- The 5’s years-long identity crisis, resolved
- Introducing Paradigm Press — a name we chose carefully
- What sets us apart from Wall Street and the financial media
- The “trade-off” for having no conflicts of interest
- How we measure our success (not what you think).
For nearly five years now, this daily e-letter has suffered from an identity crisis.
Without getting into the gory details, our little firm split into several constituent firms that went by different names. The 5 Min. Forecast carried on as a showcase for the investing experts at all these various and sundry companies.
The arrangement was unwieldy and unmanageable for our publishers and marketers. Much worse, it was a source of confusion for our readers.
That was especially true if you were a new subscriber to one of our entry-level newsletters. Suddenly you were inundated with emails from outfits you’d never heard of — certainly not in the initial sales pitch to which you responded. If you were overwhelmed (best-case scenario) or ticked off (worst case)… we don’t blame you.
As of today, that’s all over.
All of our operations are back under one corporate umbrella. Henceforth, everything you get from us will come from Paradigm Press Group.
Our publishers didn’t choose this name lightly.
In the New Oxford American Dictionary, one definition of “paradigm” is “a worldview underlying the theories and methodology of a particular scientific subject.”
How does that apply to the realm of investing, you wonder?
There’s no shortage of places where you can find formulaic “investment advice.” But it’s a rare thing indeed to find investment recommendations that rest on a systematic worldview.
That is, we’re talking about a model of how the economy and the markets work — one that’s grounded in tried-and-true principles, yes, but one that can also evolve in the face of new information.
We firmly believe that by acting on a rigorous paradigm, you can achieve significant outperformance in your portfolio — preserving your wealth, growing your retirement, securing your future.
Especially now at a time when confusion and commotion pervade the markets in a way they haven’t in many, many decades.
So the name “Paradigm Press” sets a high bar for our stable of experts — all the ones we feature regularly in The 5, all belonging to the same team now.
That’s Jim Rickards, James Altucher, George Gilder, Ray Blanco, Zach Scheidt, Alan Knuckman and Byron King.
Over time, we hope you’ll thrive by following the paradigms they’ve developed over a lifetime of market experience. What’s more, we hope you’ll come to feel a sense of community with your fellow readers — an appreciation that you’re not alone in a world that all too often seems as if it’s going off the rails.
With that in mind, you’ll soon receive several new benefits along with your existing paid subscription…
- The Paradigm Press Concierge Letter: Every Monday, you’ll get handy links to the three most important articles published by Paradigm Press in the last seven days — our way of making sure you won’t miss a beat if you get busy
- The Paradigm Market Update: Every Wednesday, you’ll get a real-time summary of what’s moving the markets — to keep you a step ahead
- The Paradigm Press Wealth Series: Over the next few days, you’ll get an introduction to each of our experts — just in case you’re not already familiar with them, their investment paradigms and how they can benefit you. (Look for names and ticker symbols to act on.)
Meanwhile, you’ll still continue to get these daily missives. Today seems like as good a day as any to reintroduce ourselves — and describe who we are and what we’re all about at The 5 Min. Forecast.
Let’s get one thing out of the way first: If you’ve been reading The 5 Min. Forecast and thought to yourself, This isn’t what I paid for… well, no, it’s not.
Perhaps you first encountered Paradigm Press’ work via an ad on Facebook… and you were persuaded to sign up for one of our entry-level newsletters. Maybe you’re among the thousands of folks who’ve subscribed recently to Jim Rickards’ Strategic Intelligence. Or maybe you’ve been around for a while, arriving by way of Altucher’s Investment Network or The George Gilder Report.
Typically, the “fulfillment” for a $49 annual subscription like that includes a monthly issue with an investment recommendation… weekly updates on previous recommendations… maybe links to articles in the financial press that reinforce the themes the editor is following… and “flash” buy and sell alerts as needed.
But we also throw some freebies into the mix — including the e-letter you’re reading right now.
Because your paid product reaches out and touches you once or twice a week… while this missive comes to you every day… it’s understandable that you might think The 5 Min. Forecast is the main product. But it’s not — it’s a free bonus on top of the Paradigm Press publication you paid for.
