The Banyan Hill Publishing website claims that Charles Mizrahi’s Alpha Investor service provides you with the “knowledge and tools” you need to “gain financial freedom.”
Sounds good… but can it really help you achieve financial freedom?
Or is the whole thing one big scam?
That’s what I wanted to know, so I joined Alpha Investor myself to find out!
It’s one thing for a stock investing “guru” to tell you how great their service is; it’s another thing entirely for it to actually deliver on what is promised.
So I “took the plunge” to find out what the service really has to offer. And in this review, I’ll show you everything I found, including how Mizrahi’s stock picks have performed.
About the Alpha Investor Service
Alpha Investor is a Banyan Hill Publishing stock advisory newsletter that investment guru Charles Mizrahi launched in 2019.
The core idea behind the service is that each month, Mizrahi shares his latest stock picks with subscribers via the newsletter issues.
And to help you learn and follow his recommendations, you also get access to a model portfolio, reports, updates, and other resources.
I’ll go into more detail on what you get as a subscriber shortly, but that’s the gist of it.
What makes this service different from others I’ve joined is Mizrahi’s approach to finding the stocks he recommends. In short, he uses what he refers to as the “Alpha-3 Approach.”
Here’s a snippet from the “welcome letter” you receive after joining, where Mizrahi introduces his so-called “groundbreaking” approach to investing.
“Welcome to Alpha Investor!
“With this research advisory, you’re getting access to my groundbreaking Alpha-3 Approach — a system that’s accessible to everyone, regardless of how much money you have, your investment acumen or your risk tolerance.”
“One month, I may issue a recommendation telling you to buy a semiconductor company, while the next month I may suggest a fast-food restaurant, and then the next month an artificial intelligence sensor company.
“At first glance, these businesses won’t appear to have anything in common. Yet each one will strictly follow my Alpha-3 filters: Alpha Market, Alpha Management and Alpha Money.”
The “Alpha-3 filters” Mizrahi mentioned above more or less define the service’s investment philosophy. According to Mizrahi, he will not buy a company unless it passes these three “filters,” which involve the company’s industry, management, and share price.
Here’s a snippet from the “Investing Manual” you receive as a subscriber, which breaks down each of his three “filters” in more detail (emphasis mine):
“For the Alpha Market, I’m looking for a trend that’s going to be the source of new growth and new industries. These are the trends that spark the next evolution, such as the birth of the personal computer, the internet and now the Internet of Things.
“For Alpha Management, I’m looking closely at the CEO. What kind of track record does he or she have? Great CEOs watch how their companies spend money, keep an eye on future developments and return value to shareholders. They’re like rock stars, or that consistent all-star player for your favorite sports team.
“And lastly, Alpha Money is my way of making sure I’m getting shares for a good bargain. After all, the way to make money is to get more than you’re paying.”
Fancy terminology aside… Mizrahi is essentially looking for quality companies that he believes are undervalued, which is what most long-term value investors do.
He’s essentially just put his own “spin” on things.
Is Charles Mizrahi the Real Deal?
The different stock teaser presentations I’ve come across (which are used to pitch Alpha Investor) make out like Charles Mizrahi is some sort of investment “genius.”
They talk about how he’s a former Wall Street guru who’s been ranked the “No. 1-performing market timer” and highlight all the great stocks he’s recommended.
But is he really legit? Or is it all just hype?
Let’s dig a little deeper to find out…
According to his Banyan Hill Publishing bio (and what I’ve gathered through my own research), Charles Mizrahi started his career in 1983 at the age of 20 as a trader at the New York Futures Exchange. And shortly after, he started his own money management firm.
Neither Mizrahi nor Banyan Hill reveals the name of this firm, but his LinkedIn profile suggests that the name of the firm he started was Hampton Investors. And according to Mizrahi, he’s “managed money” for Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, and Credit Suisse.
All told, he claims to have around four decades of experience as a trader, money manager, and hedge fund manager.
He also authored a book in 2007 called “Getting Started in Value Investing,” which was published by Wiley and is available on Amazon (here’s a link to the book’s reviews).
Anyway, somewhere along the way, Charles Mizrahi began sharing his stock ideas within different investment newsletters he was the editor of.
