I have a secret. In addition to a great kung fu movie, I also LOVE detectives and spies. From Scooby Doo and Nancy Drew to Sherlock Holmes, Agatha Christie, James Bond, Mission Impossibile, and more, I LOVE me a good mystery! And now there is a guy (actually he’s been around since 2007) called the “Stock Gumshoe“, who evaluates every fantastic claim made out there by investment newsletter writers trying to sell you something!

For example, one posted recently on October 12 features a sales letter from Eric Dickson that proclaims,

“Warning: The Internet Is Shutting Down! Microsoft And Amazon Are Turning To This Company To Survive… Giving You The Chance To Grab 3,210% Before The Web Comes To A Grinding Halt!”

(Seriously? Who actually falls for this stuff???)

But what is super-cool about Stock Gumshoe is that he investigates the claim for you, figures out what the actual stock in question IS (it’s never mentioned in the sales letter of course– you have to “sign up to see!”), and then gives you a complete run-down on the company and its prospects, for FREE (Dickson’s newsletter is $500, and his “Special Report” is $100).

After much analysis, the company in this example turns out to be Limelight Networks (LLNW). But Stock Gumshoe doesn’t leave it at that– he does some more analysis of the company’s prospects, competitive environment (Akamai is the biggest competitor), and presents you with his findings…for FREE. (Of course he has some paid-for areas of his site, too, which I’m sure are great although I am completely un-affiliated, but you can find a lot of great info there for free).

Finally, he also publishes a spreadsheet of each stock and how it performed over the past year so you can see how the newsletters stack up against each other (although you do need to do some critical analysis of your own– most professional investors use trailing stops and do not suffer enormous losses– they “stop out” of losing positions and Stock Gumshoe does not take that into account). But it’s a great report, and you can learn a lot BEFORE committing your hard-earned cash to one of these newsletters!

I am a big proponent of paying for financial information (I would have been a lot richer a lot sooner had I not been so CHEAP to begin with!), but in the investment world it is extremely difficult to find the jewels amidst all of the horrific scammy rocks! So sites like Stock Gumshoe are worth their weight in gold and I hope will help you to analyze an investment (and a newsletter) on its merits, not its hype.

Just make sure you don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater…investment newsletters are not inherently evil and some are very, very good. (I’ll give you my personal favorites in a future post!)

To your financial success,

— Kung Fu Girl