Scamify, a very brief summation

Scamify, a very brief summation:

I was taken in by this scam when a MF service got my attention just over a year ago by recommending it two months in a row. I bought my main position at about $27 (it was actually lower when they recommended it the first time but I didn’t get the best price).

Boy was I scammed, totally fooled, taken in by this money-losing monstrosity. It’s now at $94.40, which means that it’s only at 349.6% of where I bought it a year ago.

I wish I could find a few more scams like this. There was one, I remember, that was named after a large South American river. When I took my current position, early last year at $550, there were some very astute guys who pointed out that it was a scam back then. It never would make a profit, and its alleged cash flow was a fake and a scam. Let’s see: it’s at $958. I guess it wasn’t as good a scam as Scamify as it’s only at 174% of where I bought it.

Help me find some more great scams!



Boy do I envy the really smart guys who were astute enough to recognize Scamify as a scam a year ago, and kept their money safe.


Unfortunately, the same could’ve been said with DDD. I bought at $20 and rode it all the way up to $100. Sold some at 85 (pat on the back), but only some.

Then back down again to $10. :slight_smile: What a fun ride!

But we’re not ‘day-traders’. What we’re concerned with is the worth of the company. Does it generate value?

We’ve probably done this to death already but I’ll take one more crack at it.
The key is deferred revenue.
Monthly Recurring Revenue is at 18million, up from 11million the previous year. We already know gross profit margin has been in the 50s

Gross Profit Margin

                                  Total for year
2015 58.98% 56.57% 55.68% 51.99%	55.21%
2016 55.16% 54.85% 54.07% 52.22%	53.83%

The loss is from operating expenses.
Shopify have indicated the G&A may or may not decrease, but R&D and Sales & Marketing will decrease as a total % of revenue.
Over time, we expect sales and marketing expenses will decline as a percentage of total revenues
‘Over time’. So yes, it’s undefined.

Another key factor is their monthly billing retention rate (MBRR). It’s sort of similar to merchant retention rate. But some shops will fold and close naturally. So to paint a rosier and arguably clearer picture, the MBRR is the amount of ‘billings’ per customer shopify gives out. So even though some clients leave shopify, do the ones that stay increase their spending to offset these leavers? The answer is yes. The MBRR has been over 100% for the last two years.

As long as they keep aggressively growing the MRR and maintain a high MBRR, SHOPIFY’s growth is healthy! The path to profitability is clear. If MRR starts to slow, be concerned!

However, here’s what’s not clear. What is their TAM and are they overvalued? Is their massive growth already built in?
Is their SBC amounts harmful to investor value or an absolutely essential part of their strategy to completely own the market?

NB. I like how SHOPIFY’s subscriptions are mostly 1-month long. It’s easy to follow. They only have 20million of deferred revenue (liability) on their balance sheet. Compare this to Talend and their subscriptions being 1.5 years long. They’re trying to get that down to 1.25 this year. But they have 81 million of deferred revenue on their balance sheet and it’s rising. It’s harder to follow exactly when they can ‘realise’ this money. In the meantime, they have the cash but owe and pay for a service to their clients for a long time.


Unfortunately, the same could’ve been said with DDD

Ah, but DDD wasn’t built on recurring revenue. It sold hardware. It sold one machine, then it had to go out and find someone to sell another one to. Entirely different animal.


Entirely different animal.

You could have at least said: Entirely different scam-imal.



Bert Hochfeld sold SHOP on valuation concerns. I am now on the sideline as well.

Best of luck to all.


It’s classy posts like these that keep the folks coming back.

Currently running at only 16 ego boosts (let’s make this a BEST OF) - although you clearly don’t need them.


You forgot to use the condescending, sarcasm font.


Your point has some merit, however for someone to call the company “Scamify” in the first place, while clever, is sort of asking for it.


  1. a dishonest scheme; a fraud.

I don’t think Shopify is Enron.

But if the point is simply “let’s all be civil please” I certainly agree.



