You and I have seen their advertisements: "Just $99/mo. for select picks of hot stocks. Along with my commentary get an exclusive daily trading idea." I have always wondered why investment newsletter services and their web-based brethren need subscriber revenue to make a living. If their picks were so hot, why could they not get rich just by following their own advice? Surely, if your forecasts were correct you'd be able to compound your returns and become a multimillionaire easily. I now realize that newsletter writers are not so different from professional (paid) traders. Both types use Other People's Money in order to earn a living. That is they both make prognostications about the future direction of the market and earn a fee (subscriptions v. salary) whether or not their forecasts come true or not. The only real difference is that professional traders exert control over the investments and execute the trades. If their advice turns out to be accurate they are celebrated and get more business or earn a bonus and if it turns out to be wrong, their subscribers depart or they get fired. While that outcome is unfortunate, the investment losses are borne by Others. Moreover, they can always restart anew or get a new job and chalk up their lousy advice to market volatility. The reason why amateur traders fail and newsletter writers and professional traders succeed is not because they are necessarily more skillful or wise, it is because they employ OPM. Classic head I win, tails you lose. All profits are shared with the advisor, but all losses are solely borne by the investor.