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Duniyo
02-21-2014, 10:27 AM
Expert advice coupled with due diligence was my recipe for success in 2013. I would like to supplement this forum with a payed research websites like Zacks, the Street, etc. I am cost sensitive since I am small time investor and frugal by nature. In addition, I am looking for both short term and long term investing, hence pure trading websites don't suit my needs. Can you please share your experience in using payed services and any advice you may have for newcomer like myself.


Thanks,
Duniyo

billyjoe
02-21-2014, 12:27 PM
Duniyo, It's good that you do your due diligence. I've found the most success getting research info then making a decision rather than just buying what is recommended. The services have to crank out so many buys at regular intervals and we know that some are better than others. Many are just quota fillers such as 2 stocks for each month, week, etc. I've tried it both ways. Picking my own always works best for me. Get free or low cost trials from Vectorvest and Zacks. You'd be surprised at the volume of information. Sorting the good from the not so good is the problem. I've tried both IBD and The Street and found they bombard you with numbers and top stocks almost too much to digest. That's why Mr.Market's dumps work so well. He's eliminated 99% of the crap and a good percentage of those in the dump and even more so in the top 5 are the best of the best. I usually don't pick the same #1 as Mr.Market but often it doesn't matter, they are all good picks. Right now I'm paying $59/month for Vectorvest and $199/year for Zacks research. They've paid off well with 11 winners over $1000 last year. You can easily narrow down top stocks by industry group performance then run graphs with any parameters you want ie. earnings, relative strength, sales trends, MACD, moving averages etc. Zacks bases their #1 picks ( around 250 at any one time) on analyst upgrades, earnings projections, sales projections so they are looking at future perfoprmance while VV gives you stats of past performance the thinking being what goes up will continue to go up. Hope this helps. Even if you eliminate 99.9% of all stocks you'll still get a couple to buy each day or week. I've got 33 different stocks in 8 accounts, 4 of them retirement IRA's so it keeps me busy.

-------------------billy

sixfeetfour
02-21-2014, 01:01 PM
Duniyo -
Thanks for getting this thread started as I am in a similar situation as you. I am interested in the replies that will be made in this thread.

I have not bought a paid subscription but considered subscribing to IBD. I did the 30 day IBD trial and found it to be much like what billy said "bombard you with numbers and top stocks which are too much to digest". The babes trades thread over the last 20 posts has been interesting as she is currently following a 30 day subscription from Zacks and it appears she has had some good success with it. Makes me think of giving that a go? Other members comments on paid subscriptions there so give it a read.

The human desire to get rich quick, just tell me what to buy to become a millionaire! If it was only that easy. My two cents is similar to what you and Billy stated. Do your own due diligence, even if two separate investors do their own due diligence and selected the same stock to invest, their "trading nerves" may be different and their reactions to timing the market in's and out's of that stock may vary greatly producing different results. It appears that sometimes it takes balls of steel to stick to your opinion/decision of the research that you did on a stock. Take MM for instance, he is so confident in his picks that he waits for his 15% becasue he is so confident in his research, who else has balls of steel like that? His average time for a 15% return over his last 32 trades is 22 weeks, others may not have that patience and determination, which may be to their detriment?

Although I have not purchased a paid subscription yet, I value the experience of the investors on this website more than a paid subscription. If you haven't performed the model subscribed by MM, I suggest you do that. The first time I did that, I learned much. Every time he does a data dump, I try to select my 5 before he does and track my top 5 vs his top 5 and see how they perform. IIC website is a great reference. I like following P7 recommendations, it is pretty brave what he is doing with his 5% system he put into place - hopefully you are following that, his first trade was ROIAK and now he is in PRAN. , Lucavia's weekly top 5 and the babes trades are good to follow. I am still tracking Billy Joes top 10 for 2014 vs P7s top 10 for 2014, all fun to track and learn more about stock picking. This is assisting me in performing due diligence to understand stock fundamentals better.

The more arenas you can check a stock against, the better. I still may pursue a subscription but have not done so yet and would appreciate other members feedback here.

Duniyo
02-21-2014, 03:20 PM
One of the things I hate about "free" trails is many times cancelling the service is time consuming. Riverbabe's experience with Zack's is interesting.

billyjoe
02-21-2014, 03:24 PM
Zacks is very good about cancelling. Just let them know before it converts to a paying subscription.

----------------billy

Duniyo
02-21-2014, 03:27 PM
One of the things I hate about "free" trails is many times cancelling the service is time consuming. Riverbabe's experience with Zack's is interesting. I hope these pay services also include tools (charting software, historical data, etc)to help you with your research. Blindly following anyone will not make you money, many times these experts have ulterior motive.

sixfeetfour
02-21-2014, 05:09 PM
One of the things I hate about "free" trails is many times cancelling the service is time consuming.
I called to cancel my free trial to IBD. I was a day late. They went ahead and cancelled and didn't charge me anything even though I was a day late. They were quite friendly and it was not time consuming at all, just one phone call.

