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Stock Gumshoe Review – A Reliable Investing Detective?

September 23, 2021 by Phil

This Stock Gumshoe review investigates what the real deal is with the website. Apart from the free articles, he also offers exclusive content. Should you still subscribe, or would his articles suffice?

Apart from the writer's analyses of so-called secret stocks, the research website is also known for its robust community. Users and subscribers actively engage with each other.

Are you a plain reader or a paid subscriber? What are your thoughts on this topic? We would love to hear from you.

Continue reading as well so you can learn more about Stock Gumshoe.

Overview

  • Name: Stock Gumshoe
  • Founder: Travis Johnson
  • Service: Investment newsletters and teasers analysis
  • Cost: Basic - Free, Monthly - $7, Yearly - $59, Lifetime - $329
  • Website: www.stockgumshoe.com
  • Address: 351 Pleasant St., Ste. B #205, Northampton, MA 01060
  • Numbers: Fax - (866) 516-7341, Phone -(617) 249-4867 (toll free)

The tagline of the website is simple:

SECRET TEASER STOCKS REVEALED.
INVESTMENT NEWSLETTERS REVIEWED.

And this is exactly the straightforward service of Stock Gumshoe. It provides exposés of teasers and allows its users to review newsletters.

What is Stock Gumshoe?

A gumshoe is a detective wearing plain clothes.  In the early days, rubber shoes were called gums. When detectives wear them, they can move more freely and stealthily.

As Stock Gumshoe, Travis Johnson, the website's founder, is an investigator of secret stocks.

One could access most features of the website for free. Johnson leads a team of writers who looks deeper into teasers and expose them.

In the articles, they analyze what the stocks being teased are. But they do not just blurt them out.

Stock Gumshoe walks its readers through the clues given by the marketing teams of newsletters. As you read their analyses, you also learn how to discover secret stocks on your own.

In an interview on The Money Answers Show, Johnson also shares about the difference between genuine newsletters and a pump and dump campaign.

According to the writer, there are indeed legit stock promoters. Companies hire PR firms to drive attention to certain stocks. 

However, most of the hyped activities do not fall in this category. Sometimes, companies themselves are not aware.

Investors and offshore traders hire PR companies to send promotions to millions of people. Their goal is to pump up shares of stocks so they can sell them at a higher price later on.

When people see shares going up 50% to 100% or more, they get excited and jump in. Unfortunately, they are often the last ones, so they end up losing money.

Yes, some campaigns are legit. Companies employ such tactics to raise more capital and sell stocks to the public. But these occurrences are rare.

Stock Gumshoe aims to educate the public on these.

In addition, people can also find user-generated ratings and reviews of various newsletters on its website. Subscribers rate them from one to five stars and leave comments about their experiences.

If you would subscribe, you would get a bit of exclusive content and privileges on the website.

Although Stock Gumshoe is more popular for its teaser reveals, those who subscribe will also have access to Johnson's personal portfolio.

Who is Travis Johnson?

The entrepreneur behind the website and service is Travis Johnson.

Before being a stock detective, he was with Cornell University and the University of Maryland. 

He used to be a Law and Economics librarian also involved in research work. At that time, he started noticing the ads and teasers for newsletters.

In the beginning, he tried to study what the teasers were about just as a hobby. But then, his interest grew since he was also a casual investor.

According to his profile, his rationale for starting Stock Gumshoe in 2007 is frustration. Since he found most marketing pitches of stock newsletters overhyped, he needed a sounding board. That is how Stock Gumshoe began.

For him, so-called secrets are mere tactics to get investors to pay mostly overpriced newsletters. He is exposing such secrets to help consumers make better subscription decisions.

Initially, all the website's content was free. But then people started giving him money to expand his services and keep the website afloat. Because of this, he added features exclusive to his subscribers.

The writer calls them Stock Gumshoe Irregulars. It is a borrowed phrase from Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes. Holmes calls his intelligence agents Baker Street Irregulars.

