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A BBB Accredited Business since
BBB has determined that Capitol Information Group Inc meets BBB accreditation standards, which include a commitment to make a good faith effort to resolve any consumer complaints. BBB Accredited Businesses pay a fee for accreditation review/monitoring and for support of BBB services to the public.
BBB accreditation does not mean that the business' products or services have been evaluated or endorsed by BBB, or that BBB has made a determination as to the business' product quality or competency in performing services.
Reason for Rating
BBB rating is based on 16 factors. Get the details about the factors considered.
Factors that raised the rating for Capitol Information Group Inc include:
- Length of time business has been operating.
- Complaint volume filed with BBB for business of this size.
- Response to 3 complaint(s) filed against business.
- Resolution of complaint(s) filed against business.
- BBB has sufficient background information on this business.
Customer Complaints Summary Read complaint details
|Complaint Type||Total Closed Complaints|
|Problems with Product/Service||3|
|Total Closed Complaints||3|
Type of Entity
Business ManagementMr. Phill Ash, President Ms. Alane Dashner, Director of Circulation Ms. Barbara Griggs, Customer Service Manager Mr. Richard Matulis, Finance Director
Publishers - Periodical Advertising - Direct Mail Magazine Sales by Mail
Alternate Business NamesBusiness Management Daily Investing Daily Personal Finance
On June 26, 2009, CIG acquired the publishing assets of Newsletter Holdings and its subsidiaries, KCI Communications and National Institute of Business Management. Included in the transaction are all print newsletters, web sites, special reports and event assets.
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Additional Phone Numbers
- (703) 394-4921(Phone)
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- (703) 610-0101(Phone)
- (703) 739-3798(Phone)
- (703) 905-4657(Phone)
- (703) 905-4931(Phone)
- (800) 543-2053(Phone)
- (800) 832-2330(Phone)
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|Positive Review||5 points per review|
|Neutral Review||3 points per review|
|Negative Review||1 point per review|
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|1/4/2014||Problems with Product/Service|
Problems with Product/Service
Read Complaint Details
Complaint: The Energy Strategist is a Newsletter which is part of Investing Daily -- and which in turn is part of the Capital Information Group. I paid approximately $400 per year for this Newsletter. The letter has come under new leadership recently. I am seeing and can show unequivocally that they are distorting the performance of their stock recommendations and performance -- in particular showing gains on their tracking sheets for recent stock recommendations which are inaccurate and which give potential customers the view that their performance is significantly better than it really is. This is a misrepresentation. I wrote to them on September 2nd flagging these issues in writing. My e-mail letter to them is provided below. Please note that I have raised the issues previously and when each inaccuracy occurred (as well) and in prior emails, and have received no response from the company. The email which I sent them on September 2nd (again have sent emails previously) is provided below. I would be grateful for the BBB's help in getting this Newsletter to provide accurate reporting. That is in the interest of all customers. I anticipate that the Newsletter may try to "spin" this matter. From my standpoint, am happy to clarify any points. Also, I do not have a specific agenda -- aside from just wanting fair and accurate reporting of stock price recommendations. Excerpt below: Hi...I have been a subscriber to the Energy Strategist for over a year now and wanted to write regarding the accounting of several recent stock picks in the Newsletter. Overall -- an investor needs to feel comfortable that their stock analysts have high integrity and provide objective advice. Otherwise, the willingness to risk significant capital in recommended investments becomes questionable. As I have reviewed a number of recent stock picks, have noticed the following: A. Alliance Holdings -- recommended recently within the Energy Strategist. However, the stock is officially recorded on your growth portfolio spreadsheet as added on 12/02/2010 (rather than 2013) with a total return to date of 46.56%! For Energy Strategist subscribers -- that is not accurate. *. ******** (*** and ***) -- recommended recently as buys in your Newsletter for the Growth Portfolio. However, only TSO made it ultimately to the portfolio tracking sheet. Return to date not recorded though (it has lost money since being recommended. That is not a problem in the short-term by the way; why don't you simply track the actual performance?). ** *** -- jumped above the recommended price of 75 the morning after recommendation -- so most investors never got in. Currently showing a 25.09% return which is not right anyway. I think that this might be labelled as "fudging" or cooking the numbers and skewing the actual returns. At this point -- I have been reading the monthly issues but have scaled back my positions overall and have stopped buying the picks for now like ***** *****. While not all readers will understand the implications of not accounting for recommendations accurately and honestly -- ultimately subscribers will be lost and the credibility of the Newsletter will start to erode -- if not through formal feedback (i.e., some people will never write in and share there views) than through informal discussions. While you might be taken aback by my flagging these issues, I think that the reality is that you may wish to consider the integrity of the newsletter you are writing and what you are really doing on a day-to-day basis. As noted above, investors do depend on accurate and honest analysis. What is the point of being in this business otherwise? Ultimately, it is hard to make money doing otherwise. You might gain subscribers through games in the short-term; ultimately more will be lost than through accurate reporting. In contrast by the way, I do buy other more expensive newsletters like the **** Stock Analyst and the ****** Stock Analyst. They provide a valuation of each stock (rather than a buy-under) and they list their performance accurately against these holding each year -- and have an independent audit done. That is -- there is no gaming or dishonest tracking. Right now -- I am deciding whether your analysis overall is worth retaining the newsletter for reading purposes. Regardless, my suggestion is that you should show a higher standard of leadership and integrity in reporting. My sense -- is you would probably gain more subscribers in the end and have a better sense of personal value. As you can appreciate, it is very disappointing to honest Joes who are simply looking for a reputable, well researched energy newsletter - to observe this gaming of the numbers. And at a certain level -- you are ultimately disappointing yourselves and what you stand for - through engaging in these types of practices. At this point, there is still an opportunity to clean up this reporting and report the stock picks accurately. My hope is that you will do the right thing -- for you and for the newsletter firstly -- and properly report the numbers. Note: Sent 9/2/2013 at 9:30 pm….
