The Dividend Hunter is a financial newsletter run by Tim Plaehn.
He claims he can help you find stocks "to put you on the path to paying your bills for life."
Is this true or is this all one big scam?
You'll get an answer to this in the review.
Make sure to read everything below, though..
There's a lot to cover with The Dividend Hunter. In this review you'll see important background information, a look at who Tim is and more.
My goal is to be honest about this service so you can determine if it's right for you.
Let's get started!
The Dividend Hunter Summary
Creator: Tim Plaehn
Price to join: $49 per year + $99 per year for software
Do I recommend? Sure
Overall rating: 3.5/5
The Dividend Hunter is a sold investing newsletter for people that are retirement focused.
If you're looking for growth stocks or fast money this isn't for you.
This is for people planning far into the future or retirees that have plenty to invest and want passive income from dividends.
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3 Things To Know About The Dividend Hunter
Before we look at what you get with The Dividend Hunter, let's take a look at some important background information.
Here's what I think you should know about this newsletter:
1) I Believe Tim Is Misleading About Something
I've reviewed close to 100 different investing programs and there's one thing I have learned from doing this..
Never trust what the owner of one of these companies says about themselves.
In almost every instance they're lying or misleading about something to make themselves seem better than they are.
Yesterday I reviewed someone who claimed to beat Warren Buffet's investments by 3 times.
It was a complete lie.
So every time I cover a new newsletter I go in very skeptical.
And after researching Tim I have some questions about his resume and things he claims.
According to him he was a stock broker and certified financial planner.
BUT Tim never names the company he worked for or why he left.. which is a red flag to me.
From my experience this means Tim is probably hiding something.
If someone is a stock broker you can actually check their records on FINRA. When I search the last name Plaehn nothing comes up:
There's a few people with the last name Plaehn but no Tim or Timothy.
FINRA started in 1988 so if Tim was a stock broker after that time he would have to register with them.
So there's a few reasons why Tim wouldn't be listed here:
- He's lying about his past experience
- He's using an alias for various reason
- He was a stock broker before FINRA was invented.
Tim graduated from Airforce in 1979 and apparently was a F-16 Fighter Pilot instructor for them.
So he most likely was a broker after 1988.
If you look on Tim's Linkedin there's no mention of being a stock broker and only shows work experience from 2003 to now.
And in 2003 he was a salesman for a truck company.
Things just aren't adding up for me.
If Tim is using an Alias I would like to know why.. is it for privacy or is it to hide something in his past?
Also, I'd like to know why he stopped being a stock broker and who he worked for.
Until those questions are answered I wouldn't trust his bio as being legitimate.
I sent an email to Tim asking him to clarify and will add on to this if he responds.
2) Investors Alley Is A Typical Newsletter Publisher
Investors Alley is the publisher of The Dividend Hunter.
They pretty much run their business like every other financial newsletter company.
This means they have a few different editors and each editor has a few different products.
The important thing to know about publishers like Investor Alley is they are essentially a giant marketing funnel.
Each editor has a cheap product that they hope draws you in and once you buy you'll be marketed much more expensive products.
Some of the services at Investor Alley will cost thousands a year.
Just make sure you don't buy any of the more expensive products unless you're seeing results with the cheaper ones.
3) Dividends Are Great.. If You Have A Lot To Invest
Investing in dividends gives you access to one of the sweetest things in the world.. passive income.
Passive income is when you make money without actually putting man hours in.
Owning rental properties is an example of passive income.
You invest time or capital up front and get on going rewards without working.
Dividends give you passive income because some companies give some of their revenue to stock holders.
It's sort of a thank you for trusting in them.
However, to see enough dividends to live off you need to invest a lot of money.
If you were to invest around $1.2 million in dividends and got an average return of 4%, you could expect to make around $50,000 per year.
Tim claims he can get you 8% returns.. so that number will be closer $500,000 if Tim is being honest.
That's not bad and many retirees will have that to invest.
However, if you're not close to retirement you likely don't have $1.2 million to invest.
The stocks that typically give out dividends are more established companies as well.
You'll find a lot of energy and banking companies that do this.. along with mega corporations.
These companies are safe to invest in but typically won't have stocks that grow a lot anymore.
If you're looking to hit it big, this isn't the investment strategy for.
This is something you spend the next 20 years building for your retirement.
Recommended: The Best Place To Get High Performing Stocks
A Look At Some Of Tim's Stock Picks
Something all popular investing newsletters do is put out teaser stock picks.
These are marketing campaigns that hype up a company but withhold what that company's name is.
If you buy the newsletter you get the stock pick in a special report or special presentation.
The Dividend Hunter has done a couple of these in the past.
Here's a look at them:
Hercules Capital In January 2022
A few months ago Tim ran a marketing campaign called "#1 Buy, Hold And Retire Stock of 2022."
Tim went on to say this is a way to "collect legal backdoor income from pre-IPO Silicon Valley Start ups."
He adds if you're younger you can invest $25,000 in to this company and it'll be enough to eventually retire on.
Tim goes even further to say if you put all your retirement money (at least $500,000) you can earn up to $55,000 a year from investing in this company.
The stock being teased here is Hercules Capital.
Hercules Capital is what is known as a Business Development Company.
These companies are appealing to invest in because by law they need to pay 90% of their earnings to shareholders.
BDC companies can do this because they don't get taxed.
They work with Small Business Administration and help facilitate loans to small and mid size companies.
