Action Alerts Plus
Jim Cramer is a public nuisance.
He claims to be have graduated from Harvard and Harvard Law (Magna Cum Laude) but apparently nobody has ever seen his diploma. Nor is he registered as a lawyer, or ever practiced law. Apparently, TradingSchools.Org is the first to ever ‘call him out’ for this outrageous claim.
Jim Cramer claims to be a former stock broker at Goldman Sachs and “made a bunch of people rich.” Yet, FINRA has no registrations of Jim Cramer as a stock broker, and the employment at Goldman Sachs appears to be yet another fantasy.
Jim Cramer claims magnificent success as a “Hedge Fund Manager.” Yet, no record of this supposed “Hedge Fund” exists. Yet again, FINRA has no record of Jim Cramer ever managing a public hedge fund, or being a financial advisor in any capacity.
According to FINRA, Jim Cramer is a “fictional TV character” that was “apparently created for entertainment purposes.”
For the past 19 years, Jim Cramer has published and sold a stock picking service named Action Alerts Plus. The performance has been abysmal. In fact, he has never beaten the SP500 his entire career. Once factoring in commissions and subscription fee’s, the average investor would be deep in the red. And probably broke.
The “Money Back Guarantee” attached to the Action Alerts Plus newsletter is the source of multitudes of complaints filed with TradingSchools.Org. In short, getting a full refund is nearly impossible.
The only verifiable thing we could actually confirm about Jim Cramer is that he once was homeless, slept in his car, and held a job as an ice cream salesman.
Great television entertainment.
Books are easy to read.
Is a great salesman.
His books are worthless scribble.
His track record of investing is atrocious.
Claims a Harvard JD that nobody can verify.
FINRA has no record of any employment at Goldman Sachs, nor any financial registrations.
Claims to be a former Hedge Fund Manager with massive profits. This appears to be a ripe fantasy.
Bogus refund policy and the source of many complaints.
Thanks for reading today’s review of Action Alerts PLUS
Action Alerts Plus is the “super secret insider picks” of TV host Jim Cramer. The cost is $299 per year.
We all know Jim Cramer. He is on CNBC every f*ng day. Whacking buttons that proclaim that a stock is “BUY BUY BUY” or “SELL SELL SELL.”
It truly amazes me that people actually take this guy seriously. They watch his TV show, then they head over to The Street, Jim Cramer’s very own pump channel where he will glean upon thee — “the secrets to everlasting wealth and prosperity.” Or some other BS that sounds remarkably similar.
Just pay the $299 fee, and the Jim Cramer secret stock picks will pour forth upon the computer screen, bestowing yet more layers of “financial wisdom.”
And the refund policy? Well, Jim claims a “full 30-day money back guarantee!” And “if you don’t like it, you get your money back!” What a bunch of BS.
Money Back Guarantee of Action Alerts PLUS is BOGUS
As 39 readers of the TradingSchools.Org blog can attest, the money back guarantee is a bucket full of holes. Complete and total nonsense.
Here are a few choice quotes from TradingSchools.Org readers:
I signed up for a 30 day subscription and then cancelled 2 days later. No refund. After multiple attempts still no refund. -RM
Visa refused my refund. The terms of service does not match the promises on the website. Buyer beware. -LL
Autobilling is a scam even after cancelling. Harder to remove than a toe bunyon. -J
Attempt to cancel and you must fight through an army of telephone sales people trying to talk you into staying. -RH
Just dont give them your credit card number. You will regret it. -CT
At TradingSchools.Org, we were curious why a well-known television personality would go through such great lengths to hustle ‘mom and pop’ investors out of a few hundred dollars? And so, we called The Street with this bushel of complaints and asked what in the hell was happening over there.
The salesman on the telephone was the typical boiler room sales agent. He immediately starts pitching the “two-year special pricing” where you can prepay “only $400 for hedge fund style stock picks.”
Hedge fund style stock picks– are you kidding me? And so I asked, what hedge fund has Jim Cramer ever managed? According to the salesman, Jim Cramer is a “15-year former hedge fund manager averaging nearly 70% per year” or so he claimed. So I asked, where is the audited proof? Do you have any sort of track record? The salesman replied, “Hedge fund managers are not required to report their performance.” Just wow.
Next, I explained that I have been bombarded with complaints about non-refunds of credit card purchases. The salesman next explained, “before signing up, customers should read the fine print, and we clearly state that refunds are only issued in special situations.”
The only customer we could find that actually did get a refund? Well, he had to hire a lawyer to draft a demand letter. The letter from the lawyer cost him $200.
Jim Cramer: a hedge fund manager?
Jim Cramer claims that he “retired in 2001” as a “hedge fund manager” from his very own investment management company. The name of that company was supposedly Cramer Berkowitz. He also claims that he was a former stockbroker for Goldman Sachs.
