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This is really embarrassing.

I have an addiction. Like a serious, deadly (at least to my wallet) addiction. This weekend, while reviewing our taxes and our annual finances, I discovered that in the last calendar year alone I subscribed to no fewer than…

(drumroll, please…)

14 different financial newsletter publications!

(And that doesn’t take into effect some more recent “new” ones I’ve subscribed to, nor any financial newspapers or books! That’s just straight financial newsletters!)

Now, you may be thinking, “OK, so Kung Fu Girl subscribes to a few investment newsletters, no big deal, we all do, ho-hum”, but l am going to come REALLY clean with you today…
Last year, on a “cash-accounting” basis, I spent $4,487.98 on financial newsletters.

YIKES!

Now, those who sell the newsletters will tell you (and me) that really that’s not very much at ALL when you think about it, and the recommendation or strategy from just ONE issue can more than pay for your subscription…

Which is actually true.

HOWEVER, that does not give me a pass to continue to subscribe to the ones I don’t read regularly…(and even if I devoted four hours per DAY to reading these newsletters cover-to-cover I don’t think I could read them all in a year!)

It’s just too much information, and as my awesome mentor Bruce Lee continues to instruct (so cool that he has left such an amazing body of work behind him and can still teach me from the great beyond!),

“Hack away at the unessential.”

Word.

Which is exactly what I’m going to do this week!

Here is what I subscribed to last year:

Name Description Annual Price
Weber Global Chris Weber’s Newsletter $249
Butler Research Ted Butler’s Silver Analyst Report $34.95 * 11 = $384.45
S&A Digest Porter Stansberry’s “cheapie” newsletter $69 (for 2 years)
S&A Retirement Trader Doc Eifrig’s Service $1500
Some RichDad Broadcast Events (Like the one last Friday) $59.70
International Living (This is more “internationalization” than “finance”, but I’m counting it…) $66
Various Casey Research Pubs Casey Report, Int’l Speculator $1252
Gonzalo Lira Hyperinflation Report $35
Sovereign Man Sovereign Man Confidential $345
Aden Forecast The Aden Forecast $174
Richard Russell DOW Theory $300
Kiplinger Kiplinger Magazine $4.33…I couldn’t stand it and canceled
Palm Beach Letter Mark Ford’s New Pub $49.50

 

Whew.

And this list doesn’t even count financial news publications like the Financial Times (I share a subscription to this with a good friend) and the Economist, and all of the other “free” publications and news outlets (ZeroHedge and others) out there.

Nor does it count some of my Casey subscriptions which were billed at the end of the year so weren’t technically “paid” until 2012…

Nor does it count financial books…and I paid for and read many of those last year, too!

Wow.

(Thanks for listening to my confession—I feel better already just getting that off of my chest!) 🙂

But what’s an investment-junkie-yet-simplicity-loving-freak like me to do?

I really DO like all of these publications for various and assorted reasons, and yet there is absolutely no way I can read all of them and try all of the various strategies they recommend at the same time. No. Way.

So as painful as it is, let the chopping-block process begin…

Rather than go on about the ones I am leaving behind and why, I’m going to focus on the ones I am keeping:

1. Chris Weber

I love this guy. His is one of the few newsletters that I DO read cover-to-cover the day that it comes out.

He and I completely agree on the “sleep at night” factor, which I talk about often, and he is not a “trader” with 476 “new” recommendations each month.

On the contrary, he is one of the few people I know (actually I don’t officially “know” Chris—I have not met him in person) who is a lifelong investor and lives entirely off of his investments (he made a fortune in precious metals during the first precious metals bull in the 70’s, and then another fortune in bonds back when interest rates were sky high, and has just kept investing in major trends ever since).

He’s personal, interesting, and extremely knowledgeable. He is where I first got the tip to use Camino Coin Company, my favorite local coin dealer.

Chris stays!

2. Stansberry

Once you get past their marketing, which face it, all businesses need to do to remain in business, I love the information. In fact, I splurged and subscribed to the “Alliance” which includes all of their publications for life, so I guess I am keeping them! LOL.

But seriously, I love what apparently (at least to hear Porter tell it!) all of the other subscribers “hate”—the Friday educational essays and a lot of the education that comes along with the newsletters. I actually “take action” on only a very, very small number of their recommendations (they publish something like 12 newsletters covering everything from stocks and options to bonds to mining stocks to short strategies to penny stocks to….you would be insane to actually DO all of it.)

But I love the education, and again, I appreciate the “personality” of the business—I feel like I “know” Porter (which is crazy—I’ve never met him in person either, although I’ll have a chance at the upcoming Casey Conference at the end of the month) and some of the other guys, and for financial info their stuff is actually somewhat entertaining to read (I like dry humor and sarcasm). 🙂

Porter stays!

3. RichDad

Robert Kiyosaki stays, too…despite his mouth (which probably bugs other people much more than it bothers me—my own isn’t too spectacular either) his information is still terrific and I always learn something whenever I listen. He has stayed on-message and on-values for twenty years, even when everyone thought he was crazy (like for example in 2004 – 2006 when the world thought he was nuts for saying “your house isn’t an asset!!!”).

I also love his focus on cash flow, because that reminds ME to stay focused on cash flow and not just try to keep up with the capital gains “this stock is sure to DOUBLE in the next 6 months!” crowd.

Robert stays!

4. Casey Research

Stays…heck, I like them so much I’m going to their “Recovery Reality Check” at the end of this month in Florida, and I can’t wait! (It’s another one of those great events I harp about where you can connect with other interested investors and just generally fascinating people…speaking of which, if you are going please let me know so we can connect!).

I still faithfully read The Casey Report and The International Speculator each month, and enjoy some of their other pubs, too.

Casey stays! (Heck, we bought a homesite in La Estancia…we’ll be neighbors one day!)

5. SovereignMan Confidential

Stays! Simon’s is one of the few free newsletters that I read daily, and I love the “Confidential.” This year internationalization has been a big focus for me and Simon’s advice and contacts have been indispensable.

Simon stays!

6. Palm Beach Letter

Stays! To be honest, this one is so new it deserves more of a chance, and I really enjoy Mark Ford’s essays on wealth building (I’m not as interested in their week-to-week stock recommendations).

Mark stays! (At least for now) 🙂

As for the others, it really HURTS to let them go! Like a true addict, I will probably feel shaky picking up the phone (or clicking online) to cancel, especially since I have read some of these for years and each of them have helped get me to where I am today!

But I have simply stopped reading them or read them less frequently now and SOMETHING must give to reduce my financial clutter (plus, Kung Fu Guy pointed out that we could take a pretty killer family trip for all of the money I spend on investment newsletters!).

So in the interest of fun family experiences and making way for the new generation of investment newsletters…the rest GO.

(sniff)

But I’m sure that by this time next year, my list will be full to the brim again… (I need a 12-step program!)

How about YOU?  How many newsletters do you subscribe to and which ones do you think are worthwhile?  I would love to hear what you think so please let me know in the comments…thanks! 🙂

To your spring cleaning and financial success!
— Kung Fu Girl

“Why can’t you do it, why can’t you set your monkey free? Always getting down to it, do you love your monkey or do you love me?” — George Michael, and Kung Fu Guy this weekend when mentioning the possible fabulous family trip…

🙂