Many investors have asked me what investment newsletters I recommend. In general, I believe that the average investor does not really need to read a newsletter provided he has the time to read the Wall Street Journal, the International Herald Tribune, the Financial Times, The Economist and of course Barron’s. US magazines, which contain useful information, are Fortune, Forbes, and Business Week. When reading it is important to realize that some commentators are always bullish – James K. Glassman would be such a case, a man whose vocabulary does not include “sell” unless it is preceded by “never” – while others, such as James Grant, have a negative bias. Moreover, you should read with a scissor in your hand, and cut out and file relevant and important articles. You should also read articles, which on first sight may sound irrelevant to the topics you are interested in. Frequently such articles can provide you with a line of thinking, which is new and which will open new investment perspectives, which you may have previously overlooked.
Naturally if you are interested in a particular sector of the economy or in a particular region of the world you should also consider reading magazines and papers, which specialize in a specific industry, as well as local newspapers.
Unless you have the time to read and do the necessary filing for 3 to 4 hours every day, don’t even think for a minute that you are well informed!
Finally, you should also read some books about financial history, stock valuations, bonds, etc in order to deepen you knowledge and understanding of economics and the workings of financial markets.
In terms of newsletters and research services, there is a wide choice available. I am not familiar with all newsletters, although I have seen many of them. Some are more suitable for financial institutions, while others are more suited for individual investors. Some focus on macroeconomic economic trends, some more on market timing. Some are published daily while some are published monthly. Most importantly some are right in their predictions this year while others will be right next year. No pundit has had a monopoly on being right in his forecast all the time. Joe Granville had a superb market timing record in the 1970s, but missed out on the great bull market of 1982 to 1987. Therefore, while I regularly read a large number of newsletters, I am skeptical as to economists’ and market timers’ ability to accurately forecast future events.
I may add that many investment banks produce outstanding research papers and that the list of newsletter I have compiled does not include in depth and well though out commentaries by a number of Wall Street strategists and economists.
I shall now list some newsletters I regularly read and enjoy. The list is not complete and I may have to revise it from time to time. The listing of newsletters and advisory services does not follow a sequence of priorities but is arbitrary.
Economic Advisory Services
The Bank Credit Analyst
This is an excellent publication for someone who is interested in economic trends. It has also a section on stock and bond market timing, and frequently comments about commodities as well. The Bank Credit Analyst publishes several publications, which all contain very useful figures. For investors interested in economic developments in China, the “China Investment Strategy”, written by Chen Zhao, is a must read. “The International Bank Credit Analyst” is recommended for investors following the western European and the Japanese economy, while the “Emerging Markets Strategy” focuses on emerging markets around the world. Go to www.BCAresearch.com or www.circ@BCAresearch.com for further information.
Economic and Portfolio Strategy
Peter Bernstein, the author of countless academic papers and several books including the best selling “Against The Gods” and “The Power of Gold” writes a remarkable newsletter. At times not easy to understand, it may be more suitable for financial institutions than individuals, but essential reading for anyone who wants to broaden his knowledge in economics, and financial issues. Contact www.peterlbernsteininc.com or telephone 1-212-421 8385.
Gary Shilling’s Insight
Easy to read and very informative monthly publication! Gary Shilling has also published several books including “Deflation”. His “Insight” economic letter also contains some stock specific recommendations. Gary Shilling’s views are provocative and I never miss to read his comments.
The Gartman Letter
Dennis Gartman gets up every day around 4 am and writes an outstanding daily comment about economic, political and financial trends. His newsletter is easy to digest and full of information. Highly recommended.
Grant’s Interest Rate Observer
James Grant, the author of several financial books including “Money of the Mind” and “The Trouble With Prosperity”, publishes a biweekly newsletter on the Credit Markets. Although James Grant has a bearish bias, his newsletter is extremely informative and for the corporate bond investor a must read.
The father and son team of Charles and Louis Gave publish an excellent economic advisory service, which is geared towards financial institutions. I have to admit that I frequently disagree with their views, but that does not diminish the value of their very thorough analysis of economic trends. Our different views are more a function of how we interpret the data.
Charles and Louis’ views are very challenging and stimulating and I would certainly not wish to miss reading their papers.
Financial Market Specific and Market Timing Services
Richard Russell’s Dow Theory Letters
Richard Russell is one of the oldest newsletter writers and brings along a wealth of experience and knowledge about technical analysis. He writes an excellent daily commentary, which is very useful for the understanding of the stock market’s internal behavior and technical position. For investors with limited time to follow financial developments his daily Dow Theory Letters are a very useful tool.
The Elliott Wave Theorist
Robert Prechter’s newsletter is one of my favorites. It contains an abundance of market related information and I am again and again surprised by the unconventional views expressed in this outstanding publication. Whether every market movement can be measured according to the Elliott Waves is debatable, but in many cases Robert’s advise has proven to be remarkably accurate.
The Belkin Report
Michael Belkin writes a weekly technical commentary about stock, bond currency and commodity markets. I find his work extremely valuable and his writings most enjoyable. As far as I know, the service is quite expensive, but for institutions certainly worth subscribing to.
Perception For The Professional
This monthly research booklet is published by Steve Leuthold of The Leuthold Group. It contains a wealth of information about stocks, bonds, commodities and closed end funds. It has very useful market related statistics and I always look forward to reading it. Steve Leuthold’s research may be more geared towards financial institutions, but I am sure that individuals could also greatly benefit from it.
The High - Tech Strategist
Written by Fred Hickey this monthly publication, which specializes in high tech industry, is fantastic. Fred combines deep knowledge of high tech and telecommunication companies, and industry fundamentals with some market timing skills. At a cost of only US$ 120 per annum this is the best value money can buy in the newsletter universe.
The DeVoe Report
Ray De Voe is a financial market historian and writes a very sarcastic and entertaining newsletter, which I always read with amusement.
Credit Bubble Bulletin
Doug Noland who works with David Tice – the famous short seller - writes one of the most informative weekly market comments with special emphasis on the explosion of credit in the US. Very worthwhile reading and at the same time frightening! For students of economic and financial trends a must read.
Written by Kate Welling, a former editor at Barron’s, this is an excellent publication for institutions and individuals alike. Kate Welling regularly interviews some Wall Street luminaries and, therefore, this service will give you economic insights as well as a wealth of individual stock ideas.
Friedberg’s Focus on Futures
Published by Friedberg Commodity Management Inc, this publication contains interesting articles on commodity futures and economic trends. Steve Hanke is a frequent contributor.
Past – Present – Future
James Flanagan, the editor, focuses on commodity futures and always provides some historical comparisons. I read this newsletter in order to keep informed about the movement of commodity futures.
The Berge Report
Written previously by the legendary Stan Berge and nowadays by Susan Berge this is one of the best weekly technical services I regularly read. It is easy to understand, short and to the point. Highly recommended!
Arch Crawford bases his market forecasts on astrology and technical factors. Over the years, his forecasts have been remarkably accurate and I can highly recommend his newsletter from a market-timing point of view.
Dick Davis Digest
The publisher of this newsletter, Dick Davis collects as is advertised on the cover, “investment ideas from the best minds on Wall Street”. While not particularly sophisticated, this publication contains occasionally good investment ideas and is suitable for individual investors.
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