Duniyo
02-22-2014, 04:49 PM
Anyone else with payed service experience to share?

Massimo
02-22-2014, 11:52 PM
I think the real question we should all be asking is, which subscription out there will do well
In any market we are in.

We are in a bull market, therefore a lot of these paid services look like superstars.
Once a bear market show it's head.....and it will.....who will stand out from the pack....if any.

I have had a number of subscriptions in the past, only one now.
I feel that I receive more valuable information for free on the internet

All IMHO of course

Cheers!

billyjoe
02-25-2014, 07:27 PM
River had good luck with her trial at Zacks but I've lost on 3 in a row of their picks. All missed earnings: EYL , AFFX, and a few minutes ago RGR.

----------------------billy

sixfeetfour
02-26-2014, 12:46 PM
River had good luck with her trial at Zacks but I've lost on 3 in a row of their picks. All missed earnings: EYL , AFFX, and a few minutes ago RGR.

I was looking at getting into RGR on Monday as well, but did not.
Billy - I am curious if your recent following of the Zack picks you mentioned is based on a current subscription, or a trial. Regardless would you mind stating if the trial/subscription is for the premium or ultimate, or some other service?
I signed up for their 30 days free for premium and though it gives guidance to their #1 stocks I find some of them suspect, like RGR was rated a strong buy on Jan 25th with a price of 73.59, today the price is 61.35 and it is still listed as a strong buy. I understand any subscription can't pick all winners. However, I wonder if you pay for the more advanced subscription, the ultimate or follow the money, if their results are better as a whole?
MrM is likely laughing at this thread!
Thanks!!!

billyjoe
02-26-2014, 01:35 PM
sixfeet, I have a year's subscription for the research, access to the #1 stocks along with some screening. I had a 30 day trial twice, one just ending. I am suspect about some of their #1 ratings. If they are so selective how can they crank out the same number of #1's each day. You'd think there would be days with no new picks and others with a lot of picks. Right now I've got 8 sales for gains in 2014 and 4 for losses. 3 of the 4 were Zacks picks that were #1 and they said would beat estimates. They all came in below estimates and tanked. I lost about $500 on each. Another thing is that their advantage is entirely based upon picking stocks that will beat estimates. They usually are not in agreement with Vectorvest, but VV does not take future earnings into consideration, just past performance. They assume in most cases past performance or trend will continue. They have graphs on each stock that shows if earnings and sales are declining or accelerating. Good observation on RGR still being rated #1. I've seen this before. You'd think they would immediately drop a stock that misses on earnings. They might lower the rating next week. That's not good if you're scanning for #1's to buy. All 3 of my losers were from the trial. Can't remember which service. They have so many. Follow the Money, Breakout Growth, Home Run Investor etc. Many claim yearly returns of 60% or better. My trial was Ultimate. They claim to have better performance than the #1's alone (+26%) but I can't lose $500 several times in a row to find out. They will e-mail you picks everyday, probably over 20 each week. You just have to sort them out. They do bring stocks to your attention that you might not otherwise consider. Picking the winners is still a problem. I've still not found anyone that can match Mr.Market's record.

----------------billy

tiedyed1
02-26-2014, 03:47 PM
I was an early paid subscriber to Gorilla Trades and as such they kept my subscription renewals very low, which is why I am still a subscriber. They do indeed provide me many picks which have more than paid for my subscriptions, however, like in each service, it took me a long time to feel my way through what works best for me, while also ignoring all the hype of stats they have overall.

RGR was a pick to watch at gorillatrades but never confirmed, as their criteria contains a trigger and then a confirmation of the price combined with volume.
I still like RGR and bought it a couple of weeks ago and now feeling some pain today, but not one I am worried about by any means. (Admittedly, the ANIK happy dance today eases the RGR pain.)

While I stress the fundamentals, I also have a stock broker neighbor who is a chart guy. He is more of a trader and makes his trades based on what the charts tell him. I laugh when he throws me a symbol and I ask him what the company does and he has no clue; but he makes a very good living doing what he does too.

Back to these paid services: unlike Mr. Market sharing with us his logic from time to time, these paid services must feel like they have an obligation which may cause them to make suggestions as their subscribers are counting on them. Gorilla has a daily e-mail after hours and a mid-day market status (just reviewing what is going on..no mid-day symbols). At times I have seen a 'gorillatrades effect' in the morning as people pile onto a symbol, but then again, without the volume confirmation of that day this tends to be a much higher risk. But also at times I have jumped on a purchase between 6-8 pm once the e-mail goes out if I am familiar with the symbol, or want to add to an existing position I am very familiar with. (i.e. Monday night I doubled down on PHM and it is up 5% since then.)

