Is Brownstone Research legit and can you trust their investment recommendations? Or, should you avoid this place like the plague?
There have been some questions about Brownstone Research and so we finally decided to review it. In this review I'll be going over what the company does, what it provides, the people behind it, complaints and more.
- Name: Brownstone Research
- Type: Investment advisory firm
- Website: brownstoneresearch.com
- Founder: Jeff Brown
- Services: Investment newsletters
What Is Brownstone Research?
Brownstone Research is an investment research firm, similar to others like Profits Run and Omnia Research, that was founded by Jeff Brown in 2020. Their mission is to provide high quality investment research to the general public... a quality grade often just available to large institutions and high-net worth clients.
They a handful of different services, good for both beginner investors as well as those with experience. These range greatly in price and are the typical "follow-along" type services where subscribers are told what to invest in and when... although of couse we'd never recommend just blindly following advice.
The company is based in Florida, with their address listed as...
55 NE 5th Avenue
Delray Beach, FL 33483
The reason I bring this up is because this address is actually the same as that of Bonner & Partners, along with a handful of other investment research companies such as Legacy Research, Casey Research, etc. The reason for this is because all of these companies are under the umbrella of The Agora, the parent company.
You could think of it like this: Bonner & Partners branched off of The Agora company and now Brownstone Research branched off of Bonner & Partners - layers upon layers here.
*Note: Brownstone Research has a better reputation and isn't as "sleazy" as some of the other Agora companies.
Who Is Jeff Brown?
He's the guy behind it all and he has a pretty impressive background, which is what you'd expect from someone who was one of the first invited sit in a self-driving car on one of NASA's campuses back in 2011.
Brown studied Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering at Purdue University and went on to work as an high-tech executive in both Silicon Valley and Tokyo. He was actually the vice president of NXP Semiconductors at one point, which supplied Apple with some of the needed hardware for their Apple Pay payment system, and worked in executive positions at Qualcomm and Juniper Networks (not all are proven, as you can read in our extensive review of Mr. Brown).
He has over 25 years total of experience at high levels in the tech world and is still heavily involved in it, being an angel investor in tech startups with a good track-record to show for it.
In short, he knows what it takes to be a successful tech company and he's the type of guy you'd probably want to give you advice in this area. He also has developed a network of contacts over the years and has access to information that most people do not, making him an "insider" of sorts.
Is Brownstone Research a scam?
Brownstone Research is legit, I can assure you. Questions about whether or not this place is a scam usually arise from the hyped-up marketing material that is used to bring in new subscribers to their services, but they are legit.
How do I get a refund?
They don't offer refunds on all of their services, so it will depend on what service you are looking to get a refund for.
We'll cover this in more detail later in the review, plus a little trick you can use even if they claim to not offer refunds.
The list of experts on the Brownstone Research team can be found on the website. Right now there are only a handful, but I wouldn't be surprised if they brought more people on-board in the future.
Here's who will be responsible for the investment recommendations made if you decide to join any of their services:
- Jeff Brown - Of course... he's the main guy behind all the operations - no need to explain more about him.
- Nick Rokke - He's an analyst at the firm and a certified CPA. His background includes working for a hedge fund accounting firm and taking the chartered financial analyst (CFA) tests to earn his charter. The main thing he does is use his analytical skills to support Brown's research.
- Joe Withrow - This guy is another that works behind the scenes. He comes from a background in finance and corporate banking, where he worked as a credit risk analyst. Later he went on to work in loss mitigation and in 2014 became an early adopter of bitcoin (good or bad?, you decide). He also, more or less, provides a backing on Brown's research.
- Jason Bodner - It seems that Jason was originally an editor at Palm Beach Research but has since moved over to here at Brownstone Research. After spending 20 years on Wall Street, including working at Cantor Fitzgerald as a partner and head of equity derivatives North America as well as selling derivatives and ETFs for Jefferies, he then started his own hedge funds as well as a market research company that caters to billion-dollar money managers providing advice and such. At Brownstone Research Jason runs his own investment advisory service, Outlier Investor, and also writes for the free service (Bleeding Edge) every so often.
