I’ve seen numerous Dylan Jovine ads online about different stocks he’s interested in, which eventually prompted me to check out his flagship Behind the Markets newsletter.
In short, the site claims that this service can help you find companies whose “stocks are selling for a significant discount” to what the underlying business is worth.
And after doing some initial research, I decided to sign up.
Would I recommend it?
On the one hand, the marketing is a bit aggressive (I encountered four different upsells immediately after joining), and the monthly newsletters aren’t very in-depth.
On the other hand, I like Dylan Jovine’s approach to finding “beaten down” stocks, and the “closed positions” model portfolio has performed surprisingly well.
So, all in all, I’d say it’s worth the $39 I paid.
In this review, I’ll show you what to expect after signing up, what the newsletter involves, and how the stock picks have performed. But first, let’s discuss the guy behind it.
Who’s Dylan Jovine?
Dylan Jovine is the founder and CEO of Behind the Markets, which is both the name of the newsletter he runs and the name of the Florida-based company behind it.
According to his profile page, Jovine started his career in 1991 working for an investment banker on Wall Street. And five years later, he founded a New York-based investment bank called Lexington Capital Partners, which he sold in 2000.
Fast forward to 2004, and that’s when Dylan Jovine co-founded a publishing company called Tycoon Publishing LLC with a guy called Chris Rowe. And apparently, the company’s newsletters reached over 500,000 people before being acquired by Agora in 2011.
Today, Jovine runs Behind the Markets, which he founded in 2018. And this company sells five different investment research services.
How well have his stock picks done?
Given how many services Dylan Jovine runs (and has run in the past), it’s virtually impossible to quantify his track record properly. However, I have looked into a few of his stock teaser presentations, which are all tech- and biotech-related.
For example, I wrote about his “5G Arrow” (hypersonic missile) teaser in late 2021, which turned out to be a company called Leidos Holdings, Inc. (LDOS). There’s no date on the presentation, but he appears to have first teased this stock in October 2020.
After that, I wrote about his “End of Alzheimer’s” stock pick in May 2022, which my research suggested at the time was Denali Therapeutics (DNLI). Like before, there was no date stamp on this pitch, but he seems to have first teased this in mid-2021.
Finally, I looked into his “Cut & Paste” CRISPR stock recently, which he appears to have first teased in late 2018. And my research suggests that this is Editas Medicine Inc (EDIT).
Those are just a few of his picks, though.
Dylan Jovine has recommended dozens of stocks to Behind the Markets subscribers, and as I’ll explain shortly, some of them have done quite well.
But before we get to that, let me give you an overview of what the service is about, what’s involved in getting started, and how the monthly newsletter works.
What Is Behind the Markets?
Behind the Markets is an investment research service run by Dylan Jovine that focuses on undervalued, “beaten down” stocks with a market cap of $1 billion to $10 billion.
In short, Jovine and his team look for stocks that they believe are trading for a “significant discount” to what their research of the company’s underlying business suggests it is worth. So the service is generally based on the idea of value investing.
However, there are some key differences between Jovine’s approach and the approach taken by other value-investing newsletters I’ve reviewed.
For example, in the member’s area welcome video, Jovine specifically said that he looks for companies with low debt, high returns on capital, and that can raise their prices above the rate of inflation.
Furthermore, Jovine tends to focus on these companies after they’ve suffered what he believes is a “temporary setback” that has caused their stock price to go down. In other words, the service focuses on “deep value” (beaten down) stocks.
Most of the presentations I’ve seen Jovine using to promote Behind the Markets focus on companies in the tech and biotech space. But upon joining, I found that his recommendations are actually pretty diverse.
And he typically shares a new stock idea with subscribers each month. You also get research reports, videos, and model portfolios that give you more insight into his picks.
Recommended: Go here to see my #1 rated stock advisory of 2023
Joining Behind the Markets
Behind the Markets has three price tiers: $39 (Bronze), $79 (Silver), and $99 (Platinum). All three membership options give you access to the same core service and come with a 30-day refund policy, but they each come with different bonus research reports.
