Conservative Pundit Ann Coulter: Calls Mark Skousen "Smartest Financial Advisor"

publication date: Oct 21, 2010
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My regular readers know that I call them as I see them and I give more than equal criticism to liberals and conservatives when they offer poor or biased financial advice. I recently lambasted far left N.Y. Times' columnist Paul Krugman and his terribly misguided economic commentary.

Today, I turn my sights to Ann Coulter, a popular, conservative political pundit. She actually has something in common with Mr. Krugman. According to an analysis of her columns by Lying In Ponds, she has repeatedly made the top 10 lists of the most partisan columnists (for conservatives; Krugman, of course for liberals).

Despite her enormous success, for some reason Ms. Coulter has chosen to be a pitch woman for Mark Skousen's investment newsletter Forecasts & Strategies. This is likely happening because Skousen (photo below) is a fellow conservative and because she's pocketing some dough from her endorsement. But, let's get to the facts and see why Ms. Coulter is seriously misguided on this matter and why you should steer clear of her investment advice.





Coulter Gushes About Skousen's Predictive Prowess


In the mass mailing ("My #1 Way to Profit as Obama Destroys Capitalism") which I got a copy of (see below), Coulter says the following about Skousen:


...I've got just the man to help you take control of your own investments and put your mind at ease about your financial future.

His name is Dr. Mark Skousen, a free-market economist and editor of the investment newsletter Forecasts & Strategies -- and he just might be the smartest financial advisor working today.

How so? For one thing, unlike the Wall Street Wizards who "somehow just missed" the oncoming financial collapse, Dr. Skousen actually predicted it almost two years in advance, in 2006, when he warned his Forecasts & Strategies subscribers that "we clearly are headed for fiscal disaster" (and then showed them how to protect themselves).


But that's just one among hundreds of uncannily accurate market calls Dr. Skousen has made in the 30 years since he launched Forecasts & Strategies -- including:


    * Last March he called the exact bottom of the market, telling his subscribers that "stocks are a screaming buy." In the four weeks following, the Dow soared a remarkable 24.5%.

    * Just weeks before the NASDAQ collapsed in 2000, he warned his subscribers that tech stocks were dangerously overvalued.

    * He told his subscribers in 1995 that the NASDAQ would double, and then double again -- which is exactly what it did.

    * He called the Gulf War of 1990 "a turning point for U.S. stocks" -- and the Dow subsequently began a bull market that didn't end for nearly ten years.

    * And he issued a "sell everything" recommendation to his Forecasts & Strategies subscribers just 41 days before the stock market crash of 1987 -- then told them to get fully invested again several weeks later, just in time for the recovery.

...Bottom line: Trusting Wall Street's "We didn't think markets went down" Money Men to manage your money is like trusting Bill Clinton with your daughter. Better to take your financial affairs into your own hands, with the expert guidance of Mark Skousen in Forecasts & Strategies.



This sounds pretty enticing, huh?

Apparently Ms. Coulter didn't do any homework or due diligence on Skousen because if she had, she would have run in the other direction.

Skousen's Actual Track Record


Mark Hulbert, who has independently tracked investment newsletter's recommendations and performance for decades has plenty of helpful data on Skousen's newsletter. And the record is not kind to Skousen. Over the past 17 years, Skousen's recommendations have generated average annual returns of just 3.8 percent per year versus 7.0 percent per year for the Wilshire 5000 Index. So, he's underperformed by more than 3 percent per year.

Also, contrary to Coulter's claim that Skousen not only predicted the 2008 financial crisis but also told his subscribers how to protect themselves, Hulbert's analysis of Skousen's recommendations during that period show that Skousen's portfolio slid 53 percent versus a 43 percent loss for Wilshire 5000.

Another troubling insight regarding Skousen from Hulbert is the sheer number of model portfolios which Skousen has discontinued over the years. Just as some mutual fund companies shutter under performing funds (and often merge them into others with better records), disreputable investment newsletters engage in a similar practice. Fortunately, Hulbert holds newsletters accountable for all their recommendations in his composite rankings.

