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Common Questions – We’re here to help

 

What are the goals of the Cogent Investing service?

We believe that, for many intelligent & educated people, they’re the best person to decide how to manage their savings. This is not always the case, of course, but it often is.

If you’re an intelligent & educated person who’s chosen to manage their own savings, then we’re here to provide investment analysis & educational content to help guide you through some of the decisions you’ll need to make when managing your own savings.

 

Is this personalized financial advice?

Cogent Investing's content is not personalized to your specific situation, and it is not intended to be. We don’t know enough about you to do so, and we don’t seek such information as it isn’t required for our business model of publishing investment analysis and educational content.

If you’re after a personalized service, then our service probably isn’t for you. We have no problem with that – you’re in charge, after all - and we suggest you engage a registered financial adviser who can give you advice that's specific to your particular situation.

 

How do I start using the Cogent Investing service?

We suggest you start by watching the introduction video that's available on the members homepage. That video will guide you through the different features of the site. After viewing that video we suggest you start by reading as much of the 3 key sections of our members site as possible: the "Getting Started" section in which we explain the initial steps most people should take and more about how we invest & why; the "Stock Market Outlook" in which we explain what's happening in markets generally right now and implications for how we're managing our mix of stock and defensive assets; or the "Companies we own" in which we explain why we own the ~20 companies in our portfolio right now.

 

How should I choose my first stocks?

First you should read and consider the material on the Getting Started page. That will provide guidance on some critical foundational decisions that you should make, such as which assets you should consider to be part of your investment portfolio, and how to set that portfolio up to invest in both stocks and bonds.

Then, you should decide how many stocks to buy. You can buy all stocks in the Cogent Investing portfolio (note that Warwick Simons owns all of them), or you can select a handful to start with. It’s your choice, but you should note that diversifying your holdings across several stocks helps to lower the idiosyncratic risks that are inevitable when investing in publicly-listed companies.

We also offer ratings on each stock to indicate our level of conviction with each investment idea. If you choose to invest in only some of the stocks we recommend, you may want to start with our "Conviction Buy" ideas because these are our preferred choices right now.

The actual stock selection is up to you, but we can offer these general tips: first, choose a business that resonates with you – you’re much more likely to enjoy owning shares in a business if you’re proud of the firm and how it conducts its business; and second, start with small investments until you become more comfortable with the ups & downs (and long-term rewards) of investing in the stock market.

 

What are your ratings?

We believe each stock on our recommended list is an excellent investment. Cogent Investing's founder, Warwick Simons, owns all of our recommended stocks in his personal portfolio. We have put each stock into one of three categories, however, to help members decide which stocks they want to buy:

  1. Conviction Buys are the 3-5 companies that we believe are the best investments right now due to their combination of higher than average prospective returns at medium or lower than average risk (when compared with other stocks on our recommended list).
  2. Buys are companies that we believe are very good investments, but they’re not quite as attractive as investments as the companies on our Conviction Buy list, or those on our Hold list.
  3. Holds are companies that we still own in our portfolio, but we have some reservations about and therefore our recommendation comes with a caveat. That caveat may be that the stock is a higher risk investment now, or that we're considering removing it from our list of recommendations for other stocks that are more attractive right now. There is more information on why we're cautious on the stock in the articles we've published on that company.

 

How is performance measured?

We track performance of our recommendations against the MSCI AC World market index so our current and potential members can assess whether following our recommendations is likely to help them beat the market over time. We strongly believe that performance measurement is an essential component of any investment research service, and challenge all our competitors who do not publish their performance to start doing so.

We measure performance of our recommended stock choices on an “adjusted equal-weight” basis:

  • “Buy” recommendations are all given an equal weight in the portfolio;
  • “Conviction Buy” recommendations are given a 150% weight of a Buy recommendation;
  • “Hold” recommendations are given a 50% weight of a Buy recommendation.

We re-balance the position sizes in our portfolio every quarter. We determine entry and exit prices based on the market's closing price on the day AFTER we publish a buy or sell recommendation to ensure our members have the opportunity to replicate our performance if they choose to do so.

