$2,500 per year is comparable to other high-end newsletters. But ours is more than just a monthly magazine. For a near real-time feed of actionable data, analysis, and on-the-ground reporting, we see our service as a bargain. Hedge funds pay a lot more for due diligence like this. But the key issue is that the service can pay for itself many times over. Is our service “expensive”? Not compared to what it can do for you. This is the grown-ups table. Don’t pull up a seat unless you’re ready to get serious about making serious money.
Yes and no. Traditional Lifetime offers pull a couple years of revenue forward and append a so-called “maintenance” fee which is still a recurring subscription cost. We prefer to earn our customers’ business, and are highly confident we can do so year after year. So, instead of the traditional deal, we offer a 5% per year loyalty discount. As long as a client stays subscribed, this reduces the cost of subscription every year until it’s reduced to zero. We like this because we have to continue earning our best clients’ business. They’re never taken for granted. Results will still matter. And their cost is significantly reduced over time, until it’s 100% free.
Financial publishers can give their readers investment ideas as long as they don’t give people individual investment advice. This is not a 100% clearly defined area of US law. Our way to stay well clear of any possibility of crossing the line is not to make any investment recommendations at all.
Instead, we tell readers of The Independent Speculator what we are investing in and why. Those clients can then do the same if they so choose. By sharing our actual speculative investments—not a theoretical “model” portfolio, but the actual trades and deals we make—we teach by example. Clients who follow our lead can make the same level of returns as we do.
Readers of My Take gain access to independent and unbiased analysis of equities of interest to our audience, including them. They too make their own investment decisions. Our take on any equities they happen to invest in—or avoid—can help them improve their success rate with their speculative investments.
All our clients understand that they make their own speculative investment decisions, which are their sole responsibility. Our goal is simply to help improve their results with relevant, independent analysis.
In My Take, I do not disclose which stocks I put my own money into. That’s a core value delivered to readers of The Independent Speculator. It would be unfair to those subscribers to disclose what I own in this letter. On the other hand, it would be unfair to My Take subscribers to refuse to cover good companies just because I own the stock. So I’ve opted to cover everything readers ask about, whether I own it or not. Since I don’t make recommendations, there’s no regulatory issue with this policy.
I understand, however, that people may wonder if the positive things I say about some companies are only positive because I own shares. Or, bluntly, folks who’ve been burned by “pump and dump” schemes in the past may suspect that I’m using My Take to promote stocks I own.
My first answer to that is that if you don’t think you can trust me, you probably shouldn’t be reading anything I publish.
My second answer would be that, in time, anyone interested should be able to compare my takes to how the stocks actually do, relative to the markets they’re in. If the guidance was useful—if it helped readers choose winners and avoid losers—then it doesn’t matter what I owned.
But the bottom line is that you can simply assume I own all stocks I mention favorably and treat them with due suspicion. I wouldn’t blame you. In my experience, it pays to be skeptical. And if you assume I own everything I say good things about, you’ll never be disappointed if you later find out that I did.
Hopefully, more often than not, you’ll also find that it was a good stock to own.
Yes. There’s a story there, best shared over a warm cup of Joe after a long day of kicking frozen rocks in the Great White North. The short truth is the Lobo Tiggre is “Louis James”’ real, legal name. This is why Doug Casey would frequently refer to “Louis” as “Lobo” or “the Lobo” on stage and even on the air. It is also why Tiggre has signed his letters and emails with simply the letter “L” for decades; it fits both names. The “Louis James” pen name has long been a poorly-kept secret, so we’ve decided to put it to rest. But we also know that “Louis James” is a name with stature among speculators, so we’re keeping it alive as our brand.
It’s true that successful speculators take calculated risks, but they are not gamblers. They don’t simply place blind bets and hope random chance will favor them. Note the use of the word “calculated.” Rational speculators observe trends, price anomalies, changes in markets, discoveries, and other factors that put the odds in their favor. This is very different from flipping a coin, tossing dice, or hoping for the turn of a friendly card. In short, we don’t enter into trades unless we think we’ve got the odds in our favor. We work hard to put the odds in our favor and invest with the discipline ended to make our trades work for us. We know we won’t always win, but if we stick with a winning methodology, we’ll win more than we lose—and the spectacular 5x, 10x, and higher wins from time to time more than make up for the losses. For more on this, see our free primer on this topic, called Speculation 101, available to Speculator’s Digest subscribers.
We are known for going the extra mile on our due diligence trips, making sure we have the most up-to-date and accurate information possible before we invest. It is our intention to invite small groups of Independent Speculators to join us on some of our future trips, logistics permitting. These will not be on any set schedule, but will be announced as opportunity arises and will be available on a first come-first-serve basis, with top priority given to subscribers to The Independent Speculator, then My Take subscribers, then Speculator Digest readers.
Details will vary for each trip. Sign up to keep informed.
We are not planning any conferences during our first year of operations (2018), but do plan to have at least one annual event for Independent Speculators in the future. Our current thinking is that these events will be smallish, exclusive, and highly topical. No companies will be invited to give sales pitches. The goal will be to give participants access to cutting edge analysis, ideas not found elsewhere, and mentoring from the best people in our business. We intend to cram as much value into a brief retreat-style event as we can. Participation will be available on a first come-first-serve basis, with top priority given to Life clients, then In The Deal clients, then Independent Speculator subscribers, then Independent Speculator Digest readers. Sign up to keep informed.
Remember that we’re making the investments we write about. We’ll do that as often or as seldom as it takes to make only great investments.
