SCAM ALERT: Beware Bill Bonner Bogus Bulletins

warningYou’ve probably never heard of Bill Bonner, but you HAVE heard of his many publications and bulletins that litter the Internet:  Agora Financial, Common Sense Publishing, Insiders Strategy Group, Laissez Faire Books, Money Map Press, NewMarket Health, OmniVista Health, Opportunity Travel, Institute for Natural Healing, Oxford Club,  Stansberry & Associates Investment Research, The Daily Reckoning, Banyan Hill.   These are all variations on investment schemes that promote expensive and risky investment propositions.    Here’s some common sense advice:  avoid these “financial advisers”.   Before you do give your hard earned money to any of these bulletins, we urge you to get to know Bill Bonner.

We’ve written blogs on some of the specific publications:  Stansberry, Palm Beach Newsletter and Laissez Faire.   They are all highly disreputable and share a bias towards heavy Internet marketing, abusive email practices and preying upon seniors looking for higher returns on their investments.  They propound scare tactics but don’t propose solutions to the people who would benefit most from real help.   They have been overtly supportive of Donald Trump and rely upon strongly worded ad-hominem attacks on Barack Obama — most of them unfounded.  In fact,  Bill Bonner wrote an article where he said Trump would literally be one of the greatest presidents ever. These publications offer an overriding investment policy based upon a belief that  the United States government is making it extremely difficult for people to act as “sovereign” over themselves, with all of the taxes they push on people and the regulations regarding investments.

Bonner Publishing didn’t want you to know about their nefarious tactics and unsuccessfully sued SDCAN in 2016.   Their case was thrown out of court by a Florida Federal judge on August 3, 2017.

They’ve taken millions of dollars from consumers by selling “biblical” cancer cures and fear of apocalyptic market meltdowns.  They especially target seniors, many of whom are extremely susceptible to scare mongering.  Are they scams?  Probably, but they walk a fine line.   Bonner recognized well before Donald Trump that paranoid populism can be sold with the trappings of prestige.  An Agora subsidiary sent out a 116-page book titled Who Murdered Vince Foster? that claims the White House lawyer’s death was “the biggest financial story of our lifetimes.” Another pitch warned of a coming global plague “like the Black Death.”

Another recent offer is the “$39 computer” that will be as transformative as television or the internet.”  For $2500, you’ll get signed up for a newsletter that will tell you about a dubious over-hyped stock pick:  Magic Leap, which uses a $39 augmented reality chip produced by Meta.   “$39 computer” concept is basically “virtual and augmented reality devices” — which are available in some forms now, Pokemon Go,  the Google Cardboard “fancy viewmaster”, Oculus Rift headset or other competing higher-end gaming headsets.  This is an exceedingly risky investment in a field that has a lot of big players.   It is certainly nothing that should be considered by unsophisticated investors — and yet Bonner’s bulletins try to entice these investors into these risky propositions.

The Sovereign Society was allegedly established by four financial professionals all of whom have been associated with other known investment scammers, such as Agora Financial, Stansberry and Palm Beach Newsletter.    They claim unusually high investment returns but offer no independent validation other than planted beta testers.  All their marketing material sells currencies as a great investment vehicle in a down and volatile market. After all, currency trading is relative to another currency, as one currency is going up the other one is going down, relatively speaking.   Most importantly, they are so wrong, so often, that their investors can’t have achieved anything close to their advertised returns.

Here’s just one example.   Back in 2012, they warned that “your retirements could be destroyed, small businesses will plummet and the dollar will be worthless”.

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Yet, as of the end of 2016, none of these predictions have come about. In exchange for overblown fearmongering, they demand thousands of dollars per year in fees with the false expectations of impossible returns. They’ve also been reported to engage in sending spam to spamtraps.  (Spamtraps are email addresses never used for legitimate email. The addresses are created and then hidden in inconspicuous places on the internet, where email harvesting bots will find them but humans won’t.)  It’s illegal to harvest email addresses using automated harvesting bots. The people sending this spam are either harvesting addresses illegally, or buying them from people who do. So why would they email people who aren’t their clients to tell them about some wonderful stock? Especially when the person they are emailing doesn’t exist, because it’s a spamtrap address? If these stocks were such a good bargain, they’d be borrowing cash and buying all the shares they could for themselves.

Watch out for their”pump and dump” schemes — they buy up some nearly worthless stock cheap, send out an email telling people the stock is sure to increase in value, then sell all their own shares to the fools who believe the spams. The stock price goes up for a couple days while the spam recipients are trying to buy, then goes down lower than ever when there is no one left who is stupid enough to buy it.