- Andrew Hodges - He's an analyst working at the company with an educational background (undergrad and grad school) in economics (studied undergrad at Clemson and Georgetown University). During his time at graduate school he worked at the National Oceanic Atmospheric Association - he also studied water markets at the time - and later his obession with digital assets began. Now he's a full-time analyst working behind the scenes.
These are the guys that are actually part of the team at Brownstone Research. However, as expected, this company works closely with other Agora companies and so you may find some guest posting at times, in which experts from other research firms come over and write articles for the free newsletter service that Brownstone offers. It's usually to "cross-pollinate" and promote outside services.
All the services here are provided in a follow-along format with the exception of his free service, which I'll talk about first...
The Bleeding Edge
The Bleeding Edge is a free publication where Jeff Brown shares his insights into the tech world. Anything tech-related is fair game here, and you'll see a lot about rising technologies, which at the moment include things like 5G, AI, cryptocurrencies, etc.
In these reports Jeff gives his thoughts on new tech, advances in technology that investors should be aware of, looks at specific companies, talks numbers and speculates, and so on.
Here are several random publishings just to give you a better idea of what you can expect from this service...
- Biotech Stocks Have the Same Growth Potential as Bitcoin
- About the rise of Biotech - Jeff highlights a company that has been doing well and talks about hwy he thinks the biotech industry is a good investment.
- Waymo Teams Up With Volvo for Self-Driving Car Deal
- Talks about the autonomous vehicle maker Waymo and a big partnership the company made with Volvo. Also throws in some information on biotech stocks.
- Starlink Internet Will Work Best in Places With Low Population Density
- Provides some criticism of satellite internet - thinks it will only be good for remote locations and won't be able to compete with 5G.
Because this is free, it can be accessed at brownstoneresearch.com/bleeding-edge. You can just go there to catch up on what's been going on in the tech world.
But don't get too excited about this free service. It will help keep you updated on what's going on in the tech world, but there aren't any specific investment recommendations made and not really much actionable information. There is, however, a lot of promotions included in these posts, usually at the end, and you'll even find some guest post promotions by people like Teeka Tiwari (from Palm Beach Research - another Agora company).
As usual... you get what you pay for, and in this case you don't even pay.
Exponential Tech Investor ($4,000/yr)
This is an advisory service where Jeff focuses on small and micro-cap tech companies that are poised for breakthrough growth, which are usually in trending new tech fields, such as AI, 5G, 3D printing and so on. The goal here is to alert subscribers to these companies early, before they become well-known, this way investors have the potential to double or triple their money "at a minimum". It certainly isn't cheap, but the potential for big profits is definitely there with this service.
The layout of how you receive things is like most advisory services of its kind...
The Monthly Newsletter is the meat of what you get, and this provides detailed write-ups on specific stocks that Brown recommends buying into. These are very detailed and go over exactly why he thinks they are solid investments poised for big growth. Market and Portfolio Updates are also provided. These are sent out as needed so that if any important news comes out or if a stock should be sold, it will be known. If action does need to be taken, detailed instructions are provided. Subcribers aren't just left in the dark here. Bonus Reports are something else to be expected. They are constantly changing, but Jeff will often write up special reports when there is a new opportunity he's eyeing. Subscribers get access to these... and everything mentioned can be accessed through the members-only website.
The Near Future Report ($199/yr)
This is his flagship service and is the best for beginners because it is reasonably priced, costing $199/yr, yet is still a follow-along service that really helps guide investors.
With this service Jeff looks to identify trends in technology that will be mass-adopted in "the near future" and single out companies positioned to take good advantage of these trends. Large-cap tech companies that still have the potential for good growth are what you can expect to be alerted to here.
The layout of what subscribers get with this service is the same basic thing as that listed above. Monthly Newsletter issues are the core of the service. These provide new stock recommendations, detailed analyses on what's being recommended and market commentary, etc. Alerts and Updates on specific recommendations and general market commentary are also provided as well as special reports that focus on new opportunties.
*Note: This is the service that is most heavily promoted. For example, in Jeff Browns "AI Accelerator" and "#1 Tech Stock" teasers it was this service being promoted.
