Conservative pundit Dick Morris, who wrote 2005's Condi vs. Hillary: The Next Great Presidential Race and predicted Mitt Romney would win the 2012 election in a "landslide," now wants you to trust him with your retirement savings.
According to a July 30 press release, Morris is working with Retirement Media Inc. "to educate seasoned investors on how to protect their savings with safe alternatives outside of the stock market." Morris is headlining several events in the next few months where attendees will "hear market predictions from him." The event's website includes a video featuring "A Special Message from Dick Morris" in which Morris warns of people preying on "suckers."
Why anyone would voluntarily listen to "predictions" from Morris is unclear. Morris has a history of comically wrong political forecasting, incorrectly gave credence to warnings of a 2013 stock market crash, and has sent numerous pitches through his email newsletter promoting penny stocks which subsequently tanked and are now virtually worthless.
The former Fox News pundit -- whose tenure was marked by a pattern of ethical misdeeds -- became a national laughingstock after the 2012 election for his enthusiastic prediction that Mitt Romney would win in a "landslide." Other failed Morris predictions included his statements that "it's very possible" Obama would drop out of the race, that Donald Trump was "going to run" for president and "he could beat Obama," that Herman Cain would "overcome" sexual misconduct allegations, and Republicans would "win 10 seats in the Senate" in 2012.
Fox News finally let Morris go in February 2013. He was eventually hired by Philadelphia radio station WPHT for an afternoon program despite having "no ties to Philadelphia save for a few long-ago political consultancy gigs." Morris still makes regular appearances on Fox News -- he has appeared on Hannity eight times this year, according to a Nexis search.
Morris' previous warning of a stock market crash proved wildly wrong. On August 7, 2013, he posted a piece headlined, "Prediction Of A Crash In Next Two Weeks." Morris wrote that Jim Fitzgibbon "predicts a massive drop in the stock market and the economy this month that will continue, with brief spurts upward, until the end of the year and beyond. His track record in predictions is extraordinary." Morris concluded: "This is not a paid ad. It is my heartfelt wish that you hear what he has to say and take it seriously." The stock market did not crash -- in 2013, the Dow Jones and S&P 500 posted their biggest percentage gains since 1995 and 1997, respectively.
An easy way to lose money is to listen to stock advice sent through Morris' email list. Morris has regularly sent sponsored emails for penny stocks -- risky micro-cap stocks that often lack transparency and a long track record -- from dubious compensated stock pitchers who promise to "potentially double or triple your money" and turn "$2,000" into "$132,000." Many of the stocks promoted through DickMorris.com have become virtually worthless. Here are just five examples since 2013 (current stock prices as of posting):
- Morris sent an April 9 sponsored email from Champlain Media that touted American Heritage International (AHII) and advised readers to "buy now while the stock is still selling in the $1-2 range" so you could "potentially double or triple your money." The stock is now trading at $0.20.
- Morris sent a January 6 sponsored email from The Myers Letter that touted Centor Energy (CNTO), claiming that "CNTO is set to jump from $1 to $8. And that's my short-term outlook. Longer term could see the stock climb to $25 and from there onwards to $100." The stock is now trading at $0.04.
- Morris sent a November 27, 2013, sponsored email from Tobin Smith (who was fired from Fox News for ethics reasons), who claimed North American Oil & Gas (NAMG) is expected "to quickly soar off today's $1.00 share price to $30 or more." The stock is now trading at $0.08.
- Morris sent a September 17, 2013, sponsored email from The Bottom Line Financial and Futures Newsletter, which implored people to "buy shares of Indo Global Exchange (IGEX) now while you can still get them around 75-cents" because it looks "like the next E-Trade." The stock is now trading at $0.007.
- Morris sent a June 3, 2013, sponsored email from James Rapholz's Economic Advice, which touted "investing $2,000 in National Graphite Corp (NGRC) and walking away with $132,000." The email set a "12-Month Target" of $13.20." The stock is now trading at $0.018.
As Media Matters documented, Morris was previously paid to promote financial products for the conservative website Newsmax. Morris pitched the products by pushing anti-Obama rhetoric and fears about the economy.
UPDATE (7/31): Following posting, Retirement Media Inc. spokesman Robert Senoir responded to a request for comment from Media Matters with the following:
To answer your question, Dick Morris was not compensated for his appearance at the Crash Proof Retirement educational event. Retirement Media Inc. has had many notable guests not only at our live events, but on our weekly radio program "The Crash Proof Retirement Show®". None of these guests have ever been compensated by any means or in any manner whatsoever. We appreciate your concern and invite you to tune into this weekend's program on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT Saturday morning at 11.