FAQ'S | Frequently Asked Questions
Who to Contact
This looks really interesting, but I need to know more before subscribing. Who do I call?
Easy. Schedule a Call or Zoom Meeting. 844-545-5050.
I'm shopping around. Why Signals Matter instead of a full portfolio service?
Fair enough. There are all kinds of investment sites on the web - from those offering “instant millions” in options or penny-stock trades to rather staid news aggregators or cookie cutter services that “design” 60/40 or 80/20 portfolios for a fee.
As for the “instant wealth” products, hopefully, you will realize that if something looks too good to be true, well, it is…Furthermore, just because online services with high price tags might convince you that they are special, we have seen far too many examples of these over-priced “exclusive market services” fail to deliver. In short, don’t be fooled by “Tiffany’s” pricing, as you’re likely just getting dime-store quality--and wasting hundreds, sometimes thousands of dollars in fees.
What’s the difference between a Portfolio Service and a Trading Service?
Signals Matter is an actively managed portfolio service which makes frequently updated recommendations as to which diversified assets should be held over an extended time period to produce absolute returns rather than returns benchmarked against the broader stock market indices. In bull markets, our approach manages risk and thus can (though by no means always) lag the broader markets. In bear or declining markets, our portfolio remains geared toward absolute returns and is thus designed to greatly outperform standard 60/40 or 80/20 stock/bond portfolios which fall greatly as the broader markets fall.
Overall, in both rising and falling markets, our portfolio is designed to produce steady returns with significantly less volatility—i.e. swings up or down. For us, slow and steady wins the race. Of course, when markets reach a recession, we anticipate a very good victory, and those subscribers who track our recessionary outlook and portfolio recommendations are far better positioned to make outsized returns while traditional investors are suffering outsized losses.
As a diversified portfolio, this means some asset allocations will be in the red (losing money), while others are in the green (making money), with the greens intended and designed to far outperform the reds. Any portfolio that is all “in the green” is not, by its very nature, “diversified,” and thus any subscriber to Signals Matter can and should expect to see certain positions lagging others. This is to be expected. Those who therefore ignore our cash suggestions and/or engage in self-selecting portions, rather than the entirety of our diversified recommendations, run a higher risk of concentrated gains or losses.
The best subscribers suited for Signals Matter are those who see the long play, not short-term moves, and we do not recommend measuring the success or failure of your portfolio by any given weekly or monthly performance period. Those who see portfolios as sources of quick returns, or who balk at every inevitable short-term loss, are advised to look elsewhere. Again, a winning portfolio is measured by time and cycles, not a given rise or fall in a particular allocation (or portfolio) during a snapshot in time.
Trading services, unlike a portfolio service, provide specific signals on a wider variety of specific securities for those looking to make immediate returns. Such services favor those who like to be actively trading on a daily or near daily basis. Many such services provide exaggerated examples of “wins” while neglecting to report on equally frequent losses. Furthermore, during extended bull markets, many securities just rise with the tide and are not the result of exceptional “stock picking.” We make no broad endorsement or criticism of such services, but do warn that if a trading service seems too good to be true, then it likely is.
Let’s be clear…Signals Matter is not a trading service. Yes, we make specific asset and security recommendations, and advise subscribers to follow all rather than a portion of those recommendations; nevertheless, we do not make daily trading recommendations nor offer trade signals (buy and sell) over wide swaths of “sexy” stocks and other securities for quick entry and exits. Rather, our vision is for steady returns in volatile markets and outsized returns in both recessionary markets and post-recessionary, rising markets. In our experience, that’s where the real wealth is made: realistically, patiently and intelligently.
How should I get started?
We think the very best way to get started and to test our strengths is to download the Free Investment Primer and read it cover-to-cover. We know: no one has the time…but trust us, these times demand that you take the time. After all, this is your money we’re talking about. Rather than just take our word for it, learn alongside and with us. We both welcome and invite you to confirm our data and recommendations with any advisor or expert you trust, as we believe informed clients are trusted clients. The benefit of our Investment Primer? It’s both comprehensive and free. At the very least, skim through it and read the sections that pertain to you.
In fact, some subscribers have even headed to a print shop, FedEx or UPS store, to have it printed and bound, so they can highlight key passages and always have ready reference.
To get the most from Signals Matter, you need to develop an understanding of the big-picture conditions prevalent in today’s grossly distorted and Fed-driven markets as well as the implications for your very next investment decision, and the descriptions of how easily our portfolio signals work. To access the Free Investment Primer, please scroll up and click on the "Get Started" tab, and beneath, "Free Investment Primer" to download.
I'm a new Subscriber. Where should I go first?
Welcome aboard! Once you sign in as a Subscriber, the very best place to go is to your own Personalized Dashboard and the “What’s Happening Now” tab. In fact, we take you there automatically. Your subscriber landing page provides your first stop for headline content, each time you log in, providing ready reference to where the markets are today, our most recent Market Report and providing a link to ask us any questions you may have on your mind.
