Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Inside Ron Insana’s Time Machine

UPDATE: Ron Insana’s Doing Pretty Well

I received a great deal of positive feedback from my coverage of baseball legend and options-trading “expert” Lenny Dykstra’s stint as a newsletter author for TheStreet.com (TSCM). I hate crapping on the products of a company I once loved working for, but take a look at what they’re feeding me and you’ll see why I’m a little fired up tonight.

First, some background: In what appears to be an effort to beef up it’s subscription offerings, TheStreet.com has brought in some heavy hitters like former Morgan Stanley (MS) Strategist Rick Bensignor, and the subject of this piece, former CNBC Senior Analyst Ron Insana.

I’ve always viewed Ron as a pretty thoughtful and even-handed guy, so I was pretty baffled at what I found in his Market Movers newsletter. Let’s dig in!

Here are two key excerpts from the disclaimer section of the inaugural issue of the newsletter published on Monday, June 29th:

The service consists of, among other things, a portfolio of securities chosen and actively traded by Mr. Insana, initially capitalized on March 13, 2009 with $200,000 of Mr. Isana’s personal funds.

and:

Mr. Insana manages investment portfolios separate from his portfolio in TheStreet.com Market Movers.

Now take a look at Ron’s performance since March 13th, which is a bit better than the S&P 500 over the same time period:

Ron Insana Market Movers Performance

The problem is that Market Movers is taking credit for investments made BEFORE IT EVEN LAUNCHED. Sorry Ron, but that’s just not how investment newsletters work. Your subscribers did not receive the recommendations (since the newsletter didn’t even exist) that drove your alleged performance, so you have no basis for claiming this return.

And since Ron “manages investment portfolios separate from his portfolio in TheStreet.com Market Movers,” how do we know that this portfolio wasn’t cherry picked to maximize its performance?

I’m emailing this post to Ron, and will publish his response as soon as he gets back to me.

UPDATE: Ron Insana’s Doing Pretty Well

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Did you ever hear back from Insana?

Doug McIntyre
Editor
24/7 Wall St.

Michael Comeau said...

Not yet Doug!

Anonymous said...

this is pure insanity, i can't believe that they have the nerve to do this kind of stuff.

Anonymous said...

Insana is a jerk!

Anonymous said...

Insana is an arrogant SOB.

Anonymous said...

he was on the cramer show yesterday,he made a decent case for his bullishness