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How to Get Rich with Stock Market Newsletters

Write one.

Then sell subscriptions.

Ta-da! 😀

Troubleshooting (in case you need a little more help)

What’s that? You don’t have a history of successful stock picking? No problem: Just come up with any stock-selection strategy and back-test it to see if it’s worked over the past [period of your choosing].

It didn’t work? Again, no problem: Just continue back-testing assorted strategies until you find one with an absurdly high performance record. Once you do, heavily promote that past performance, while only mentioning in a small footnote that you didn’t actually own any of the investments mentioned over the period in question. [Update: The prior sentence used to be a link of an almost-hidden disclosure on the Motley Fool website, which has since been removed completely.] Apparently, nobody will notice.

Won’t people figure out that it’s a scam once they see that your strategy isn’t working going forward? Yes, they will. But don’t worry; it will probably take a few years. In the meantime, just start a new newsletter with a new back-tested-for-success strategy.

Or–if you don’t like my method–Carl from Behavior Gap has an alternative (and perhaps better) way to manufacture an excellent past performance record.

Now get out there and go make your fortunes! 🙂

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  1. Excellent article Mike!

  2. :O

    Give me a minute to pick up my jaw. I read your post along with the Behavior Gap link and I am just astounded. I had never thought of such an idea like that, and the post here I assume is making the assertion that one site in particular is doing this? It seems to me that this is borderline fraud? Wow, pretty scary…

  3. Dave: The post was intended to be (partially) tongue-in-cheek.

    I’m not asserting that any particular company is doing all of the above things. Rather, I’ll simply say that my experience with investing newsletters (even, or perhaps especially, the big ones) is that their marketing efforts leave something to be desired in the way of transparency.

  4. Most investing newsletters are dangerous. I can go along with that much.

    But some teach as well as list stock picks.

    Learning how to pick stocks effectively can produce a big payoff down the line.

    So I don’t think all investing newsletters are bad. I’ve learned from some myself.


  5. There’s an even more fraudulent way some scammers do this, which is to keep mailing binary tips to a mailing list of investors. (i.e. Mail half Buy and half Sell).

    Starting with tens of thousands, after 5-6 iterations, the scammer has a list of a people who believe they’ve received 6 correct tips in a row.

    At that point the scammer reveals his seventh tip — which requires investing via the scammer, or profiting in some other way — via an illiquid microcap that he pumps and dumps say. When the cash is secure the scammer legs it.

    NOT meant as advice, obviously — it’s a warning! Look out for it.

  6. Monevator: Yeah, that’s exactly what Carl describes in the post I linked to. I’d never heard of that scam before. Yikes!

  7. Wow that sounds like an awesome idea 😉 Finding 640,000 subscribers to send free newsletters is not that easy however.

    You always have to ask yourself, if someone is selling you a newsletter which claims to be generating huge gains, why aren’t they simply “trading for a living’?

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