Power Investor’s Publisher Responds

I wrote an article on July 23 withdrawing my recommendation of Power Investor software. It appeared in the previous two editions of my stock book, but will not appear in the newest one out later this year. In the article, I wrote:

“Starting a few years ago, I began receiving complaints from readers who followed my advice to buy [Power Investor]. The data set was old or incomplete. The calls to customer service weren’t answered. Emails went unreturned. Finally, the organization behind Power Investor looks to be folding, because the latest is that it’s no longer accepting new subscribers.”

Yesterday, the president of Investors Alliance, Frank Lardino, sent me the following email:

Investors Alliance is not “folding” as you have reported incorrectly on your website. Calls to our 800 number ring in our office, and are picked up usually on the second or third ring from 9 am to 6 pm EST M-F. We have a phone number (regular & toll free), email address, and street and P.O. box addresses (in the United States) on our website for members and other people to contact us. We answer phones calls, and we return calls as well as emails and letters. Feel free to call me if you wish.

I replied with this:

I’m happy to finally hear back from you. I’ve tried contacting you several times by email but never received a reply.

Starting about two years ago, I began receiving an increasing volume of complaints about Investors Alliance and Power Investor. People read my book, took my advice, signed up, and then could not get current data in the program, nor any help from IA. I didn’t create the impression that you’re folding out of thin air. The evidence from your customers made it look that way.

It’s too late for IA to get into the new edition of my book and, frankly, Power Investor no longer shines above the competition, particularly since so much of the competition is completely free.

However, I used PI for years, spoke with you in the past, respected your operation, and recommended PI in the two previous editions of my book. Therefore, I’d be more than happy to run your side of the story on my website, along with a link to your site.

I hope that you can streamline the functionality of PI so that it doesn’t require data downloads, for example, and that you can create a better customer experience for subscribers. I would like to one day be able to recommend PI again.

Mr. Lardino replied with this:

We continue to service members and make improvements to the services we offer members. We provide refunds to people who are not happy with the service and we cover the vast number of companies with complete data.

Our analysis is far more powerful than free web offerings. The free offerings generally allow you to screen a few criteria at best and usually they omit screens like ROE or ROA. Screening for data going back more than a year is usually not included.

In addition, for $99 people get a monthly journal, powerful asset allocation models, a free online investing course, other member services and one of the best technical analysis programs available. The methods we provide including Triple Test are outstanding and are included with the $99 membership. The dynamic asset allocation models are worth $99 by themselves. They have been proven to members in real time from 1998 to 2001 in vastly reducing equity allocations to no-load LT govt bond funds — going to zero coupon no-load funds at the end of the bear market and back to equities in 2002. Most recently, the models have decreased their exposure to equities at the start of July. This is all part of the $99 membership.

We will be offering a web-based version with fundamental analysis and screening in the near future. As far as improving the customer experience by web enabling all of our services, we think application software is superior for charting. Web-based charts are weak, even when using newer technologies like Java with Ajax or .net with one-click. The web charting lacks suitable user control. Power Tech also offers superior technical screening and proprietary screening that is unavailable in other programs. In addition, we also offer our Sector, RS & Delta models with the premium memberships which have been used by members for the past eight years in real time with excellent results.

Members receive our 34-page ejournal each month as part of the $99 membership. The journal includes educational, research and other articles, including how to use the software programs.

Power Investor also includes valuation models and management ratings on the stocks which are not available on free sites. These tools have been used by members since our old DOS software in 1990 as well as Power Investor. The models and ratings quickly help members find very well managed companies as well as potentially under and overvalued companies. The 4- and 5-Diamond rated stocks have consistently done very well over the past 17 years.

No need to provide an update with our side of the story just modify the part about us folding up. If you need to call me, our phone number is on the web site. We are always available.

There’s the latest straight from the president of the company. His presentation makes membership in Investors Alliance and use of Power Investor seem worthwhile. It’s hard to know why customer reports were so very different from his report.

In the interest of getting to the bottom of this, I invite anybody who has joined Investors Alliance to email me with their experience, good or bad. If you emailed me before about your experience with IA or Power Investor, please send me your story again.

I’ll present the reader stories to Mr. Lardino, give him a chance to reply to each one, and then run the whole sequence here in the future.

As promised, here is a link to Power Investor.

Tomorrow: Other investment resources.

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  1. Posted December 21, 2016 at 3:24 am | Permalink

    I am not a current user of IA or PI but was in past years. Sounds like not much has changed! I finally figured out that IA promises more than it usually delivers and exaggerates its potential worth to members. Seems it is still plagued by poor service, uncorrected data errors, and slow or no delivery of products.. What good is an analysis if you don’t have confidence in the data it is based on, or have to cross check everything, or manually load data? It becomes a time whirlpool (which might be enjoyed by those who like fiddly things) which eventually caused me to avoid PI.

    I was a “slow study” when it came to AI. I guess I was like Pavlov’s dog- I got a little something sometimes, and kept hoping for more and better in the future. With this company you must look at what they actually do and not what they say. Actually I just threw out 2 to 3 dozen of their newsletters yesterday and wondered if they were still around- and here we are!

  2. Jack Schmidt
    Posted January 29, 2016 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    I have been trying for more than three months to get my $99 subscription to Power Investor renewed to no avail. I have tried the 1-866-627-9090 number at least eight(8) times and it is answered by some lady who says for some reason dialing that number gets her. I have also tried 1-561-910-1515 and receive a recorded message that the answering device/voice box is full so hang up and try again later. I have also sent an e-mail requesting help in renewing my subscription, to no avail–no answer to my attempt

  3. Posted October 27, 2014 at 4:27 am | Permalink

    Last talked to Mr. Lardino in September.
    He was going to get back to me.
    Their blog talks of sending out a new CD-ROM.
    I have seen it.
    NONE of the phone numbers answer
    As for e-mails, I have sent eight with no reply.
    Is Mr. Lardino still alive and functioning ?
    Was he the “enterprise” all by himself ?
    I loved the program and am still checking the blog for an update.

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