His profile charmingly describes him as "a university faculty member, a fundraiser, a writer, and a world-champion ice-cream scooper".

What You Get

Stock Gumshoe has four pricing schemes for its services. If you want to subscribe, you will be directed to a page showing these options.

You can pick Basic - Free, Monthly - $7, Yearly - $59, or Lifetime - $329.

Free

Their most basic offer is the free service. 

If you pick this option, the team will provide you with an email newsletter called Daily Update. With this, they guarantee that you will be among the first to know about "new teaser solutions".

Registering for this no-cost service will also allow you to create a user profile. When you have one, you will have the privilege of sharing your thoughts on articles. 

Since there are newsletter reviews and teaser analyses, the comments sections for these are open for you to comment on.

Premium Services

Of course, there are paid services available as well. 

Should you choose to support the website and pay, they promise upgraded services.

First, you will get the Daily Update newsletters which are sent via email.

Second, Stock Gumshoe offers additional features to your membership profile

Once you subscribe, you will have access to what's called a Quick Take box. This contains a summary of the article in about 200 to 300 words. 

If you are a regular reader, this is a valuable add-on. Although articles provide extensive and valuable details, some deem them lengthy. 

We agree that most of the time, readers need very specific information. Stock Gumshoe walk investors like you and me through salient points so we can make informed subscription decisions. Such is a huge help.

However, we also understand comments who say that not all information is for everyone. If you are not interested in subscribing to a newsletter being reviewed, you wouldn't care about its detailed ins and outs. A brief would suffice.

So we think this feature is helpful.

In the case of teasers, you do not even need to go through the long-winded introduction. The Quick Take box just spits it out.

Further, you will also have access to featured commentaries under the banner of Friday File

In addition, since most subscribers develop a fondness for Travis Johnson, some are curious about his portfolio. If you are interested in stocks he owns, Real Money Portfolio will be useful. 

In this feature, he also includes exclusive analyses and explanations for buying and selling.

Is this a huge come-on? Well, for one, we can say that the website is more known for its in-depth commentary. The reputation Stock Gumshoe has built is not hinged on investing advice.

It even says this explicitly on its website:

Stock Gumshoe is not your personal financial advisor, and we cannot provide individualized advice -- please review our important disclaimers and privacy policy.

In addition to this statement on the Subscription page, they add more caveats on the Disclaimer section.

Stock Gumshoe publishes research and opinion pieces for a broad audience. Its employees are not investment advisers, registered or otherwise, and are not privy to your portfolio and your personal needs.

You should not consider the writing here, whether published by the owner and written by our employees or added in comments or reviews from readers and guest contributors, to consist in any way of investment or other personal advice.

You should speak with your own adviser and do your own research before making any investment decisions.

Choices regarding how to invest your money or otherwise manage your life, health, or finances are yours, we share only our opinions, experiences, and research.

So is this feature still something that will entice would-be subscribers? 

Well, the answer is yes and no. If you have been a follower, even without subscribing, you would find his articles helpful. User reviews are also useful, especially reading the comments of actual subscribers.

So if only for these, a peek at Johnson's picks is a welcome bonus.

But if you are thinking about joining his exclusive membership club ONLY for his genius recommendations, it's a NO.

A subscription will also allow you to create discussion threads.

Regarding this, we think it is among the website's best features. 

We believe this is what's classified as Microblogs.

Since not all newsletters get reviewed immediately, you may directly ask about ones you are curious about.

The website will also allow you to inquire about specific teasers that have not been discussed yet.

Another great thing about the site is that most users are mostly helpful. When they hear about something, expect informative replies to your queries. There is just a healthy sense of community on Stock Gumshoe.

This is not to say though, that there are no disagreements in the comments section. There are a lot, and sometimes it does get heated.

But there are no disrespectful or condescending replies so far, at least based on what we have seen.

We believe credit goes to Johnson and his team. They are able to vet comments that are helpful from verified subscribers. The management deserves commendation as this definitely is not an easy task.

