What Is Agora Financial?
With 18 different Editors and 25 different publications, Agora Financial promises to help their subscribers learn about a variety of investing strategies, including short-term, income generators, high-growth opportunities, trend trading, and more.
In fact, as one of the largest fully independent market research organizations in the world, Agora tells us that more people read their information each week than receive newspapers like the Los Angeles Times.
While Agora Financial might’ve been around for years, does this necessarily mean their advisories are worth the money? Can they really help you “start living smarter, freer, and wealthier”?
Keep reading, and that's exactly what we'll help you figure out.
More About Agora Financial’s Editors
Currently, Agora Financial boasts 18 different Editors on their roster:
David Stockman – Several years after studying graduate Theology at Harvard, David Stockman was elected to the US House of Representatives and later served as Director of the Office of Management and Budget for President Reagan.
After leaving politics, Stockman was involved with several companies, including Heartland Industrial Partners and Collins & Aikman Corp. In addition to Bubble Finance Trader, Stockman also publishes his own newsletter called ContraCorner.
Gerald Celente – Founder of the Trends Research Institute, Gerald Celente focuses on identifying trends and forecasting future moves. He also publishes the Breakthrough Technology Alert for Agora and has been a guest on networks like CNN, NBC Nightly News, Fox News, and more.
Jim Rickards – As a lawyer, investment banker, NY Times bestselling author, and publisher of Agora’s Strategic Intelligence and four other newsletters, Jim Rickards using his extensive financial background to help you invest smarter.
Louis Basenese – Louis Basenese operates Wall Street Daily, LLC, who publishes the True Alpha, Extreme Alpha, and VentureCap Strategist newsletters found on Agora. He also founded Disruptive Tech Research.
Before this, Louis worked as an Investment Consultant at Morgan Stanley and as a Wall Street Consultant and Analyst.
Michael Covel – As the author of Trend Following: Learn to Make Millions in Up or Down Markets and four other books, Michael focuses on identifying—and profiting from—trends.
Ray Blanco – Driven by his love of learning as a child, and built on his experience as a network technician and systems analyst for one of the most successful private wealth management firms in the US, Ray focuses on identifying groundbreaking new tech.
Addison Wiggin – Agora Financial’s founder, executive publisher, and author of Daily Reckoning and The 5 Minute Forecast. Addison is also a bestselling author of three books and executive producer of I.O.U.S.A, a documentary that was praised by Roger Ebert.
Byron King – Byron King is a geologist, lawyer, retired US Navy Captain, and co-editor of Jim Rickards’ Gold Speculator with Byron King and Strategic Intelligence.
Dan Amoss – Dan Amoss is a Certified Financial Advisor (CFA) who specializes in identifying aggressive accounting that can act as investing signposts. Before joining Agora and co-Editing the Bubble Finance Trader, Currency Wars Alert, and Intelligence Triggers, Dan graduated from Loyola University.
Dave Gonigam – Managing Editor of 5 Minute Forecast since 2010 and Agora’s Managing Editor since 2007. Before, Dave worked as a director and producer for different television stations.
Greg Guenther – Editor of Agora’s Rude Awakening Pro, as well as Daily Reckoning’s Rude Awakening. Greg is a Chartered Market Technician (CMT) and a member of the Market Technicians Association.
Greg Miller – As Agora’s Senior Technology Analyst, Greg is Editor for their Extreme Alpha publication, and also works for Wall Street Daily.
Before, Greg worked as a Co-Portfolio Manager for First Investors and earned his degree in Economics from Drew University.
Jonas Elmerraji – In addition to his role as an analyst for Michael Covel’s Vertical Trade Alert and Trend Following, Jonas is also the editor of the Rhino Stock Report and contributor for Investopedia.
Nomi Prins – Nomi writes for Jim Rickards’ Strategic Alliance, is a Forbes contributor, and author of numerous financial-related books, including Other People’s Money: The Corporate Mugging of America.
