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Welcome to "Core and Explore" investing.  My "Explore" portfolio turned $100,000 to over $500,000.  My conservative and aggressive "core" index fund portfolios from Vanguard continue to shine brightly!  (or use optional Fidelity or ETFs equivalents)  ==> Read "Taking the Bull by the horns: Local investor quintuples portfolio" <==
A few, minor errors in the article are corrected here.

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Kirk Lindstrom's 
 Online Newsletter 

Results that speak for themselves:

Since 12/31/98 "Kirk's Newsletter Explore Portfolio" is UP 222% vs. S&P500 only up 36% vs. NASDAQ only up 19% vs.  Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway up 70% (All through 09/06/07)

What should be quite clear is a “buy and forget” market strategy using the DOW, S&P500 or NASDAQ would have under performed holding money funds over the past seven years while my newsletter portfolio more than tripled every dollar invested.

My Newsletter Explore Portfolio Value by Key Dates  (See the attached graph for more data)
  • 09/30/1998 - $100,000
  • 12/31/1998 - $156,820
  • 01/01/2000 - $340,329  My best year, up 117%!
  • 01/01/2003 - $240,421  No pain, no gain.  I don't market time so it goes down in bear markets.
  • 09/06/2007 - $506,082 !!!! Up over 5 times the money while the S&P500 was up only 65%!!

  • See my performance Graph
Note #1: My reported results are for my "Newsletter Explore Portfolio" which is designed for those who wish to add an aggressive growth component to their diversified investment portfolio.

Too good to be true?   I DOCUMENT every buy and sell I've made in my newsletter since it started, including commissions.  I update this buy and sell list for subscribers every month so all my dirty laundry (bad picks) are never hidden.  This is a real, documented record that I invite you to verify before you subscribe.  I have all my buys and sells on an Excel spreadsheet backed up with Quicken to verify my math.

Kirk's Recommended Core Portfolios

Core and Explore

I recommend a "core" portfolio for about 80 to 95% of your funds and an "Explore" portfolio made of my newsletter portfolio for the remainder.  My newsletter stocks are volatile by design to add to overall returns, but you need a good core portfolio to sleep well at night. I offer several different core portfolios for both aggressive and conservative investors.  I report the results of ONLY my newsletter portfolio so you can compare my results to funds you might give to an aggressive growth mutual fund manager such as First Hand Technology Fund or Fidelity Select Electronics which have similar risk/reward profiles.  Many of these famous growth funds did very well in 1998 and 1999 but they have failed to hang on.  My newsletter portfolio is significantly ahead of where it started 2000 at which I feel is quite an accomplishment given how well I did in 1998 and 1999.

These CORE portfolios are composed of seven index funds from Vanguard.  They have significantly out performed the S&P500 due to their better international diversity and inclusion of an REIT index fund.

Growth[1] of $100,000 over time starting 12/31/00 in each portfolio


Kirk's Recommended
Core Conservative Portfolio

Kirk's Recommended Core

Kirk's Newsletter

Index Fund




































Average Annual Return





[1] The performance data featured represents past performance, which is no guarantee of future results. Investment return and principal value of an investment will fluctuate; therefore, you may have a gain or loss when you sell your shares. Current performance may be higher or lower than the performance data quoted.
[2]We had a bear market in 2001 and 2002 so the conservative portfolio outperformed the aggressive portfolio by falling less.  Since October 2002, we have been in a bull market and the aggressive core portfolio is outperforming but still trails the conservative portfolio by a fraction.  Over the longer term, I expect the aggressive to outperform the conservative.

For most investors, I recommend a total investment portfolio mix with perhaps 80% in one of my two recommended Core portfolios (the core portfolios use seven index funds from Vanguard) with the remaining 20% of your portfolio in my higher risk, "Explore Portfolio."

A subscription to "Kirk's Online Newsletter" is only $150 a year.
(A savings of $150 over the $25 per issue price!!!)

Click to see performance Graph

Compare other newsletters to my results

Heck, compare my results with the best growth mutual funds in 1999 and see how they did these past years.  Many of the popular mutual funds from 1999 and 2000 are still down 50% from their 2000 peak value!

  • $100,000 invested in my Newsletter Stock Portfolio at inception on 9/30/98 was worth $504,924 on 09/06/07 while $100,000 invested in the Nasdaq Composite was ONLY worth $154,068 or $164,485 if invested in the S&P500! 
  • Big winners were in DIVERSE Stocks like:

    • Carrier Access (Voice over IP and wireless)
    • GeoGlobal Resources (Natural Gas)
    • Federal Express (Ship packages, not people to make money!)
    • Citigroup (Look to banks for money!)
    • Lam Research and Applied Materials (They make the machines that make semiconductors used in Apple iPods, Cars, Intel and AMD personal computers, Cell phones and HDTV sets plus everything else that uses integrated circuits.)
  • NEW stocks to take advantage of electronics manufacturing in China, solar energy, natural gas and the  green house gas reduction  move to electric automobiles.

  • I took extensive profits in my technology stocks in the Spring/Summer of 2000 and bought Banks, GNMAs and Strip Zero bonds with the profit taking dollars.  I also hold significant cash reserves.  The strip zero bonds returned over 50% and the financial stocks did over 20% while the tech stocks crashed!  This allowed me to keep many of my gains in the bear market then reapply the cash when the market was low in 2002 and 2003.

