I recently stumbled across a Dan Ferris presentation on the Stansberry Research website that was pitching his new stock advisory service, The Ferris Report.
And after doing some initial research, I joined the service to find out what investments Dan Ferris was recommending and to learn more about his research.
Was it worth it?
After joining, I’d say that The Ferris Report was worth it overall.
The service is only new, though, so it’s too early to tell how well Dan Ferris’ stock picks have (really) worked out, especially since he shares long-term investment ideas.
Nevertheless, after reading the monthly newsletters, I have to say that I’m impressed by the quality of research you get as a subscriber. You basically get a full macro analysis and detailed breakdown of Dan Ferris’ value-focused stock ideas.
In this review, I’ll show you what I’ve learned about The Ferris Report after signing up to help you make a more informed choice one way or the other.
And so you know… I’m NOT affiliated with Stansberry Research or Dan Ferris’ service. What I’m about to share is based on my own opinion, research, and experience.
About The Ferris Report
The Stansberry Research website describes The Ferris Report as a “top-down advisory” that shares investment ideas with subscribers based on “macro and micro trends.”
Dan Ferris created the newsletter in December 2022, and based on what is stated on the company website, he launched it with the belief that the “largest financial mega-bubble in recorded history” is over and that what comes next will be very different.
Here’s a snippet from the first newsletter issue where he explains this:
“We’ve created The Ferris Report to help you navigate the economic and financial trends of the next few decades…
“The world has changed. The largest financial mega-bubble in recorded history is over. And the newly developing macro and micro trends to follow will likely be very different from the ones that made you a lot of money over the past few decades.”– Dan Ferris
As you can see above, Ferris believes that the world has changed, and he’s created this newsletter to help subscribers profit from the new trends he sees taking shape.
I’ll go into more detail on the newsletter shortly, but that’s the gist of it.
As a subscriber, you get insight from Dan Ferris into broad macro topics like inflation, interest rates, commodity cycles, and currency movements (that sort of thing).
And he also shares specific investment ideas.
Ferris is a value investor, so most of his recommendations are centered around companies that he believes are undervalued (aka value stocks). But he also recommends Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), and he’s a big proponent of gold.
All in all, I’d say that this newsletter is very relevant to long-term value investors, gold bugs, and those who are interested in keeping abreast of macro topics.
Who Is Dan Ferris?
Dan Ferris doesn’t appear to have a flashy Wall Street background like many stock-picking “gurus” in the newsletter space. Instead, Ferris’ LinkedIn profile page states that he was hired “off the street” by Bill Bonner in 1997 to do research for Agora.
Agora is well-known in the newsletter space. Bill Bonner founded the company in 1978, and since then, it has acquired many smaller individual publishing companies.
And as you’ll see by checking out Agora’s Wikipedia page, the company’s history is fraught with controversy (i.e., many complaints and even legal action from the SEC).
That’s not a reflection on Dan Ferris himself, but the company he started out with is not one I hold in high esteem (and that’s putting it lightly).
Nevertheless, Ferris began working with Stansberry Research (which is owned by MarketWise) in 2000 and launched his flagship newsletter, Extreme Value, in 2002.
Extreme Value is very similar to The Ferris Report in that it centers around value investing; it’s just a lot more expensive (around $2,000 a year).
And it seems like a pretty decent service, too. Extreme Value currently has over 4 out of 5 stars and many positive reviews on Stock Gumshoe (which is a credible site in the newsletter space). And I couldn’t find any concerning complaints about it online, either.
Aside from that, Ferris also worked on an income-focused service called The 12% Letter at some point, which is now defunct, and that also seems to have been well-reviewed.
What about his stock picks?
I’ll show you how The Ferris Report stock picks have performed shortly, so that will give you an idea of how the service itself is performing since its inception.
However, it’s very difficult to know how well Dan Ferris’ stock picks have performed overall, as he has contributed to numerous other newsletters over the years.
In any case, according to his Stansberry Research profile, Dan Ferris has recommended numerous triple-digit stocks and called the 2008 financial crisis.
And I’ve looked into several of his stock teaser presentations in recent years, which has led me to uncover a few of his recommendations in the process.
For example, in a February 2022 presentation I wrote about, he recommended the Sprott Physical Gold Trust ETF (PHYS), which has pretty much gone sideways since.
In that same pitch, Ferris teased a company that he said was “the single best stock” he’s ever found (which he dubbed “the Best Gold Business on Earth”). And my research suggests that the stock he was teasing then was Sprott (SII).
And I looked into a May 2022 pitch about Ferris’ “No. 1 inflation protection stock,” and my research found that his pick was most likely Black Stone Minerals LP (BSM).
As you can see, they’ve all mostly gone sideways.
