Who Manages Top Stock Picks? Meet 20-Year Stock Trading Veteran Jeff Bishop:
Top Stock Picks is managed by a man with over two decades of trading experience – Jeff Bishop. He’s a self-proclaimed millionaire trader with a special gift for trading stocks, options, and Exchange Traded Funds (ETF’s). If you’re wondering if he has the credentials to teach trading, he holds two degrees from the University of Texas in Finance & Economics, and is also a member of the high IQ society known as Mensa – so I wouldn’t worry too much about his intelligence.
He has obvious affiliations to a similar stock trading newsletter called Jason Bond Picks, which will be discussed in detail later on. In short, Jason Bond Picks is more focused on swing trading small cap stocks, while Top Stock Picks on the other hand, is focused primarily on exchange traded funds. You may be wondering why on earth it’s called Top Stock Picks and not Top ETF Picks, but that’s just what the service has morphed into over the years – the focus used to be on individual stocks (but oftentimes, they weren’t liquid enough for subscribers to follow).
Overall, trading ETF’s may not seem as attractive and exciting as trading the individual names you hear in the headlines, but they trade on exchanges just like actual stocks and the profit potential is still there thanks to the volatile, highly-liquid setups they can provide.
Top Stock Picks Review – The Advantages of Exchange Traded Funds Over Individual Stocks:
High-Liquidity Tickers: The strategy at Top Stock Picks involves trading ETF’s with extremely high volume. We’re talking about millions of shares being traded each and every day – plenty of volume to move in and out of positions without issue. With many other stock trading alert services, especially those focused on low-liquidity penny stocks, it’s not always that easy to enter and exit positions. This can be both frustrating and costly for traders. Fortunately with Top Stock Picks, you don’t have to worry about alerts driving up prices before you even get in, or after you get in – not being able to exit a position when you want to.
The Flexibility of ETF’s: One of the unique traits about ETF’s is that there are both bullish and bearish options to trading them without actually having to short them. Shorting entails borrowing shares on the market while simultaneously selling them at the current price. The hope is that the price actually goes down, at which point you can buy the shares back at a profit. Going short has its downfalls, however, including your broker’s availability of shares to borrow and theoretical limitless risk. Through bearish ETF’s (also known as inverse ETF’s), you can actually take short positions on a group of assets (stocks, bonds, commodities, etc.) by going long. Utilizing them in this manner, you don’t have to worry about finding shares to borrow with your broker or opening up your portfolio to unlimited risk. Ultimately, this makes it easy for Jeff and his members to act on ideas to both the upside and downside.
The Best Aspects of Top Stock Picks Thanks to Both Steve LeBlanc and Jeff Bishop:
The “Welcome” Emails: Right off the bat, Top Stock Picks proves to be extremely beginner-friendly. Within the first day of subscribing, welcome emails are sent with a paper trading recommendation. This provides you with an opportunity to practice trading risk-free with a fake money account. They also suggest a 90-day learning period for novices, which is something I 100% agree with, but is hardly ever followed. One of the biggest mistakes new traders make is jumping into the markets before they’re ready and taking unnecessary hits to their portfolios because of it – this effort from Top Stock Picks guards against that:
If you’re new to trading, please consider using paperMoney by ThinkorSwim while you learn. It’s totally free. This will allow you the opportunity to mirror my proven strategy while risking no money at all! I recommend a 90-day ‘learning period’ for all new members. Remember, my goal is for you to be as successful as possible, as soon as possible! And most of that ability will come with T.I.M.E. Trading a ‘paper account’ can buy you that time while you learn. ~ Steve LeBlanc
Emphasis on Trade Plans: Many traders underestimate the importance of a well-rounded trade plan, but Top Stock Picks tries their best to rewire your brain and put you in a position to be more disciplined. This approach helps novice traders have a clear exit strategy for every single trade they choose to enter. Some of the common phrases that come out of amateurs mouths are “If the stock price goes down, I’ll sell.” or “If it goes up, I’ll let it run.” – this isn’t a satisfactory trade plan. At a minimum, your trade plan should contain your entry price, the price you will sell at if the stock goes up, and the price you will sell at if the stock goes down. Writing down your plan is a relatively simple concept, but you’d be surprised how many traders fail to implement it into their strategy, and ultimately pay the price for being greedy and/or undisciplined.