He’s actually run quite a few different services over the years (and most of them appear to now be defunct). But two of his most popular newsletters were Park Avenue Investment Club and Insider Alert, which were both owned by Angel Publishing.
These days, his flagship newsletter is Alpha Investor.
He also runs two other paid Banyan Hill services (Microcap Fortunes and 8-Figure Fortunes) and contributes to a free email newsletter called Banyan Edge.
Early Track Record
As mentioned earlier, Banyan Hill (and Charles Mizrahi himself) claim that he was once ranked the “No. 1-performing market timer” in the U.S.
I wasn’t able to find anything to verify this, so I don’t know if that’s true or not. But he does appear to have been “ranked” highly at different times throughout his career.
For example, Mizrahi was ranked one of the “10 best-performing advisers” in a MarketWatch article authored by Mark Hulbert (a well-known newsletter rater). And this was related to the performance of a newsletter Mizrahi ran called Hidden Values Alert (now defunct).
Also, according to finnotes.org, he was “ranked No. 1 commodity trading advisor” by Barrons. I haven’t found where Barrons supposedly gave him that specific ranking. However, this Barrons article referred to Mizrahi as a “top performer” in the commodity trading “arena” in relation to his earlier days of running Hampton Investors in Brooklyn, New York.
Charles Mizrahi also shared some of his stock picks on TipRanks between 2011 to 2014, and based on that; he recommended a handful of winners.
Recent Stock Picks
The only way to know what stocks Charles Mizrahi is recommending right now would be to join one of his services and see the model portfolio inside the member’s area.
I’m going to give you a breakdown of the Alpha Investor model portfolio shortly, so you will be able to see exactly how his recommendations have worked out. But since Alpha Investor is a paid service, I will have to blur out the ticker symbols on those.
Nevertheless, I have uncovered several of Charles Mizrahi’s stock picks just by looking into different presentations (aka Alpha Investor sales pitches) he’s released publicly.
And I will show you the names of those now…
One company he teased was Innoviz Technologies (INVZ), which I discovered by looking into his July 2021 “L5 Revolution” stock teaser about autonomous electric vehicles.
He also teased a company called QuantumScape Corporation (QS) in an October 2021 presentation, which centered around what he called “forever battery” technology.
And third, he teased a company called Danaher Corporation (ticker: DHR), which I learned by looking into his presentation about genomics in May 2022.
Those aren’t the only companies he’s teased.
But as you can see, not all of his stock picks have worked out. So despite all the hype around him being a “big shot” ex-Wall Street guru, he doesn’t have a crystal ball.
Some of Charles Mizrahi’s stock picks have been speculative tech and biotech plays, but the overall investment philosophy underpinning Alpha Investor is value investing.
Why do I say that?
Well, first of all, he literally wrote a book on value investing.
Second, his Finnotes profile (see earlier link) says that Charles Mizrahi is an “ardent follower of Benjamin Graham and Warren Buffett,” who are both high-profile value investors.
And third, you can see his Alpha Investor service caters to value investors by reading the newsletters and research reports and by watching the videos Mizrahi shares.
Basically, he seeks to establish the underlying value of a given company based on its fundamentals, and if he thinks the stock looks “cheap” (among other things), he recommends it with the goal of selling at a higher price in the future.
In other words, the process he uses to find stocks seems to align with that of a typical value investor, with the caveat that some of his picks are very speculative.
Anyway, that about sums up Charles Mizrahi.
Ahead, I’ll give you an overview of the member’s area and show you what the model portfolio, newsletters, and other aspects of the service involve.
Recommended: Go here to see my #1 rated stock advisory of 2023
Alpha Investor Member’s Area Tour
To get started with Alpha Investor, you first need to visit the Banyan Hill Publishing website and navigate to the service’s order page, at which point you can sign up for $47.
From there, the company sends you an email with your login details, and you can access the member’s area “welcome page” for Alpha Investor, which looks like this:
The member’s area isn’t very intuitive to navigate.
The top menu takes you to pretty much every other page except those related to the service you just bought, which is kind of annoying. But the menu on the right-hand side (shown above) takes you to the different pages of the Alpha Investor service.
Of all those menu options, the best one to click on first is probably the “getting started” tab, as this takes you to a page with written guides and videos from Charles Mizrahi on how to get yourself rolling and get the most out of the service.