But those are only a few of his picks.
And Ferris presents himself as a long-term value investor, so it’s probably too early to make a fair call on how well those picks have worked out.
In any case, let me show you what went down after I joined The Ferris Report. That way, you’ll have a better idea of what to expect in case you decide to try it out.
Recommended: Go here to see my #1 rated stock advisory of 2023
Joining The Ferris Report
There are a couple of main ways you can join The Ferris Report.
One way you can sign up is through the default page on the company website, which will cost you $199. And another way you can join is through one of Dan Ferris’ stock teaser presentations for $49, like this one, for example:
As you might expect, I chose the second option to save a few bucks!
Anyway, after signing up, there were a couple of upsells to contend with. One was for a $350 lifetime subscription to The Ferris Report, and the other was a subscription to Daily Wealth Trader for $55 per month.
You don’t have to “upgrade” to either of those, though. So I skipped those upsells, and after logging into the Stansberry Research member’s area, this is the page I got access to:
This member’s area is virtually identical to every other Stansberry Research service I’ve joined in terms of its layout; it’s really just the content that’s different.
As explained in other Stansberry Research reviews I’ve published, I’m not a big fan of the company’s marketing (it can be very overhyped). But the resources you get access to as a subscriber of any of their services are pretty cool.
In short, you get a bunch of tools that can help you research stocks and track your portfolio, as well as educational materials for those that want to further their research.
All in all, it’s a great member’s area experience.
And as for the service itself, the main thing you get access to is the monthly newsletter.
This is the bread and butter of the service.
But you also get access to a model portfolio (aka list of recommendations) to help you keep track of what Ferris recommends and some bonus research reports.
How Does the Newsletter Work?
The Ferris Report newsletters are released on the fourth Wednesday of every month inside the member’s area. And this is where Dan Ferris shares his latest market commentary and investment recommendations with subscribers.
Each newsletter centers around different topics and investment ideas, but how they are structured is similar. Dan Ferris usually begins by discussing a broad trend he’s been tracking, breaks down a specific industry, then delves into a stock or ETF he likes.
Sometimes, the trend he analyzes relates to a specific industry, but other times it relates to broader macro topics such as currency markets, inflation, or interest rates, for example.
And when it comes to his picks, Ferris mostly recommends value stocks (i.e., companies that he thinks are undervalued relative to the business’s fundamentals).
Ferris usually starts by breaking down the company’s business model and explaining why he likes it, and then he picks apart the company’s financials to show you why he’s bullish.
In particular, he looks at what he describes as the “two most important financial markers for companies” to evaluate – the company’s income and balance sheet.
From what I’ve gathered by reading The Ferris Report, Dan Ferris basically looks for great businesses with solid profits, that have strong balance sheets, and that are trading at a price he considers “cheap.” And they are all medium-to-long-term trades.
Here’s a snippet from a recent newsletter on that last point:
“We expect these trends to last one or more years rather than mere weeks or months. For that reason, all Ferris Report investment recommendations should be viewed as medium- and long-term trades.”
From there, once Ferris is done breaking down his latest recommendation, there’s a “Chart of the Month” and “Big Macro Trends” section toward the end.
The Chart of the Month is where Ferris shares a chart that’s focused on a broad investment theme he’s following, like oil or gold, for example.
He basically shares the chart of an asset class and discusses his thoughts on it.
And the Big Macro Trends section of the newsletter is where Dan Ferris discusses what he describes as the “primary top-down influences” that he and his team believe are “driving the global financial markets at any given moment.”
In other words, this section is all about analyzing the macro scene.
And at the very end of each newsletter, there’s an update on the model portfolio that shows you any recent buy or sell recommendations Dan Ferris has issued.
So, to sum it up… there’s a mix of broad macro topics discussed in the newsletter, as well as an in-depth analysis of different companies (or other assets) Dan Ferris likes.
The Ferris Report Stock Picks
The model portfolio is a section in The Ferris Report member’s area that shows you what stocks and ETFs Dan Ferris is currently recommending.
As of writing, there are only eight “open” recommendations in the model portfolio, and they are mostly up. Here’s a screenshot so you can see how it’s looking:
I had to blur out the names of his recommendations, given that it’s a paid service, but the above screenshot shows you The Ferris Report’s open positions as of January 7, 2023.
Also, please keep in mind that the “return” column in the above portfolio is subject to change on a daily basis, as these are OPEN (aka active) recommendations.
So what you see if/when you join could be very different.
What about closed positions?
At the time of writing, there is only one “closed” position. Meaning, Dan Ferris has recommended selling one of the stocks he had previously recommended.
And according to an update in the member’s area, he did so because the stock closed below his recommended trailing stop of 25%. Although, as a side note, Ferris said that the actual loss on the position was 23% (I don’t know how he worked that out, but hey).
