I’ve looked into numerous presentations from Nomi Prins this year and uncovered several of her stock picks by researching the clues she’s shared about each company.
And today, I decided to shell out $49 to join her Distortion Report service, which is sold by a Florida-based company called Rogue Economics.
In this review, I’ll show you how it all went down to help you decide if it’s worth it or not, starting with an overview of what the Distortion Report is all about.
About The Distortion Report
The Distortion Report is a monthly investment newsletter service run by Nomi Prins of Rogue Economics focused on, as the site puts it, profiting from “the disconnect between the markets and the real economy.”
“Distortion Report is a monthly newsletter designed to help you profit from the disconnect between the markets and the real economy. Nomi follows the money, just as she’s done for decades. And she provides actionable investment recommendations, including an exclusive model portfolio, so you can navigate the distortions she sees coming and grow your wealth.”Source: https://www.rogueeconomics.com/products
Nomi Prins is an economist, author, and former investment banker who started sharing her insights and stock picks with subscribers of Distortion Report in late 2021.
And as I learned by looking into Prins’ stock teaser presentations, particularly this one, her main focus is on the so-called “Great Distortion.”
In short, Prins sees a “distortion” between the financial markets and the “real economy,” one where Wall Street benefits from central bank “money printing” and everyday people get stuck with a rising cost of living.
That’s the gist of it, anyway.
And according to Prins, her mission is to help “level the playing field.”
“Like I mentioned earlier, central bank money printing has permanently distorted the stock market in what I call The Great Distortion.
“It’s given Wall Street insiders unprecedented wealth and power.
“And The Distortion Report is where I help level the playing field… and give ordinary folks the chance to take profits on the biggest financial trends Wall Street does not want you to know about.”Source: https://secure.rogueeconomics.com/?cid=MKT675349&eid=MKT677391&assetId=AST262054&page=2
Prins more or less positions herself as a former Wall Street “insider” who uses what she’s learned about the financial markets and central banking to help her followers navigate this “distortion” and find potentially worthwhile investments.
There is a fairly strong political element to Prins’ investment philosophy, too, which makes sense considering that’s her shtick (i.e., knowing how politics influence the markets).
But her ideas and research within the Distortion Report don’t seem to pander to one side of the aisle over the other, either. Nor is it a political opinion piece.
Instead, what I found after going through the newsletter archives is that Prins focuses on how political developments can impact the markets.
And she shares her ideas on how to invest accordingly.
Another point worth mentioning is that the service isn’t wedded to any one “theme” (aka sector). Prins’ picks are spread out across numerous sectors, which she refers to as “distortion investment trends,” and recommends several stocks for each trend.
That’s the 50,000-foot view of the service, anyway.
Next, I’ll show you what went down after I joined and give you an overview of the member’s area so that you have a better idea of what to expect if you decide to join.
Here’s What Happened After I Joined (Yikes!)
There are basically two main ways you can join Distortion Report (or really most stock advisories I’ve come across, for that matter).
One option is that you can pay full price by going to the company website, which in this case is Rogue Economics. And if you do that, it’ll set you back $199 as of writing.
I didn’t do that because I’m aware of the next little “hack” I’ll show you.
As mentioned, Prins has released several “presentations” (aka stock teasers), which are designed to pitch a company she likes and promote her service. And as with almost all stock teasers, joining through one of these pages reduces the joining fee to $49.
So, that’s what I did.
I navigated to her “Liquid Energy” pitch (which I recently wrote about) and joined the Distortion Report service for $49.
And the moment I did that, I was met with page after page (after page) of up-sells, cross-sells, and generally just annoying pages asking me to buy more stuff.
Seriously, it was pretty insane!
One promo was about joining an “Elite Membership,” one was an upsell for her Distortion Money Matrix service, and one was for a “Legacy’s Inner Circle” membership. There was even one was for a service from a different company called TradeStops Plus.
It wasn’t all bad, though.