Here's what Hulbert's recent report on Skousen's newsletter had to say regarding his various model portfolios:


Mark Skousen has been publishing his Forecasts & Strategies newsletter since the early 1980s. However, for much of that period he did not translate his investment insights into either a specific model portfolio or sufficiently clear and complete advice for us to construct one for him. In the early 1990s he inaugurated the first of several model portfolios that he has offered, and the HFD began tracking his newsletter in 1994.

The list of portfolios that Skousen has offered in his newsletter has changed over the years, however. The portfolio that he created in the early 1990s, for example, his "Simplified No Load Portfolio," was discontinued in early 2002. Two additional portfolios were created in the mid 1990s. The first, named by Skousen as the "Flying Five" portfolio, is constructed out of the five lowest-price issues among the ten highest yielding stocks that make up the Dow Jones Industrials Average. The second of these mid-1990s creations was Skousen's "Growth" portfolio. However, Skousen dissolved this portfolio in late 1997 in favor of two new portfolios: a "Simplified Closed-End Portfolio" and a "Simplified Stock Portfolio." These two successor portfolios were themselves discontinued in early 2002, along with another portfolio that Skousen created in the late 1990s-a "High Income" portfolio.

In 2000 the HFD began monitoring another now ceased portfolio, "Skousen's Favorite Income Portfolio." Another portfolio, the "Short-Term Portfolio," created in 2002, is still in existence today. Finally, two other portfolios, the "Anti-Terrorist Portfolio," created in 2003, and the "Mad Money Portfolio," created in 2004, have both been discontinued now as well.

One of Skousen's longer lived portfolios the now-defunct "Short-Term No-Load Portfolio" was tracked by the HFD from January 1, 1994, through March 31, 2002.

During this time the portfolio underperformed the Wilshire 5000 index, 3.9% to 12.5% (annualized). This portfolio underperformed the stock market on a risk-adjusted basis as well.

The single portfolio for which the HFD has the most performance data is Skousen's "Flying Five" portfolio, which the HFD began following on 1/1/1997. Since then (through 8/31/2010), it has lagged the stock market, with a 2.1% annualized gain vs. a 4.7% gain for the Wilshire 5000 Total Market Index. It has lagged the Wilshire 5000 on a risk-adjusted basis as well.


Moral of the Story: Beware taking financial and investing advice from pundits who are recognized as experts in other fields. Just as liberals who agree with Paul Krugman's political views are at risk of following his poor financial advice, conservatives who adore Coulter are at risk of being duped into following her investing endorsements.




My #1 Way to Profit as Obama
Destroys Capitalism

Ann CoulterDear Fellow Conservative,

"Somehow we just missed that home prices don't go up forever."

No, that's not your idiot brother-in-law explaining how his four home equity loans eventually landed him penniless on a futon in your rec room. It's the billionaire CEO of JP Morgan, Jamie Dimon.

Dimon was explaining to Congress's Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission how he and his fellow Magic Men crashed the entire U.S. economy and then turned to taxpayers for a bail out.

Really? So Dimon's defense to Wall Street's utter recklessness with other people's money is to claim that Wall Street doesn't really understand how the market works? Again: Really?

But no one on the Commission challenged Dimon because, while the Commission's stated purpose is "to examine the causes of the financial crisis," its actual purpose is to conceal those causes -- especially the federal government's own central role in creating the housing bubble.

Further proof that the Commission isn't serious: It has not yet recommended that the President resign immediately. (Obama's next idea for fighting unemployment is to institute a weekly census.)

Instead, we get make-believe "hearings" where executives like Mr. Dimon admit to egregious stupidity. The Magic Men are happy to play along -- as long as they get to keep their tax-supported bonuses.

Don't get me wrong: I'm not suggesting that everyone on Wall Street is as dumb as Jamie claims they are.