How it Works

Travis Johnson writes most of the teaser reveals and analyses on the website.

Based on our observation, he does seem to be fair in his articles. The guy writes about what the recent offers are, which are helpful for everyday investors like us.

In addition, he also takes the time to talk extensively about controversial newsletter editors, services, and teasers. So in this regard, he appears to be fearless but fair.

He also encourages his readers to comment on posts and he tirelessly engages with them.

In fact, there are times when we find equally useful and credible information from subscribers. Yes, it may sound amusing, but the comments are a goldmine also.

This, of course, is to be expected. Though users are not professional reviewers (is there even such a legit category?), they are investors. Their years of experience, success, and failures add depth to their opinions.

There are even times when Johnson or some other writer are not too sure about some teased stocks. Commenters sometimes are the ones who figure it out.

But this is not in any way a shot at the writing team. That's just how a vibrant community works. The consensus among subscribers is that they appreciate and trust the commentary of Johnson. 

Teasers

The usual structure of the articles includes passages lifted from ads of teasers. Usually, these teasers serve as publishers' primary marketing tools. 

They start with a screaming headline that comes with a promise of astronomic gains.

One such example is this:

“The IPO Opportunity of the Decade: It just came out of stealth mode and is expected to give birth to a massive new industry. Get in on what could be the stock of the decade -- ” with up to 8,933% gains ahead."

A textbook case of overselling or an achievable proposition?

We have written our teaser reveal on this here at Green Bull Research. Read our article to know more about this promo for Jason Simpkins’ Wall Street Proving Ground newsletter.

What Travis Johnson does is decipher from the marketing copywriter's own words what the stocks could be.

Here is a snippet so we can see what it looks like:

He follows the clues according to how they are laid out on the teasers. Along the way, he provides his analysis of various claims and statements.

Towards the end, he reveals the stock/s being teased based on what his "Thinkolator" says.

Yes, the articles can be long and tedious. But we think serious investors appreciate the diligence of Johnson and his team.

Even noobs and non-investors can learn a lot. As Johnson dissects specific statements, he carefully explains his thoughts on each. This way, we see his thought process. 

Honestly, when you read him for a long time, you would find yourself using his voice and process when going through a teaser. It is both creepy and helpful, a healthy mix of both.

The website also prominently displays what the newsletter discussed in the teaser is. This way, you can just click on it and it will take you to the newsletter review page.

Newsletters

It is interesting to note that there are no actual newsletter reviews from the Stock Gumshoe team. What they do is allow subscribers to rate from one to five stars each one advisory service on four grounds:

  • Investment Performance
  • Quality Of Writing/Analysis
  • Value For Price
  • Customer Service

From the ratings for each, the website creates a total score and indicates how many voted.

Aside from the visual summary of the five-star points system, the comments also provide key details.

Subscribers freely comment on their experiences with the editors, stock picks, and other aspects of newsletters. Here, we can get reliable reviews and perspectives.

As Green Bull Research readers, you would know we often lift comments from there as well. 

Independence

Now regarding the impartiality of the contents on the website, they have this to say:

Stock Gumshoe does not solicit or accept payment for editorial coverage or endorsement of any newsletter or of any stock or other investment, and we are never paid to cover, promote, or ignore a specific investment or specific newsletter.

The presence of an advertisement on this site or in the email newsletters associated with this site should not imply an endorsement by Stock Gumshoe or its employees, including Travis Johnson, of that product or service.

We believe this is a reassuring disclaimer. 

These days, there are only a few of us who can claim that we are independent. Here at Green Bull Research, you know we are also not on anyone's payroll. We call spade a spade.

So it is refreshing to see this from Johnson.

Our shared objectivity is much-needed today, as you could imagine. Everywhere you turn, old and new editors constantly come up with new or revised investment research newsletters.

Obviously, regular subscribers like us need guidance. More often than not, the marketing gimmicks are over the top. The promises and claims are full of hyperbole.

