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There are dozens of investment newsletters on Wall Street proclaiming they have the best insights into the market, but Stansberry Associates Investment Research is one of the oldest in the game, and they have been in business since 1999. 

Many stock advisors and recommendation services fall under intense scrutiny because they can recommend investment products without taking responsibility for their performance. Today we’re going to discuss how Stansberry Associates Investment Research operates, what services they sell, and ultimately decide if they are a scam or not.

What is Stansberry Research?

Stansberry Associates Investment Research is an online investment research service that has grown to over 500,000 subscribers and 70,000-lifetime members. They offer various investment research tools such as newsletters, daily emails, portfolio management recommendations, and more. 

They offer many different stock recommendation services depending on your investment style and how much you can invest. If you want to find a financial newsletter publishing company that enhances your own research, then Stansberry Investment Advisory may be a good fit.

Stansberry Research

If you are interested in using one of the Stansberry Research services, you should be aware that they caught the attention of the Federal Government and were sued by the Securities and Exchange Commission, which is where most scam allegations arise. 

Company History – SEC Investigation

The lawsuit stemmed from a stock recommendation provided by Stansberry Research that claimed a particular stock price would double over a specified time. However, since Stansberry Investment Research made over $1,000,000 on that stock recommendation, the SEC considered it misleading to investors.

An appeals court upheld the original verdict when Stansberry appealed in 2007.

Fast-forward to 2021, and there are still thousands of subscribers and lifetime members to a variety of Stansberry products. 

Key Service Offerings

Stansberry Research offers two Major investment research services: complete portfolio solutions, and investment newsletters.

Portfolio Recommendations

Stansberry’s complete Portfolio Solutions are a variety of model portfolios that you can model your own Investment Portfolio on. Stansberry offers three different Portfolio Solutions:

  • The Total Portfolio – this is a hedge portfolio with 40 stock recommendations that vary from fixed-income to growth stocks, emerging markets, and riskier small-cap stocks.
  • The Income Portfolio – as its name suggests, is a portfolio consisting of 22-30 recommendations that focus on developing sustainable income from your portfolio, which can include Dividends and interest payments.
  • The Capital Portfolio – Stansberry considers the capital portfolio to be the entry-level model portfolio. This portfolio is comprised of 20 of Stansberry’s “highest conviction ideas.” 

Stansberry Research Portfolios

Investment Advisory

Stansberry Research offers many different research newsletters, but its most famous is investment advisory.

Subscribers receive 12 issues, including members-only access to reports, exclusive daily emails, and a monthly stock recommendation.

The investment advisory investment philosophy is dedicated to long-term fundamental analysis, and not for short-term trading.

Who is the Team Behind Stansberry Research?

Frank Porter Stansberry founded Stansberry Associates Investment Research in 1999, and they have grown immensely over the past couple of decades. Frank Porter Stansberry is famous for the controversial “End of America” video where he details an impending currency crisis as part of a political polarization route.

Frank Porter Stansberry

Is Stansberry Research Legit?

Company Track Record

It’s hard to find quantitative data for how Stansberry Associates Investment Research recommendations have performed over time. This is in part due to the ever-growing list of different newsletters and other services that they offer.

For example, competitors such as the Motley Fool generally place how their Investment ideas have performed over time compared to the S&P 500 Index so you can determine for yourself whether you are going to trust them. 

However, if you check on the Stansberry Research website, the only quantitative metric we could find was the 40 Capital portfolio which produced a 27% return in 2017. 

Claims vs. Reality 

Regardless of which service you sign up for, the Stansberry Research newsletters and portfolio recommendations do provide value by offering access to new Investments that you may not have found otherwise and detailed analyses of the different stocks.

However, before you subscribe, you should be aware that if you pay $199 for investment advice, you would need to earn more than $200 an investment return for the advice to be worth it. 

Service Value

Determining if Stansberry portfolio services are priced fairly is difficult because they do not publish all of their pricing online. If you are interested in learning more about their portfolio recommendation Services, they provide a phone number Where you can ask questions and presumably receive pricing information.

While Stansberry Research does offer Portfolio Services for a variety of different trading methodologies, the lack of transparent pricing can be off-putting to many consumers.

However, the Stansberry Research investment advisory service costs $199 per year and their true wealth newsletter and retirement millionaire newsletter. 

In addition to their most popular newsletters, they offer other subscription services such as Extreme Value, which is dedicated to Value investing and costs $1,500 per year, and Advanced Options, which focuses on options trading strategy, which does not indicate how much the annual fee is. 

Stansberry Research Extreme Value

$199 is the going rate for many investment newsletters, and if you take the time to read the research and learn about new stocks, the flagship investment advisor, this letter can be worth the money if you take advantage of your subscription.

Service Comparison

If you were to place Stansberry Research against one of its top competitors, such as The Motley Fool, one of the first things you would notice is transparent pricing from The Motley Fool. Whether you want their flagship Stock Advisor Service, Rule Breakers, or their personal finance subscription, they will all provide detailed service descriptions as well as the annual price.

Additionally, the Motley Fool has much more free resources available, whether it’s investment basics, selling options, information about precious metals, or personal finance tips.

If you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for with Stansberry Research, it can be easy to oversubscribe to the newsletter see you don’t need it or does not apply to your investment style. 

Conclusion: Stansberry Research

Ultimately, Stansberry Research has come a long way since their 2003 SEC lawsuit, and they don’t guarantee your stock market investment performance if you subscribe to their advice. With this in mind, it’s difficult to describe Stansberry Research as a scam because they’re not misleading or falsely advertising their products.

However, if you are looking for a stock market monthly newsletter or stock-picking service, you’re better off elsewhere.

The overwhelming amount of subscription options combined with the vague and difficult-to-find pricing structure for Stansberry Research is an inconvenience at the least and a little sketchy at the extreme.