All of this should be easy to verify, right? Wrong.
Next, we headed over to FINRA.Org. The regulatory body in charge of stockbrokers, money managers, financial advisors, etc. Their records and databases date back to the 1980s.
According to FINRA — Jim Cramer has never been registered as a stockbroker, at Goldman Sachs, or anywhere else. Additionally, FINRA has no registrations or records for any company named Cramer Berkowitz. It appears that Jim Cramer just made all this shit up.
As incredible as all this sounds…I recommend that readers call the FINRA hotline at 800-289-9999. Ask them for yourself. Simply ask, “I am calling about that TV guy named Jim Cramer of Mad Money” and “do you have any records or registrations for him?” They will tell you plainly…”We have no records on this guy.”
Can someone please tell me how this guy has been on TV, for all these years, and nobody ever did a simple background check? We just turn on the TV and automatically believe that CNBC must have vetted him, else he would not be on the TV.
Jim Cramer: Action Alerts Plus Track Record
Apparently, I am not the only person that thinks that Jim Cramer is nothing more than a bogus TV personality. And that his stock picks are pure baloney.
In 2016, researchers Jonathan Hartley and Matthew Olson of the Wharton School of Business published a verifiable track record of Jim Cramer’s Action Alerts Plus — this study encompassed an incredible 16+ years. The results were not encouraging.
In fact, they discovered that if you invested $1,000 in 2001-2016, then your net profit would be $975. However, once you factor in average commission costs, you would have only $542 remaining.
Finally, you have to factor in the annual subscription fee of $300. Which gives you a total return of -$4,558.
Now let’s consider if you simply took that $1,000 and purchased the SPY or SP500 tracking ETF. Your total profit would have been $2,071. And you would have never wasted $5,100 in subscription costs.
In fact, if you would have simply invested $1k in the SPY ETF and added $300 per year (the cost of the Action Alerts Plus), then your total account would now be worth $17,256.
Action Alerts Plus 2017 through 2019
The above study encompasses the years 2000-2016. But what about 2017, 2018, and 2019? We asked the salesman about that performance as well…
The response was yet again discouraging. Apparently, Jim Cramer continues on his amazing losing streak of lagging a simple SP500 benchmark for all of these recent years as well.
Finally, the salesman quipped “Look, we have thousands and thousands of happy customers and they cannot all be wrong.” On the contrary, they all appear to be stupid.
Jim Cramer: who is this guy?
Over the years, Jim Cramer has made some truly incredible claims. For example, he once claimed that he graduated from Harvard University and Havard Law School (Magna Cum Laude), but when challenged to “show his diploma,” he made up a new story that he wrote a negative story about Harvard staff and they “waived him off stage” and this is the reason he never received his diploma. (remarkably similar to this buffoon)
A short time later, after Harvard and Harvard Law School, he “ended up living in his car.” Which he freely admits.
Yet again, another weird story emerges where he freely admits, “I was an ice cream vendor” at the Met Stadium in Philadelphia.
Ok, so let me get this straight…
- Went to Harvard
- Went to Harvard Law and graduated (Magna Cum Laude)
- Was never actually given a graduation diploma.
- Ended up living in a car. (after Harvard)
- Gets a job selling ice cream cones at The Met stadium in Philly.
- Then miraculously gets a job at Goldman Sachs (cannot verify with FINRA)
- Starts a hedge fund (again FINRA has no record)
- Retires a millionaire in 2000 and starts appearing on TV shows as a guest.
- Starts a TV show and investment service ‘Action Alerts Plus’
- Is proven to be a crappy stock picker. (verified)
- Wants me to give him $300 per year for “secret stock picks.”
Wrapping things up
Do you know what I think? Jim Cramer is a phony.
How is it even possible that you graduate from Harvard Law School (Magna Cum Laude) and then a short time later, you are homeless and living in a car? This doesn’t pass the sniff test.
Suddenly, he is now “a stockbroker at Goldman Sachs” and “made a bunch of people rich.”
Magically, he starts appearing on CNBC and claims that he is a “former hedge fund manager and multimillionaire.” And then CNBC gives him a nutty show where he tosses stock picks like a broken pinata and hits those annoying red buttons like whack-a-mole. Who’s dick did he have to suck at CNBC for this gig anyway?
And finally, an independent group of researchers audit the Action Alerts PLUS track record and discover that Jim Cramer is less predictive than a coin flip, and he cannot even beat the average of the SP500 tracking stock?
Couple this with oodles of online complaints, not issuing refunds, and a ‘boiler room’ sales staff making all manner of nutty performance claims…I think that Jim Cramer and Action Alerts Plus is a service you should avoid.
Thanks for reading.