In any case, that’s the only closed position, and it lost money.
Which is unfortunate.
But every newsletter has its losses. And it’s way too early to evaluate the service’s track record properly, so this doesn’t affect my overall opinion of the service much.
Anyway, that should give you a basic idea of how the service is doing so far.
And I will strive to update this review every now and then to keep you updated (feel free to hit me up in the comments below if I haven’t updated this within 3-to-6 months).
Portfolio Stock Picks Update (April 19, 2023)
As promised, here is an update on the model portfolio:
Unfortunately, several more losing picks were added since I first wrote this review, but nothing too extreme, and he added another winner to the mix as well.
I’ll keep you posted in another few months or so!
The last aspect of The Ferris Report service I want to discuss is the “special reports” section of the member’s area. This section gives you access to different research reports Dan Ferris has put together that discuss different investments he has recommended.
And there are currently five reports available to subscribers:
Each report covers a different stock or ETF that is (or has at one point been) included in the model portfolio. So this is a good page to visit if you want to see the reasoning behind the model portfolio recommendations that haven’t been discussed in a newsletter.
There’s also one report in the archives that covers a bunch of stocks he recommends avoiding “at all costs,” so that may be of interest to some folks as well.
Pros and Cons of The Ferris Report
As with any newsletter service, there are different pros and cons that you may want to consider before joining The Ferris Report. And in this section, I’ll do my best to break these down to help you make a more informed choice.
What I Like:
- Great newsletter. I like this newsletter because you get an in-depth macro discussion and a company-specific analysis from Dan Ferris. Also, he breaks the research down in a very easy-to-understand way and provides charts to illustrate his thesis. It’s top-notch.
- Unique stock ideas. Dan Ferris’ stock picks aren’t exactly “exciting” because he’s a value investor (not a flashy tech investor). But some of his ideas are contrarian/controversial, which I think helps keep things interesting from month to month. And I think he does a great job of explaining the logic behind his picks.
- Tools and resources. As a member of The Ferris Report, you get access to tools and resources (charts, portfolio trackers, stock rating tools, etc.) that are aimed at helping you invest better. The member’s area experience is very polished.
- Low starting price. Depending on which page of the Stansberry Research website you sign up through, it only costs $49 to get started for the first year (goes up after that).
- 30-day refund policy. If you join the service and decide it’s not for you, the company states that you can get your money back within the first 30 days.
What I Don’t Like:
- Sensationalist marketing. The sales pitch that led me to join The Ferris Report wasn’t particularly overhyped, but most of the Dan Ferris pitches I’ve seen are somewhat “doom and gloom,” which is a common tactic used to sell newsletters. Instead of using greed, some stockpickers use fear as a sales tool (and I’m not a fan of either approach).
- The $199 auto-renew. If you read the “fine print” under the Stansberry Research order form for The Ferris Report, it states that the service will automatically renew at $199 after the first 12 months, which in my opinion, is an unethical sales tactic.
- Immediate upsells. The moment you join, you are asked to spend more money on upsells. As with my last two points, this is all very common in the newsletter world, and while The Ferris Report is not the worst example of this, this is a pet peeve of mine.
Bottom Line: Worth It or Nah?
There’s no such thing as a “perfect” newsletter, and The Ferris Report is no exception, but this is one of my favorite newsletters from Stansberry Research.
The thing I like most is how in-depth (yet easy to digest) the newsletters are. I also like how Ferris covers the broader macro trends as well as zooming into specific companies he likes and why he likes them based on what appears to be very objective research.
Does that mean the service will help you make lots of money?
Not necessarily, no.
As with any investment newsletter, there is no guarantee you’ll make money following the recommendations you get as a subscriber of The Ferris Report. In fact, it’s possible you could lose money given the risks involved with investing in general.
Not to mention, this is a long-term focused service, so even if some of Ferris’ picks do work out, I wouldn’t expect it to help you get rich overnight or anything.
It’s probably also worth being aware of the fact that The Ferris Report is an entry-level newsletter that is very similar to Dan Ferris’ higher-priced Extreme Value newsletter.
As such, you should expect that you will be pitched (repeatedly) on joining Extreme Value and other Stansberry Research services via email.
Nevertheless, as far as the service itself goes… The Ferris Report is legit and could potentially be worth it if you’re looking for macro insights and value stock ideas.
I think Dan Ferris shares a lot of value. And he seems like one of the more sensible investors out there. So I’m looking forward to learning from him for potentially many years to come.
That’s my take, anyway.
I hope it helps make your decision a little easier!
And if you’d like to share your two cents on The Ferris Report, feel free to drop a comment below. Your input may go a long way in helping others! Thanks for reading.