Legitimate investment advisers expect to be paid for their expertise, and they don’t want to be mistaken for scammers by sending unsolicited emails. We strongly recommend you avoid all of Bonner’s overpriced, over-hyped, over-the-top fear mongering.

22 replies
  1. Tom Robey
    Tom Robey says:

    Wanted to add a small supplement that I found confusing…
    I recently got on the email list of many of those ‘newsletters’:
    Friday, I got the email where Tom Dyson replies, “My feelings have not changed. I don’t own bitcoin. Don’t plan to. I don’t understand why bitcoin has value.”
    But then two days ago on Thursday, I got the Emergency Investment Summit email where it notes Tom “was the first person we know to buy Bitcoin, for under $10, back in 2012. It went on to rise 302,000%.”

    So to me that is a bit confusing regarding their ‘messaging’. Additionally, I looked up a number of their employees on LinkedIn. Interesting (not surprising) to see all the copywriters that work under these newsletter umbrellas. To me, the craft of copywriters are words and how to make them compelling, etc. Which has nothing to do with real financial analysis.

    P.S. Great write up btw.

    Reply
  2. Gilles
    Gilles says:

    I was naive enough to believe Bill Bonner’s beautiful stories. After paying 3000USD, all the proposed actions proved to be true nullity. Luckily, I’m perfectly trained in technical analysis and have never bought the junk share he suggests.

    Avoid getting caught by this bonaventure storyteller. It’s real shit.

    Reply
  3. Gina K
    Gina K says:

    I believe the Bonner newsletters are a scam. They tirelessly go on and on and on about how having their insight has proven results with credible agents of visionary prediction ability and paint this fear based picture that ignites this survival mode of get in and don’t miss out before falling victim to their imagined doom and gloom scenario.
    I can tell you personally that I’ve invested in 3 of their “get in quick” stock picks, seeing charts that appear to be trending upwards. Within months though, they have all been steadily declining and I’ve already lost over half my investment in them all! Unfortunately it wasn’t until after going through this that I researched further and saw the investigations revealing their predatory financial advising tactics. I don’t doubt that they “pump and dump” their recommendations, profiting off of sorry saps like myself that buy into their schpiel not only by purchasing their crap but again by buying heavily into stocks then promoting them to hype people into buying it, raising the prices before they unload, laughing all the way to their next scheme! They use your own emotions against you to profiteer! Don’t fall for it :/

    Reply
  4. GEORGE HEBERT
    GEORGE HEBERT says:

    I have been scammed with AGORA FINANCIAL out of thousands of dollars. Stay away from these people. There is no free lunch. Stansberry just rambles on and on. Bill O’Reilly does not endorse Will Bonner.

    Reply
  5. DAVID AUSTIN
    DAVID AUSTIN says:

    PAID BONNER & PARTNERS $2,500.00 FOR OUTDATED MATERIALS. CANCELLED THE SUBSCRIPTION NEXT DAY AND WAS TOLD “NO PROBLEM” AND THEN DIRECTED TO THE USED CAR SALESMAN, TO TRY TO CONVINCE ME NOT TO CANCEL. RECEIVED MY CREDIT CARD STATEMENT AND THE CHARGE IS STILL THERE. CALLED THEM AND WAS TOLD TO CALL BACK TOMORROW AND
    TALK TO THE USED CAR SALESMAN AGAIN. THIS IS BULLSHIT!! NEVER BUY ANYTHING FROM THEM.

    Reply
    • Taylor
      Taylor says:

      I was taken for $500.00. Did the same as you and called back four hours later to cancel. No problem they said. It took almost four months for my bank to get my money back and off my credit card! You still may want to get your bank involved especially since losing so much $. The whole gang of them, to me, are just another part of the 1% bankster cartel.

      Reply
  6. Greg
    Greg says:

    Well, I’m really glad that I only paid $37 to get his reports and subscribe to his newsletter because it’s all total garbage. I should have known, from all the upsell junk, as I was subscribing that this was a total SCAM. This guy rambles on and on in multiple emails sent out each day. Most of it has nothing at all to do with investing and none of it is sound advice. Each new email is also packed full of more upsell garbage. Please don’t waste your money on anything from this clown. Earth to Mr. Bonner, none of your subscribers give a crap about your relocation to Ireland or your house hunting efforts. Oh and yes, we all heard you loud and clear that you don’t like Trump or any of his policies…….because of course, you could do soooo much better………

    Reply
  7. Tim Rea
    Tim Rea says:

    I caution everyone to be cautious of any of these claims of riches in crytpocurrencis as most will fail and yoiu’ll be left out in the cold. Think about the common sense of it. If you really had a good stock money making formula, would you be selling a newsletter for $99.00 or even 2,500.00?