[If you’re not getting what you actually paid for — the monthly issues, weekly updates and so on — by all means, get in touch with our friendly and helpful customer care team.]
So what is The 5 Min. Forecast, anyway? Our daily recipe goes something like this: Take the Paradigm team’s best ideas… mix in some not-so-common takes on the day’s financial headlines… throw in a dash of “quirk” from the business world… and add a generous helping of reader feedback. Leaven the whole thing with the mockery Wall Street and Washington so richly deserve. Bake for 5 Mins.
The 5, as it’s affectionately known, marked its 15th anniversary last April. With that degree of longevity, we like to think we’re doing something right.
Our mission at Paradigm Press is to provide fiercely independent financial research — the kind of guidance you can’t possibly get from the big Wall Street brokerages that plaster their slick commercials all over TV.
So much of the financial world is shot through with conflicts of interest. For instance…
- If an analyst on Wall Street thinks a stock or other security his firm is flogging is junk… he has to hold his tongue
- Brokerages and financial advisers are frequently incentivized to sell you “packaged products” that generate fees for themselves, even if the investments in those products aren’t suited to your personal needs
- Most financial media outlets pay the bills by soliciting advertising — often from brokerages and other Wall Street firms. The “news” you read or watch is generated by journalists who are forever looking over their shoulders, worried about offending the advertisers (assuming they haven’t totally drunk Wall Street’s Kool-Aid already).
In 2017, the situation got even worse with the outbreak of a “fake financial news” scandal. It turns out certain writers took payments under the table to write some 450 bullish articles about public companies.
The articles ended up on many popular sites including Seeking Alpha, Forbes, TheStreet, Yahoo Finance, The Motley Fool, Benzinga, Minyanville, Wall Street Cheat Sheet, SmallCap Network, Investor Village and Market Playground. In some cases, the articles even had a disclaimer saying the writer wasn’t being paid… and it was flat untrue.
At Paradigm Press, our business model allows us to sidestep that BS. No conflicts of interest here.
We generate the overwhelming majority of our revenue through the subscription fees of readers like you. Doing so affords us much independence. We don’t take secret payments from companies to tout a stock just so we can keep the lights on. Nor do we have to look over our shoulder and wonder what outside advertisers think of our content.
What you read from us is the unvarnished opinion of our editors. And many of our editors are refugees from Wall Street — demoralized by a culture where they were constantly answering to clients or advertisers or the board of directors, watching their backs one moment, kissing someone else’s backside the next.
All those problems go away when they come to work for Paradigm Press. Subscription revenue is our bread and butter, so all an editor has to do is speak his truth and hope his truth resonates with his subscriber base.
The “downside” to this business model, if that’s what you want to call it, is the marketing.
Maybe you think it’s “aggressive.” We know it’s aggressive. We don’t apologize for that, because we think ours is a way more honest way to earn a living than to, well, kowtow to external advertisers or take payments from the investor-relations departments of public companies. No conflicts of interest here. No hidden agendas. No BS.
We’re proud of the research we turn out at Paradigm Press. We think it can make a positive difference in your life. So yes, once you buy one of our products, we’re keen to sell you another.
Generally speaking, we have two kinds of products — the entry-level newsletters like the ones we mentioned above and the high-end trading advisories like Jim Rickards’ Countdown to Crisis, Ray Blanco’s Catalyst Trader, James Altucher’s Early-Stage Crypto Investor or The Profit Wire.
The premium services are priced higher — usually, as you’ve likely discovered from our sales promotions, a lot higher. There are several reasons for that.
First, the risk-reward ratio with the recommendations in these premium advisories is much higher. The aim is for big profits in comparatively little time. Usually we’re talking speculations as opposed to investments. Readers need to go in with eyes wide open and know those recommendations inevitably entail more risk. The higher price shuts out beginners and people of comparatively little means — that is, people who shouldn’t be taking on that level of risk.
