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Joe Shew’s Crypto Strategist Advisory – Subscriber Review!

November 15, 2022 by Phil

Joe Shew’s Crypto Strategist Advisory, according to the editor, is his prime newsletter. If you are looking to invest in digital currency, Shew encourages you to try his service. 

But before you do so, check out our review first. Green Bull Research subscribed to his service to examine how well Shew's newsletter measures up to his claims.

Crypto Strategist Advisory says it will show you which cryptos are profitable and where you can find them. In addition, the so-called expert will also advise you on how much to pay for them.

Aside from these, the writer will include backstories to crypto opportunities he'll present. This way, subscribers will understand his thinking behind his recommendations. 

Serious investors will also appreciate inclusions like how-to videos and predictions. Of course, like any other publisher, TradeSmith also throws in a few other bonus features.

Since so many are looking to get in on this train, Shew promises long-term wealth for you and your family. All you need to do is trust him. Sounds like an enticing proposition?

This article will help you decide better if subscribing to this newsletter is worth it. Be sure to take note of our observations, as this is an insider subscriber review.


  • Name: Crypto Strategist Advisory
  • Editor: Joe Shew
  • Publisher: TradeSmith
  • Website: www.tradesmith.com
  • Service: Digital currency investment research advisory
  • Cost: $49 promo price for the first year (down from $199)

TradeSmith, the newsletter publisher, brands Joe Shew as a "globetrotting cryptocurrency expert."

As the editor, Shew claims to give subscribers access to information that will transform them into experts as well. Subscribing will provide you at least one investing play each month from the "crypto savant." 

Aside from the main attraction, the editor also gives readers access to a digital currency masterclass. Apparently, watching these will turn you "from crypto rookie to crypto pro in just a few hours."

According to his pitch, Shew and TradeSmith agreed to give a special price offer of $49. Why? According to them, they want more people to experience how great the advisory is.

So, is this the right newsletter for you? Whether you are into digital currencies or not, this review will help you assess if the service can be a helpful tool for you.

Subscription Process

As mentioned, the promotional page for Crypto Strategist Advisory features a reduced price. It is a significant difference, from $199 to $49 for the first year. 

So to personally experience what the buzz is about, we decided to subscribe and check it out for ourselves. Doing this also ensures we can give you a fuller picture of what to expect if you subscribe.

The pitch specifically says those who receive it follow the links on that specific page. If you go directly to their website, the text says you will not be eligible for the special offer.

We checked that for ourselves, and true enough, the website indicates you can purchase the package for $199. In fact, it will not directly lead you to a payment page; you must call a number.

Following the link on the page, however, will lead you to the order form. It has the usual asks like name, address, and credit card details. 

We would like to note that the fine print on these things is always worth a read. This website constantly reminds you about this, so you know what to expect when you finally hit the pay button.

In this particular case, there will be a price increase after a year:

Your service will automatically renew on an annual basis until you properly cancel. 
At the renewal date for your Crypto Strategist Advisory subscription, TradeSmith will charge a $99 renewal fee (plus applicable taxes) to the credit card or other means of payment on file.
You may cancel your service at any time by contacting our Customer Success team at 866-385-2076 or by clicking here.

We have lifted this word for word because TradeSmith seems to have used the smallest font size possible for this text. It is a usual practice for publishers, but we think this is an unethical move.

Unlike in physical papers, contracts, and manuals, there are space issues. Therefore, layout editors squeeze in the fine print to use less space and paper.

But for online purchases, there's no justifiable reason for these things to be so tiny. Subscribers should clearly see what the disclaimers and special notes are before they part with their money. 

Sure, they can zoom in, but publishers should not make them do that anymore. We think showing them the above text in regular font size is the responsible, ethical, and right thing to do.

We say this because people might not initially see that they would pay a higher fee for the second year. Also, some may not be aware that most subscriptions auto-renew. In fact, it takes an effort to cancel.

In our case, once we confirmed, TradeSmith directed us to an upsell page. This one says that for $299, we could upgrade the service to an elite membership. Choosing to pay more gives you more "extensive" information.

We availed of this offer. After, there was another pitch to upgrade. For another $99, we could get the Crypto by TradeSmith Plus. Apparently, this is their crypto-tracking system.

We opted to pass on this one. But the publisher is relentless and offered it for just $1! Imagine if we said yes to the initial offer of $99. 

But going further back, what if we did not avail of the $299 upgrade?

We might have gotten a better deal, and it could have been offered for a lesser amount. Well, publishers always have these schemes, so it did not really bother us too much.

After declining this latest pitch, another upgrade offer appeared. This time, the publisher offered its stock picking service, Ideas by TradeSmith Basic subscription. This was for another $79. 

Only after declining once again did I receive the subscription congratulatory message.

