14 months ago, it seemed daunting, to say the least.
The investment research business is overrun these days – a cacophony of “gurus” and “experts” yelling at you from your email inbox every day that they’ve got your wealth-building secret ready for you – just a click (and a few hundred dollars in subscription fees) away…
When my friend and colleague of 25 years, Dave Roberts, floated the idea of starting Pro Trader Today, my response was “Really Dave? You really wanna try to stand out from this mad crowd?”
“Of course!” Dave countered, “the two things we lack are exactly what will let us stand above the fray and guarantee our success.”
I had some idea of what Dave was getting at, about what we lacked, but still, it was a pretty intriguing sales pitch. Because usually when you think about a successful business, there’s something the company has, some asset or insight, that appeals to customers and creates value in the marketplace. Not many people point to what’s missing as a benefit…
So I bit: “What’s that, Dave? What do we lack that guarantees our success?”
“Payroll and an agenda” – that’s what he said.
Usually in the investment research biz, the goal is to generate subscription revenue. And you do that by creating an advisory product – a newsletter or trading service – that has a subscription fee. Then you craft promotions that tease particular stocks or trends to entice readers to pay the subscription fee. Pretty basic…
But, these promotions are expensive and can take a few months to create. And that’s how you get locked into an agenda. Like, say you thought lithium stocks would do well in 2023. Great! We’ll drop $30 grand to produce a lithium stocks promotion and it’ll make a lot of money!
Only, lithium stocks aren’t great. They suck. They do nothing but go down. The promotion doesn’t work well, readers think you’re stupid, subscribers refund their fees…you have a choice. You can bag the whole idea, eat the cost and pony up another $30k for a new promotion…meanwhile bills are mounting…
Or – you can double down on lithium, write snazzier teaser material to better entice readers into paying up for a losing idea…
Many companies go this route. They’ve spent the money and they damn well want some ROI so they’ll push an agenda they know is a loser.
But ya know, sell somebody on a losing idea, and you probably won’t get that customer back.
For Pro Trader Today, Dave and I decided to avoid the agenda and just offer up our best investing ideas. We let advertisers pay our bills. And we’re not wedded to any particular stock or theme to make payroll, so we can change our minds when it’s appropriate.
Seems like genius. Feels like freedom.
And in fact, another 25-year friend and colleague was so enamored by our “no payroll” model that he demanded to come onboard! Christian DeHaemer just started writing to you last week, and it’s like we got the band back together…
SO – Thank You!
So on this Friday, the last trading day of 2023, I’m saying thank you, for reading Pro Trader Today. The advertisers have noticed your interest and they are paying our bills. And we’re going to continue to bring our very best investment ideas and macro analysis.
You’ve made Pro Trader Today a success in its first year, and we appreciate you.
Have a great New Year’s weekend. Please be safe and I’ll talk to you next week.