Newsletter Review Score: 69/100
Obviously, as an investor who watches a fair amount of financial TV programs, I had heard of Jim Cramer. Between his show, “Mad Money” and his frequent appearances on CNBC, his Action Alerts Plus service (From thestreet.com) was one that I HAD to review, in order to see just how good the information was, and more importantly, how TIMELY the information was. After a month of using the newsletter, frankly, I was disappointed.
The concept of this service is similar to the highest rated newsletter, in that it is not a weekly or monthly newsletter. Rather, you get the information as it comes across Jim Cramer’s desk (or so they say… I highly doubt Cramer himself is writing this stuff). However, the concept of getting information at the moment it becomes relevant is much better than getting “summary” type articles a day late. Like many of the poorly rated newsletters.
The problem with Action Alerts Plus? The information is just not actionable. On top of that the portfolio they give performs worse than the market. They give you returns right on the site. Since 2002. First, if yo would have simply invested in the S&P 500, and done nothing else, you would have NEARLY TRIPLED YOUR RETURN VS. THIS SERVICE. That is simply Horrible. As of Sept. 30th of this year, they are down 17.72% vs. only 8.51% for the S&P 500. The losses are substantial, and we are not just talking about a bad year or so… we’re talking about 10 years of losses. This information is disclosed on their website.
Another MAJOR problem is that they maintain a porftolio of anywhere from 30-35 stocks. They are constantly adding and subtracting from the same names. Trying to manage a smaller type portfolio with this service is useless. Unfortunately, the majority of us have smaller type portfolios, so the moves recommended by the Action Alerts Service couldn’t be replicated anyway.
The price of Action Alerts Plus is affordable. Set at $59.99 a month, it seems like a “value priced” newsletter. However, my opinion is that since they push the Action Alerts Plus service so hard on Cramer’s TV show, and on his website, the street.com, it is priced to suck up the masses, and maximize profits. The late timing of the information and major losses this portfolio endures, makes it worth far less than the $59.99 price. In my opinion, even though the price is pretty low, your money is wasted on it, since the info is so difficult to capitalize on.
What about Stephanie Link? Stephanie is the “side kick” to Cramer on this newsletter. I am not sure what she adds to the value of the service, other than the fact that her name is well known, and will likely encourage “newbies” to sign up for the Action Alerts Plus service.