To be fair, Shew and the publisher do give subscribers leeway to opt-out. All of this is still under their return policy, but more on this in the next sections, so keep reading.

What is Crypto Strategist Advisory?

Basically, it is an investment research advisory focused on crypto. The supposed unique selling proposition here is that Shew is a peerless expert.

This is why TradeSmith believes the newsletter will give you more value than "many other similar research services out there that are going for $2,000 or more for a year's worth of access."

Shew and TradeSmith believe that you can get financial freedom. Their monthly digital recommendations will do that for you. As proof of their competence, they have included a bunch of testimonials.

These are supposed to convince you that their lives have changed because of Shew. But are these encouraging statements credible? Are the personalities believable? We will discuss this in the next sections.

But essentially, the service aims to provide crypto intel. Once you subscribe, you will have access to a website with an array of options. There's a weekly update, monthly recommendations, portfolios, a masterclass, and special reports.

As of this writing, there are still a limited number of articles on the main platform. Starting 13 June 2022, there are 22 weekly update articles, five monthly reports, and three special reports that are dated 10 June.

Additionally, there is one roughly two-hour masterclass, five tickers on the portfolio, and three articles dated 23 Aug in the Elite section.

The number is understandable, though, since it seems like a fairly new service. Also, it's all about the quality and not just the quantity, right? So, does the advisory give top-notch crypto information?

More on that in the next chapters.

In the Portfolio section, readers are encouraged to click a link that leads to another dashboard on TradeSmith Finance. Here, subscribers are again asked to sign in.

Upon entering, readers will see different sections:

  • Market health
  • Publications and Bonus reports
  • My opportunities
  • Most searched tickers
  • My gurus
  • Newsletters
  • Publications
  • Bonus reports
  • TradeSmith recent recommendations
  • Your publishers

These look like typical sections in an advisory dashboard. But we found the last section particularly interesting. It lists and has clickable links to various investment research companies, including:

  • Banyan Hill
  • Empire Financial Research
  • Paradigm Press
  • Stansberry research
  • Three Founders Publishing

Does this group of publishers look familiar? Well, you may have heard about their umbrella company or read our article, The Agora – Scam Company or Legit? [Reviewed].

Our in-depth review traces between this web of research firms and why they have become (in)famous in the industry. All of them have direct links to The Agora's Bill Bonner.

Aside from the company review, you may also check out our research on Bonner. The article tackles if he is really an investing expert or a scam artist.

We can't conclude for sure if they are under the same network, but it is worth mentioning. In our opinion, this information may help you decide if you want to subscribe to TradeSmith and Shew.

Who is Joe Shew?

TradeSmith banks on Shew's countless hours in the financial sector as his edge over others. His profile states that he is an expert who was among the earliest crypto advocates.

According to him, the editor's previous picks "have gone on to see eye-popping gains like:

  • 62,112% on Ethereum
  • 18,596% on Bitcoin
  • 3,344% on Cardano
  • 2,758% on Algorand

These may be true, but we have no objective way of verifying such claims, so we take these things with a grain of salt.

Through his years of trial and error, he supposedly has learned the ins and outs of the trade. In fact, he proceeded to make strategies for other people like the system he calls “Five Pillars of Successful Crypto Investing.”

In his quest to help more people understand digital currency, he also set up the Crypto Consulting Institute.

According to the organization, it "developed the on-chain data analytics that gives his followers their massive market advantage." TradeSmith does not elaborate on this, though.

So we looked for the institute online to know more about it.

Unfortunately, the website itself does not provide us with substantial information. All we know is that he is the face of the Australia-based company alongside Sam Macdonald, the Head Analyst.

We tried to look at what kinds of services or advisories it offers. Maybe there was a company profile we could check. But to get more details, one needs to directly get in touch with them.

It does have a free report and short videos and articles that lead readers to more training. However, you will only get more information once you talk to them.

Green Bull Research naturally wanted to know more if TradeSmith and Crypto Consulting Institute are connected. In their reply, the latter confirmed that the two companies are indeed partners.

In addition, the institute offers a different advisory than those from TradeSmith. The former's newsletter, priced at $49AUD, focuses on its "top 10 portfolio with buy and sell levels."

The monthly advisory provides "short-term trade ideas" and explains where they see the market moving and why.

But the reply did acknowledge that TradeSmith's Crypto Strategy Advisory and Crypto Advantage Society are both "high-level" newsletters. This is the reason for the premium pricing.

Having multiple services on different platforms is not new for most editors. When done right, it even boosts their credibility as in-demand thinkers and strategists.

However, without much information, readers may become suspicious of such schemes. It may not be clear to them which is which, and if they can get the same information at a lower price.

Also, if they do not know the background of the other organizations associated with the editor, they may suspect something is amiss. After all, if everything is aboveboard, why be secretive with details, right?