For example, one page was about extending my Distortion Report subscription for two more years (three years total) for $149, which works out to be a lot cheaper than if you renew the standard way since the renewal cost is $129 per year.
So that’s arguably a plus.
And to be fair, none of that stuff is essential for you to access the Distortion Report service. These are mostly just “optional extras” and discounts on other offers.
Anyways, in hindsight, I didn’t even need to view those pages because there is no login option at the end of that. Instead, you receive an email with your login info:
So, long story short, after opening the welcome email and accessing my login info, I logged into the Distortion Report member’s area and started poking around:
In a moment, I’ll walk you through the different main sections of the member’s area and show you what each is about. But first, let me give you a quick breakdown of the different “distortion investment trends” Prins is tracking and how this underpins the service.
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Five “Distortion Investment Trends” Prins is Tracking
Once I was inside the Distortion Report member’s area (which is located on the Rogue Economics website), I started navigating my way around to see what was what. And one of the main links in the menu is the “quick start guide.”
In short, by checking out the pages in “step two” of the Quick Start Guide and reading other reports on the site, I learned that there are five main trends on Prins’ “radar” for 2022:
- New Energy
- Transformative Technology
- The Metaverse and AI (artificial intelligence)
- New Money
These aren’t exactly standard “sectors.” They are basically a combination of different sectors and/or industries that Prins has grouped together. And they make up the core focus of the service in terms of what stocks she recommends.
Prins breaks down each of these “themes” in the member’s area, explains why she’s focused on them and shows you what her “core” stock picks are within each theme.
I can’t really give away too much as the content is locked behind a paywall, but Prins has mentioned in a public blog post that the above sectors are on her radar for 2022.
So it’s not exactly a secret.
In any case, here’s a quick breakdown of each trend she’s tracking:
- The first trend Prins’ Distortion Report service is focused on is called “New Energy,” which is all about “clean energy” technology. And while Prins doesn’t strike me as an environmental activist-style investor, she points out that large amounts of capital have flowed into this space lately.
- The Infrastructure theme is pretty straightforward. It’s centered around things like bridges, roads, railroads, etc., and the companies that help make them possible.
- Transformative Technology is focused on tech-related investments.
- Metaverse and AI (dubbed “Meta-Reality”) is another tech-focused sector she’s focused on, but it specifically centers around the metaverse and artificial intelligence.
- And finally, “New Money” is a theme the Distortion Report focuses on that involves “blockchain” related tech. And I’m pleased to say that she does NOT pitch any altcoins in the model portfolio. Instead, she recommends numerous companies operating in the space.
So, those are the main themes that the Distortion Report service is focused on as of writing (October 2022). And Prins goes into full detail on each of these trends/sectors/themes (call them what you will) within the member’s area.
She basically explains what they are (in more detail) in different reports, why she’s tracking each trend, and what stocks she likes as part of each theme.
The service is, or at least has been, mostly tech-focused. But there are energy and infrastructure-related recommendations, too.
And from what I understand, the motto of the service is basically to “follow the money,” so the types of companies she recommends may change over time.
In any case, now that we’ve discussed the core themes the Distortion Report centers around, let’s look at what’s inside the member’s area to give you an idea of what to expect.
How Does the Service Work? (Inside the Distortion Report Member’s Area)
The Distortion Report member’s area is broken down into four main sections:
- Newsletter Issues & Updates
- Special Reports
- Model Portfolio (Distortion Report stock picks)
- Masterclass Series
Newsletter Issues & Updates
The first area of the site is dedicated to the monthly newsletter issues, which are released on the fourth Wednesday of every month. This section also features articles and videos Prins releases designed to update subscribers on her picks and market outlook.
The monthly newsletters are the “bread and butter” of the service, though.
This is where Prins shares her latest insights into the economy, stock market, political landscape, and pretty much anything relevant to her investment thesis.
The newsletters are also where she shares her latest stock picks, of which there has been at least one new recommendation released each month this year.
