Stansberry Research Review: Is It Worth It?

Investing
Updated: 18th Jul 2021
Written by Drew Cheneler
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In today’s world of easy-access information, many companies have positioned themselves as experts in their particular fields.

Often, they’ll offer their expertise and opinions to their audience for a price. This is particularly true of companies involved in the investing niche.


With so many options on the market for investment newsletters and information, a company needs to separate themselves from the competition.

Sometimes, this separation can be a result of bad press, instead of good press.

While they say no press is bad, we beg to differ, especially when discussing Stansberry Research. Keep reading to find out more about this company and what they can offer you.

What Is Stansberry Research?

Stansberry Research was founded in 1999 by Frank Porter Stansberry. The company is based in Baltimore, Maryland.

Currently, Standberry is one of the most popular investing newsletters in the world, having over 500,000 subscribers.

A large portion of those subscribers are lifetime subscribers, meaning that they’ve paid to continue to have access to the publications of their choice for the duration of the company’s existence. At least 70,000 subscribers fall into this lifetime category.

Stansberry offers newsletters containing strategies for different types of investing, including:

  • Dividends
  • Fixed income
  • Value
  • Precious Metals
  • Income-generating options-trading methods

The website also contains a plethora of educational material beyond what’s listed here, as well. The listed items are just those that it’s well-known for.

Want to See More Options? Read Our Round Up of the Best Stock Picking Services

Is Stansberry Research a Scam?

This is one of the most common questions that comes up when looking into Stansberry Research.

You won’t typically find other companies, like The Motley Fool, being scrutinized in a similar manner.

However, Stansberry Research has a somewhat darker past than that of its competitors, namely due to a lawsuit involving the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). We’ll touch on that more later on, however.

The fact of the matter is, the lawsuit in question stained the reputation of Stansberry, though not enough to stop people from subscribing to their newsletters.

As such, the question at hand is mostly subjective, and can only be answered by reviewing the information we provide here regarding the case and the company’s strategies and positions.

Is Stansberry Research Legit?

This question is far more commonly asked of other investing services and newsletters. Frankly, it’s a good question to ask about any of Stansberry’s competitors, and about Stansberry itself.

The answer to this question lies in the satisfaction of the subscribers of Stansberry Research, or any other investing company.

If the information provided by the service gives good results, then generally the opinion is that the service is legitimate.

However, to maintain that opinion the picks and advice that the company provides have to remain steadfast.

There are at least 500,000 people that believe Stansberry Research is a legitimate stock advising service.

That being said, their methods and practices may not fit your own investing strategies. As such, you may not find them to be legitimate.

Like asking whether or not the service is a scam, this one comes down to opinion.

Why Did the SEC Sue Stansberry Research?

In 2003, Stansberry Research was the target of a lawsuit by the SEC. The SEC targeted the company for the claim of a single stock having the potential to double in a single day.

At the basis of this claim was the accusation of insider information and insider trading, but the accusation proved to be without any facts or evidence.

While the insider information was not able to be proven, it’s alleged that they claimed to have the information and sell the name of the company it had to do with.

Stansberry’s claim made the company over $1 million in sales, and the SEC claimed that the company misled consumers.

In 2007 the court decided against Stansberry as well as other defendants. Though the case has been appealed, the decision by the court has been upheld.

What Does Stansberry Research Offer Customers?

Stansberry Research offers customers a few different ways to receive investing advice and information.

The two main offerings are the Complete Portfolio Solutions and the Investment Advisory Newsletters.

These products serve different purposes, and each product has different subcategories that are aimed towards specific demographics.

Stansberry Research Complete Portfolio Solutions

Stansberry’s Complete Portfolio Solutions consist of three model portfolios. Each portfolio has a different focus and should be used accordingly.

This service, however, doesn’t manage your portfolio for you, like what’s offered by other companies. Each portfolio just contains investment advice related to the type of portfolio it is.

Unfortunately, pricing is not available for any of the Complete Portfolio Solutions from Stansberry Research. The only way to get a quote is by calling the company.

The Total Portfolio

The Total Portfolio is a hedge stock portfolio model. It uses around 40 different stock recommendations.

Each stock is chosen from emerging markets, growth stocks, safe income, and small capitalization stocks. The Total Portfolio is a conservative portfolio.

Stansberry recommends a minimum of $100,000 for the portfolio size, with holding times averaging 1 to 3 years.

The main reason to subscribe to the Total Portfolio is its lifetime access to all publications and the access it provides to the Income and Capital Portfolios.

The Income Portfolio

The Income Portfolio is geared towards generating monthly income and consists of up to 30 securities at any given time.

The recommendations provided are typically income-generating stocks, bond funds, and fixed income bonds.

Like the Total Portfolio, it’s conservative in nature. It comes with other Stansberry Investment Newsletters, as well as access to the Capital Portfolio.

The Capital Portfolio

The Capital Portfolio is what Stansberry Research calls their entry-level portfolio. It is, again, a conservative portfolio.

The focus for the Capital Portfolio is on gold stocks, foreign stocks, real estate, biotech, and energy.

The typical holding period is 1 to 3 years, and they recommend at least $100,000 as a portfolio size. Access to the Capital Portfolio will also come with seven other newsletters.

Stansberry Research Macro-Level Solutions

Stansberry offers a number of newsletters with a broader scope that they call macro-level solutions.