Early Stage Trader ($5,000/yr)
Early Stage Trader is another one of Jeff's more elite services, comparable to Exponential Tech Investor... and the price reflects this.
In this service he targets early stage, pre-revenue companies, with a focus on the biotech industry. And we're talking about very early-stage here... the opportunities that venture capitalists and angel investors usually look for. It's these that Jeff is focused on and has a good knack for finding, being an angel investor himself.
The layout is the same type of deal here. In the Monthly Issues subscribers are provided with at least one new investment recommendation and in-depth details on the company. Updates & Alerts are also sent out each week to keep everyone informed on what's going on in the market, any potential big plays that Brown suggests getting into that are urgent, sells to make, etc. An Early Stage Trader Manifesto is also provided that goes over how exactly everything works with this service... and there are always some bonus reports for new opportunties as well.
Blank Check Speculator ($4,000/yr)
This service is run by Mr Jeff Brown himself, and the focus here is on investing in special purpose acquisition corporations, aka SPACs or "blank check companies", before a reverse merger happens, which essentially lets you get shares of companies at a "pre-IPO" prices. This is because "blank check companies" are listed on stock exchanges with the purpose of acquiring private companies.
The idea here is to invest in a blank check company before a big acquisition occurs, offering big potential but also risk.
The usual layout is offered when subscribed to this service - monthly issues, portfolio updates, private members area access, etc.
Outlier Investor ($4,000/yr)
This service is run by 20-year Wall Street veteran Jason Bodner. It's focus is all about finding "outlier" investment opportunties before hedge funds and investment banks on Wall Street do. This is a strategy Bodner has used for years, having even co-founded the website Mapsignals.com, which looks for outlier stocks that have unusual trading activity.
Getting in early before the big institutions come in is what we all want, and with the companies being targeted by Bodner here, he claims 100 - 1,000% gains are realistic.
What you get if you subscribe for $4k/yr is, at front and center, monthly research reports by Jason providing in-depth information on two new "outlier" investment opportunities. Additionally, subscribers will be kept up-to-date with trade alerts. There are also free reports given out, one of which titled "The Outlier Investor Manifesto" goes over how Wall Street works and how retail investors can start investing like the pros - basically goes over how this "outlier investor" strategy works.
Of course subscribers will have access to all that is offered in the website members area that they'll get access to, which also includes a model portfolio and a full archive of all that the service has provided in the past.
Unchained Profits ($5,000/yr)
This is Jeff Brown's new blockchain and cryptocurrency-focused advisory service (a rather new service).
However, this service is not just focused on buying cryptocurrency as you might think. Here, he makes recommendations in stocks as well as cryptos in the field with the assistance of analyst Andrew Hodges.
There is also mention of a "pro" version of the service that is for "investors who want to take their investments to the next level", but because the service is so new there really isn't any information on it.
We'd assume that the standard is provided: monthly recommendations provided in detailed newsletters, trade alerts, access to a model portfolio, etc.
Brownstone Unlimited is the most exclusive membership they offer, and costs the most. This provides members with absolutely everything that Brownstone Research has to offer... which includes subscriptions to every service offered and every new service offered in the future. It's an all-in-one package.
The cost of this is something that changes based on what all the company is offering and what they consider to be a fair price. You will have to call them to find out more (1-888-493-3156).
Costs & Refund Policy
First off, one thing that should be made clear is that the prices I've listed above for these services are the full retail prices. However, they are often discounted through special promotions and whatnot, such as how through Brown's "6G" investment teaser people can subscribe to The Near Future Report for just $49 for the first year.
The second thing you should know is that all of these service are set to autorenew each year. So don't be surprised when you forget to cancel and you see a recurring charge the next year!
However, this doesn't seem to be true and there doesn't seem to be any site-wide refund policy. You just have to check on the order page of whatever service you are looking to buy.
For example, I found that one of the sales pages for The Near Future Report states that you can get a refund within 60 days...