Peter Coyne – Peter Coyne writes for Agora’s Bubble Finance Trader and Strategic Alliance newsletters. Previously, Peter graduated from Loyola University and worked for Dr. Ron Paul in Congress.
Rick Pearson – Before writing for Agora’s Exponential Trends Trader, Rick worked as a director in equity capital markets at one of Wall Street's largest investment banks.
Robert Williams – Founder of Wall Street Daily (since 2006) and writer for Agora’s Extreme Alpha and True Alpha. Robert received his bachelor’s degree from Towsen University and his Master of Science, Finance from the University of Baltimore.
Zach Scheidt – Since 2014, Zach has been Editor for Agora’s Lifetime Income Report, Income on Demand and Contract Income Alert. Before that, he worked as a Principal for Scheidt Capital Management, Co-Founder for Mercenary Trader, and General Partner at Piedmont Investment Advisory.
Now that we’ve covered the basics about each of Agora Financial’s Editors, let’s take a look at the newsletters and programs they publish.
Which Newsletters & Publications Does Agora Offer?
Overall, Agora Financial’s Editors publish 25 different newsletters and publications.
Michael Covel’s Vertical Trade Alert – Even if you’ve never bought a stock before, this publication promises to use professional-grade trend following algorithms to help you make money from short squeezes. Editors include Michael Covel and Jonas Elmerraji.
Membership includes one new recommendation every Monday and weekly market updates.
You’ll also gain lifetime access to VerticalTrades.com (where the filtering system is housed), as well as Three Vertical Trades That Could Fund Your Retirement and The Vertical Trade System: How To Double and Triple Your Money In a Matter of Days special reports, along with a 50-part video training series.
Keep in mind that a lot of unique factors must be present in order for a short squeeze to occur, including:
- Many investors who believe the stock’s price will fall (called short selling)
- The company’s stock makes a quick, unexpected run up in price (such as a biotech company releasing clinical proof that their drug works, despite market skepticism)
- Investors who shorted their position are willing to sell their shares at a loss
As a result, they’re not exceptionally common and are notoriously difficult to predict.
Rude Awakening Pro – Edited by Greg Guenther, we’re told you’ll receive daily insights, up-to-the-minute commentary, and actionable investment ideas from the vantage point of a trained trader, all of which only takes a couple of minutes to read.
You’ll also gain access to the entire Rude Awakening Pro archives.
Monthly Income Generators
Contract Income Alert – Instead of the conventional buy and hold strategy, Zach Scheidt’s Contract Income Alert focuses on buying discounted corporate bonds, which can ensure you’ll receive two interest payments per year.
When it comes to corporate bonds, it’s important to point out that not all companies come with the same credit ratings (i.e. some could go insolvent before repaying you). On the other hand, these higher-risk companies often deliver higher yields.
Family Wealth Circle – Another of Zach Scheidt’s publications, Family Wealth Circle promises to help you simplify your investing decisions by combining opportunities that can “more effectively grow your wealth.”
This includes access to three different investing models, depending on your family’s needs; his three investing newsletters Lifetime Income Report, Income on Demand, and Contract Income Alert; hand-picked portfolio models, video updates, and special reports.
Income on Demand – Zach Scheidt’s weekly Income on Demand program claims to show you how to make money selling stock options. In fact, Zach tells us that all you have to do is purchase stock options of “carefully selected” companies, wait for them to hit a certain price, and then sell!
With your membership, you’ll also gain access to Zach’s daily The Daily Reckoning and Agora Financial’s 5 Minute Forecast e-newsletters.
Like stocks themselves, stock options (the option to buy or sell a stock at an agreed-upon price for a specific period of time) can decrease in value, so investors are always taking a certain level of risk.
Lifetime Income Report – Zach Scheidt tells us that his Lifetime Income Report newsletter focuses on helping you invest in high-yield dividends, along with companies who can sustain these yields over the long term.
