Gorilla Trades is a standard stock picking service that costs $500 per year.
The owner of the company, Ken Berman of Jupiter Florida, seems like a nice enough person. However, we could not verify all of his claims.
Example: Ken Berman claims to be the former President of Smith Barney and Paine Webber. He claims to have managed $100 million. Also claims to have turned $250k into $5.5 million in 18 months. None of this could be verified. In fact, FINRA or Financial Industry Regulatory Authority has no Ken Berman registered in any capacity — however, this is likely because his record is over 10 years old. Personally, I believe Ken Berman and sense no chicanery or attempts at deception.
The Gorilla Trades service looks innocent enough. However, the track record is woefully incomplete, confusing, and not fit for human consumption. Ken can do a better job of organizing the track record of trading recommendations
Ken Berman does not actually trade any of his recommendations, which does cause concern. However, Ken responded that he never wanted to be accused of front running his subscribers. And I do believe him — as this seems reasonable. Once again, I sense nothing amiss or deceptive.
For a basic stock picking service, it’s not bad. But it could be much better.
Good customer support staff.
Information is very basic and perhaps good for newbies.
Simple and straightforward service that sometimes “hits a home run”
No verified track record of trading.
Owner does not trade his own stock picks.
Owner claims massive investment returns, yet can provide zero proof.
User Review( votes)
Thanks for reading today’s review of Gorilla Trades
What is Gorilla Trades and what are they selling? The Gorilla Trades website is a standard stock picking service. The cost of Gorilla Trades is a flat $495 per year. There is no monthly payment option. The minimum subscription period is one year.
Gorilla Trades does have a refund policy. Anyone requesting a refund must make a written request within the first 30 days. After the request for refund has been made, the subscriber will be deducted a fee of $70. While the refund is not a “full refund,” it still is a significantly better refund policy than nearly all of the stocking picking services that TradingSchools.Org reviews.
The official address for Gorilla Trades is PO Box 523, Jupiter, FL 33468-0523. You may also reach Gorilla Trades by telephone at 1-866-222-6639. However, I would not recommend calling. In my five attempts, each was met with voice mail. Nor were my calls returned. It would appear that the best way to reach the company is via email. The average response time for my emails was one-day.
According to Archive.Org, the Gorilla Trades stock picking service appeared sometime in 2000. For a stock picking service, this should be considered a “legacy” stock picking service. Any stock picking service beyond 15 years is extremely rare.
Gorilla Trades is currently occupying the following social media websites:
Gorilla Trades also advertises on traditional print media, as well as television commercials. In fact, just the other day, I awoke to a Gorilla Trades commercial. As a reviewer of investment products and services, waking up to their TV commercial really piqued my interest.
Who is the owner of Gorilla Trades?
According to various sources, including newspaper articles and recorded infomercials, the owner of Gorilla Trades is a person named Ken Berman. Taking a look at Ken Berman, you can see that he is bulging with muscles. He actually looks like a Gorilla (in a good way). For a man in his 40’s or 50’s, it would appear that Ken takes excellent care of his body. This is good because it signifies great personal dedication and devotion to a difficult regimen — also the necessary qualities to successful investing.
Ken Berman has also made some extraordinary claims. Some are perhaps questionable:
- Claims to be the former President of Investments at both Smith Barney and Payne Webber.
- Claims to have managed $100 million dollars in client monies.
- Claims to have turned $250k into $5.5 million dollars in only 18 months.
All of these claims should be relatively easy to verify. However, I was not able to verify.
Is Ken Berman of Gorilla Trades real?
My first step in investigating Ken Berman was a visit to Finra.Org.
FINRA is the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and this quasi-governmental agency maintains all of the licensing information for registered investment professionals. These records are easily searchable, accurate, and go back to the 1980s. If a Ken Berman was ever the “President of Smith Barney” or “President of Payne Webber” or was a broker or financial advisor, then he should be easy to find.
However, according to FINRA, there is no Ken Berman currently viewable on the Finra.Org broker check website.
Next, I headed to SEC to search their database of registered and previously registered financial advisors. No matching Ken Berman.
I find this very troubling. In my experience, Finra.Org is very accurate and their records and databases are nearly airtight. Regardless, I next telephoned the Finra.Org Washington DC field office in hopes of finding anyone named ‘Ken Berman’ that was the “President” of either Smith Barney or Payne Webber.
Finra representatives notified me that they do have these records, however, if the registered representative has had no negative FINRA investigations, then the records will drop from FINRA — after 10 years. This seems plausible. Its good to see that Ken Berman has absolutely no negative postings at FINRA.
Ken Berman makes the incredible claim that he turned $250k into $5.5 million in only 18 months. However, I was not able to independently verify this.
If you turned $250k into $5.5 million, would you be selling a $40 per month newsletter? Not me. I would on a sailboat with two young bikini babes. Drinking margaritas and enjoying my riches.
In short, this is incredible (and not very believable) investment performance. However, I take Ken at his word — its quite possible that during the heyday of the 1990’s bull market, he did generate millions of dollars in profitable trading.
Gorilla Trades Track Record
Gorilla Trades does publish an official track record of trades. This track record is downloadable into an excel file in which users can view all of the trading recommendations dating all the way back to 2003. TradingSchools.Org downloaded the track record and attempted to decipher both the long trades and short trades.
This information should be easily digestible. However, this performance record is not for human consumption. In fact, we could not make sense of the trade histories and trading records — at all. There are columns where he supposedly sold 75% of the position, sold 25% of the position, and what the overall % percentage supposedly yielded.
However, a great majority of the supposed trades were never registered as winning or losing trades. You simply cannot make sense of what appears to be a convoluted mish-mash of supposed entries and exits.