That's pretty good... a 60 day refund policy. However, it seems that the more expensive services, including Exponential Tech Investor and Early Stage Trader, only have credit-back policies. This means that your account just get's credited and you can use that money to purchase another one of their services... not a good ol' money-back refund.
If you are trying to get a refund you can contact the company by email or phone...
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Phone: 1-888-493-3156 (Mon-Fri, 9am-7pm ET)
*Tip: If you are having trouble getting a refund for any reason, you can reach out to the BBB. Usually a complaint with them helps speed up the process.
Complaints & Subscriber Reviews
As expected, there are always complaints. Although I will say that Jeff Brown isn't quite as "salesy" as most of the investment gurus out there, and because of this he usually doesn't get quite as many complaints against him.
That said, here's one subscriber calling him a "snake-oil salesman" that covers up his losing recommendations (from when he was at Bonner & Partners)...
*Note: These reviews were found on the Stock Gumshoe website.
There are also some complaints you will find from people who are fed-up with the email marketing. Once you give team access to your email you'd better be prepared to start receiving lots of promotions.
However, when compared to other investment services, those offered by Jeff Brown tend to get better overall ratings and reviews. This is because, as I mentioned, he's generally less salesy than most and because his recommendations perform well most of the time, similar to our top recommended service INSIDER Weekly.
Here's a review from a Near Future Report subscriber who says "I have made more money than I have lost on his recommendations"...
And here's another good review from a subscriber who claims that Jeff's services have "made me the most money by far"...
There are complaints, as expected, but overall the reviews tend to be good... or at the very least, better than most.
Pros v Cons of Joining
- Variety of services offered
- Subscriptions are follow-along style and uncomplicated
- Jeff Brown is a true expert tech investor
- Fairly good reviews overall (better than most other Agora companies)
- Can get expensive
- Refunds aren't offered for every service
- Promotions can get a bit carried-away and misleading
Conclusion - Worth Subscribing To?
Okay, so Brownstone Research is a company that branched off of Bonner & Partners. They provide investment advisory services and the whole operation is headed by expert tech investor Jeff Brown. The services offered are well laid-out, easy-to-follow, and we know that Jeff Brown has a decent track record and doesn't get too many complaints. But... is it worth it to join one of their services?
Well, this is a question you're definitely going to have to answer for yourself. It's up to you. One thing I will says is that here at Green Bull Research we aren't going to tell you to avoid this place. And if you're a beginner investor, The Near Future Report is going to be your best bet.
I hope this review helps with your decision. As always, let us know what you think about this place in the comment section below. We actually like to hear back from our readers!
I re entry came across a service titled TOPLINE TREADER under AngelPublishing Investment Research. And their GREENLIGHT trading program.. I hear they don’t have a USA business license
And are housed in Bulgaria. After sending in money they seem to disappear and promised material does not arrive.
Hi Duane. I’m a bit familiar with Angel Publishing. They are another Agora company. Their business address is in Baltimore as far as I have found.
‘This review is biased towards Brownstone Research. I signed up for the ‘Early stage trader’ service in January 2020. The material presented was hypothetical. I was not aware of that and I subscribed for a non refundable service. I also upgraded to life time subscription option. Then after a weeks they offered the two years of subscription at the same price that I paid for one year. I contacted them to refund me for my lifetime upgrade portion but they denied it. I feel cheated. So far most of the recommendations are negative. You can get way better service in less than $50. The first review shown on this page is correct. They are making money and do not care for the subscribers. They are crooks. Stay away from them.
I agree. But HOW cam ypou 'stay away from them? Theu should be assassinated.
Now that might be a bit harsh of a punishment I think.
LITERALLY A SCAM! Please stay away from these guys. Do not even give them your e-mail address for capture, you will NEVER stop receiving multiple solicitations per day from them. They will not unsubscribe you via their link, they will not unsubscribe you from e-mailing member services. They will even not unsubscribe you after a BBB complaint. Just avoid these scum bags!
Hi Jinny. This is a complaint that we hear all too much. Their email marketing and spamming practices aren’t the best.
I receive emails from them but never asked for. How can I stop? I used the unsubscribe link many times and call them 2 times already. Losing my patience. I can’t knock on their door because I’m from Europe.
