1. Do They Provide Research And Reasons For Their Picks?
Assuming they have a daily/weekly newsletter, does it provide good reasons for buying xyz stock? or is just a ticker symbol and they just say say buy it? If they are providing reasons for buying are they understandable so that can you learn from them? If you are not able to learn how they are coming up with their stock picks, then you will never be able to trade on your own.
However if you don’t have any desire or the time to put in to try and go it alone and if they are making you money then maybe thats OK with you. If the stock picking service you are using isn’t teaching you how to trade and that is your end goal, then you should find yourself a new service.
2. The service is run by a honest, real trader who actually buys the stocks he is recommending?
While it may be difficult to find out they are actually buying the stocks that they are touting you can usually tell if they are by their comments in their newsletters. Do the comments seem genuine? Do they make sense? After a while you will be able to tell.
3. Can You Communicate With Them?
If you have a question, is there a way to get it answered in a timely fashion? This is a great way to judge the honesty of a service, if the only way to communicate is through email then thats a possible red flag. Its easy to fool someone with an email but not so easy by phone or instant message.
Is there a chat room where they come in and make comments and real time updates? A chat room is a very valuable addition to a service. Often you can learn as much or more from from the other traders in the chat room. You can ask all sorts of questions, bounce ideas and strategies off the other members.
With hundreds of other people looking at the thousands of possible stocks to buy, no one can look at them all and you can get some great picks from the chat room members.
4. Do They Have Long Term Subscribers?
This is the single best way to tell how good a service is. If they have long term subscribers then they are doing something right. Probably the only way you are going to be able to tell is if they have a chat room or some other way to communicate with other subscribers.
When your in the chat room ask around how long they have been with the service and if they are happy with it. If the other members are happy with the service and recommend it, then you have most likely found one of the few reputable services that are out there.