Is Empire Financial Research Legit? [Unbiased Reviews]

Looking for Empire Financial Research reviews?

Launched in 2019, the fledgling publisher started by Whitney Tilson is meant to provide you with contrarian investment opportunities that have been overlooked by Wall Street investors.

I decided to take a closer look at it to see how it is performing and determine whether it is fulfilling its objective. I put together this review to share my findings.

Keep reading below to get all the info.

Before I start…

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Is Empire Financial Research Legit? [Unbiased Reviews] 9

Empire Financial Research Review

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Introduction to Empire Financial Research

Empire Financial Research was launched in 2019 by Whitney Tilson, a former hedge fund manager turned financial commentator.

He started it to give investors advice, commentary, research, and analysis to enable them to become better stock market investors. One of his presentations I recently wrote about is TaaS.

Empire Financial Research is also the sister company to InvestorPlace.

Empire Financial Research review

Tilson and The Empire Stock Investor team of analysts look for investment opportunities that stock market analysts overlook.

In that sense, they are contrarians who aren’t afraid to make bold calls involving investments that have a high upside. I can liken it to The Oxford Club.

What is a Contrarian investor?

In keeping with their contrarian approach, rather than encourage their readers to buy and hold (although they still offer buy-and-hold advice), they deal with less conventional strategies like value investing and short-selling.

They also major in macroeconomic analysis to identify trends that other investors haven’t picked up on.

For the short time that they have been around, Whitney claims that they have already made a positive impression in the newsletter industry, so much so that they count some famous names on Wall Street among their subscribers.

Famous Subscribers

This includes people like Leon Cooperman, Bill Ackman, Joel Greenblatt, just to name a few who subscribe to the likes of Empire Stock Investor and others.

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Who is behind Empire Financial Research?

Whitney Tilson

Whitney Tilson’s the founder of the company. He is also the CEO. He is the leading editor of the flagship newsletter, Empire Stock Investor. He also runs the Empire Investment Report which is published on the third Wednesday of every month.

Empire Stock Investor is currently the most popular newsletter that is offered by the publisher.

whitney tilson

He graduated from Harvard College with a degree in Government then got his MBA from Harvard Business School and was named a Baker Scholar.

In between his undergrad and graduate studies, he spent two years consulting for Boston Consulting Group.

He founded and ran Kase Capital Management until winding it down in 2017 to focus on his investment research service and sharing investment ideas including his stock recommendations.

Whitney Tilson’s Books:

  • The Art of Value Investing: How the World’s Best Investors Beat the Market
  • More Mortgage Meltdown: 6 Ways to Profit in These Bad Times

He also contributed to the writing of Charlie Munger’s Poor Charlie’s Almanack. Charlie is the vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway.

He has written op-eds for The Motley Fool, Forbes, Kiplinger’s, TheStreet.com, and The Financial Times and has been featured on The Washington Post and Wall Street Journal.

He has made appearances as a commentator on Fox Business Network, CNBC, and Bloomberg TV and spoken at numerous top business schools.

Tilson has a good track record, having predicted the dot com crash in the 90s and has been very vocal about Elon Musk and Tesla advising against shorting the stock. He even recently pitched an investment opportunity known as TaaS.

He edits numerous newsletters and sends out Whitney Tilson’s daily newsletter email sharing his investment recommendations and insights on companies and all things to do with the stock market.

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Enrique Abeyta

Enrique Abeyta graduated from Wharton School of Business cum laude. He was a founding member of the Wharton Fellows Fund, an investment fund for students. He was also the head researcher of the Pennsylvania Investment Alliance, an investment club run by students.

Enrique Abeyta

After graduating, he worked on Wall Street for more than 20 years. While there, he was a hedge fund manager. He co-founded Stadia Capital, which grew its assets under management (AUM) to more than $1.7 billion and founded 360 Global Capital that grew its AUM (assets) to $260 million.

He is best known for outperforming the S&P 500 index for a decade straight, generating positive returns for his clients even during the two bear markets in 2000 and 2008.

He co-founded Project M Group in 2017. It is a digital media company that runs and acquires other digital media properties like Revolver Magazine.

He joined Empire Financial Research in 2019. He edits Empire Elite Trader.

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Berna Barshay

Berna Barshay contributes to the free Empire Financial Daily e-letter as well as Empire Stock Investor and Empire Investment Report, two premium newsletters.

She is the editor of Empire Market Insider, which she and Whitney promoted at The Wealth Accelerator event.

Is Empire Financial Research Legit? [Unbiased Reviews] 10Berna Barshay graduated from Princeton University and got her MBA from Harvard Business School. After graduating, she worked for 20 years for various Wall Street firms.

