What About Dan Murphy?

August 15, 2009 • Posted in Individual Gurus

A reader asked: “Why is Dan Murphy not on your graded list [of gurus]?. His web site, Financial Picks, touts a high percent accuracy and am curious if it is close to that at all.”


There is not enough information on the Financial Picks web site to evaluate the claims of accuracy or returns there.

The Financial Picks site disclaimer states:

“All materials presented within this website are not to be regarded as investment advice. All data contained within Financialpicks.com should be regarded as information used for educational purposes only. We recommend consulting with a registered securities representative and/or financial advisor.” [Could you find a registered securities representative who would endorse Dan Murphy’s service?]

“Financialpicks does not warrant the accuracy, correctness, or completeness of information available from its service and therefore will not be liable for any loss incurred.” [Should a consumer of services accept this level of warranty?]

“The results listed herein are based on hypothetical trades. Plainly speaking, these trades were not actually executed. Hypothetical or simulated performance results have certain inherent limitations.” [Has he really made money investing and trading?]

See the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) summary of 2001 litigation against “DANIEL J. MURPHY d/b/a FINANCIAL PICKS”, which cites both performance misrepresentations (Section D) and other misrepresentations (Section E). For example (bolding added):

“According to the website, ‘Creating a winning formula didn’t happen over night. Personally, I’ve been trading since the mid 80’s when computers were mostly word processors (a lot has changed in the last 15 years).’ In the mid-1980’s, Murphy was ten years old. He did not open his first brokerage account until 1997.

“Similarly, the website claimed, ‘I trade for a living. My mechanic fixes cars for a living. Let the professionals help you. That’s what we’re here for.” Murphy never earned a living trading securities; during the relevant period, Murphy engaged in minimal securities trading, and generated no income from his trading activities.

The entire SEC summary is interesting.

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