We use the MSCI AC World equity index as our performance benchmark, as it is the index that best reflects performance of the global equity market.

We also adjust our portfolio's exposure to the index from time to time. If we are cautious on the market's prospects we will inform our clients and sell some stocks and invest the proceeds in defensive assets (cash or bonds) and if we are more positive we may borrow funds to raise our overall exposure above 100% of the market's weight. All such changes are discussed in advance, in line with our process for individual stock selections.

More information on our methodology is available on request from [email protected].

 

Do you invest in the stocks on Cogent Investing’s recommended list?

Yes, absolutely! That’s the whole point: we back our recommendations with our own savings so we have skin in the game. Warwick Simons, who founded Cogent Investing, owns all stocks on the recommended list. Other employees of Cogent Alpha LLC, or affiliated companies, may own stocks on the recommended list. We will always disclose who owns which stocks on each report we publish in accordance with SEC guidelines.

 

How often are the Cogent Investing reports published?

We publish our reports twice per month. We moved to this publishing cadence in March 2019, because it will allow us to provide higher quality insights than our former approach of publishing reports every week.

All our previous reports can be found in our reports archive in the members' section of the site. After publishing each report, we re-organize the content into sections based on the topics being discussed. This content is then shown in the different sections of members' dashboard.

 

What is the price of membership?

The standard price of membership is currently US$495 per year.

 

Do you offer free trials or other promotions?

We don't offer free trials as a matter of course, but we may offer them from time to time as part of promotional activity.

 

What is the 7-Day Money Back Guarantee?

We want our customers to be happy with their purchase of any services from Cogent Investing. We therefore offer a 7-day money back guarantee for the investing reports service. If, after purchasing the service for the first time and exploring the members site, you decide that this service isn't appropriate for you or it otherwise doesn't meet your expectations, then you can get a full refund for the amount paid within 7 days of the start of your membership. If you wish to take advantage of this guarantee please email [email protected] from the email address that you used to sign up for membership.

Note that this Money-Back Guarantee is subject to a "fair use" policy. If a member makes extensive use of the site during that 7 Day period, and we believe in our sole discretion that they have captured a substantial benefit from using the site within those 7 Days, then we hold the right to refuse any application for a refund. Note also that we have not had to invoke this right to date.

 

Do you offer refunds?

In addition to the 7-Day Money Back Guarantee that applies only to new members, we offer refunds for renewing members if they renewed their subscription by accident. We recognize that mistakes happen, and do not want to keep memberships we gained by mistake. We therefore offer refunds within the first 24 hours of a membership period if an application is made to [email protected].

 

How do I manage my account details?

You can manage your account details via the "Account" option in the top-right corner of the website. You can change your personal details, your display name for comments, your password, and any subscription details, including renewal options, in this section.

 

What is the relationship between Cogent Investing and Cogent Alpha?

Cogent Investing is the commercial brand of Cogent Alpha LLC. The Cogent Investing Service was branded "Cogent Alpha" until August 1st, 2019, but we changed our brand to Cogent Investing at that time because we believe the new brand better reflects the range of services that we intend to offer. Our publishing company, Cogent Alpha LLC, has retained its original name.

 

Privacy Policy

Your data is your data, not ours.

We will not sell your data, but in order to provide our investment reports services we may share your data with service providers such as: web hosting partners; web developers; marketing software; payment processors; web shop systems; professional service providers; and, if required by law, law enforcement agencies.

If you do not consent to this use then please do not engage our services.

 

Other questions?

If you have a burning question about our service that’s not answered here, please email [email protected].

Please restrict these questions to account and service-related questions, and ask any content related questions on the discussion boards.

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We’re Sorry.

Unfortunately, we cannot allow you to subscribe to Cogent Alpha.

We publish the Cogent Alpha investment newsletter in accordance with the terms outlined by the Securities & Exchange Commission here.

The law in Hong Kong does not clearly allow investment newsletters such as ours, however, and because some members of the Cogent Alpha team live in Hong Kong we need to ensure we comply with a narrow interpretation of the law in the region. Therefore, unfortunately, we cannot allow Hong Kong residents to subscribe to this service.