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The Lenny Dykstra saga captivated many of us at Fool HQ last week. Most of us first knew him as the gritty Mets/Phillies baseballer from the 80s and 90s. After he retired, though, he embarked on a career as a stock picker. A year ago, many of us were dubious after watching a segment on HBO’s Real Sports that touted his stock-picking prowess; among the highlights were an endorsement by TheStreet.com’s (Nasdaq: TSCM ) Jim Cramer (see our thoughts on him here, here, and here) and Lenny’s bragging about hating to read.
Our misgivings were solidified last week when Disney’s (NYSE: DIS ) ESPN ran a highly negative expose on Dykstra. We can’t do it justice ... you can read it here. (We’ll continue after you reattach your jaw).
At the time, Dykstra was the advisor for one of TheStreet.com’s stock-picking newsletters, specializing in options. There’s always a risk when companies associate themselves with athletes (or any celebrities). For the sports-related companies like Nike (NYSE: NKE ) , ESPN, or Pepsi’s (NYSE: PEP ) Gatorade, such risk is a virtually unavoidable cost of doing business. But that logic fades as you get further away from the sports arena. Michael Phelps’ sponsors faced this realization after his notorious party photo emerged. In weighing upside vs. brand risk, it was a split decision; some of his sponsors, including Visa (NYSE: V ) and Speedo, stayed with him, while some, like Kellogg (NYSE: K ) and AT&T (NYSE: T ) , eased away.
Apparently, TheSteet.com also decided the juice wasn’t worth the squeeze; a few days after the ESPN story hit, we noticed that Lenny Dykstra was replaced by another former athlete, ex-Chicago Bears linebacker Jon Najarian.
Is being a former athlete a prerequisite for this service? That’s exactly what Fool Jesse Keyser wondered aloud at Fool HQ. He then threw down the challenge: What other athlete-led newsletter possibilities are out there? He documented our collective efforts here (at least the ones that were suitable to print). We’ve since added to the list for your enjoyment:
- Mike Tyson Takes a Bite out of the Market
- Ron Mexico’s International Stock Fund
- Anna Kournikova’s “I Can’t Pick Stocks Either” Stock Tracker
- Danica Patrick's Overrated Stock Shorting Service
- Bo Jackson: Bo Knows Options
- The Al Davis Buggy Whip Speculator
- Tonya Harding’s Swing for the Kneecaps (I Mean, Fences) Options Trading
- Buster Douglas’ “Save Your Money” Advisory Service
- Evander Holyfield’s “For the Children” Fund
- Michael Vick’s Dogs of the Dow
- Hank Aaron and Lenny Dykstra’s “Hammer and Nails” Construction and Stock Picks
- George Foreman Grills Wall Street
- The Brett Favre Day-Trading Letter and the Brett Favre High Turnover Fund
- Bonds & McGwire’s Enhanced Portfolio Service
- Michael Phelps' Biggest Hits
- Pete Rose’s Insider Trading
- Brian Bosworth: Bull Markets and Buzzcuts
- Dennis Rodman’s Freaky Investing
- Dead Wrong Stock Picks -- an investing service where Ray Lewis picks stocks ... after they tank, Ray denies the picks and blames his broker.
- We Must Protect This House -- an anti-foreclosure service also started by Ray Lewis.
- Darryl Strawberry Sniffs Out Winners
- Plaxico Burress' Firearms and Clubs Stock-Picking Service. His team will help pick the worst stocks to help you shoot yourself in the foot with the picks you made.
- Bobby Knight's Collar Trades: Choking the Market Since 1993
- Muggsy Bogues' "Making the Most of Going Short" Newsletter
- The Helio Castroneves Tax Guide
- John Madden's Obvious Stock Picks -- "What you want to do is buy stocks before they go up, and then sell them before they go down."
- Fridge’s Midnight Snack Attack -- run by William “The Refrigerator” Perry. Became famous for a record-breaking one-month return prior to the 1987 stock crash. Two decades later, analysts realized that the return was greatly exaggerated but chose to ignore reality, stating, “we’re not here to start no trouble.”
- The Michael Jordan Vice Fund (alcohol, tobacco, gambling stocks)
- The Charles Barkley Vice Fund (same as Jordan fund, but also includes pork producers)
- Jim Sorgi’s Ultra-Long-Term, Low-Activity Fund
- O.J. Simpson’s “If I Bought It” -- Explains how he would have lost a fortune once the 90s tech bubble burst ... but he didn’t do it.
- Bernie Kosar Browns Fund – does well each year but is slightly outperformed by the Elway Fund.
- The Phil Jackson Fund -- he finds the world’s most talented fund manager and invests all his fund’s money with him. He then receives all the credit. It’s more of a triangle scheme than a pyramid scheme.
- The Wilt the Stilt Fund -- Claims to be invested in over 20,000 stocks on major U.S. exchanges, even though there are fewer than 10,000 available.
- Pacman Jones Make It Rainy Day Fund
- Steinbrenner’s Value Stock -- Recommends only the highest-market-cap stocks, regardless of performance
- Sumo Fund -- Caution: overweighted in Japanese securities.
- Cal Ripken’s Iron Man -- Picks one stock every trading day. Sometimes they’re good, sometimes they’re bad, but there’s always a pick.
- Absolute Returns -- Phenomenal one-year performance. Loses to market averages in every 3-, 5-, and 10-year period. Run by Devin Hester. Formerly run by Dante Hall.
- Clubber Lang Tomato Cans -- Uses investor cash to buy gold jewelery (chains, rings, earrings). Melts down gold. Makes bigger chains, rings, and earrings.
It’s your turn now! Have at it in the comments section below or check out some more Foolish fun here.