You’ll also learn how to reduce your taxes and purchase high-yield stocks at great prices (even looking outside the U.S. stock market).
According to Motley Fool, the average dividend payout in 2014 was between 1% and 2%. While some companies pay higher amounts, they’re typically not sustainable. Also, remember that your dividends are counted as taxable income.
5 Minute Forecast – Created by Addison Wiggin and Dave Gonigam, this free publication provides diverse analysis on the day’s top headlines, all aimed at helping you profit from the news.
Agora Financial’s Microcap Millionaires – For a small group of 1,000 investors willing to take on the risk, Greg Guenther focuses on micro-cap stocks (companies with between $50 million and $300 million market capitalization) that might help you strike a fortune for pennies per share.
Like penny stocks, micro-cap stocks generally come with a high level of volatility (read: risk), so researching them before investing is a must.
David Stockman’s Bubble Finance Trader – Twice each week, David Stockman promises to help you make big, fast gains by purchasing stocks when they’re set to drastically increase in price.
Then, when their bubble is about to pop (their stock prices are about to decline), you'll sell for triple- and- quadruple-digit gains. Also edited by Dan Amoss and Peter Coyne.
Extreme Alpha – A research service headed by Louis Basenese, Greg Miller, and Robert Williams that promises to help you identify and profit on hot stocks, using a proprietary algorithm.
Gerald Celente’s Exponential Trends Trader – Using his process called “Globalnomic forecasting,” Gerald Celente and Rick Pearson promise to help identify trends and how to profit from them while avoiding market dangers.
Jim Rickards’ Private Dealflow – Here, Jim Rickards will pass along all his favorite private equity investment recommendations for a full year, along with quarterly and flash updates.
While it’s not expressly mentioned on the Agora Financial website, because of the nature of private equity investments, you’ll almost certainly need to be a high-worth institutional or accredited investor.
True Alpha – Brought to you by Agora’s Chief Investment Strategist Louis Basenese, True Alpha focuses on investing in some of the most lucrative small cap stocks around, especially within the technology space.
Compared to the micro cap stocks we discussed earlier, small-cap stocks represent companies with market capitalization between $300 million and $2 billion.
While small cap stocks come with huge, often-unrecognized, growth potential, they also come with a much higher level of risk than blue-chip stocks. As a result, finding the right one to invest in can take a lot of time and research.
VentureCap Strategist – Another of Louis Basenese's publications, VentureCap Strategist, focuses on identifying small cap companies that are responsible for today's trends and bringing “institutional-level research” to help you get the most from your investments.
Geopolitics & Currencies
Jim Rickards’ Currency Wars Alert – Using his International Monetary Policy Analysis and Currency Trading (or IMPACT) system, Jim Rickards promises to deliver 12 monthly alerts that can “help you profit from the ongoing global currency wars.”
Also known as competitive devaluation, this is when a country purposely depreciates its currency to increase the competitiveness of their exports, increase the cost of imports (causing citizens to purchase their own products), and otherwise stimulate economic growth.
In these situations, other countries may also depreciate their currencies to compete, causing a race to the bottom. As such, these are generally considered risky investments.
Jim Rickards’ Gold Speculator with Byron King – Related to all things gold, this publication promises to help you make better investments.
You’ll gain access to a hand-picked list of gold plays, weekly MIDAS recommendations and market updates, special reports, and more.
Just like any other commodity, gold prices can fluctuate sharply, as many investors learned in the 2013 gold crash (and again more recently in 2016). Before this, however, gold had a 13-year run of gains, so it’s about knowing when (and when not) to invest.
Jim Rickards’ Intelligence Triggers – Using “national intelligence analysis techniques,” Jim tells us that Intelligence Triggers can reveal market signposts to help guide your investment strategy.
You’ll receive alerts every other Tuesday (as well as access to all past alerts), a special Getting Started With Intelligence Triggers guide, flash updates, and VIP customer care.