How can I stop them? Is there a privacy law or office that can make them stop?
Hi Marc. Yes, there are privacy laws against this sort of spam activity, but unfortunately they are hard to enforce. Since you already took the steps that should work, I’d say just mark their emails in your inbox as spam. This way they will be sent directly to your spam folder and deleted so that they don’t bother you.
iF bROWNSTONE WAS LEGT=IT THEN WHY DOESN'T IT OFFER A uNSUBSCRIBE OPITON FROM ITS EMAILS. nOT ATHATA i SUNSCRIBED IN THE FIRST PLACE.
Thanks to everyone who reported their experiences here. The information you shared saved me from being victimized. I watched his video this morning and what he offered seemed too good to be true. Thank you for confirming my suspicions.
How does Brownstone Investments and Jeff Brown compare with The Motley Fool?
Thank you very to much. That was exceptional I was in a panic you have really helped Thanks!!
I want to invest but have limited funds. I am retired & consider myself as poor but not waiting in the breadline or living from check to check. I hope I can continue to educate myself to select far more winners than losers by reading different sites like yours. That could help me succeed 90% of the time. Of course CD's or Online savings accounts are at an all time low interest rate but that's better than nothing. Plus I have worked over 50yrs & kept my head above the water so I could eventually try to get my toes wet in investment deals.
Your company appears to be honest and straight forward. Therefore, I am hoping your information will be an outstanding help to me.
Please don't post my full name. Can I use Dyh on this site?
Hi Dyh. I’m glad we would help. If you haven’t already, join our newsletter service to get free updates when we expose teasers.
Also, I changed your name to Dyh as requested.
Brown stone is a fraud.. they give you guarantee for 90 days refund. when you ask for refund they tell you cannot you buy other service. customer service line never get thru.
I subscribed for a lifetime at Brownstone's Near Future Report. My first copy was already outdated. Your review was an eye-opener and confirmed my feelings when looking at the nicely polished and directed 'interviews'. Too good to be true.
I made some small investments based on his recommendations. The future will tell. For sure, it is clear that he is making more money with his subscribers than we will ever do by following his leads.
Having joined two weeks ago, I find what I receive for my $149 are emails inviting me to “urgent” informational videos which spend one hour to two hours peaking my curiosity on what stocks or investments he is raving about, only to get to the end of the video with a “deal.” To get the name or ticker symbol or report, I must spend another two to four thousand dollars. Otherwise, I listened to a two-hour infomercial about a mystery stock I cannot access without paying a larger chunk of money. This is disappointing when I thought I was paying for a subscription to receive just such information. Instead I have paid for access to several reports written months
earlier and endless invites to pay more money for the information I thought I would receive through my initial subscription. In sum, I bought a subscription to infomercials advertising mystery securities I can access for lots of extra money. What a scam.
Thanks much for your review! Well worth the read and comes across very unbiased with is refreshing. After reading your review I decided to take Brownstone up on their $49 offer for The Near Future Report. Keep up the good work.
Tom in Alaska
Hello. I'm having difficulty unsubscribing from brownstone research $49 Near Future Report. Emailed thrice. No response yet. Called too but couldn't get through. I'm outside the US.
You mentioned BBB. What's that and how do I get BBB to help me?
Would you mind replying soon?
I’d recommend filing a complaint about the company through the BBB as a last option. Companies like Brownstone Research often monitor their reviews with the BBB closely so they are more likely to reply to your request.
this company is a scam directed to swindle money from old people.
I used to agree with your overall assessment of Brownstone Research. I started out with Near Future Report and Exponential Tech Investor in November 2020. In December (or right when it became available) I added Blank Check Speculator and shortly thereafter became a Brownstone Unlimited member.
I have about 45 positions spread across the available services. I’ve been a reader for about 10 months.
Although a handful of companies have made some pretty good gains, none have doubled so far. ALL of the SPACS are losers- down 10% to 20%.
Almost all of the Early Stage Trader positions are losers. A couple have made modest gains. Many are down 20-25% and a few are down over 50% off the recommended buy up to prices. I have entered into a number of positions below the recommended buy up to prices and have not entered any over those prices.