And as you can see from the screenshot above, the reports go back as far as December 2021, which appears to be when the service was launched.
It’s unclear if Prins plans on continuing to share a new stock pick each month indefinitely, but either way, the newsletters contain her latest insights. And in my opinion, sharing a new stock each month doesn’t necessarily make a service any “better.”
As of writing, there are 10 research reports located within the “special reports” section of the website. Each report is around 5-10 pages long on average, and each highlights a different company Nomi Prins is recommending as part of the Distortion Report service.
Her most recent report is the one about Liquid Energy, and it corresponds with a presentation she just released about a new type of energy storage system.
Like most stockpickers, Prins teases new stocks from time to time and reveals all the details in these special reports, which come with a subscription to the service.
And as a subscriber, you get access to all of the past reports and new ones that she releases over the next 12 months (or longer if you let the service auto-renew).
In any case, each report talks about the company Prins is bullish on, why she likes it, and what “buy up to” price she recommends for each stock.
Model Portfolio (Distortion Report stock picks)
Ah yes… the model portfolio.
I have no doubt that this is the section of the website most people will flock to, as it was for me. This page contains a list of all the stocks Nomi Prins is currently recommending as part of the Distortion Report service, along with key details associated with each pick.
As of writing, there are 21 stocks in the model portfolio, which are spread out across the various “themes” the service is focused on.
I can’t reveal what the stock picks are because it’s a paid service. If I was to share all her picks here, I’m pretty sure I’d be getting an email from the company!
That said, as mentioned earlier, I have looked into several stocks Nomi Prins has teased in different presentations BEFORE I joined this service. And by looking into the clues she’s shared, I have uncovered what I believed at the time to be several of her picks.
For example, I’ve written about her Great Distortion stock pick, her “#1 Stock For America’s New Era,” and her Liquid Energy pick, which are all part of different presentations Prins has released to promote the Distortion Report service.
So, if you want to see my past guesses on three of her picks, check those posts out. And no, I can’t confirm if any of those guesses are right based on what’s in the report (lol)! So if you want to know what her picks are (for certain) you’d need to join the Distortion Report.
Anyways, how does the model portfolio work?
If you look at the above screenshot, you’ll see that the portfolio shows you the ticker symbol of each stock, when it was recommended (open date), the price it was recommended at, the price it is now, the return (or loss) it’s at now.
There’s also a part about stop losses (of which there currently are none suggested) and a “notes” section, which tells you the “buy up to” price.
And finally, there’s a link under the “investment” column, which takes you to the “special report” or monthly newsletter Nomi Prins has written that corresponds with each pick, detailing why she’s recommending it.
The “Masterclass Series” section of the site contains five videos (and their transcripts) where Prins explains her investment philosophy and answers commonly asked questions.
Each video goes for under five minutes or so, so it’s not an in-depth course or anything. But it may be worth a watch if you want to know more about her investment style and overall thoughts on the markets.
How Have Prins’ Stock Picks Performed?
One of the most common questions people have when joining a stock advisory is how well the stock picks have performed, which is totally understandable.
And in this case, the stock picks in the Distortion Report portfolio have not performed very well so far. Unfortunately, most of them are down as of writing, except a couple that are up single digits (one is almost double digits), and one is roughly breaking even.
So it hasn’t worked out very well so far this year.
But to me, in and of itself, this doesn’t automatically make it a dud.
And there are a few main reasons I say this:
- First, Distortion Report is a very new service. All 21 of the recommendations have an “open date” listed in 2022. And this is a longer-term newsletter (not a trading service), so there is still plenty of time (years) for things to turn around.
- Second, Prins launched this service in the midst of a veritable bloodbath. The tech sector has been absolutely destroyed, and even stocks that were outperforming (like commodity-related stocks) have started retracing lately. So it’s not necessarily that the stock picks are duds, but that the market as a whole is not in a good place right now due to factors outside of an individual company’s control (i.e., Fed tightening).
