We may be our own harshest critics. But we're only tough on ourselves so we can be the best for you, our readers.
That's why last week, when I shared our publisher's Report Card results, I said:
In my book, a "B" is a failing grade...
I don't like to lose. Worse, I hate settling for anything less than excellence...
Earning a "B" might be a fine "passing" grade – but it's not excellent.
My team and I dedicate every day to finding the best ways for you to live a healthier, wealthier life. That's why I promised to do better.
But it turns out that many of you didn't agree with the Report Card...
Hi Doc and staff,
I [am] replying to the grades that you received from the annual report card. I think the Retirement Millionaire and Income Intelligence were unfairly marked down because of the last quarter as compared to the remainder of the three-year evaluation period. I would have moved the grades up to an A- and A+ respectively. Retirement Trader's A+ is consistent with the superior performance. I love all three newsletters and look forward to each [month's] publishing days.
I am still getting my head around the Advanced Options newsletter. I am still paper trading the recommended trades (in TD Ameritrade) as I have been getting used to the Think or Swim platform and the newsletter at the same time.
Thank you and your staff for the time and efforts on behalf of subscribers. Subscribers have learned so much from you. – P.P.
And this message from R.W. was one of my favorites...
My life has improved greatly since I started reading Doc's advice. My wealth has risen more than I thought possible, I learned which toilet paper to buy at Costco, received discounts on wine from one of his many friends. Although I have never met him I consider him a wonderful person and friend. Over the years I have sampled about all of Porters advisors and Doc is the best of them all. I would give him a lifetime A plus if it was up to me.
But, lest we get too big of heads, we had J.T. to bring us back down...
As far as I'm concerned, everybody gets an F. I haven't made any money from your recommendations.
Thanks to everyone who wrote in sharing your grade with us. Keeping sharing your successes – and your failures – with us so we know how we're doing.
How has Health & Wealth Bulletin changed your life? Let us know at [email protected].
Q: I enjoy the income benefit of investing with portfolios like Income Intelligence but growth stocks are where we've been getting the big returns. Why should I change up how I invest with value investing? – R.T.
A: As I wrote on Wednesday, value investing is due for a comeback.
Being a value investor usually means standing apart from the crowd, challenging the conventional wisdom, and opposing the prevailing investment winds. It can be a very lonely undertaking.
With the right analysis, value investing can be one of the most profitable investment strategies. If you understand the value of a business, you can build a "margin of safety" by buying that company's stock at the right price so that even if your judgment is a little off, your investment won't drop much.
Here's how legendary value investor Seth Klarman puts it in his book, Margin of Safety: Risk-Averse Value Investing Strategies for the Thoughtful Investor...
Because investing is as much an art as a science, investors need a margin of safety. A margin of safety is achieved when securities are purchased at prices sufficiently below underlying value to allow for human error, bad luck, or extreme volatility in a complex, unpredictable, and rapidly changing world.
This means buying investments that are undeniably cheap because everyone hates them...
That's exactly what my colleague Dan Ferris does in his value-focused newsletter, Extreme Value. Dan looks for stocks everyone else is ignoring – stocks that are trading at huge discounts to their true worth.
Recently, Dan found a stock that could give you the chance to see 20 times your money over the long term, beginning immediately. He says, "If I had to put every penny of my life savings into one company, this would be it."
Q: Does regular consumption of eggs increase the risk of metastatic prostate cancer? – T.D.
A: Prostate cancer is such an important topic because it's the most common non-skin cancer in men. Doctors estimate about 165,000 new cases will be diagnosed in the U.S. this year.
But most prostate cancer isn't deadly... In fact, there's a nearly 99% five-year survival rate, which is incredible.
We looked at the Harvard study that made big news... Researchers found that after a prostate cancer diagnosis, men who ate poultry with skin or eggs had about a twofold associated risk of cancer recurrence or progression, including metastasis.
Now, researchers only studied 1,294 men – a small number, considering how prevalent the disease is. And of those, researchers observed 127 "events." Events included prostate cancer deaths and metastases... but also included things like higher prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels and getting secondary treatment. So not all the events were metastases. That's not exactly the best picture for pinpointing cause and effect.
What's more, researchers only collected dietary data after diagnosis for a short time period, so there's nothing to say what the participants ate before getting cancer that could contribute to it.
There have been a handful of similar studies. But all this research relies heavily on diet questionnaires. That means depending on the memory (and honesty) of the participants.
So we still don't have a real mechanism of action yet. The theory is that choline plays a role, but in another study from the same group, the researchers only tied very high choline intake before diagnosis with an elevated risk of lethal prostate cancer. The group had a daily intake of 509 mg of choline... that's about 3.5 eggs a day.
Does this mean you should cut out eggs or reduce choline? Nope. Choline is still vital for our health, as it helps make cell membranes in our bodies. And eggs also contain ACE inhibitors, which keep our hearts healthy. Don't worry – keep eating eggs. Just don't overdo it and eat a half carton a day.
Q: I've heard for years that caffeinated coffee and high blood pressure go hand-in-hand. Recently, several friends have commented that their primary care physicians say "new studies" indicate that is not the case. What do you say? – J.H.
A: The causation is a bit muddy here, but caffeine does spike blood pressure, even for just a short time. If you're a regular consumer, you may notice a higher blood pressure reading, especially if you've had a cup just before testing.
It's also important to know that some folks are more sensitive to caffeine than others. Try taking your blood pressure before and after drinking a cup of coffee and see if it increases. If it does, consider cutting back to just one cup a day – most folks can have about 200 mg (about one cup of brewed coffee) of caffeine per day without those side effects.
And remember, you can enjoy the benefits of coffee without the caffeine.
What We're Reading...
- Did you miss it? What a "B" grade really means.
- Something different: The unsettling truth about "honey laundering."
Here's to our health, wealth, and a great retirement,
Dr. David Eifrig and the Health & Wealth Bulletin Research Team
March 8, 2019