We are not speculating here, merely asking questions. In fact, we did ask them directly, that's why we have some answers. But not everyone digs deeply like we do, and subscribers deserve more transparency.

What is TradeSmith?

TradeSmith is an investment research company offering various newsletters. According to its website, the firm provides high-level information for retail investors.

Based on its profile, it seems like there is an advocacy component here.

The company says its goal is to help individual investors attain financial freedom because it believes they can also outperform the markets when given the right tools.

TradeSmith says it began as a simple portfolio tracker. However, it has slowly turned into "a powerful suite of risk-management and portfolio analysis tools."

With offices in Florida, it is headed by its CEO, Keith Kaplan. The company also advertises that its insights have been featured on MSNBC, CNN, Fox News, and CNBC.

At the moment, here is the array of programs from TradeSmith:

Free E-letters:

  • TradeSmith Daily
  • Money Talks with Keith Kaplan

Investment Tools:

  • TradeStops 
  • Ideas by TradeSmith
  • Trade360 ($5,000)
  • Timing ($3,500)
  • Ratings ($999)
  • TradeSmith Trends ($99)

Trading Tools:

  • Infinite Income Loop ($599)
  • CoPilot ($5,000)
  • Money Movers ($3,000)

Cryptocurrency Research and Software:

  • Crypto Strategist Advisory ($199 original price)
  • Advantage Society ($5,000)
  • Crypto by TradeSmith
  • Crypto Ideas ($1,500)

Income Generation:

  • Stock Advantage Report ($299)
  • Dividends on Demand ($5,000)
  • Parabolic Profits ($5,000)

Macro Investing Research

  • TradeSmith Decoder ($3,000)
  • Quantum Edge Pro ($3,000)


  • Opportunity Alerts ($1,000)
  • MegaTrends ($4,000)
  • Earnings Season Pass ($5,000)

From these offers, we can observe three things. 

First, the company has a penchant for combining two words like TradeSmith, TradeStops, and MegaTrends. Second and on a more serious note, there seems to be something for virtually anybody.

Third, and most importantly, most of the services require a high premium for subscribing.

As a result, readers will have reasonably high expectations from the company. In addition, subscribers need to make sure the refund policy is solid and that TradeSmith has a track record of honoring such.

What You Get

Based on the special promo, the advisory promises to give you monthly newsletters containing at least one crypto play per issue. Apart from this, Shew also adds a few special reports.

At the time of this specific offer, the add-ons are:

  • The #1 Crypto of 2022: How To Profit from The $30 Trillion Web 3.0 Wave
  • Three Crypto Killers That Will Crush Your Portfolio
  • The NFT Playbook: How To Play the NFT Movement in Web 3.0

Based on the dashboard, it seems like even if the bonus reports change, you will get access to previous articles.

However, it's not a guarantee since these things change a lot. It may also depend on the kind of upgrade you get. The reason why we mention it here is to give you a glimpse of topics he usually covers.

There is also a Crypto Video Masterclass, which TradeSmith claims is worth $497. Running at almost two hours, you will get substantial information from the class.

However, we are not convinced it is worth that much. These days, there are a lot more free insightful online resources out there. So we believe the projected value on this one is more of a marketing ploy.

Aside from these, subscribers also have access to his portfolio, weekly updates, and customer support.

Track Record and Reviews

Being a relatively new service, there aren't too many independent reviews for the advisory. In fact, it was also difficult to find detailed feedback on the other services of TradeSmith.

We did the best we could to provide you with useful information on the company's credibility. This way, you will have an idea if subscribing to the newsletter is something for you to consider.

Trustpilot's TradeSmith review page may discourage you from actually doing it. To be fair, there are only three reviews, so it may not be an accurate representation of many subscribers.

However, the three reviews gave the research firm 1 out of 5 stars. Despite this, the overall rating for the company is 2.8 stars.

This looked strange, but Trustpilot says that the final rating is not just an average of reviews. The TrustScore also factors in "the age and number of reviews" plus whether the company asks subscribers to write reviews.

The three commenters did not mince words and directly accused the company of being a scammer. "World King" says that he had the worst experience trying to get his money back even if he cancelled within 24 hours.

According to him, he only got his money after personally disputing the transaction with his own bank, which took months. The ploy seems to fool even banks.

What TradeSmith and connected firms do is lure you into buying affordable services. However, they will give you a hard time with refunds. Plus, even if you unsubscribe, they will continue with the upsells.

In his case, he was again charged with a different service several months later. The bank did not initially agree with him when he disputed the transaction because the bank saw a previous legit subscription.

This is why he had to go to his bank armed with screenshots and other proof.

Moreover, the company was not even responsive to his queries and continued, in fact, to send him spam emails.

In addition, it was not just TradeSmith who was bombarding the subscriber with dozens of emails per day. He mentioned that the other organizations associated with TradeSmith also send him spam.

