matter of time before the whole country legalizes pot.

And while such a move could see the Marijuana industry morph into a multi-billion industry, the biggest beneficiary of this growth would be people holding stocks in small pot companies.

If you sign up for this service, you will receive recommendations involving covered calls (of cannabis stocks).

Ultimate Crypto

Matt McCall is also a self-proclaimed cryptocurrency expert. He notes that his first foray into the market was when Bitcoin was worth a measly $643 (I say “measly” because it trades in the thousands now).

Through this service, he aims to reveal cryptocurrencies that are about to rise in value because he believes that the market is due for another bull run.

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Maximum options

Ken Trester uses a proprietary trading system called Power-Plus Profit Tracker to find underpriced options. He shares his findings with his readers.

He started offering this service in 2008 and since then, he has had a success rate of 80%.

Power Options Weekly

As the name suggests, this one is also an options trading service. In this one, Ken Trester uses his algorithm to find the best puts and calls, which he then recommends to his readers.

He sends them five recommendations every Friday.

Strategic Trader

John Jagerson and Wade Hansen jointly run this service. They guide their subscribers through the volatile options market.

They look for hidden trends in the market by examining company data as well as impactful events. Based on their findings, they share three recommendations each week.

The recommendations are mostly covered calls and put writes.

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Fry’s Investment Report

Eric Fry’s goal is to help his followers make money whether the market is bullish or bearish.

To achieve that, he looks for the big-picture trends that are behind the most significant moves in the market for a period going back for more than one year.

Based on his findings, he finds the best stocks in each sector that he thinks could benefit his followers.

The Speculator

Eric Fry has a trading algorithm called “Green Light System” that helps him single out the biggest global trends right before they take place.

His strategy is to swing for the fences, unlike with Investment Report where he is more aggressive.  

He trades currencies, commodities, bonds, options, and small-cap stocks.

Profitable Investing

Neil George is all about finding under-the-radar income investments. He makes use of the “Incredible Dividend Machine” strategy to find investments that are likely to generate income in the form of rent, royalties, dividends, or interest checks.

His income investment recommendations are meant to do well whether the market is doing good or bad.

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Fidelity Investor

Jim Lowell knows Fidelity in and out. Through this service, he aims to find mutual funds that are run by good managers.

He also gives you an insider’s opinion about different funds, having worked for Fidelity for 20 years. He keeps you updated on the funds he would like you to buy, hold, or sell.

Fidelity Sector Investor

While Jim Lowell takes a conservative approach with Fidelity Investor, he is more aggressive with Fidelity SECTOR Investor.

With this service, Jim goes for short-term moves in the hottest sector funds and ETFs.

The Independent Vanguard Fund Analyzer

Dan Wiener and Jeffery (Jeff) DeMaso know quite a bit about Vanguard funds and ETFs considering they work at Adviser Investments (which advises investors about Fidelity and Vanguard Funds).

They launched The Independent Vanguard Fund Analyzer to provide investors with reliable information about Vanguard. They know that most investors who show interest in these funds don’t know much about them.

On top of that, the way the Vanguard website is designed is not friendly for novice investors.

To remedy that, the fund analyzer provides you with a user-friendly interface and an intuitive rating system. It makes it easier for you to find the most efficient managers.

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The Independent Adviser for Vanguard Investors

With Independent Adviser for Vanguard Investors, Dan and Jeff look for the most promising actively managed funds that may outperform passively managed index funds.

They also give new subscribers a one-month trial of their Fund Analyzer tool.

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Free Newsletters offered by InvestorPlace

In addition to premium services, InvestorPlace also provides free newsletters. All you have to do to join is add your name to the mailing list.

Note that besides giving you market updates and trading insights, editors use the free newsletters to advertise their paid services.

Here is a quick summary of each of them:

InvestorPlace Digest

Most of the experts contribute to the InvestorPlace Digest. They send out a new email every day of the week (including the weekends).

They provide you with a summary of the hard-hitting events of the day as well as new investment ideas arising from those events.

Louis Navellier’s Market 360

Louis Navellier uses this free newsletter to share his interpretation of market events. He does that to enable you to look past what he perceives as doublespeak from mainstream financial media.

He uses plain language to convey his ideas, devoid of the jargon you get from mainstream sources. I should warn you that he also uses it to advertise his premium services.

Matt McCall’s Moneywire

Like Louis Navellier’s Market 360, this service enables Matt to give his unfiltered opinions on the market. He also gives his readers a taste of what they can expect from him if they subscribe to his premium services.

InvestorPlace Insights

This newsletter provides its readers with information regarding the best stocks, ETFs, and Mutual Funds. It also highlights bad investments they should avoid.

Income Investor’s Digest/ Dividend Digest

Neil George runs this newsletter. As a firm believer in income investments, he shares his insights regarding how you can use them to earn passive income and build your nest egg.

He offers tips on how to find the best dividend-paying securities. For example, he tells his readers to look for stocks that have strong fundamentals, favorable macro trends, and reliable history.

Fund Focus Weekly

Dan Wiener, Jeff DeMaso, and Jim Lowell run this newsletter. They are specialists in Vanguard and Fidelity funds.

Through this newsletter, they highlight important news regarding these funds. They share information concerning new funds and things like managerial changes that investors should know before investing in those funds.

Trade of the Day

Wade Hansen and John Jagerson run this service. They find the hottest trades in the morning and recommend options and stocks.

InvestorPlace Media Conclusion

It takes something special for a business such as InvestorPlace to remain relevant for over 40 years. In this case, Brian Hunt believes that its longevity can be credited to its business model:

“We simply publish our ideas with the aim of enriching and educating investors. If we do our jobs well, our customers stick around. It’s a simple, transparent business model investors have loved since the 1970s.”

Its track record has also done its part in keeping those clients around because, at the end of the day, it is judged by its results.

Although they are eager to highlight the good results they’ve earned over the years, it hasn’t always been rosy. They have inevitably made some wrong predictions that led investors to lose money.

That’s to be expected of any entity that tries to “predict the market” and if you are going to subscribe to their services, do not forget that.

Brian Hunt makes it clear that they do not accept money from the companies they cover, and that’s good because some financial firms take on sponsors. Consequently, their work is usually tainted by biases, which is not what you want from someone offering you advice.

As you decide whether you will subscribe to any of InvestorPlace’s services, objectively check whether it aligns with your investment strategy. Don’t just buy into the promises the editors make because they are always going to say nice things about themselves.

Also, always remember that the investment advice shared by InvestorPlace’s editors is not personal because (1) they are not licensed to do that, and (2) they have no idea what your situation is like.

Take it as general investment advice and only give it a go if it aligns with your strategy.

Before you go…

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