Like the portfolios offered, these newsletters target specific markets and investors, and as such should be chosen carefully by subscribers.

Stansberry’s Investment Advisory

This is the company’s flagship research newsletter. It is distributed monthly and provides recommendations on 20 to 30 individual stock positions.

These stocks are recommended to be held for at least a year with a $1,000 investment. Access to this newsletter is $199 per year.

True Wealth

The True Wealth newsletter focuses on value stock selections in the market. The orientation of this newsletter is conservative (seeing a trend here?) and the recommended number of positions is 25 companies, and a minimum of $1,000 invested.

The investments are sometimes unusual, like timber, gold, farmland, and virtual banks. Access to the True Wealth newsletter is $199 per year, as well.

Retirement Millionaire

Retirement Millionaire is different from the other newsletters listed. It aims to show readers how to live like a millionaire on considerably less money.

It’s geared towards beginners, retirees, and those looking to retire soon. It includes information on around 25 stocks it recommends holding for at least 2 years. It is also $199 per year.

Extreme Value

One of the only newsletters geared towards moderate investing. This newsletter focuses on stocks that are out of favor with the general investing public and are recommended to be held for 3 to 4 years.

This newsletter is an astonishing $1,500 per month and geared towards those with more money to invest than the other newsletters.

Commodity Supercycles

A monthly newsletter focused specifically on commodities like energy, metals, and other natural resources. It’s geared towards moderate risk, and costs $199 per year.

Stansberry Gold & Silver Investor

A newsletter focused on gold and gold-stocks, entirely based on profiting off of what Stansberry calls the gold boom.

This newsletter is not available for purchase online, and the company must be called in order to subscribe to it.

Stansberry Innovations Report

Stansberry researches technological advancements and the companies behind them for this newsletter.

As the name implies, it’s geared towards innovative tech companies. Much like the other newsletters, this offering is $199 per year.

Who Is Stansberry Research Best for?

While Stansberry Research likes to market its products to beginner investors and large-scale investors alike, it is almost entirely geared towards those who have more money to invest than what a beginner investor has.

This is indicated by their minimum portfolio sizes, as well as high costs.

How Much Does Stansberry Research Cost?

Unfortunately, it’s impossible to know what any of the Complete Portfolio Solutions cost without calling for a quote.

The newsletters range anywhere from $199 per year to $1,500 per year, and that’s for the ones that we can see the pricing for. Stansberry is a higher cost than most other services.

Stansberry Research Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Conservative investment lifestyle, if you’re into that
  • Helps develop long-term portfolios
  • Monthly newsletters

Cons:

  • High cost, or unseen costs
  • No in-depth analysis provided
  • No historical information other than through newsletters
  • Newsletters are long, but contain little relevant information

How Does Stansberry Research Compare to Other Stock Newsletters?

#1. Motley Fool vs. Stansberry Research

The Motley Fool is the number one investment advising website for a reason.

They provide historical data for the life of the company, have clear cut pricing, and provide all data you could possibly want about the positions that they take.

The Motley Fool is the clear choice for all investors.

>> Learn More: Motley Fool Review

#2. Morning Star vs. Stansberry Research

Morningstar Premium outshines the technical information aspect of Stansberry in every way.

They have a great proprietary stock rating system and are highly respected in the industry in comparison to Stansberry Research.

>> Learn More: Morningstar Review

#3. Stansberry Research vs. Stock Rover

Stansberry Research is developed by the company, while Stock Rover is developed by the feedback of their subscribers.

If you’re looking for a company that will listen to your needs and your opinion, you’ll want to subscribe to Stock Rover.

In addition to their advising information, they provide a plethora of useful tools at a low price.

>> Learn More: Stock Rover Review

#4. Stansberry Research vs. Zacks Research

While limited in their newsletters, Zacks Research provides far more value with their service than that of Stansberry.

They offer opinions on surprise stocks and who they expect to excel. Zacks boasts nearly 300,000 more subscribers than Stansberry, as well.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Stansberry Research Any Good?

That depends entirely on your investment style. Stansberry offers 30-day free trials on many of their newsletters, so you can find out for yourself by signing up and reviewing the information provided.

Is Stansberry Research Worth It?

Probably not, unless you have a lot of money to invest. You’ll be paying a high price for any service provided by Stansberry, and unless you can invest a significant amount to see a high return then you’re most likely losing money.

Why Should You Not Use Stansberry Research?

Stansberry is cost prohibitive. Paying for their newsletters can prevent you from investing more of your money into opportunities you’re afforded.

Additionally, they lack the transparency that a reputable company should have.

Is The Motley Fool Better than Stansberry Research?

In nearly every way. The Motley Fool has a fantastic reputation and provides transparency regarding every position they take. They also cost significantly less.

Bottom Line: Stansberry Research Review

While Stansberry may be a long running financial advisory service, they have a tarnished reputation.

For the services they provide, they charge a high premium that can only be offset by investing large amounts of money.

If you’re looking to subscribe to an investing advice and research website, stick with The Motley Fool.

Drew Cheneler
Drew Cheneler
Drew is a recognized Credit, Small Business, and Personal Finance Expert. He has been quoted in CNBC, Fox Business News Section, The Huffington Post, Business.com, Moneyunder30, US Chamber of Commerce, and more. He is known for breaking down complex personal finance topics into action-oriented advice, so you can make the most of your hard-earned money.