I chose the “Bronze” option because I didn’t really want the “bonus” reports that come with the pricier membership. And after signing up, I was immediately greeted with upsells.
- The first was an upsell for Biotech Insider ($349).
- The second was a “Lifetime Profits” upgrade for $150.
- The third upsell was getting a second year of BTM for $49.
- Lastly, there was a second upsell for Biotech Insider, but this time, instead of being $349, it was pitched for $495 (which makes no sense, so may have been an error).
Anyway, once I skipped past all of those, I received an email with my login instructions and found my way into the Behind the Markets member’s area.
The homepage shows you the latest newsletter issue, which Jovine also refers to as a “trade alert,” and there are some links that take you to different areas of the site.
Here’s a quick overview of what those are about:
- Welcome video: this is a short video where Dylan Jovine introduces you to the service and his investment philosophy.
- Bonus reports: this page contains all of the research reports Dylan Jovine has put together on the different companies he recommends. The following is a peek at some of the latest reports you get with the basic (Bronze) membership as of writing:
- Trade alerts and updates: this is where all the latest newsletter issues live, and it’s also where Jovine shares any relevant updates on his picks.
- Model portfolio: the model portfolio page shows you all of the stocks Dylan Jovine has recommended to Behind the Markets subscribers.
So with that said, let’s look a bit closer at what the monthly newsletters involve, and then I’ll show you how the stock picks in the model portfolio have worked out.
Overview of the Monthly Newsletter
The monthly newsletter (aka “trade alert”) is where Dylan Jovine shares his latest recommendation with subscribers, along with the reasons behind his pick.
The newsletters typically begin with an update on Jovine’s current picks, and then he breaks down his latest recommendation and shares some financial charts at the end.
The first part of the newsletter is very short; it’s typically about six-to-eight pages long. This is where he discusses the company’s industry, why he’s interested in the company, and breaks down the company’s financials.
The second main part of the newsletter is usually 14-odd pages long and contains numerous financial “reports” about the company.
Some of these pages just show you basic info about the stock, but some of the data he shares goes beyond what you’d normally find.
For example, there are various “ratings” that show you how the company stacks up against a range of metrics, including its financial strength, profitability, and valuation.
There’s also a section that shows you the different “warning signs” Jovine suggests being aware of and some that show you how his pick compares to other companies.
On the one hand, this info is relevant and interesting. There is a lot of information here that would likely be of interest to those who want to dig into the finer details of each company.
But on the other hand, while some of what he shares is self-explanatory, much of it isn’t. And there’s little explanation as to the significance of these metrics. So much of this section is likely to amount to financial gobbledygook to the average person.
It’s basically just page after page of charts and data.
Not to mention, the formatting makes this section of the newsletter difficult to read.
Some newsletters don’t follow this template, though. For example, the December 2022 “issue” was basically a short piece of written content followed by a seven-minute video about his recommendation for the month (which was a bond).
Breaking Down the Model Portfolio (Updated April 2023)
The Behind the Markets model portfolio is where Dylan Jovine displays the stocks he has recommended to subscribers of the service. It also shows you details such as what price he recommended each company and the gain/loss each has seen since.
How have his picks performed?
As of writing, there are essentially four different model portfolios.
The first two shown above are basically “specialty” portfolios. One is called “Income Collapse,” and the other is his “China vs. Taiwan” portfolio. And both of these are full of stocks and ETFs that Dylan Jovine has recommended selling.
Those aren’t the main portfolios, though. The “core” Behind the Markets recommendations are shown in the “Open Positions” and “Closed Positions” tabs, which I’ll discuss now.
Open Positions (Updated)
As of writing, the “open positions” stock picks have not done very well. There are 21 recommendations here in total, and only three of them show a gain in the “gain/loss” column as of writing.
As a caveat, two of the above picks are bonds, and one of them essentially represents a basket of different assets that Jovine mentioned in a newsletter.
Also, there are four recommendations at the end that don’t show any gain/loss information at all because they were apparently “recommended for years at different prices.”
So it’s hard to know how those have done.