These companies typically are too big for local bank loans and too small for Wall Street loans.
Hercules Capital is a good investment because it pays a high yield (9.5%) and the returns for this company have beaten the S&P 500 over the last 9 years (Hercules is purple and S&P 500 is orange):
The biggest downside is this stock is not at a discount.
In fact, there's a good chance the stock price doesn't go up for a while and if you look at its history it usually loses values when it hits this kind of high:
This is fine because most of the returns come from dividends.
However, if they were to cut their yield rate in any significant way there would be trouble.
Main Street Capital In May 2016
This teaser ran almost 6 years ago and was titled "How To Get 7% From One Of The Nation's Best Run, Least Known, Specialty Banks."
This was another BDC and the company being alluded to is Main Street Capital.
Had you invested then you'd be pretty happy.
The stock has done well over the years:
The dividend was paying out around $1.70 per share and is currently paying out $2.50 a share.
Pretty good stuff!
Recommended: The Best Place To Get High Performing Stocks
The Dividend Hunter Overview
There's a few different aspects of The Dividend Hunter.
Here's a look at each section:
The Dividend Hunter Monthly Newsletter
This is the core part of the offer.
Every month you get The Dividend Monthly Newsletter and you get dividend investment ideas.
Additionally, you get analysis on the market and updates on previous recommendations.
When you sign up for The Dividend Hunter you'll get access to the entire model portfolio as well.
With this you get the 36 Month Accelerated Income plan.
According to Tim this plan will help you get passive income from dividend stocks as fast as possible.
This training plan focuses on high yield dividends and stays away from stocks only.
The newsletter and model portfolio is the most important part of The Dividend Hunter.
However, there's a bunch of extra sweeteners as well.
If you buy this newsletter you get the following:
- Monthly Dividend Paycheck Calendar: This will help you keep track of when to expect your dividend payments.
- Must Own Dividend Stocks: You get a list of dividend payers and stocks that you should buy right away.
- Weekly Buy Recommendations: Once a week recommendations on the best current buys in the portfolio.
- Live training: You regularly get live training sessions
- 60 Day Access To Divicaster: Divicaster is a dividend tracking and forecasting software. It helps you determine how much you're making with your dividends. After the 60 day period you need to pay $99 per year for access to the software.
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The Dividend Hunter FAQ's
Got some more questions about this service?
Here's some answers to any remaining questions you might have:
1) Is The Price Fair For The Dividend Hunter?
All investing newsletter publishers offer at least one cheap product to get you into their sales funnel.
For Investors Alley The Dividend Hunter is that product at $49 per year.
Do I think this newsletter is worth that?
I think dividends are a smart play if you're patient with them and I think Tim recommends the right ones.
However, you are going to be heavily promoted to join the more expensive programs.
I wouldn't think about the products that cost thousands a year unless this The Dividend Hunter pays off for you.
Lastly, the software that comes with the newsletter will cost $99.
If you truly are going to invest in a lot of different dividend programs this isn't too bad of a deal either.
2) Is Tim Plaehn Legit?
Tim has the same red flags that a lot of other investing newsletter editors have.
The main one being there's zero proof of anything he lists on his resume.
I've caught many people like Tim in the past lying and I refuse to give anyone in this industry the benefit of the doubt.
Tim's resume goes from graduating Air Force in 1979 to a sales job in 2003 (skipping the 80's and 90's).. what was Tim doing in the 80's and 90's?
Why is there no record of him being a stock broker like he claims? What company did he work for? Why did he leave?
These questions are important to answer.
For example, one newsletter owner claims he was this successful hedge fund manager and only started writing newsletters to help individual investors.
After doing some research it turns out the guy was banned by FINRA from being a stock broker because he was such a big scam artist.
It's important to know if Tim is hiding something like this.
So until Tim emails me back I can't really answer this.
3) Is There A Refund Policy?
Yes, there's a very good one.
You get a full year to get your money back if you're not satisfied.
This is a as good as you can ask for.. granted, though, it's only $49.
I'm sure if you want your money back it's because you lost thousands following Tim's investment advice.
4) What Do Customers Think About The Dividend Hunter?
I find most customers seem to like The Dividend Hunter a lot.
Nearly 500 people have rated it and it gets a 4/5 star average rating:
This is an excellent score and better than what most investment newsletters would receive.
According to one commenter, the average yield for the portfolio have been around 8% which is excellent:
This person is a retiree as well, which is who this newsletter is made for.
I could only really find one negative review:
Chuck doesn't really elaborate on what the losing investments are or anything like that, though.
But overall the comments are overwhelmingly positive.
Recommended: The Best Place To Get High Performing Stocks
The Dividend Hunter Pros And Cons
The Dividend Hunter Conclusion
I usually don't recommend investing newsletters.. many underperform or there's too many red flags to ignore.
There's some red flags with The Dividend Hunter and Tim but they're not that big.
At the end of the day you're just looking for good investment ideas and good dividend recommendations.
You seem to get that here.
Most customers are satisfied with the picks Tim makes and the recommendations I looked at in the past look solid.
This isn't an investment strategy where you hit it big, fast.
This is the opposite of that.
If you're looking for a way to invest in your retirement The Dividend Hunter will help you there.
This can be through starting small and building up your returns through the year or it can be putting your retirement savings into the investment ideas and getting dividends to live on quickly.
Overall this is a good newsletter.
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I think The Dividend Hunter is worth checking out for $49.
However, there's even better newsletters out there that you can try for even less.
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