A few months ago I wrote about the ubiquitous television ad from Stansberry Research that began with the ominous “A very wealthy American…” So I finally saw an updated version of the commercial from Stansberry Research, aka Porter Stansberry, aka Frank Porter Stansberry, aka End of America. I was wondering when I’d see this back on TV, and wasn’t surprised when I saw the slightly updated version of his gloom-and-doom ad recently.
The 2012 incarnation of the commercial was almost identical to the one that ran in mid-2011, but now instead of saying “In 2011..” it says “In a few months.” The particular site advertised was EndofAmerica58.com, but he has already registered EndofAmerica1 through EndofAmerica99, along with NewAmerica1 through NewAmerica40 and has advertised many of those. Apparently EndofAmerica4.com and EndofAmerica61.com have also been advertised. Why not just advertise his company’s main website? Why not say you are from Stansberry research instead of “A very wealthy American..”
And for that matter, why is it almost impossible to find a photo of Porter Stansberry?
I’ll save you some time if you don’t want to watch the drawn-out video on EndOfAmerica58.com. In a nutshell, we’re told to subscribe to their newsletters and buy precious metals. Or, as a blog (now offline) called The Wages of Bordeom wrote:
He easily blends a few truths with his political ideology, coming up with a solution only he can solve for you for the right price.
If you have an hour of your life to waste and actually watch the video, you’ll hear lots of correct-sounding statements and half-truths woven into scare tactics aimed at selling you their newsletters. I suggest finding it on YouTube, as at least there you can pause and skip ahead, unlike on NewAmerica58.com But is Porter Stansberry actually spouting the truth or is this all just hype?
Let’s not forget that in 2003, an SEC complaint described Porter Stansberry newsletters as “…nothing more than baseless speculation and outright lies, fabricated to induce investors to pay … for subscriptions or purported inside information.”
I encourage you to read the excellent Brian Deer article and related comments on his site for a full dissertation on Mr. Stansberry.
But back to the commercial – unfortunately, scare tactics work. This idea that “The end is near but if you pay me I’ll save you,” swill has worked for centuries for religious cults and financial swindlers. And apparently for Porter Stansberry.
Don’t forget that only a few months ago Stansberry said that these things were going to happen “in 2011.” They didn’t. Now it’s “a few months” from now. Such sliding-scale prophetic time-lines are as old as man himself. Just keep predicting and simply move the chains when the date passes. Among the apocalpytic predictions Stansberry tosses out there, the end of the US dollar as a reserve currency is one of the highest touted. “Reserve currency” basically means that other countries use the US dollar as a basis for trading such items as oil and gold. The imminence of this event sounds like a certainty the way Stansberry presents it in his video, but he’s actually been saying this at least since 2003. In an article for the Free Republic dated June 6, 2003, Stansberry wrote of Chris Weber’s predictions of this occurring, and agreed with his conclusions:
This time the falling dollar might lead to the end of the dollar as the world’s only reserve currency. He’s not the only one who thinks so. Doug Casey sees this happening too. And I believe it’s not an unlikely outcome.
That’s right – 9 years with the same prediction that has yet to come true, yet he continues to sell newsletters based on this dire, imminent prediction. So if I predict rain in the desert every day, can I brag about my “accuracy” the one day it finally does rain? It should also be noted that in that 2003, Stansberry’s website was listed as pirateinvestor.com, which as of this writing is a parked website. He has a habit of using websites for a while and then moving to a new one, which might explain why his NewAmerica and EndofAmerica domains total about 150 that he owns.
Porter Stansberry is the kind of guy that always seems to get away with his lies and deception, aside from an occasional fine, which he no doubt accepts as an investment risk – his “investment” being in scaring people into buying his products. Remember that despite his $1.5 million dollar fine, Stansberry still took to the airways in 2011 proclaiming himself a “very wealthy American.” So even after such a hefty fine, his deceptive advertising made him “very wealthy.”
If we travel back 10 years, we can find an interview with Porter Stansberry, not on his financial predictions, but on his skills as a writer. In this interview, Stansberry points to the concept of a “Big Idea” as a writer:
What I write sells because the main idea behind my package is so exciting that people would buy even if I were a terrible writer. The hard part is doing the research required to find a new “Big Idea.” You know it when you find it, though. It’s huge, it’s valuable, and it makes you want to tell other people about it.
Where it appears that Stansberry went amiss here is that your “Big Idea” should actually be true.
I heard a commercial for Stansberry Research again today, this time on the radio. This one discussed how much money President Obama was making with a “secret” investment. The website advertised was secretincome3.com, which merely forwards to the Stansberry Research website. A lookup of secretincome3.com shows that this domain was only registered last month.
So now Stansberry has used endofamericaX.com (the “X” being a number), newamericaX.com, and now secretincomeX.com. Let’s see how many “secretincome” websites we can find and when they were created:
- secretincome1.com – 6/15/2012
- secretincome2.com – 6/11/2012
- secretincome3.com – 6/11/2012
- secretincome4.com – 6/11/2012
- secretincome5.com – 6/11/2012
- secretincome6.com – 6/11/2012
- secretincome7.com – 6/11/2012
- secretincome8.com – 6/11/2012
- secretincome9.com – 6/11/2012
- secretincome10.com – 6/11/2012
This pattern continues all the way to secretincome30.com
Once again, these Stansberry videos are problematic for the following reasons:
- It’s a long, rambling sales pitch where virtually nothing “free” is ever really offered.
- It’s really more about selling newsletter subscriptions.
- Stansberry has been engaging in fear mongering for years, moving the chains every time a prediction doesn’t come true. Let’s not forget about his “dire predictions” for the collapse of America by the END OF 2011.
- Most of his “valuable” advice ends up being rather obvious investment strategies such as investing in precious metals.
- Attempting to leave his website will give you an annoying popup asking you not to leave. No reputable website does this. It’s akin to a salesman blocking the door when you want to leave.