In any case, whichever way you cut it, the “open” portfolio is currently not looking very good. Most of the picks are down, which doesn’t surprise me, given how 2022 played out. This is a similar story to virtually every newsletter I’ve reviewed recently.
April 2023 Update:
It doesn’t appear as though anything has changed in the “closed positions” I discuss in the next section from when I first published this post in late 2022, but there have been some new stocks added to the above “open portfolio.”
Here’s a screenshot of how it looks as of April 19, 2023:
The “closed positions” represent past recommendations Dylan Jovine has made to Behind the Markets subscribers. And they appear to have done a lot better.
There are currently 40 stocks in the “closed” portfolio, and of those, 28 have been winners. Some have been triple-digit winners.
There are too many picks to show the whole portfolio in one go, but the following are two screenshots that show you how the closed positions have worked out since 2018, which is when the service was launched.
As you can see in the last screenshot, there have been 12 losing recommendations, but overall, his “closed” picks are up 739% on average (or 39% average profit per trade).
This doesn’t take into account all the losing trades in the “open” portfolio, so not everyone has seen that result by following Dylan Jovine’s recommendations. Nor is this a reliable way to predict how the service will work out for you if you decide to join.
But I think it’s pretty clear that Jovine knows how to find decent stocks, as this is easily one of the best model portfolio track records I’ve seen.
Is Behind the Markets a Scam?
Behind the Markets does leverage some pretty aggressive, sometimes overhyped, sales presentations to sell its newsletter.
And once you join, you are pitched on numerous upsells, as that’s how these newsletter “gurus” make their money – by selling higher-priced services.
But I don’t consider Behind the Markets a scam.
The service is reasonably priced and gives you access to monthly newsletters, research reports, model portfolios, and videos from Dylan Jovine.
There’s also a 30-day refund policy in place, which seems to apply to at least some of the company’s higher-priced services as well.
And as mentioned, he has recommended some great stocks.
What are others saying?
I wasn’t able to find any real “scam” complaints about Behind the Markets online.
Some people have complained about the higher-priced subscriptions, that the customer service isn’t great, and that they received emails they didn’t want. But nothing I’ve seen indicates that Dylan Jovine or Behind the Markets is operating an actual scam.
In fact, the company has only had four complaints in the last three years on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website, which is very low compared to most newsletters in the space, especially given its popularity, and they’ve responded to each one.
What I Liked
- I like Jovine’s approach to finding fundamentally sound, beaten-down stocks. In theory, his approach has the potential to help subscribers find great long-term stocks while helping to limit the potential downside risk.
- I think that the “closed positions” portfolio shows that Dylan Jovine knows how to find great stocks. This doesn’t guarantee the service will perform well in the future, but he clearly knows a thing or two about investing.
- $39 is a very reasonable price for a 12-month newsletter subscription.
- The service comes with a 30-day refund policy.
What I Didn’t Like
- Having to endure four pages of upsells before getting access to the service isn’t cool.
- The written part of the monthly newsletter issues (aka “trade alerts”) isn’t very in-depth. And while there are numerous charts in the “reports” section of most newsletter issues, I feel like most people will struggle to make heads or tails of this stuff.
- There’s no training in the member’s area to help subscribers understand the slew of financial metrics that are shown in many of the newsletters.
On the one hand, the written part of the Behind the Markets newsletter isn’t as in-depth as some other services I’ve joined. Dylan Jovine basically writes six-to-eight pages of content, and then it seems as though he just pastes in some charts/data at the end.
On the other hand, based on all the data he shares, it appears as though a lot of research and thought has gone into the companies he recommends.
And as mentioned, the “closed positions” in the core model portfolio have done pretty well. In fact, aside from the bloodbath in the “open” portfolio, this is probably one of the best-performing newsletter services I’ve come across in a while.
Now again, that doesn’t mean Jovine’s future picks will work out well. There are always risks involved with investing, so anything could happen going forward.
But Jovine seems to have a knack for this stuff. And for $39, I’d say that the service is worth a look if you want to find out what companies he’s interested in.
That’s my take, anyway.
Let me know what you think in the comments section below, and thanks for reading!