Consistent with billy's comment, overall for me, nothing has been as consistent as watching Mr. Market's picks. Even the ones I have been or are down on do not worry me, which is something i cannot say the same of on other picks I choose to buy. Having these services, as well as the opinions of others I read (and I read a lot), is very helpful and provides me the peace of mind that i am making sound decisions. When I make mistakes, which I regularly do, the hardest discipline for me is to not repeat them.

-Adam
Old Hippy & Mortgage Pro

Louetta
02-26-2014, 04:19 PM
Hmm. I've been with Mr. Market since 2003, when I was 18. Eleven years. Next to him I guess I've spent about five years total with IBD in several iterations. Not for specific recommendations but more for data. Tried several others (like Gorilla, Value Line, etc.) but never more than a few months. As far as Mr. Market is concerned, I pay as much attention to some of the other regulars as to Ernie's stuff. That makes sense to me. Methinks one has to draw on more than one source over time and use what works at a particular time.

Duniyo
02-27-2014, 05:42 PM
I am planning to try subscribe Zacks free trial and use my virtual account to trade everyone of their picks :D

sixfeetfour
03-04-2014, 12:13 PM
Duniyo -
Seems like a pretty good plan. If you perform this, you ought to create a thread about it within this forum.
Thanks

Duniyo
03-04-2014, 01:42 PM
I sure will! I will start the free trial sometime late March or early April as I am busy with other commitments until then.

riverbabe
03-04-2014, 03:03 PM
I sure will! I will start the free trial sometime late March or early April as I am busy with other commitments until then.I did my spreadsheet and, after taking over $6K off the table, have over $6K sitting there again! Joined Ultimate at the sale price!

riverbabe
03-04-2014, 03:15 PM
I did my spreadsheet and, after taking over $6K off the table, have over $6K sitting there again! Joined Ultimate at the sale price!

Current value of Zachs recommendations as of right now:
ALNY - -7.45%
AMBA - +14.87%
BCRX - +6.20%
BEAT - +0.96%
CNX - +6.16%
CTCT - +3.64%
DATA - -3.97%
HZNP - +10.39%
JAZZ - +4.26%
RTRX - +24.32%

billyjoe
03-05-2014, 11:57 AM
In the last 5 weeks I've had 5 Zacks recommendations that missed big. All the stocks tanked 10%-20%.

ELY 1/31 AFFX 2/11 RGR 2/26 FIX 3/3 HCI 3/4 I question their sources, unless I just have extreme bad luck. These were all strong #1 picks.

-------------------billy

riverbabe
03-05-2014, 12:20 PM
In the last 5 weeks I've had 5 Zacks recommendations that missed big. All the stocks tanked 10%-20%.

ELY 1/31 AFFX 2/11 RGR 2/26 FIX 3/3 HCI 3/4 I question their sources, unless I just have extreme bad luck. These were all strong #1 picks.

-------------------billyMost of my buys have been 2's or 3's. So maybe it's just my gut and I've been lucky. BCRX has been downgraded to a 4, so out it goes today. Edit: Just got 7.1% at market. Also sold HZNP at market for 13.23% just now because my gut said so and I don't oink. And AMBA for 15.15%. "I can always get in again...". I'm tired of watching my profits melt away.

Duniyo
03-05-2014, 12:44 PM
In the last 5 weeks I've had 5 Zacks recommendations that missed big. All the stocks tanked 10%-20%.

ELY 1/31 AFFX 2/11 RGR 2/26 FIX 3/3 HCI 3/4 I question their sources, unless I just have extreme bad luck. These were all strong #1 picks.

-------------------billy

Are there any research companies that focus on long-term investing? Zacks is under pressure to meet daily "quota".

billyjoe
03-05-2014, 06:58 PM
Duniyo, Here's a good long termer : Nate Pile, of Nate's Notes. I first heard of him through Hulberts. He might bore you to death. He'll have 5 stocks and hold them each for 5 -10 years, but he's good. I've been holding one of his, HQL, for several years and am up 275% in one account. I've got it in at least 3 different retirement funds.


--------------------billy

Duniyo
03-06-2014, 04:25 PM
Duniyo, Here's a good long termer : Nate Pile, of Nate's Notes. I first heard of him through Hulberts. He might bore you to death. He'll have 5 stocks and hold them each for 5 -10 years, but he's good. I've been holding one of his, HQL, for several years and am up 275% in one account. I've got it in at least 3 different retirement funds.


--------------------billy

unfortunately he has no trial period.