What I am suggesting, however, is that whether the "best and brightest" on Wall Street turn out to be stupid or dishonest doesn't matter to our retirement accounts. Isn't it time we stopped trusting them with all our money? And if we don't feel quite competent to manage it on our own (I sure don't), shouldn't we find someone whose character, reputation, and financial expertise we can rely on?

I think so. And if you're with me on that, I've got just the man to help you take control of your own investments and put your mind at ease about your financial future.

His name is Dr. Mark Skousen, a free-market economist and editor of the investment newsletter Forecasts & Strategies -- and he just might be the smartest financial advisor working today.

How so? For one thing, unlike the Wall Street Wizards who "somehow just missed" the oncoming financial collapse, Dr. Skousen actually predicted it almost two years in advance, in 2006, when he warned his Forecasts & Strategies subscribers that "we clearly are headed for fiscal disaster" (and then showed them how to protect themselves).

But that's just one among hundreds of uncannily accurate market calls Dr. Skousen has made in the 30 years since he launched Forecasts & Strategies -- including:
  • Last March he called the exact bottom of the market, telling his subscribers that "stocks are a screaming buy." In the four weeks following, the Dow soared a remarkable 24.5%.

  • Just weeks before the NASDAQ collapsed in 2000, he warned his subscribers that tech stocks were dangerously overvalued.

  • He told his subscribers in 1995 that the NASDAQ would double, and then double again -- which is exactly what it did.

  • He called the Gulf War of 1990 "a turning point for U.S. stocks" -- and the Dow subsequently began a bull market that didn't end for nearly ten years.

  • And he issued a "sell everything" recommendation to his Forecasts & Strategies subscribers just 41 days before the stock market crash of 1987 -- then told them to get fully invested again several weeks later, just in time for the recovery.
(It's not a financial prediction exactly, but Dr. Skousen also correctly forecast that Rima Fakih would become the first Muslim woman to win the Miss U.S.A. contest after she wowed the audience in the burka competition and knocked them out in the talent portion of the competition by not driving.)

Then there's my favorite Mark Skousen prediction -- the one that launched his career back in the early '80s, when he defied the so-called experts by predicting "Reaganomics will work." Which, of course, it did -- and, come to think of it, will again, when we finally bring it back.

But until that blessed day arrives, take comfort in this: Mark Skousen knows how to make you money even during turbulent economic times.

Bottom line: Trusting Wall Street's "We didn't think markets went down" Money Men to manage your money is like trusting Bill Clinton with your daughter. Better to take your financial affairs into your own hands, with the expert guidance of Mark Skousen in Forecasts & Strategies.

The cost? About a tankful of gas for your SUV -- or two tankfuls if the Democrats push through "Cap and Trade," or as it's formally known, "The Huge New Tax on Everything Under the Sun Act of 2010."

Sincerely,
Ann Coulter signature
Ann Coulter

P.S. Mark has just revealed a unique investment opportunity. An investment that measured over a 3-year, 5-year, 10-year, or even 20-year period has never, EVER lost money. In fact, during 2009 alone, it rose more than 50%! And since inception, it's risen more than 800% and still going! He's prepared a short presentation that includes all the details about "The Investment That Never Loses Money" -- plus 5 more great investments in his FREE "Crisis-Proof Portfolio" -- that shows you how to take advantage of it.

P.P.S. You don't have take my word about Mark Skousen -- listen to a few folks who've already subscribed to Forecasts & Strategies at my recommendation:

"Thanks very much, Ann! Even though it has been a short time, I have grown my investment by 25% in the past 4 months of following Mr. Skousen's recommendations." -- Steve L.

"Thank GOD for Ann Coulter's outspoken patriotism and Dr. Skousen's financial forecasts." -- Wayne S.

"My portfolio has only increased, no downs since Mark! God bless you, Ann! I knew his had to be a good tip!" -- Rhondi E.

"Thank you, best decision I ever made." -- Wallace M.







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Eric Tyson is the only best-selling personal finance author who has an extensive background as an hourly-based financial advisor and who does not accept speaking fees, endorsement deals or fees of any type from companies in the financial services industry or product or service providers recommended in his articles, books and his publications.

 

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