First, she worked in equity derivatives at Goldman Sachs before moving on to work as a buy-side equity analyst at Sanford Bernstein. At Sanford Bernstein, she dealt with global consumer cyclicals and conglomerates.

Barshay worked for five years as a portfolio manager of the Ingleside Select Fund, a long/short fund specializing in value and event-driven stocks and then later became a portfolio manager at Swiss Re, where she managed the Consumer long/short book on the equity proprietary trading desk.

She has been as a buy-side analyst at several long/short hedge funds – including Buckingham Capital, Metropolitan Capital, Sky Zone Capital, and LaGrange Capital – where she focused on consumer and technology, media, and Internet stocks in the U.S. and Europe.

In addition to her work on the financial front, she is a pop culture addict, prolific social media user, obsessive indoor cycler, and fashion enthusiast.

Herb Greenberg

Herb Greenberg is on the editorial team at Empire Financial Research.

Before he joined the firm, he was the co-founder of Pacific Square Research and Greenberg Meritz Research & Analytics. They are independent, short-biased investment research firms.

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Greenberg was a financial journalist for more than 40 years and worked for some of the country’s most popular newspapers, websites, and media companies. His work covered almost every industry.

When he was working for CNBC, he was a senior stocks commentator. Herb also worked as a financial correspondent at the Chicago Tribune.

He worked as a daily business columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle for 10 years. At the same time, he was a monthly columnist for a Fortune segment called Against the Grain. He also worked as a morning business reporter for San Francisco’s KRON-TV.

Herbe Greenberg was one of the first mainstream journalists to embrace the shift from traditional media to internet-based media when the internet emerged.

He worked as a senior columnist at TheStreet before later taking on the same role at MarketWatch. He also penned a weekend investor column for the Wall Street Journal.

Before he got a job at a mainstream media outlet, he was a reporter at Crain’s Chicago Business and a business reporter for a publication called St. Paul Pioneer Press. He also worked as an analyst at a risk arbitrage firm.

Greenberg has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Miami. He also completed the Herbert J. Davenport Fellowship at the University of Missouri.

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Gabe Marshank

Gabe Marshank is a senior editor at Empire Financial Research. He is a graduate of Yale University with a degree in political science.

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Immediately he graduated, Gabe started working at Leon Cooperman’s Omega Advisors. His job was to research deep value investments.

He moved on to Pequot Capital, where he specialized in global technology, media, and telecom investments. Marshank also worked for several years as a generalist at Steve Cohen’s S.A.C. Capital and David Einhorn’s Greenlight Capital.

He has been a professional investor for more than two decades. During that period, he has covered almost every industry.

Gabe Marshank is adept at going long and short, and he has managed billions of dollars in capital and earned more than $1 billion of profits for his firms’ clients.

In 2019, he left the hedge fund industry to focus on his investments. He believes that the time he spends away from the screens gives him an even better perspective and he has become a better investor for it.

Alex Griese

Alex Griese, CFA, is an analyst at Empire Financial Research. He also contributes to some of the newsletters.

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He graduated from Carleton College in 2017 where he double majored in computer science and economics.

Before he started working at Empire Financial Research, he was at Ulland Investment Advisors in Minneapolis, where he focused on technology and financial stocks.

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Products offered via Empire Financial Research

Here are the advisory services the firm offers:

Empire Stock Investor

Empire Stock Investor is the flagship newsletter offered by Empire Financial Research.

The Empire Stock Investor newsletter is run by Whitney Tilson, Berna Barshay, and Enrique Abeyta.

Is Empire Financial Research Legit? [Unbiased Reviews] 14They bring more than 50 years’ experience to the table to recommend the best stocks that their readers can own to safely grow their wealth.

Empire Stock Investor focuses on large, stable companies although they occasionally dabble in growth stocks with massive upside potential.

Whilst I won’t share all the details on them here since I already put a full review together let me quote my own Empire Stock Investor review below to share more info,

These investment openings are usually stable US-listed companies. A vast majority of Empire Stock Investor recommendations are large-cap stocks. However, Whitney Tilson and Enrique Abeyta acknowledge that their recommendations vary based on the market.

My review then goes on to talk about how they like growth stocks also;

Sometimes, they may suggest you invest in a value stock. Other times, you may get notifications to invest your money in growth stocks for a multi-bagger potential return.

Empire Elite Growth

Empire Elite Growth is offered by Enrique Abeyta. It is focused on long-term investments and uses a buy and hold strategy that targets stocks within the small- to mid-cap range.

Every month, Enrique reveals his top investment recommendation. The model portfolio has 10 to 15 stocks on average. They are stocks that are likely to deliver higher-than-average returns.

Empire Elite Trader

Empire Elite Trader is also edited by Enrique Abeyta. Unlike Empire Elite Growth that focuses on long-term stocks, this one deals with short-term investments that tend to be within the mid-cap to the large-cap range.