You’ll also see a global heat map of all the hot and cold market spots across the world as well as a U.S. Market Watch showing ticker performance across asset classes—almost like your own “mini-Blomberg” terminal.
Thereafter, you’ll see updated and timely charts as well as current trend data and much more. From there, you can click on the “What’s Ahead” tab end enjoy our Storm Tracker’s recession probability data in a simple visual format, yet one backed by the best combined indicators in the industry, which we share, confirm and update regularly.
Next, click on the “Your Portfolio” tab where we provide easy-to-follow recommendations showing you where and how to invest your money. We point you toward a handful of simple allocations to securities that we constantly parse from a deep, expansive and diversified pool of thousands of possibilities, each carefully selected depending upon where our market signals are pointing.
Do you guys offer individual financial advice?
No, but you’ll get most of the advice you’ll ever need here. Although the combination of our free Market Reports and Investment Primer offerings, plus The Market School and Rigged to Fail Book (soon available to paid subscribers only) will more than equip you with what you should know about today’s financial markets. We do not offer specific investment advice tailored to your own risk and investment profile.
Nevertheless, our Free Investment primer walks you through an investment planning process that can be tailored to you. Try it, it’s free! It provides everyone, from total market novices to auto-pilot investors, every possible tool to either manage their own investments or gain the long-awaited knowledge and confidence to press their own advisors with the right (and tough) questions which may have otherwise kept you up at night.
Knowledge really is power, and Signals Matter, above all else, is about providing you knowledge in a quick, simple yet substantive way. We swiftly and easily put the power in your hands.
What is the Storm Tracker?
For starters, it’s our best seller. With stocks and bonds at nosebleed levels and interest rates making U-turns upward, downward and all over the map, an increasing number of investors are camping onto the notion that nirvana cannot last forever. We agree. It cannot. And will not. When rising rates collide with the greatest debt bubble ever seen in the history of capital markets, it won’t be pretty…
Our many Blogs, Videos and Podcasts (under the “Market Reports” tab) point to a correction ahead, one postponed by Fed intervention for over a decade.
What we can do is prepare for change based upon constantly-monitored market signals so that you are always prepared and never caught swimming naked in a falling tide. Again, no one can perfectly time the first rain drops of a market storm, but we think we’re better than the rest at knowing when to reach for an umbrella.
This may sound “bearish,” and it is, but we are not afraid to be bullish when the signals tell us so. In 2019, for example, we turned bullish three times and bearish once, right on que with the market signals, thereby protecting investors when needed and making profits when opportunities and signals so indicated.
Mostly, think of our Storm Tracker as a market heat map that shows you where we are in the economic cycle and how far we are from the next “Uh-oh” moment, where most investors get crushed.
Valuable? You bet. For every percentage of red-storm-tracker-risk, we recommend an equal percentage allocation to cash so that you are: (a) not over-exposed to increasing risk and (b) have the necessary cash/dry powder available to buy at market bottoms rather than tops, where the real wealth is made in the markets.
And know this: Being defensive very early is much wiser than being a minute too late once markets free-fall. Very few understand this, especially as markets break new record highs each week and confidence in the Fed makes investors overly complacent, and overly at risk.
Why so much commentary?
Because we like to back up our math with blunt-speak explanations and because we seek to confirm what we’re projecting with objective analysis not blogish opinions (though we love our blogs!). Most importantly, we believe that informed subscribers make for the best subscribers.
Are your public Market Reports current? Do older posts have any present value?
First, we post at least two public reports a week. Naturally, the most recent posts will be the most current, but we work very hard to make each post educational as well as topical.
This means that a blog (for example, on Bitcoin’s latest moves or Tesla’s appalling balance sheet) may presumably seem stale after a week, month or even year of subsequent price action, but we take pains to make every post more than just an “update” on a daily topic.
Instead, these posts are carefully designed to provide and include “evergreen” or long-term insights rather than just a trendy soundbite. If you read a post on Amazon’s stock price, for example, you’ll be learning about a lot more than just Amazon’s current profile; you’ll be learning about balance sheet analysis, central bank influence on pricing in general or a given security in particular. In other words, even if you read something in December that was posted last May, we’re certain you’ll find something directly applicable to your current and evolving market mind.
Use our key word search bar in the Market Reports section to look for what’s on your mind, or scroll through the various categories of reports we offer—literally hundreds to choose (and learn) from over the years.
Help me with my expectations...
In any diversified portfolio, there will be gains and there will be losses; both are expected. This is why diversification is so critical in general, and so carefully considered in particular here at Signals Matter. The portfolio suggestions we post (and that's what they are, suggestions) are balanced and, in the aggregate, geared to hold up well in decidedly difficult markets.
That said, we do not and cannot know the individual allocations made by subscribers, whether they take our cash suggestion, or all or just some of our remainder suggestions, nor the valuations of their overall investments, as we are not providing individualized investment advice. We can only know and confirm the allocations we publish. To that end, our recommended suggestions, tracked meticulously to date, are well within conservative ranges and disclosed objectives.
With the passage of time, it is our expectation that your experience here at Signals Matter will be informed, protective and profitable.