Tip sheet

A tip sheet is a newsletter that offers investors advice on stocks. Tip sheets tend to be looked down on by sophisticated investors.

In the UK, tip sheets are regulated by the FCA. This means that there are rules in place to control malpractice. It is not, in itself, any reason to regard tip sheets are useful.

Investment research published by stockbrokers and investment banks tends to be more balanced and have greater substance, although, as a general rule, no investment research should be taken as perfect.

Investors should read research from more than one source and preferably do research for themselves as well.

It is probably wise to be very sceptical about tip sheets. They do not have the resources or the depth of talent that the major brokers and fund managers have, and yet many of them produce marketing material that implies that following their tips will lead to huge market out-performance.

It is usually best to be very sceptical about any investor's or tipper's ability to reliably produce positive alpha.

To make things worse, it is much harder to assess the historical performance of a tip sheet than, for example, that of a collective investment vehicle.