Is Empire Financial Research Legit? [Unbiased Reviews] 15Since Enrique encourages his readers to hold positions for a short period, a few days to a few months, he issues weekly updates.

The model portfolio usually has no more than 20 stocks. He focuses on quick gains that are not necessarily large because of the fast-paced nature of the service.

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Empire Investment Report

The Empire Investment Report is headed up by Whitney Tilson with the help of Berna Barshay (who serves as the senior analyst).

The goal of this newsletter is to beat the broader market while mitigating risks.

The model portfolio consists of stocks in the small- to mid-cap range, some of which you may have never heard of before. Updates are issued monthly and positions are held for two to three years.

Empire SPAC Investor

In 2020, special purpose acquisition companies (“SPACs”) really took off and for a while, they were all people talked about (they have fallen off a bit since).

This prompted Enrique Abeyta to launch this newsletter to enable investors to capitalize on this massive trend.

Every month, Abeyta reaches out to his friends on Wall Street to learn about the highest-upside SPAC opportunities his readers can sink their teeth in.

Three months after launching Empire SPAC Investor, he realized gains of 115% on his first recommendation of Skillz (SKLZ), a mobile gaming company that went public via a SPAC.

Empire Elite Options

Enrique Abeyta’s Empire Elite Options is a short-term options-trading service.

Enrique focuses on small- to large-cap U.S.-listed stocks. He developed his options strategy during his career on Wall Street where he outperformed the S&P 500 Index over the long term on a net and risk-adjusted basis.

He sends subscribers his favorite trading idea twice a month, along with commentary on the market. He also sends out occasional urgent “buy alerts” to readers when he finds a trade that can’t wait.

The trades typically play out over a few weeks to a few months, focusing on quick gains. His model portfolio usually has no more than 15 open positions at a time.

Empire Market Insider

Empire Market Insider is a monthly newsletter headed up by Berna Barshay and her team.

Every month, Berna reveals her newest stock idea. She draws on her 20-plus years of experience as a portfolio manager and stock analyst during which she has has worked for various companies with unique sets of demands.

In addition to providing new investment ideas each month, she will keep you posted on important developments at the companies she has recommended.

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Is Empire Financial Research Legit?

The short answer is yes.

It is still a relatively new company that was founded in 2019; however, it is run by money managers and experienced traders with decades of combined experience in the world of finance and investments.

Whitney Tilson, for instance, started a hedge fund from his bedroom and helped it morph into a large entity that had AUM (assets under management) worth $200 million during its peak.

Enrique Abeyta has spent more than 20 years starting and running hedge funds.

Whitney has even been featured on renowned publications like The Washington Post and Wall Street Journal.

WSJ logo

So yes it is safe to say Tilson and his team know what they are talking about. Whether you opt for the Empire Stock Investor, one of the other newsletters or even just the free information they share you can rest assured you are getting valuable knowledge.

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Pros

  • It is run by experienced analysts with years of money management and research services under their belts.
  • With each of the newsletters taking a different approach, the content provides you with the kind of diversity that you need to maintain a diversified portfolio.
  • With different-flavored ideas, their newsletters have something for everyone. For instance, there are both short-term and long-term investment strategies for wealth creation.
  • Most of their recommendations are what a majority of Wall Street investors overlook. Most of those investments have high upside potential as they are about up and coming technologies that can have an impact on the world or solve a major issue.
  • Reviews are generally positive

Cons

  • Since Whitney and other team members focus on contrarian investments with a high upside, the risks are also higher with these recommendations. Some technologies are still in their infancy so whilst they could have a big impact on the world the companies still carry higher risks.

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Empire Financial Research Verdict

It is important to note that the services offered in the name of Empire Financial Research are run by experienced traders and former hedge fund managers with impressive track records in the market.

For example, Enrique outperformed the S&P 500 benchmark for ten years straight generating alpha even during periods of economic turmoil i.e. the 2008 Financial Crisis and the Dot Com Bubble.

That’s reassuring if you are to get a membership to its services because you get the impression that you are listening to people who know what they are saying having a history of doing very well in the markets themselves.

That being said, you should always remember that Empire Financial Research experts do not offer personalized advice because they are not authorized to do so, plus they are a business that exists to make money from selling newsletters, let’s not forget that.

They are technically not advisors or brokers and can, therefore, not help you with questions about certain stocks.

They function like journalists in that they discuss investment opportunities to alert you about them rather than indicate that those are the investments you should add to your portfolio.

That being said the track record of their services is good. Tilson has correctly predicted many moves in the market and reviews of services like the Empire Stock Investor are mostly positive.

This is a sign that membership could be worth the investment.

Before you leave

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Is Empire Financial Research Legit? [Unbiased Reviews] 9