Very confusing. Not well organized. And a very unprofessional presentation. Example of the Gorilla Trades Portfolio below:
A track record of trades should be clean and well organized. It should present the performance in comparison to the overall SP500 market. This would give the consumer something useful and easy to digest. Ken, if you read this…you can do better organizing the track record. But that is just my opinion.
Gorilla Trades Options
Gorilla Trades also offers a stock options picking service. However, there is no official track record of these stock options trades. On the contrary, it appears that the Gorilla Trades Stock Options trades are just general recommendations.
Once again, we found it confusing and not very helpful. I would definitely avoid even viewing the options trading recommendations. You will be left off in worse shape than when you started.
Do Gorilla Trades Work?
In my opinion, you simply cannot form an opinion. The information and track record are simply too confusing and incomplete.
For me, I want to see clear buy and sell records with accompanied win/loss percentages. And most importantly, I want to see the recorded drawdowns for the entire performance period. None of this exists. At least I could not find it.
Another question that I cannot seem to answer — what is the track record of ‘short trades’? Even a monkey (or Gorilla) can make money in a bull market. But what about a bear market? The Gorilla Trades website mentions short trades, but no official track record can be found. We are supposed to somehow dig this information out of a confusing and incomplete spreadsheet. Quite simply, you cannot digest the presented information.
Overall, I do not believe that Ken is trying to conceal or be disingenuous, but he could a much better job organizing and presenting the information in an easily digestible format.
Does Ken Berman of Gorilla Trades actually trade?
In my five years of writing trading reviews, I have found that the best barometer of performance — for long term stock pickers, is a clean and verifiable track record of actual trades. Even a single share of stock will suffice.
I want to see that the cook will eat the food that he prepares. And so, I sent an email to Ken Berman at Gorilla Trades in hopes of verifying any of this supposed amazing track record of trading performance.
The response from Gorilla Trades was not what I had hoped. But it was honest. And it was as follows:
Please understand that the Gorilla does not actually purchase any of the stock or option ideas that are recommended by GorillaTrades, the Gorilla never trades his own recommendations.
So let me get this straight…you want a consumer to fork over $500 a year for ‘stock picks’ that you won’t even trade them yourself? Sure doesn’t bolster the confidence. (This guy trades his own money.)
Ken Berman might be brave enough to lift a tremendous amount of weights in the gym, but ask him to take a risk with real money, on his own trading recommendations? No way Jose. That’s too risky!
However, on the other hand, and as Ken explains, “I dont want to ever be accused of front running my subscribers.”
This is a very valid explanation. Example: many of the trading signal services on the internet will post a recommendation in a thinly traded stock. And they will do this AFTER they have entered their position. By the time the consumer has an opportunity to apply the information, the stock has already jumped and the consumer missed out. So in some respects, its actually a good thing that Ken does not take his own trades.
I am trying to be fair and balanced.
Gorilla Trades Complaints
For a stock-picking company that has been around since the year 2000, you should expect to see a generous handful of complaints. In fact, Gorilla Trades does have some negative feedback. And this should be totally expected — even Jesus got a few complaints because the wine tasted like water.
However, I would also like to provide some context. Since Gorilla Trades is primarily a “long only” stock picking service, even a monkey throwing darts will make money in a bull market.
An examination of many of the consumer complaints confirmed our suspicions: When the bull market rages, Gorilla Trades will get plenty of positive user feedback. However, when the stock market goes lower, you can find negative feedback like a turd in a punchbowl. It’s easy to find. Examples:
In a nutshell; a total waste of money. After 3 months of use it became clear that these folks are in the business of selling memberships and not providing very good information. -Warren
I will be as succinct as possible……basically the service sucks……and they will be getting , “No More Bananas From Me” You are presented with too much confusing data. -Stan
Gorilla Trades — Pure crap. A waste of good money, and not the least bit educational, since they don’t disclose any meaningful information about their selection methodology. (Most likely a monkey throwing darts at a dart board.) -George
However, probably the most damaging publicly available complaint came directly from acclaimed columnist Ben Steverman, at Bloomberg.
In Ben’s article, he absolutely lambasted Gorilla Trades and declared that Gorilla Trades “performed far worse than the stock market as a whole.”
In my opinion, Ben Steverman’s article is probably the closest to the truth.
However, just like you will find some negative complaints, you will also find plenty of positive comments. Let’s face it, you cannot have be around this long if you are not offering something useful. So Ken deserves some credit for surviving during the bear market years, with his reputation in tact.
Wrapping Things Up: Is Gorilla Trades Worth It?
On balance, I would probably not put too much credence on the negative complaints. This guy just doesn’t seem like a scammer. In fact, he seems like an honest and nice person.
The biggest red flag is the lack of information at FINRA, but hey, it was over 20 years ago. Personally, I take Ken at his word regarding his work history.
The biggest red flag is the supposed track record of turning $250k into $5.5 million in only 18 months. This is facially implausible. And it doesn’t pass the sniff test. In fact, it sounds ‘too good to be true.’ Besides, if you earned $5.5 million, why would you be peddling a $40 per month stock picking service? Ken would be doing the investment newsletter world a great favor by digging up that old tax return or finding those old account statements — I would love to write about the $5.5 million dollar trading history.
To me, the biggest red flag is the Bloomberg article that stated that Gorilla Trades is “performing far worse than the stock market as a whole.”
Thanks for reading. And thanks to Ken Berman reaching out to TradingSchools.Org to present his “side of the story” and explain the lack of FINRA information.
Overall, give the Gorilla a shot and report back. Its cheap and the dude is not a scammer.