Overall, after 10 months I’m down about 15%. Not great for 6 to 10 months.
I sold off my Vanguard Wellington Fund which is up about 25% in the same period of time. Compared to my Vanguard Mutual Fund, my Brownstone portfolio is down about 40%. I’ve lost about $80,000 from my Brownstone portfolio of about 45 positions.
I disagree with your EXTREMELY INACCURATE portrayal of Brownstone Research.
Although a handful of companies
I was making some pretty good gains up to around Valentines Day 2021.
On Jul 15 2020 I received an email invitation about personal money management seminar. In that evening I listened to the seminar and it was an introduction of a program called "Early Stage Trader". The presenter (Jeff Brown) claimed that in the past, he was able to pin point stock candidates that later on doubled their prices, not one time, nor two time but all the time. In the presentation, he did not present the methods he used to select these stocks, but said everything was in the documents he prepared to send to me if I would give him a chance to try it. He said he did not ask for any commitment only the willingness to try since it had a 90 day money back guarantee. So I called on the order phone number on the screen and placed an order for $2497.00. Then I saw a big sign on the screen: “90 Day Money Back Credit”. I was suspicious of that sign: Did it mean 90 Day Money Back Guarantee or 90 Day Credit Guarantee or two option? If it was 90 Day Credit Guarantee, why Jeff would say I would have nothing to lose but everything to gain to look at the program.
The next day after I reviewed the documents received in my email, I found out there was no telling based on what methods he selected stocks. The stocks were all in the pharmaceutical and biotech sectors. He neither had any brokerage records backing up the claim that he bought certain stocks and later on the prices were more than doubled. I have a Ph.D. in Pharmaceutics and worked both in a pharmaceutic company and pharmaceutical regulatory agency (USP) before. So, I was very familiar with the processes of drug development. Based on my knowledge and experience in the pharmaceutical field, the lack of presentation of the methods how Jeff Brown selected these stocks and the lack of any proof he doubled his money on all the stocks he had selected, I deemed it was not likely that these occurred. I called the company the next morning and told them I needed to cancel my subscription I placed last night based on their 90 day money back guarantee. The representative said that they did not offer money back guarantee only credit to buy other products of theirs. Later on they offered me $6699 voucher but I refused. I have no trust in their products and only want $2497 refund.
My lawyer wrote a letter to them explaining the reason I bought the program with the understating of 90 day money back guarantee s Jeff said I would have nothing to lose to take a look at it.
The wrote back to me saying the refund would take about 3 months as my credit card company was doing an investigation and the case was locked.
My credit card company informed me that after their investigation, they decided it was not a credit fraud since no one had ordered the product in my name without my knowing and this dispute was about the terms of guarantee and even it was a fraud, it did not belong to credit fraud category. As a credit card company, they were only liable to credit fraud, and I needed to ask other people to handle it.
Brownstone Research informed me that my credit card company had settled the case in their favor so they would not issue the refund.
My lawyer said if I pursued the legal approach the legal fee would amount to that or more and would take more time.
I did not pursue the case further since I felt I needed to spend more time and energy on more productive activities for myself and for the society.
Since then, they saturated my email with other marketing products, each one promised more potential earning opportunity. But with this experience with them, I will never buy anything from them.
In the current situations, due to the Pandemic and inflation pressure, a lot of people feel the stress and look for way out. Every promise by someone sound like soothing music especially someone seems successful.
But be careful of the wolves in sheep’s clothing and false prophets. Verify the facts with their claims to protect yourself.
Appreciate the comment, Weijun. It’s a shame to hear about an experience like this. Unfortunately, this seems to be the typical customer service received from “Agora” companies like Brownstone Research.
Interesting take on this business. They have an ‘F’ rating with the Better Business Bureau.
Some are for constant emails from Jeff or his affiliate companies. When you ‘unsubscribe’, you are only unsubscribed a single affiliate, even if the email is directly from Brownstone Research. So many emails a day, each linking to a special half hour presentation of a special secret, or a must buy stock, which would artificially raise the price for the person telling the story.