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Reclama from Tim Wood

| | Posted in: Individual Gurus

Tim Wood, who maintains the “Cycles News & Views” web site, requested that we remove the review of his public stock market forecasts. His rationale is as follows:

Tim Wood wrote on 5/31/09:

I’m not sure what you are trying to accomplish by taking free material, which is not complete analysis and which is really intended as teasers in my case, and ranking people on that material. This is not doing anyone justice. I can assure that my track record is far far better than you show on your site. In fact, my track record is far far better than most any analyst you can point to and my calls are in print. I have helped and saved a lot of people with my analysis. My subscribers are loyal and appreciative what I do. By you showing such poor performance from these incomplete free pieces is just not an accurate portrayal. You just can [not] judge the analysis when you have not seen the details. To present yourself as if you have is great disservice.

Anyway, my subscribers and I know what my track record is and I know how much I’ve helped my subscribers…the best rebuttal I can give comes from [them], and I just sent you a few samples. Surely you can see from those e-mails that I’m far better than 47%. If you are interested in fair and balanced reporting so that people can decide, then you should have no trouble posting a few testimonials in regard to my 47% grade.

I also ask that you please reconsider the injustice of not accurately presenting “grades” without all of the facts.

Tim Wood separately forwarded a sample of 18 emails from subscribers to his service, summarized as follows:

  • “…I love your work.”
  • “…I am delighted with the service. Keep up the good work.”
  • “…you are on the money!!!! Thank you so much.”
  • “You are good. You are my hero.”
  • “Just a short note to say how impressed I have been with your analysis since I started receiving it. All your hard work researching the statistics have paid off and the market appears to be following where you expected it to go… There are so many subscription services which try to assist and call the market which tend to only loose [sic] you money so it is great to come across yours which is based on fact and good analysis.”
  • “I subscribed to the newsletter last week and I am very impressed by both the quality and detail of the data. The quantitative signposts really help put things in perspective.”
  • “Excellent job Tim. Nailed it baby! I could have made more but didn’t lose and made money today. One of the few. Great job… Unbelievable.”
  • “Thank you [for] the amazing work that you do. Throughout this historic time, I can always count on your sage analysis.”
  • “I am not going to renew my subcription [sic] because I am needing to cut back in every area and I wanted you to know that there is no problem with you or your work. You do an outstanding job!!”
  • “Your service is not only worthy of the price, it is invaluable. As far as I know it is in a class by itself.”
  • “I used a lot of what i learned from your newsletter to have a very very profitable year in 2008. I am truly grateful for that. However, I miss trading and have decided to ‘try my luck’ again. No better resource then your newsletter.”
  • “I have read your latest monthly report at least twice now and it is an excellent piece of work. Your ongoing analysis has been enormously helpful to me. …I read everything that looks promising and your reports stand alone for accuracy.”
  • “…am quite impressed with your technique… i’m familiar with robert prechtors [sic] work and your newsletter is far superior to his… your cycle work combined with oscilators [sic] is fantastic and it takes the emotion out of it. i’m sure this is going to be a good year for me. your timing models are clear and concise.”
  • “…I am so grateful that you stayed true to your indicators on the last update of April 7th. It paid big dividends today.”
  • “AWESOME IS THE WORD I want to use to describe your work! …Your fee…is a bargain… I know that finally I have found what I have been searching for all these years. Someone with the backbone and fortitude to stand on his own convictions when the tough gets going. Very impressed.”
  • “I am a new subscriber only a few days ago and was astounded at the detail and depth of your work during my intial [sic] reading. This is superb and extremely concientious [sic] work- Thank-you!”
  • “I signed up for your service for another year… it is a bargain……..Thanks for your great data.”

[Dates on these emails range from 6/29/08 to 5/31/09. Two emails are apparently from the same individual, so we summarized only one of the two. We excluded comments not relevant to subscriber evaluation of the service.]

Our response:

As stated in the introduction to Guru Grades, its purpose is to address the questions: “Can experts, whether self-proclaimed or endorsed by others (publications), provide reliable stock market timing guidance? Do some experts clearly show better intuition about overall market direction than others?” This introduction cautions: “Note that the overall assessment of the stock market forecasting ability of experts in aggregate is far more reliable, based on sample size and duration, than the evaluations of individuals.” The introduction also states: “Note also that this study is not a test of whether the outputs of the experts are interesting, stimulating or useful in ways other than predicting the behavior of the overall U.S. stock market.”

See the fourth item in the Guru Grades Q&A for a discussion of using public versus proprietary (paid subscriber-only) forecasts in reviews. The essential question posed there is: “Should one have to pay for a forecasting service over many years to get a reasonably reliable reading of its accuracy?” As noted in the Guru Grades NOTES: “The private (for example, paid subscription) forecasts of experts may be more timely and more accurate than the forecasts recorded publicly.” The quality and completeness of the public forecasts that experts choose to offer is largely up to them.

In general, we do not consider subscriber testimonials presented by advisory service offerors, such as those summarized above, as reliable evidence of stock market forecasting expertise because of: (1) the obvious conflict of interest in sample selection; and, (2) the unknown/varying criteria and levels of rigor applied by subscribers in measuring this expertise.

The Guru Grades approach and data are fully available to readers. As always, we invite readers to make their own judgments based on criteria important to them.

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