We’d rather risk making our clients impatient than risk giving them a bad idea. The truth is that we’re going to take some lumps along the way, even with the best possible due diligence on every speculation. Rushing that, or worse, compromising it in order to meet a publication deadline, makes for more losses and lower average gains. It’s simply not possible to have the best ideas ever on a regular, monthly basis. If anyone who tells you otherwise, run the other way—fast.
New clients should understand this from the start. There will be some editions of our monthly letter with no new investment ideas. This could even happen several times in a row. That’s your assurance that we’re not compromising our standards on what makes for a great speculation.
But you won’t get bored between new speculations. Every month, we’ll be keeping our clients updated on our existing ideas, analyzing the latest market data and investment trends, and educating them about the areas we’re speculating in. At heart, our services are as much educational as they are sources for investment ideas. We love what we do. It’s an adventure. Whether we’re kicking rocks in the desert, hacking vines out of the way in the jungle, or fencing verbally with company executives in the boardroom, there’s a lot to do, and it’s always interesting. Join us, and enjoy the ride with us.
Really. A refund is like offering a free trial. In our business, the product can’t be returned, so a free trial is little different from simply giving our product away for free.
Consider that if you go to a movie and don’t like it, you can’t get your money back. You’ve already consumed the service. You can’t “un-see” the film. If you go to a restaurant and don’t enjoy the meal, you don’t refuse to pay. But you don’t go back, which is fine. That’s market justice.
Plus, or speculations are volatile and take time to mature. We need our clients to give us at least a year—or two would be better—to show that we can deliver. That’s why we reward clients who sign up for a year—and why we encourage monthly subscribers to take advantage of that deal as soon as they see the value in our work.
The bottom line remains that any one idea we give you can help you make many times more money than it cost you to get all our ideas—and once you get the idea, you can’t give it back. You can’t “un-learn” it.
If we don’t deliver for you, or at least show our capacity to deliver for you, then don’t renew. Just call or email us and tell us you want to cancel, and we’ll stop billing you. No hassles.
We’re confident we can win your renewed business. That too would be market justice.
Our mandate is to find the best speculative opportunities in the world, period. That includes any sector, any market, in any country, and in any currency. But we “grew up” as speculators working with and learning from Doug Casey, who has long focused on natural resources, especially metals and mining.
That means resource opportunities are the ones we understand best. It means we have a large network of contacts in the resource sector—we have “deal flow.”
It’s also true that, as Doug likes to say, mining stocks are “the most volatile securities on earth.” That’s a good thing. It makes them risky, but also gives them the potential to deliver 5x, 10x, and even 20x or more on your investment. These stocks can deliver gains like Bitcoin did in 2017. But while that was a one-off event, some mining stocks can and have delivered such gains in every commodities cycle.
In short, the resource sector is “10-bagger hunting ground.” So, while we will diversify into other areas—adding expertise to our team to make sure we do so carefully—there will likely always be a natural resource component to our portfolio.
(For more on the value of volatility and cyclical markets, please see our free report, Speculation 101.
Nothing nefarious. I learned a lot from Doug Casey and the Casey team and will ever be grateful to them.
In fact, I was dirt poor when they hired me. Casey Research not only gave me a chance, it gave me a financial education. It also gave me financial opportunities, which I seized. This did more than make me wealthier; it changed my life for the better in every way I can think of. I want to help my clients achieve the same.
So why leave? Well, I had been with Casey for almost 14 years. I’ve always preferred to be an entrepreneur than an employee. It was time. And, as grateful as I am to the Casey organization, you can see in the way I’ve set up this business that there are things I want to do differently.
Happily, as you can see from our Board of Advisors, Doug fully supports me in this. I dare say, he is proud to see his fledgling take flight.
Because I live here. We understand that some people think it’s a bit odd to headquarter a business that educates speculators worldwide in Puerto Rico. Why not New York? Or Toronto (since one of our core areas is natural resources)? Well, apart from the fact that I like it here, Puerto Rico’s tax incentives are a game-changer. As of early 2018, people who move here can still get a 20-year 100% capital gains tax holiday. You read that right: I will pay no taxes on my long or short term gains on my stocks (until 2036, in my case). There’s also a passive income clause, and a separate incentive creates a 4% corporate tax rate for those who export services. (See: http://www.pridco.com.)
We also understand that Puerto Rico is not for everyone. But this is part of America. We’re not talking Belize or the Seychelle Islands or something. There is nothing odd about wanting to live on a beautiful tropical island and pay less taxes.
First, please note that I am building a new, fully transparent track record available to the public.
As for the past, the short answer is that the information I’d need to have as evidence for my track record is copyrighted material that I no longer have access to. Without it, I can’t make any concrete claims about my past performance, or the regulators will come down on me like a ton of bricks.
I’ve considered ways to come up with an approximation. Some third-party websites, for example, republished many of my past recommendations. I could compile those to produce a pseudo-track record. I didn’t, though, because that information is scattered and incomplete. This means that whatever numbers I come up with would be significantly different from what readers would have experienced.
It would be a lot of work just to create something inaccurate.
For now, I’ve gone with the fact that my past employers published annual results for my time with their flagship newsletter, which averaged 18.5% per year.
This is why our systems have no option to upload a profile picture of yourself, nor to store credit card info, nor a chat feature, etc. In a way, we intend to be the opposite of Facebook. We deliberately prioritized privacy over community. (We prefer real community, fostered at events in the real world.) There will never be a flood of irrelevant information filling your screen—only what you need to make successful speculations.
So what happens if you get hacked? The Bad Guys might be able to read what you’ve subscribed to with us. What happens if we get hacked? The Bad Guys might be able to disrupt your services or post bogus content. They should never get more information about you than your login credentials and notification settings, because we won’t have it.