    Reply
  8. Harry
    Harry says:

    Who are you? Why should anyone respect your references.

    Have you clicked those links. Bonner absolutely is in business to earn a profit. Stansberry is one of the biggest on the planet and through these businesses they show how Destroyed our government truly is.

    I can only bet my bottom dollar the bigger scam is right here.

    Our government is bloated and insane. He is setting the alarm. Stansberry recommends going all cash. His other partners don’t agree and they say so. Each Stansberry letter is rated each year.

    They are not perfect but take Stansberry’s True Wealth Systems, $3000 a year. If you have the minimum they suggest to invest $50k for that product you easily would have beaten the S&P this year.

    This is very difficult to do if you are wildly smart and invest in the right index funds maybe.

    Bonner worked very hard for his money but to be upset because of reality at the messenger is exactly what he writes about.

    You are the problem, not a free business.

    You unsubscribe and guess what happens? They stop emailing you.

    There are plenty of ways to understand what stock they are pushing for less than $60 a year. Then decide you want to buy their product so you will know when to sell.

    Crypto ICOs, Stock market fraud from Goldman Sachs and High Speed Traders these are the culprits. Not Bonner or his many affiliates.

    You are the problem certainly not the Solution.

    Seniors are scared because we are getting raped for saving. The country is broken and no one wants to face facts.

    50% of the citizens are on government handouts. The Federal Reserve are raping this country with fake money with Nixon created when he removed Gold Backing of the dollar in 1971.

    His warnings are true but amazingly on no volume stocks go up. Central Banks are investing in American Stocks. This is crazy but it’s happening. Wake Up. Learn why they say the things they do instead of knocking everything down

    Oh if only Hillary was president. Then she would fix Bonner right? You think Bonner likes Trump? You are morons. The links you sent are carefully chosen. Don’t show any where he talks about what he does not like about Trump.

    Snowflake you are. Do nothing but want it all for free. On our children’s credit line we are living.

    Wake up

    Reply
    • Gina
      Gina says:

      Harry,
      You may have a point about credit burden on this country but after personally investing in stock picks by the Bonner group claiming 1-2-3000% returns and losing money on ALL of the stocks, I can’t say that Bonner offered me anything of value.

      Reply
  9. ScrappyOT
    ScrappyOT says:

    Thanks for thus article plus all the schemes that are related. After watching one of their videos for about 10 minutes that essentially rambles; I decided to Google. I’m on several of their email lists and now regret that I subscribed to one of their offerings, The Oxford Club, but thankfully have not made any investment purchases. I now plan to unsubscribe to decrease the number of emails coming in and their scare tactics.

    Reply
  10. Sally Stewart
    Sally Stewart says:

    I’m just now seeing this because I was interested in PJ O’Rourke’s new publication & thought I’d check out people he has on board. I will say the link to the article to support Bill Bonner having said, “Trump would be one of the greatest President’s ever” is very misleading—I went to the link & Bonner was actually being tongue-in-cheek. Not defending him just disagreeing with your assessment.

    Reply
  11. Roger
    Roger says:

    Mr. Bonners hands, based on several of publications of his groups that I have paid for, appears to be very schrewed. He appears to provide startup funds to aspiring publishers and keeps a controlling interest, using the fear approach through much of his publication empire. Not that there is not some good investment advice or good advisers in each of the groups, but one needs to be careful to weed out the good from the poor or BS. Be aware of the costs too.

    Reply
  12. Rachel
    Rachel says:

    I was researching an investment and came across the Bonner warning video. I sat through Bonner’s video until the late hours of night absolutely terrified by what he said. There were videos from other countries of police invading people’s homes in search of money according to him. He spoke in a compelling manner and it really stuck with me. I literally can still hear his doom and gloom voice in my head. During parts of this lengthy video I stopped and frantically searched the Internet to see if what he said was true or not. Some was and history may repeat itself. But, in conclusion, at the end he was selling his “informative” book to provide more information. So his free warning – was not free in the end.

    Reply
  13. Joseph Pulitzer
    Joseph Pulitzer says:

    I sat through Bonner’s audio presentation (which I received in an unsolicited email) on the End of Credit in America. The pitch is repeated 4 times in different wordings. Idiots probably start to think that Bonner is confirming their own thinking. His depiction of credit is idiotic. Credit in reality is necessary. The U.S. government, for example, collects large revenues only at certain times of year – particularly the income tax in April – and needs to borrow to run smoothly throughout the year.
    Bonner sells his “information” for $49 to $ 99 a year or $199 for two years. This is mighty cheap for “life saving” information. AND, if an economic collapse is coming, what is he going to do with the credit card payments in a post-credit world?

    Reply

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