But as much as we want to stay away, our eyes also sparkle when we hear about high returns. Who wouldn't be enticed, right?

In our effort to practice diligence, we turn to reviews.

Wrong move. Most of the time.

The Internet is full of affiliate websites that provide promotional reviews, to put it charitably. Their main goal is not to give guidance but to push readers into subscribing.

We are not saying that this is wrong. Such is a part of marketing and it is a legitimate industry. 

However, not everyone understands this nuance. Some people wrongly view them as objective endorsements based on careful study.

It is not entirely the fault of readers, though. Some websites do not explicitly declare their links with newsletters they "review" (read as promote and sell).

So a company like Stock Gumshoe is a welcome player in this space.

At this time, what investors need are truthful, accurate, and honest reviews.

We are heartbroken whenever we hear of stories where subscribers claim they have been fooled. Some say they experienced unauthorized charges, renewals, or even subscription registrations.

Most complain about low-quality investment recommendations. Such led them to lose their savings and retirement funds.

So we do not take this issue of objectivity lightly.

Track Record and Reviews

This is a tricky section, as this entails reviewing the reviewer. So meta.

On TrustPilot, there are only two reviews of the website and we believe this is of no great use for us. Other than this, we found no other credible ratings and reviews from reputable sources.

When we tried researching further, we did see a review page for Stock Gumshoe on Stock Gumshoe. This is next-level meta.

To humor ourselves, we took a look. Apparently, even the website finds the review page amusing.

From the comments section, we found that most of them were indeed positive reviews. That's a no-brainer.

This is to be expected since Johnson was able to harness the power of community early on. 

However, we also saw less than five comments talking about his less than stellar record in recommending investments.

Even Johnson tends to agree with those, evident in his replies.

Still, hundreds and hundreds more appreciate the work he and his team puts in their articles.

Some subscribers said they already canceled all their other newsletters and solely rely on the website. Others add that Stock Gumshoe saved them from spending hundreds and even thousands of money on subscription fees. 

Cost and Refund Policy

Cost

As discussed above, you have an array of straightforward options for a Stock Gumshoe subscription. We have already listed above the detailed inclusions and services.

You may opt not to pay. Or you may subscribe monthly for $7, annually for $59, or get their platinum lifetime access for $329.

Refund Policy

For the monthly and annual subscriptions, here are the rules:

Full refunds of your most recent payment are cheerfully given to your credit card or PayPal account within 60 days of payment, for any reason or for no reason. Pro-rated refunds after that will likely require payment by check.

The website makes use of the negative option feature. This means that when you do not cancel, your subscription automatically gets renewed. 

Although this is a standard practice of most services, legal authorities are not comfortable with this. 

Apparently, this is a violation of the Restore Online Shoppers' Confidence Act (ROSCA). The Federal Trade Commission even cited this in its complaint against Raging Bull Trading.

If you want to know more about that case, Green Bull Research has an extensive discussion about it. Go and check it out.

The platinum plan, unfortunately, does not offer refunds.

We do understand the logic behind this policy. But then, you would know that we are not big fans of such a rule. Some may take advantage if it offers refunds, but we believe that is par for the course.

In most cases, including this one, we believe offering refunds is still the best route in taking care of subscribers.

Pros v Cons

Pros

  • Reliable analysis of stocks
  • Independent reviews
  • Vibrant online community of investors
  • Affordable subscription rates

Cons

  • No refund policy for the lifetime subscription
  • Investment recommendations have not performed well

Conclusion - Can You Rely on Stock Gumshoe's Detective Work?

Travis Johnson has a cult following among regular investors. He has earned their trust because of years of writing about so-called secret stocks.

In a way, the community regards him as a Robin Hood of sorts. He robs big publishers of subscription fees because he exposes their best-kept trading secrets. 

Then he goes to the masses and freely offers them the information.

How about you? Do you think he is a reliable source? 

We hope our review of Stock Gumshoe has helped you learn more about its writer and services.

Phil


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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