- Third, if you have a long-term time horizon and believe in the companies she’s recommending (because you’ve done your own research), then some might argue that now may be a good time to take advantage of lower prices in certain companies.
Nevertheless, I can see why some would be turned off by this.
And to be clear, I have no affiliation (at all) with Nomi Prins, Rogue Economics, or the Distortion Report service. So it makes no difference to me if you join or not.
I just think it’s important to look at more than just the short-term performance of a service’s stock picks because this is not a good way to predict what’s going to happen next.
For example, you could have joined countless tech-focused newsletters in mid-to-late 2021, many of which likely had awesome returns because the WHOLE market (especially tech) was going up due largely to low rates and stimulus.
But you would’ve been rugged over the coming months as tech sold off!
So, my point is that if you’d joined any of those services based on their picks having gone up recently, that would likely not have worked out very well (lol).
And yes, I have made this mistake myself.
This is why I like to remind folks that, regardless of the service, the stock market is risky. Don’t expect to get rich overnight, only invest what you can afford to lose, and remember that past performance (whatever it is) is not a good way to predict future performance.
Who Is Nomi Prins, Anyway?
Nomi Prins is an author, investigative journalist, and economist with a Ph.D. in International Strategic Studies with a specialization in International Political Economy.
She’s also a former investment banker.
According to her Wikipedia page (yep… she has one of those), Prins has had numerous senior roles at some of the largest investment banks in the world, including Goldman Sachs, Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers, and Chase Manhattan Bank.
Somewhere along the lines, she started getting into investigative journalism and writing books. From what I can gather, Prins is best known for a book she wrote called All the Presidents’ Bankers, where she looked into the relationship between past presidents and prominent bankers going back over a century.
Her most recent book, which is set to be released soon, is called “Permanent Distortion: How the Financial Markets Abandoned the Real Economy Forever.” And this book seems to tie in with her “Great Distortion” thesis and, by extension, her Distortion Report service.
So you will probably hear more about that if you join.
Aside from all of that, Prins has made recent appearances on CNBC discussing her outlook on the market and Fed policy, and she runs numerous services at Rogue Economics.
We’ve already discussed one of these, Distortion Report, but she also runs two higher-tier services, one called Energy Distortion Monitor and the other, Distortion Money Matrix. And she heads up a free daily newsletter called Inside Wall Street With Nomi Prins.
Is she the real deal?
I don’t know Nomi Prins personally. In fact, until earlier this year, I’d never even heard of her. But based on everything I’ve seen and read, yes, she seems to be a genuine expert.
That doesn’t mean you’ll make money following her picks. But at the very least, I believe Prins is who she says she is.
And she shares a lot of useful insight within the monthly newsletters regarding the economy, Federal Reserve, politics, the markets as a whole, and different companies she likes. So I think she’s someone that most of us could learn a thing or two from.
Is Distortion Report a Scam?
If you’ve read this far, you’ll probably have guessed that I don’t think the Distortion Report is a scam. I paid for a service, I got access to that service, and I’d say it’s worth the money considering what you get access to (newsletters, reports, stock picks, videos, etc).
I looked around the internet and couldn’t find anyone calling it a scam, either.
There are some comments on stockgumshoe.com about the stock picks being down, and someone talked about having trouble accessing the service with a Mac.
Regarding the first point, we discussed that earlier, so I won’t rehash that. And on the second point, I’m using a Mac and didn’t have any issues at all.
There is one thing I wasn’t overly thrilled about, though…
And that’s the upselling immediately after joining. As I mentioned earlier, I was hit with numerous pages asking me to buy more stuff (at least six all up) right after joining.
There are also subtle “ads” sprinkled throughout the member’s area that lead to different pitches, which lead to upsells for higher-priced services. So you should probably be prepared for the ongoing marketing efforts should you subscribe.
In and of itself, upselling does not make something a scam. It goes without saying that there are many legitimate companies that sell higher-priced services.