Too, the plays tend to be more sophisticated. They might be short-term trades of as little as a week. Or you’re buying options. Or you’re selling options to pocket instant income. Or you’re acquiring microcap stocks that are thinly traded.
The microcaps are a special area of concern for us. We’re talking about companies worth only millions of dollars, not billions. If we published them in an entry-level newsletter to tens of thousands of people, we’d artificially goose the share price, only to see it crash again. Bad for us, bad for readers. Charging a higher price for those recommendations limits the number of people who would potentially buy in.
If you feel the tug of the promise that comes with one of our high-end advisories but you don’t have the means to afford it yet… well, the idea is that the money you make following an entry-level newsletter will allow you to step up to a higher level of service, hopefully sooner rather than later.
In the end, it does us no good just to have customers. It’s happy customers we want.
That’s why we’ve built out a customer care team that’s 100% located in Paradigm Press’ home base of Baltimore. There’s nothing that gets offshored when you email or call them. (Some of the reps might have that distinctive mid-Atlantic accent in which “downtown” sounds like “day-own tay-own,” but we doubt anything will get lost in translation.)
Again, if you suspect you’re not getting all the “deliverables” you were promised in that lip-smacking sales promotion — if you don’t think you’re getting the buy and sell alerts and such — get in touch. It’s what those folks are there for. Call 1-844-731-0984 or email them at this address. For as much thought as we put into those “promos” and how we get them in front of people’s eyeballs… we really do care about service after the sale, as the saying goes.
Fun fact: Long before I left the TV news racket and got into the financial publishing business in 2007… I was a newsletter subscriber just like you.
Not a day goes by that I don’t think about the reader experience. And not a week goes by that I’m not offering feedback to our publishers and editors about how we’re either doing it well or we could do it better.
So a few final words about this e-letter you’re getting each day.
Again, this isn’t the product you bought. This is a freebie. So if you read The 5 and wonder, Where are the recommendations? it comes back to a rule of thumb we’ve had for many years — long before our team came together under the Paradigm Press banner.
The analysis you get in The 5 is free. The recommendations are reserved for paying readers.
Think of it like this: If you saw a recommendation in your paid publication one week and then saw the name of the stock mentioned in The 5 the following week, wouldn’t you feel rooked?
Yes, sometimes the content you read here is structured in a way that might spur you to subscribe to a new newsletter or trading advisory in addition to whatever you’re reading already. We’d be delighted if you clicked and even more delighted if you bought.
But that’s not the yardstick by which we measure our success. Ultimately, we succeed if at the end of each episode of The 5…
- … you learn at least one interesting thing you didn’t know before
- … you decide to come back the next day.
Thanks for hearing us out today and letting us explain a little about how we do that voodoo we do. We’re back to regularly scheduled programming tomorrow.
Meanwhile, watch your inbox for details about the exciting new benefits you’re about to receive with your paid Paradigm Press subscription!
The 5 Min. Forecast
P.S. By the way, because people ask sometimes…
We started using The 5 as shorthand for this e-letter’s name from the get-go in 2007. That was four years before Fox News launched its daily gabfest The Five on short notice because Glenn Beck and Roger Ailes had a falling-out and there was a huge hole in the schedule.
Now you know…
P.P.S. The markets today, you ask?
The big story is in bonds – with the most crucial part of the yield curve about to invert. As we write, the yield on a 10-year Treasury note is 2.64%. That’s only 13 basis points higher than the 3-month T-bill at 2.51%.
Once that part of the yield curve inverts – with the 3-month higher than the 10 -year – a recession is in the bag. No matter what the politicians and pundits say.
The stock market is treading water. All the major indexes are in the red, but not by much. The Dow is down the most, about a half percent or 185 points. Gold is perking up to $1,779. Crude is flat after yesterday’s smash at $93.87.
Meanwhile, with the announced demise of al-Qaeda chieftain Ayman al-Zawahiri… you might wish to revisit our commemoration of the 9/11 attacks on the occasion of their 20th anniversary last year. Or as we’ve long called the attacks, the most brilliant leveraged bet in history.