From there, the most relevant sections of the member’s area are the model portfolio, newsletter, and trade alerts sections. So let’s discuss those now.
The Alpha Investor Model Portfolio
The model portfolio is where you can see all of the recommendations Charles Mizrahi has shared with Alpha Investor subscribers in one place.
As a subscriber, you get access to two main portfolios, which are each broken down into their respective “open positions” and “closed positions.”
The portfolio basically shows you the ticker symbol of Mizrahi’s picks, the price they were recommended, the current price (updated daily), the percent return each recommendation has seen since it was issued, and the “buy up to” price.
You can also click on the ticker symbols associated with each stock, which takes you to a page with a price chart and relevant information about the company.
How have the model portfolios performed?
In a word… meh.
The number of winners and losers is split roughly 50/50.
And to give you more insight into the portfolios, the following is a breakdown of how each portfolio has performed as of writing this (December 23, 2022).
Just keep in mind that the “open” positions are subject to change each day the market is open, so it’s probably more useful to look at the “closed” portfolios.
Alpha Open Portfolio
This is the main “open” portfolio.
And it currently contains 32 stocks, 18 of which are down.
Here’s a screenshot of this portfolio (note: I used the “print version” of this portfolio because that’s the only way I could fit everything into one image):
Special Bonus Report Portfolio (Open Positions)
This portfolio is associated with the different “special reports” and stock teaser presentations that Charles Mizrahi has released, like the ones mentioned earlier.
How’s it done? Out of ten positions, six are down as of writing.
Alpha Closed Positions
This is the main “closed” portfolio.
It consists of all the closed positions in the core Alpha Investor model portfolio. And since these recommendations are finalized, this portfolio (and the next one) may give you a more accurate look at how the service has performed since its inception.
As of writing, there are nine picks in this portfolio, and five of them are up.
Special Bonus Report Closed Positions
Lastly, this portfolio is the same as the “Special Bonus Report Portfolio” I discussed earlier, but it only contains closed recommendations (eight in total).
And as you can see, six of these stocks did well, making this the best-performing portfolio of the four in terms of the number of winning versus losing picks.
Nevertheless, there are a lot of losing recommendations in the portfolio as a whole.
Mizrahi has recommended some great stocks, sure.
But around half of his recommendations have flopped as of writing, which is not something that ANY of the hyped-up Alpha Investor sales pitches I’ve seen make you aware of.
This is also not something that any of the “reviews” I’ve seen point out, which are mostly either fake affiliate promotions in disguise or written by people who never joined.
Update (April 2023)
Here is an updated version of the Alpha Investor model portfolios I discussed earlier:
The monthly newsletter is where Charles Mizrahi shares his latest investing ideas, market insights, and updates on the model portfolios.
Each newsletter is available as a blog post inside the member’s area or a PDF that you can download. And they are usually about six-to-eight pages long, which is about the same length as a similar newsletter I just reviewed called Behind the Markets.
The content within each newsletter is always different. But the template is often similar. It usually starts out with Charles Mizrahi sharing his outlook on the broader market or a story of some kind, which then segues into the company he’s recommending.
From there, Mizrahi walks you through how the company meets his so-called “Alpha-3” criteria (Alpha Market, Alpha Manager, and Alpha Money).
And toward the end, he caps each issue off with a summary of this criteria:
Another thing that makes this newsletter unique is that instead of just giving you a “buy up to” price (aka the max price Mizrahi recommends buying a stock), he gives readers a “Buy Zone,” which is illustrated in the following screenshot.
The newsletters aren’t particularly long, but the information Mizrahi shares is interesting and informative. Some of his picks would make you question whether he’s really a value investor or not because he has recommended numerous growth stocks. But there is a lot of variety in his picks overall, and he shares a lot of insight as to why he likes each company.
The “trade alerts” section of the Alpha Investor service is mostly dedicated to informing subscribers about any stocks he recommends selling.
The “updates” section contains weekly videos by Charles Mizrahi that keep you updated on his market outlook between the monthly newsletters. There’s also a transcript of each video for those who prefer reading, which is nice.
The special reports page is where you can access all the research reports Charles Mizrahi has put together for subscribers.