What matters, in my opinion, is how the services are pitched and whether or not they are (actually) worth the money. And since I haven’t joined any of Prins’ other services, the latter is not something I can comment on.
Nevertheless, while there are some annoying marketing-related aspects to it, as with most services in this space, the Distortion Report is a legitimate service.
Cost and Refund Policy
The cost of joining Distortion Report is $199 if you sign up directly on the Rogue Economics website or $49 if you join through one of Prins’ presentations (which I did).
However, it automatically renews at $129 per year thereafter.
It’s unclear at what price it renews at if you joined at the full price, but the $129 is what I would pay if I stuck around for a second year (and I paid $49 to join).
As for getting a refund, I couldn’t find anything about this inside the member’s area, but on the promo page I joined through, Prins said the following:
“If you are not 100% satisfied with The Distortion Report, just cancel in the first 60 days, and you get a full refund on your subscription. No questions asked.”
So, there appears to be a 60-day refund policy in place.
And on the “Billing FAQ” page, there’s a phone number (800 681-1765) and an email address (email@example.com) they give you should you want to cancel.
Bottom Line: Should You Join?
Nomi Prins is well-recognized for her research on politics and central banking, both of which can have a significant impact on the financial markets.
She’s also a former top-level executive for some of the largest, most well-known investment banks in the world.
And after reading numerous presentations, research reports, and newsletters she’s written, I think it’s clear that she’s a very knowledgeable investor.
Not to mention, as much as the whole “Great Distortion” thing may be somewhat of a marketing angle, she makes an undeniably valid point. And that is that the Fed has injected a lot of money into the system over the years, which has impacted the market by driving up asset prices (rich get richer) while driving up the cost of living (poor get poorer).
Of course, there’s a lot more to asset prices than what the Fed does, but that (at least from my perspective) is the main point of Prins’ “distortion” thesis. And she focuses on how to help subscribers potentially profit from this situation.
So, long story short, yes, I think the service could be worth joining, depending on what you’re looking for. For $49, you well and truly get your money’s worth, in my opinion.
On the flip side, many of her current picks are tech-related.
And unfortunately, I don’t have a crystal ball. So it’s anyone’s guess as to whether tech will rebound or not in the months and years ahead.
I’ve heard good arguments for and against a Fed pivot (which would likely be good for tech) but at the end of the day, nobody knows for sure what will happen next.
Nevertheless, there’s still a lot of worthwhile info in the member’s area, and not all of her picks are tech-focused. So there is still a lot to like, even if you avoid the tech picks.
For example, one report I read focused on a company in the mining sector, which I found particularly interesting given what she said about it.
And in an “update” video I watched, Prins outlined her view on real estate and made some interesting points based on her discussions with people in the industry.
As with any service, there’s no guarantee you’ll make money by following her stock picks or advice, but at the very least, you’ll likely learn a thing or two along the way.
And if you’re still not sure if Distortion Report is worth it or not, my suggestion would be to see her free daily newsletter, which is essentially the Rogue Economics blog.
That way, you can get a feel for the type of content she creates and the investments she follows before deciding anything.
Anyway, that’s my take.
I hope you found my ramblings helpful!
And if you’d like to share your experience with Prins’ service or thoughts about all of this in general, feel free to comment below. Thanks for reading.
Update (October 4, 2022)
Since I originally posted this review a few days ago, I have received several emails a day from Rogue Economics (and some from a different company, Legacy Research).
Like most people, I’m not a fan of promo emails, so I unsubscribed from them all.
However, the emails kept on coming.
No amount of “unsubscribing” seems to stop the emails Rogue Economics sends you.
To me, this further shows that there is a very aggressive marketing element to this service. And looking back, it’s this over-the-top marketing that has been the biggest drawback of the service overall.
Bottom line… if you are considering joining the Distortion Report, I would suggest not using your primary email and thinking twice before sharing your phone number because, at least that way, you can limit how annoying this aspect of the service is.