Jim Rickards’ Strategic Intelligence – Based around the idea that the dollar’s collapse is imminent, this monthly publication uses Jim’s “complexity theory” to help you strategize your investments and earn profits.
Membership also gets you a copy of Jim’s The Death of Money book, private access to a member’s only website, live briefings once per month, and more.
Agora Financial’s FDA Trader – A four-part trading system that monitors breakout moves in the medical markets, often by monitoring what the FDA does.
This will include FDA Trader delivery directly to your inbox, weekly email updates, flash buy/sell updates, access to the master archives, and more.
Breakthrough Technology Alert – Edited by Gerald Celente and Ray Blanco, BTA has helped readers “make sense of investing in science and technology” every month since 2002. As a result, we’re told you could improve your gains and make more winning plays.
Technology Profit Confidential – Ray Blanco and Gerald Celente’s Technology Profit Confidential claims to make investing in pharmaceuticals, genetics, robotics, biotechnology, and other cutting-edge technologies easy and profitable.
Advisory Reserve – Edited by Addison Wiggin, Advisory Reserve claims to provide all of Agora’s advisory services in one program. This includes stocks on their way through the roof, tech breakthroughs, bargains, income moves, and more.
Includes full access to Jim Rickards’ Strategic Intelligence, Technology Profits Confidential, Lifetime Income Report, Trend Following with Michael Covel, and True Alpha.
Digital Financial Reserve – Gives you access to HD video recordings of all Agora Financial Investment Symposiums, along with digital MP3 recordings.
Platinum Reserve – Called their “highest level of service,” the Platinum Reserve program provides lifetime access to everything Agora Financial publishes.
In addition, you’ll have the opportunity to beta test new services before they’re publically available, a quarterly Focus List newsletter, free access to Agora conferences and seminars around the world, and other perks.
Trend Following with Michael Covel – This is Michael Covel’s proprietary trading system, where he’ll provide top investment picks every month, access to live monthly calls, real-time trade alerts, a copy of his newest book, and more.
Alright! We’ve covered a lot of ground already, so let’s talk about how much you’ll pay for these experts’ publications.
How Much Does an Agora Financial Membership Cost?
Each of Agora Financial’s subscriptions is priced as follows:
- Vertical Trade Alert: $3,000/yr
- Rude Awakening Pro: $50/mo
- Contract Income Alert: $3,000/yr
- Family Wealth Circle: $7,500 for lifetime membership
- Income on Demand: $3,000/yr
- Lifetime Income Report: $49/yr; $89/two yrs
- 5 Minute Forecast: Free
- Microcap Millionaires: $5,000/yr
- Bubble Finance Trader: $3,000/yr
- Extreme Alpha: TBD
- Exponential Trends Trader: TBD
- Private Dealflow: $10,000/yr
- True Alpha: $99/yr
- VentureCap Strategist: TBD
- Currency Awards Alert: $3,000/yr
- Gold Speculator with Byron King: $3,000/yr
- Intelligence Triggers: $3,000/yr
- Strategic Intelligence: $99/yr
- FDA Trader: $2,500/yr
- Breakthrough Technology Alert: $3,000/yr
- Technology Profit Confidential: $99/yr
- Advisory Reserve: $$1,250 for lifetime membership
- Digital Financial Reserve: TBD
- Platinum Reserve: TBD
- Trend Following: $99/yr; $198 two yrs
Note: Any prices marked TBD above weren’t listed on the Agora Financial website. We reached out to the company and will update this review as soon as a response is received.
Regardless of which option you choose, keep in mind that your Agora subscription will automatically renew when the time comes.
Most of Agora’s advisories come with 30 or 60-day refund policies, although others (like Private Dealflow) have strict no-refund policies.
In order request a refund or to obtain additional information, Agora Financial’s customer support department can be reached at 800-550-4266.
Can We Learn Anything From Agora Financial Reviews? Are Their Predictions Accurate?