This is basically where you’ll find all the information related to different stocks he’s teased in the various presentations he releases, and they are similar to the newsletters.
For example, this is where you’ll find his “forever battery” report, the report about his recommended genomics stock, and one about autonomous vehicles.
The last section of the member’s area worth mentioning is the FAQ page.
Some of the questions on this page are pretty basic and relate to general account management stuff. But others delve deeper into how the service works and answer questions related to the model portfolio.
So this page may be of interest to you if you want to know more about his recommendations before following them. Here’s a screenshot of some of the FAQs on the page:
Is Alpha Investor a Scam?
There are definitely some things I don’t like about Alpha Investor, which I’ll discuss shortly, but it’s not a “scam.” And I say this for a couple of main reasons.
First, for $47, you get access to a decent monthly newsletter, weekly updates, model portfolios, research reports, training guides, and more.
Second, Charles Mizrahi is a real investing expert. As I showed earlier, he has recommended his share of duds, but 2022 has been a bad year for pretty much every newsletter, and some of his picks have worked out really well.
That said, there are some things I didn’t like about the service, which mostly center around the sales tactics Banyan Hill uses to promote Alpha Investor.
And these are enough to make me hesitant to recommend the service.
So let’s discuss the pros and cons now. That way, you can decide for yourself.
What I Liked
- Charles Mizrahi has almost four decades of experience, and he shares his knowledge with subscribers of Alpha Investor in an easy-to-understand way.
- Mizrahi h has recommended some great stocks. This doesn’t mean the service will help you make money. No service can guarantee you that. But some of his recommendations have done really well, so no doubt some have benefited from his work.
- Subscribers of Alpha Investor get access to a lot of text and video-based content in the member’s area. For $47, you do get your money’s worth in that respect.
- Charles Mizrahi has recommended some decent stocks overall, and Alpha Investor shows you the “closed positions,” which not every service does.
- Subscribers get access to stock charts and information. This aspect is basic compared to services like True Wealth or the Power Gauge Report, but it’s still a plus.
What I Didn’t Like
- Charles Mizrahi seems to have a lot of defunct newsletters. Aside from the services I mentioned earlier, a relatively new Banyan Hill recently went belly up called Lifetime Profits. This may not be anything dubious, but it is a red flag for me.
- Banyan Hill Publishing has released some of the most overhyped, sensationalist sales presentations I’ve ever come across, and this includes some of the presentations I’ve seen for Alpha Investor. Don’t buy into the hype.
- It only costs $47 to join, but the service automatically renews at $79 after the first 12 months, and this isn’t exactly advertised. So it may catch some by surprise.
- There are numerous ads and upsells in the member’s area. Once you join this service, you basically become a “lead” in Banyan Hill’s sales funnel. As such, you can expect to receive lots of sales-based emails and pitches about joining their higher-priced services.
- Some Alpha Investor promo pages state that the service has a 365-day refund policy in place, but this is not stated on the default order page or in the confirmation email I received. So there is a lack of clarity as to the service’s refund policy.
- There’s no way to cancel your subscription without emailing the company using Banyan Hill’s contact page or calling them (866-584-4096).
Bottom Line: Is Alpha Investor Worth It?
Given the current state of the Alpha Investor model portfolios, it’s hard for me to say that the service has been worth it from a performance point of view over the last year or so.
And I cannot overstate how unethical I believe some of the company’s marketing practices are. I would recommend taking Banyan Hill sales pitches with a grain of salt!
That said, Alpha Investor is a decent entry-level newsletter overall, especially for $47.
At the very least, you will likely learn a thing or two from Charles Mizrahi and maybe get some interesting long-term stock ideas while you’re at it.
As with any newsletter service, though, I wouldn’t expect to get rich overnight. Investing is risky, so the important thing is to never invest more than you can afford to lose and always do your own research before rushing into anything that is recommended.
Anyway, that’s my review.
Hope it helps. And feel free to share your experience with/thoughts on the service in the comments below, as this can help others make a more informed choice.
Thanks for reading!
1 thought on “Alpha Investor Review: Is It Legit & Worth It? (I Tried It to Find Out)”
I think you are so spot on with this review! I joined AI a year ago and I can tell you that of my 17 winners, only three are Mizrahi recommendations. But of my 14 losers, 9 of them are his recommendations.