  • I always have a risky stock or two for a few percent of the portfolio for those that like to swing for the fences.  They often go down 50% or more before going higher (or going lower) so I move money into these in steps at buying points that I share in the newsletter and I often take profits quickly should we get a huge bounce.
  • For example:  WCOM was one stock in my portfolio that I lost money going down but I bought 5,000 shares at 7¢ and quickly sold 1,500 shares  at 25¢ on a bounce so I'd lock in breaking even on that trade since the bounce happened in a day.  I've since sold those remaining WCOM shares at 21¢ and moved on.  WCOM hurt my performance in 2002 but I still managed to beat the S&P500 even with that bad stock pick.  In my newsletter, I explain what  learned from bad picks and how to move forward.  Even losses can be a learning experience if handled honestly.  I publish a list monthly of all stocks I've owned and what I learned from the losers.

  • I use mutual funds and cash to reduce risk and take profits when appropriate which I explain in the newsletter.  I also give BUY, SELL and "Take Profits" target prices for stocks I am looking at.
  • To match my newsletter stock portfolio performance, subscribers would have to buy exactly what I hold going forward but most just use my ideas and incorporate my methods into their individual portfolios.  Of course, they won't get the exact same results I list.
Many say I can not get great results like I have done without taking disproportionate levels of risk. My portfolio beta is 'roughly" the same as that of QQQQ yet my results are far, far better.   I hope I proved them wrong and my results say I am doing a good job of it!

I have a fairly diverse list of companies from several industries (semiconductor capital equipment, Banking, shipping and energy exploration).  When the Nasdaq was going to the moon in 1999 and 2000, I didn't add net money to technology  but took profits and put them into beaten down areas like banks, bonds and a strip zero coupon fund that I took profits in just after the 9/11 attack for a 50% gain!  This taking profits and moving the money to beaten down areas is a proven strategy to reduce risk while still getting good gains.  I still hit my share of duds (that is part of investing - all honest advisors have losers) but the overall results are what count and those results have been fantastic (if I may humbly say so).

For most investors, I recommend a total investment portfolio mix with perhaps 80% in one of my two recommended CORE portfolios (the core portfolios use seven index funds from Vanguard) with the remaining 20% of your portfolio in my higher risk, "Explore Portfolio."  This follows the "Risk Pyramid" strategy called "Core and Explore" I write about at where you take the most risk with the top 20% of your portfolio keeping a base grounded in diverse mutual funds.

This portfolio uses the asset allocation model I discuss in the article "Using Asset Allocation to make money in a Flat Market."    Read "Taking the Bull by the horns: Local investor quintuples portfolio"


Kirk Lindstrom (me) - a GARP or "Growth At a Reasonable Price"  investor "who made a fortune in the market" and is now teaching others my techniques via my newsletter.  Any changes to my portfolio or my thinking goes out to subscribers between issues via email so they are kept up to date.

I currently write about investing for "," and "Investing for the Long Term" at facebook plus another web site now in "Alpha."

I wrote for 10 years at   "Investing - Personal Finance" at where you can read the most recent articles here.

More:  I Graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in Electrical Engineering and computer science in 1979.  I went straight to Hewlett Packard to work in the R&D lab of the Optical Communication Division (Now a division of Agilent) and and spent 20 years designing Optical Transceivers and leading design teams.  I like both so I did both.  I was not pleased with market timers and mutual funds that I owned that sold out at the bottom after the 1987 correction so I taught myself how to invest.  I did well and made roughly 30% compounded between 1992 and 1998 in my personal account.
More (cont) After 20 years, I semi retired from HP and now work for myself (lower pay but much more fun) while helping and teaching others.  Even after the great Bear market of 2000/2002, my personal portfolio is beating the S&P500 by a wide margin (very hard to give accurate numbers since I now spend some of the gains my portfolio generates.)   I am even prouder of my newsletter portfolio.

I still do engineering (now tinkering on an invention I may market) and have consulted for local investment firm as a part time stock analyst. I may even go back to work for someone else someday if the stock prices get low enough to tempt me for the stock options and I find something really interesting to do.  With my asset level, it is nice to be able to work when and where I want to and not be forced to take a job just to put food on the table and pay my expensive Los Altos, CA mortgage.  Hard to stay really "retired" when you are only 50!

Get you a free sample issue of my newsletter so you can decide if you want to subscribe. Just send me an email request for a free sample issue along with your snail mail (US Post Office) home address so I can track the free samples.  Don't worry, I don't sell or give away your email or home addresses.

Unlike Other Newsletters, I discuss many stocks in every issue and usually make one or more buys each month so new readers are current on at least one stock that is a good deal.  I send out email alerts when I change my thinking and I send out emails on the same day I make a buy or sell so others can follow the next day, or even that day if there is enough time.

A subscription to "Kirk's Online Newsletter" is $150 a year.
(A savings of $150 over the $25 per issue price!!!) 
Higher returns from the stock market are had at a price of higher volatility.  I like to think my stock selection can help you beat the "safe and sane" method of index investing.  My advice is to use my newsletter stock portfolio for the "explore" part of your "Core and explore" portfolio rather than a managed aggressive growth mutual fund.

Recent Articles

Article about Kirk:: "Taking the Bull by the horns: Local investor quintuples portfolio"
A few, minor errors in the article are corrected here.

Key Strategy:  Using Asset Allocation to Make Money even in a flat market

Article Archive


best regards
Kirk Lindstrom
Editor of "Kirk's Investment Newsletter"
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DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this newsletter is not intended to constitute financial advice, and is not a recommendation or solicitation to buy, sell or hold any security. This newsletter is strictly informational and educational and is not to be construed as any kind of financial advice, investment advice or legal advice. Copyright Kirk Lindstrom 1998-2007.

Remember that the past is no guarantee of the future but my past results have been excellent.  I hope to continue to outperform but make no promises.  I do own positions in many of the securities in the portfolio but I have no investment banking relationship with any of the companies.

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