Although Agora was founded by Bill Bonner in 1979 (with a web presence since 2004), has published over 300 books and 120 newsletters, and has an email subscriber list of 500,000+, there wasn’t a whole lot of online customer feedback for the Baltimore-based company at the time of our research.
We found that Agora Financial had a B rating with the Better Business Bureau, based on 36 closed complaints (as of 12/12/16). Most referenced free books that often roll over to paid subscriptions and difficulty obtaining refunds/canceling subscriptions.
Agora was in hot water with the SEC in 2003 for allegedly charging readers for false information, although the company claimed it was in retaliation for a lawsuit they filed against the SEC in 2002. The company has also been involved in other legal cases.
Agora Financial’s subscribers are primarily paying for accurate predictions, but like the reviews themselves, we didn’t encounter any in-depth analyses of Agora’s success rate over time.
About Agora Financial’s $50 marijuana stocks, Stock Gumshoe didn’t mince words when writing, “The “$50 Blueprint” part is a taste of absurdity.” In other words, the chances of you turning $50 into a multi-million dollar fortune in two years are astronomical.
Finally, Agora Financial is just one division of Agora Inc., who also publishes 300+ books on everything from biblical health tips to healing supplements.
Are There Other Investing Publishers Like Agora Financial?
In fact, Agora Inc. is so prolific that they also publish all of Stansberry & Associate’s advisories, including America 2020.
Outside of this, quickly typing the phrase “investment advisory” or “investing newsletter” into your favorite search engine will reveal hundreds of similar (if not quite as large and longstanding) advisories, including companies like Palm Beach Research Group, along with investment-specific publications like Penny Stock Sniper.
How does Agora Financial compare? With such little customer feedback and no long-term tracking of their success rate, there’s no way to know. But you’ll find that most of these advisory companies focus on long-form landing pages and scare tactics (“the sky is falling!”) to get you to sign up.
Considering everything we’ve discussed, should you sign up for an Agora Financial subscription?
Is Agora Financial the Right Investing Advisory for You?
Despite their over-the-top advertising tactics and tales of gloom-and-doom, the reality is that hundreds of thousands of investors find advisories like those published by Agora Financial immensely helpful. This is why the company has been around for nearly four decades.
Will you? Since investing is such a personal decision, based on your financial situation, your age, your investing goals and tolerance for risk, and much more, there’s no way to know. This is why you’ll want to consult with your financial planner or advisor before signing up for an Agora subscription since many can cost $3K+.
Obviously, if you can utilize this information and make a $5K profit, then it might be worthwhile. Either way, though, many of Agora’s advisories come with 30- or- 60-day refund policies, so you can always get you’re money back if you’re dissatisfied with what they contain.
14 out 23 people found this review helpful
The biggest scam of 2017
I've sent dozens of emails to Agora without receiving any feedback. I wanted to cancel my membership and have my money back. I subscribed for a hassle-free trial but when I want to cancel it, nobody responded. They still try to take more money from me with more super tips.
Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend
11 out 11 people found this review helpful
Takeover Alert's no refund policy
I have joined newsletter subscriptions in the past, and they always offered refund policies. I joined Takeover Alert and once a member, I looked over their product, traded several recommendations, and decided the product fell way short of its price tag. Each of the five investments I made was a loser from the start. Since becoming a member, they have issued two Cut Your Losses and two Take Some Profits on earlier recommendations, no takeovers. When I asked for a refund, I was rudely shown the door "no refunds here!" I recommend you stay away from this overpriced service.
Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend
3 out 3 people found this review helpful
Standard newsletter sold as rocket science
I subscribed to one of their services. They offered skyrocketing returns. I was not expecting that, but at least more than average returns. When logged in, I found their portfolio track record was deceiving with double-digit losses. I tried to get my money back and only got an answer from them telling me that this was not possible and that I could exchange my existing service for another one. I do not recommend it. Go somewhere else. Financial advisors are useful, but I will never again trust these absurd long videos offering you to become rich overnight.
Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend