I update this page about once a year. In 2013, we are actually entering our eleventh year. That’s simply amazing. I took on “StockGuru” as a hobby way back in 2002. I have done it full time ever since.
WHAT IS STOCKGURU? WHO ARE WE?
When we say eleven years, that’s really selling it short a bit. I originally started making stock picks in the late ’90s. How could anyone go wrong then? No one did. I developed a small but loyal following of mostly friends and the friends of friends. My picks were usually up and coming companies on the bulletin board or small Nasdaq or Amex stocks. I applied the same fundamentals when looking at the companies as I do today.
Our email list started out quite small, but by the time Y2K came around the list grew to be significant. Even at the time of 9/11 in 2001 the list was alive and well. In 2003 I formalized the company with the creation of TheStockGuru.com website. This was in the weeks before the second Gulf War. I knew that if the main hostilities were over quickly there would be a huge market rebound and there was. The email list was now branded as “TheStockGuru.com.” Later that summer I bought the name StockGuru.com, as it was clear that members were very confused with the ‘The’ in front of the name. It turned out that the small move in name designation made a huge difference with our audience.
In July of 2003 we added the paid membership service. Yes, until July of 2003 I had not made a dime off of this entire concept. Even then you could not fill a decent SUV let alone pay a web server to host the site with the money collected from the couple of PayPal donations made in the 30 or so days before the paid membership service was implemented.
All of this time I was working in advertising full time in the Dallas area. This whole ‘StockGuru thing’ as I called it back then was a sideline to my ‘day job’ as it was. Well, they always say you are most successful in life when you make your passion (mine is my wife, then stocks) into your life’s work. StockGuru suddenly took every waking moment of my life outside of the office. Soon it began to take up time in my office. With my research talking to CEOs and other key execs with these companies StockGuru was definitely spilling over into my daytime.
I live in the Dallas/Fort Worth area with my family. I attended college in Corpus Christi and the University of Houston. I have a BBA in Finance. With that I have worked at Merrill Lynch in Houston at two different branches. I found I preferred to trade stocks and pick stocks more than make about “400 dials a day” as my Merrill Lynch offices required back in the late ’80′s and early ’90′s.
I have spent an extensive amount of time in private businesses that I have created. Most were media and advertising related. I also was a national sales manager, local sales manager and a top sales person in television adverting sales at major Texas television states in larger markets. My last position before making the jump this this business was as a national rep for a national television rep firm that represented only major market television stations across the country. I was always the best or among the best at everything I did in my past. I try to do that every day of my life in everything I do.
I have never looked forward to any profession as being a stockbroker. I was also never more disillusioned with an industry than I was with the brokerage industry. I was licensed as a Merrill Lynch stockbroker in 1988. I was actually in their Princeton Training program about 13 months after the “crash of ’87.” I learned there that it’s not about stocks; it’s about products. It’s not about doing what you think is best; it’s about generating “PC’s.” PC’s are “production credits.” The more you had, the bigger your paycheck. Each trade generated production credits.
Worse than that, the job was a “telemarketing job.” As mentioned above, my quota was to dial 400 people a day from various lists. Princeton Training spent much more time on “role playing” with phone calls than it did on what’s best for the client. I worked at one Houston office and then transferred to another. My total Merrill Lynch time was about three years. When I left the industry, I made a firm decision never to go back. Merrill Lynch was supposed to be the best, so the industry held little promise for me.
My own trading started before I was at Merrill where I played various picks that were based off of library research. This was a terrible way to do it, but this was in the days before Al Gore invented the internet. I did more paper trading than I did real trading. I developed theories at that early stage that are still partially useful today. While I have learned a lot since, my early losses taught me more than any book or classroom. One of my lessons learned was to have that sell order in immediately. I have made that a religion, and I consider that part of the buying process. Other lessons: Don’t chase a rising star. (Of course that is a slightly flawed philosophy: Microsoft was one of those rising stars I never held more than a few days).
While I was with Merrill, I was not allowed to play the market. They quickly hushed my trading activity. Apparently a stockbroker’s own account can be brought into litigation should someone sue Merrill Lynch. The very first time I put an order in on my personal account for something that was not “Merrill Lynch Research Approved” I nearly lost my job. Yes, this was in my own trading account. They quashed the trade and really shut me down as a trader for the remainder of my Merrill career.
Once I left Merrill Lynch, I began my personal trading again. I can credit Merrill for all of the other brokers and industry analysts I met. I learned who to listen to and what to look for. I so much better understand “the system” having been through this experience. My personal trading greatly benefited from all of this.
Now It’s Team Guru
The biggest change through the years was my development of StockGuru into a company. We now have a staff of researchers, writers and sales people who all work together getting our product out day after day and week after week. The investor relations business is now what we call the promotional side, and our resources there are significant. We have a number of people in India that perform a portion of our stock research for us and a couple of us who discuss each and every member pick before releasing it. All of this works to the benefit of anyone who comes to StockGuru.com.
What’s next for StockGuru?
As we move into to 2013 we changed things up a lot. We have seen too many people and firms in the smallcap industry for the wrong reasons. We know the good guys, the great firms and the right go-to people to get the right information when it comes to trading in the smallcaps. We have a great reputation for a good reason. We never, ever deal with the phony companies, the hollow shell pumps, and the people that have had a record of failure (regardless of the excuses).
We look forward to a great year, and we invite you to join us in that as well!
Thanks for coming to the site!
Updated: November 13, 2012