Where did you see that Bert Hochfield sold Shop on valuation concerns? The last article I can find is dated May 4, and he is still long SHOP.…




I am curious to know if CMGI (remember that high-flyer?)ever caught your attention or if your parameters told you to reject it? Folks made eye-popping gains on that one until they didn’t. Was there a huge warning sign on that one from the beginning or did one emerge over time.

I’ll understand if that goes back too far for accuracy’s sake. But if you do have any notes/memories of that stock I’d be all ears. You have an uncanny knack for avoiding the traps and finding the golden nuggets. Thanks for sharing all that you do.


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People also made enormous gains on AOL, as an example, and that popped, Enron, and that popped, the list goes on and on.

So what is your point?

Not every company with a history of great stock appreciation succeeds forever.

Polaroid, had a 17% compounded appreciation for a period of 2 decades or more. Where is Polaroid now? Yes…

Does not mean it was a bad investment at the time.

What it means is that you need to have your why you want to sell something reasons. No one is perfect, and no system is perfect. But there are good reasons to sell.

As for example for Polaroid or AOL, new disruptive technologies that are not just “visionary” but actually existing in the marketplace and growing. With AOL it was the switch from dial-up to broadband (and yes, this was mentioned as a real and serious risk in real time).

With Polaroid (and heck you can toss Kodak in there, a great company for so many years), digital photography and camera phone. Was not too difficult to see this issue as well.

As for CMGI, it rode the Internet bubble up, and rode it down. The time to sell would be when the bubble busted, unless you thought it had within it long-term winners once the dust settled. CMGI owned shares in too many different internet companies to generalize, other than into the internet in general. Would have been your own discretionary call on CMGI, and perhaps you would have got it right, or perhaps you would have got it wrong. Again, nothing is perfect.

Myself, I never owned CMGI. Others made a fortune on it. Others made and lost a fortune on it.


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my post on CMGI, just to be clear, is more a question of wondering if it ever had merit. I made a few bucks guessing on it, but I took nearly all of my immediate winnings off the table (in a tax-deferred account) and let a minuscule amount ride down to nothing. I knew it as a highly-speculative stock, but there were those who swore it was a sure thing.

I’m curious to see if it might’ve been for a time a Saul stock. Of course, we didn’t know Saul back then. It’s all about trying to learn more about how Saul deciphers the information. I thought a trip into the WAYBACK machine might teach us (OK, me) something.



(I have NO axe to grind. Just like to learn.)

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“I am curious to know if CMGI (remember that high-flyer?)ever caught your attention or if your parameters told you to reject it?”

High flyer was right. I remember being in it when it dropped $75 in less than 30 minutes. I also remember trading it when it climbed $115 in day.

Those were interesting times.



In my opinion CMGI was not a “Saul” stock as it had very little real business other than being a public company in the business of venture capital and making money when their portfolios of companies either went public or were otherwise sold.

AOL, Yahoo, Amazon…you will need to ask Saul if those would have made it as “Saul” stocks. I would wager Yahoo would have, as Yahoo had an incredibly profitable and growing business, with large CAP and TAM.

Yahoo! just went the wrong way with their business. They went after content, while Google went after search. Strategic mistake. But such happens as emerging technologies develop.



Yahoo! just went the wrong way with their business. They went after content, while Google went after search. Strategic mistake. But such happens as emerging technologies develop.

To me, Yahoo! is a classic “what if” company. They had legit chances to acquire both Google and Facebook over the years.



And, as Tinker said, made bad strategic decisions along the way.

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I am curious to know if CMGI (remember that high-flyer?)ever caught your attention

Sorry, it doesn’t ring any bells.

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After reading Mahar’s Bull: A History of the Boom and Bust, 1982-2004, if I had known back in the 90’s about the accounting shenanigans of major companies like AOL and Cisco, I would have avoided buying them, despite their tremendous growth in share price. As it was, I felt like I had missed the train, and that it was too late to buy all those high-flyers. I especially mistrusted momentum buying as being too risky.

Shopify is a different thing, assuming their accounting is reliable, though at the current price, maybe I should take some money off the table, and buy back on an eventual dip. There’s also the risk, of course, that the dip will end up being at some price over $100.

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