The thing is, even if he unsubscribes, they would all still send him emails. It was such a nightmare to him that he wished he did not give them his email and credit card information in the first place.

These are the exact words from the commenters:

This is a SCAM operation.
Please report these guys if you’ve been scammed. More we report, the more we can help others!
I am inundated with about 50 emails a day for all the garbage they send.
I am having to shut down my email account that I used for twenty years before they got it!
AVOID the expensive subscriptions. You won't learn about their real-world profit / loss record until it is too late.
AVOID Tradesmith. It's smart marketing and not much else.

In Better Business Bureau, the company has a rating of 1 out of 5 stars from three reviewers. It also has a total of 23 complaints from 2019 to 2022.

Here is an example of a complaint on the website.

To be fair, TradeSmith has a 100% response rate in BBB and it does try to resolve the issues. 

There is no major post on the company in Stock Gumshoe, but we did find a comment on a thread that defended the publisher.

We admit that the complaints do not look good for the company. However, we cannot say for certain that this sample size represents all subscribers.

Our goal here is to show you that these reviews exist, and you must proceed with caution. If you find them credible, worth the risk, and you decide to subscribe, at least you have all the information.

As to the performance of Crypto Strategist Advisory's recommendations, we cannot disclose much because they are inside the paid newsletter.

However, we can say that their recommendations are in the red zone as of this writing. To be fair, according to its dashboard, 100% of the markets are in the red zone, including S&P 500, DOW 30, and NASDAQ 100.

We also could not take Shew's word for his claims that his previous recommendations saw "eye-popping gains." His marketing materials point to Ethereum, Bitcoin, Cardano, and Algorand. 

As previously mentioned, we do not take these claims too seriously. Who knows, maybe with a little more time, people would also write more positive reviews of Shew and TradeSmith.

Cost and Refund Policy


The investment research firm and Shew say they reduced the price to help more people.

It seems to be consistent with its stated advocacy and mission. However, it could also be merely a marketing tactic for the new advisory.

The original price for a year's subscription is $199, but the offer page gives it for only $49. The subscription auto-renews for $99 plus taxes unless you cancel.

Refund Policy

TradeSmith claims subscribing is a risk-free proposition. If you cancel within 60 days, it will return your money, no questions asked. However, note that, as stated above, subscribers did not have an easy time with this.

Pros v Cons


  • Affordable introductory price compared to other TradeSmith products
  • Easy-to-navigate and user-friendly dashboard interface
  • Generous 60-day money-back guarantee


  • It is a relatively new company that does not have a long track record of results yet
  • Association with The Agora group, which has questionable marketing practices
  • Limited number of past issues to judge accuracy of predictions

Conclusion - Should You Subscribe?

Joe Shew’s Crypto Strategist Advisory is the perfect newsletter if you want to venture into digital currencies. This is what Shew and TradeSmith advertise. To give you more details, we subscribed to the service.

For the proponents, the editor's expertise will help you navigate through the risky investing space. Once you listen to their recommendations, you may attain financial independence.

Aside from the monthly recommendations, you will also access Shew's crypto portfolio and masterclass. He also adds in a couple of bonus reports. All these, you can get for $49 for the first year.

When we decided to register for the newsletter, we went through a few steps before finally confirming our subscription. Every step of the way, TradeSmith tries to upsell you. 

We consider offering upgrades as normal. But in our case, we have gotten four upsells, which we think is an overkill. For us, it is too much because we know we will be getting email offers after this anyway.

But marketers will do what they can to get the sale, so this is forgivable if they can indeed deliver on their promise.

Upon entering the portal, we noticed that there aren't too many articles yet. However, the separate dashboard on TradeSmith Finance has more content.

On this new website, we have seen that this publisher is connected with those from The Agora. 

This association is even confirmed by a reviewer who said he received spam mail from these companies even if he didn't sign up with them. This, we believe, is an unethical practice.

Based on the other comments on BBB and Trustpilot, it seems some other subscribers are highly disappointed.

However, a commenter on Stock Gumshoe seemed to find the publisher credible. The fact that major brokerages allow you to link your TradeSmith account to your portfolio means they trust the company.

Shew points to his so-called early calls for some cryptos as proof of his competence. However, we couldn't verify this since and most editors say this loosely to boost their profile.

We couldn't divulge the specific recommendations inside the paid service. However, all Shew's recommendations are in the red zone, but it's consistent with the general market, the publisher claims.

In the end, it's up to you if you want to subscribe to Joe Shew’s Crypto Strategist Advisory. What we can say is that both the investing space and the newsletter are risky, given all that we discussed. But if you trust the service, you may also try it out.


A writer and researcher, Phil enjoys exploring topics about finance, investments, and consumer behavior. His two young kids serve as inspiration for his advocacy on education and the youth.

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