The ETF Cheat Sheet: This cheat sheet is an educational guide created by Jeff Bishop to help beginners learn about some of the most popular ETF “pairs” being traded at Top Stock Picks. There’s typically an underlying ETF that Jeff Bishop is tracking and then there are two leveraged ETF’s that trade off of that – one to the upside (Bull) and one to the downside (Bear). This is exactly what I was talking about when I mentioned the flexibility of ETF’s in the previous section. For example, Jeff might be tracking the IBB (Biotech ETF), and then there are two ETF’s that trade off of that – LABU & LABD. If he thinks the IBB is going higher, he’ll take a position in LABU – the bullish one, and if he thinks the IBB is going lower, he’ll take a position in LABD – the bearish one. LABD is what’s known as an Inverse ETF, and as mentioned earlier, is a way of shorting without taking on the theoretical unlimited risk involved with shorting stocks.
The History of Top Stock Picks – Jeff Bishop Replaced Steve LeBlanc in June 2016:
Before Jeff Bishop took over duties of the newsletter, Steve LeBlanc was running the show at Top Stock Picks. With a background in education, Steve worked his tail off to provide outstanding learning materials for his members in the form of video lessons, live trade updates, special reports, webinars, watch lists, and real-time alerts. With a subscription to Top Stock Picks, you’ll find that all of Steve’s video lessons still exist within the archives for members to view at any time, so don’t be confused about who he is and why his name appears on various educational content throughout the site.
Steve LeBlanc left the lead trader position at Top Stock Picks in order to pursue a dream position within the non-profit industry. Since Jeff Bishop has been involved behind-the-scenes at TSP since day one, the transition from Steve to Jeff has been seamless. Their personalities are slightly different, of course, but their ability to pump out winning trades time and time again hasn’t changed a bit. Overall, the entire Top Stock Picks community is undoubtedly in good hands.
Jeff Bishop’s Ties to Jason Bond at Jason Bond Picks – Synergy Between the Two Services:
As a member of Jason Bond Picks since 2013, I’ve heard Jason refer to Jeff Bishop as his mentor on many occasions. Since they have such a close personal and working relationship, Jeff Bishop is quite involved within the Jason Bond Picks community as well. Jason Bond Picks can be broken down into three service offerings: Day & Swing Trading, Long Term Trading, and Millionaire Roadmap; Jeff Bishop contributes to the latter two.
Long Term Trading: Within the Top Stock Picks service, Jeff Bishop focuses on leveraged ETF’s, which come with higher volatility and as a result – faster profits. But what if these short-term day and swing trades (1-4 days) are too fast-paced for some individuals? This is where a service like Jason Bond’s Long Term Trading comes into play. We’re not talking long-term like six months or even years, but rather 1-8 weeks or so. The goal here is less volatile, easier to manage trades for busy professionals. So in addition to the weekly watch list Jason Bond already delivers to his clients, Jeff Bishop decided to supplement it with a weekly ETF watch list of his own. These reports contain detailed analysis, along with buy/sell targets for non-leveraged ETF’s.
Millionaire Roadmap: The Millionaire Roadmap is Jason Bond’s all-inclusive mentor service tailored toward the most committed traders. The service is completely transparent and focused on supreme education. One of Jason Bond’s finest educational creations has been what he calls the “Mastermind Initiative”. This initiative is comprised of various successful traders who lead webinars in order to share their own strategies, views on the market, trades, etc. He believes it’s important to hear and learn from other traders besides himself – everyone brings their own opinions and approaches to the table. Jeff Bishop is one of the masterminds who shares his techniques for Options Trading on a regular basis – a topic that isn’t covered much at JBP.
Conclusion: Does Top Stock Picks Offer the Best Swing Trading Education?
Overall, I really like the mentality that Top Stock Picks brings to the table when it comes to teaching beginners how to be successful on Wall Street: Education, Patience, and Discipline are essentials in Jeff Bishop’s mind. The focus isn’t 100% winners, it’s 10% winners. Consistent base hits instead of home runs. The bottom line is this: it’s easier to capture ten 10% winners than one 100% winner.
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But with that being said, there really isn’t much offered in the form of education. The Top Stock Picks video library is extremely small, so the entire service mainly consists of daily watch lists and alerts. In my personal opinion, this isn’t enough for most individuals to succeed long-term in the market. There are certainly instances where receiving watch lists can be great, but relying upon them, along with alerts, only undermines growth. The sad reality is that beginners are usually the ones subscribing to services like this, but they don’t have the right mental and market framework to be consistently successful.
For this reason, I tend to lean toward courses and programs that are formidable in the areas of education and skill-building.
Written by Matt Thomas