Desired Settlement: The Newsletter needs to accurately report information on the performance of their stock price recommendations. The performance from the date recommended by the Newsletter, the real returns, and the gains or losses.
Dear ***** ******,
[To assist us in bringing this matter to a close, you must give us a reason why you are rejecting the response. If no reason is received your complaint will be closed Administratively Resolved]
November 14, 2013
Better Business Bureau:
I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID *******. Overall, the response is satisfactory to me (with selected caveats below).
Where we agree with the response of the Capital Information Group is that they are instituting new procedures to address errors in stock reporting moving forward. We are pleased by these actions and believe that it is in the best interest of all their subscribers.
That being said, there are several areas where there appears to be inaccuracies or misstatements in their response.
The Capital Information Group indicates that:
A. I subscribed to 16 services that they offer. What is true is that I examined many of their services for short 30 day, free trial periods, before formally subscribing the ones that were of interest. I primarily have subscribed to two: Canadian Edge and the Energy Strategist (for extended periods of time). I ultimately dropped Canadian Edge because there was a stocks recommended that dropped to about zero and where upon further research I found that the company was showing ballooning accounts receivable positions (that were not being paid by their customers). This problem in the recommended stock (i.e., a ballooning accounts receivable position) was one that I felt that a good equity analyst would have been able to spot in advance of the disastrous earnings reports that the company ultimately declared, causing the stock to plunge. I later found that other researchers (independent of the Capital Information Group) were separately warning about the risks in that stock.
B. The company apparently did not receive my original email of September 2nd. I sent it and saw that the email was acknowledged as sent. I also sent **. ****** after our recent call -- several trial emails -- at his request -- through the firm's customer service response center on the internet, which he appears to have received. (He indicated that he would advise me, if he did not receive my test emails). The point here is that as the Capital Investment Group does not acknowledge original receipt -- places higher probability on the fact that the company's quality procedures were not completely sound - before lodging a complaint at the Better Business Bureau.
** **** ********* acknowledges that the stocks I asked about on July 2 on Stock Talk -- were being reviewed and placed on Hold. However, what the letter from *** *****'s fails to acknowledge is in that same email thread is that I advised **** that these stocks (***, and ***) were not being reported at all in the Newsletter's Growth Portfolio -- after being recommended and after having dropped in value significantly. Further, after advising him in that email thread that the stocks were not being reported -- he took no discernible action to get the Growth Portfolio corrected. The non reporting went on for weeks, as mentioned in my previous emails to the BBB.
D. Lastly, regarding the newsletter and **. ******'s comment that one separate stock had gone up in value -- and was not being reported as having gone up, what I can say is that I was tracking the Growth Portfolio and what we were observing was misreporting or non-reporting of stocks that had gone down. I noted 3 significant ones in past emails to the BBY.
Lastly, as the BBB will appreciate -- I have no specific agenda here aside from ensuring that the Capital Information Group and the Energy Strategist Newsletter has more effective stock reporting and tracking procedures, and that their recommendations are provided accurately and tracked. I have sought no other benefit in any manner. Further, I have written back each time at my own personal expense and time -- because I have reviewed the situation carefully. **. ******'s comments in our email exchange several weeks ago -- that he creates the newsletter material, but then does not see the actual published Newsletter -- is a seminal point.
What I would ask is that the Capital Investing Group in their response, kindly avoid these types of questionable arguments highlighted in points A through D above. Had they not made these assertions, i would have simply accepted the response without caveat.
In my view, the fundamental issues are:
A. The company needs to tighten their quality procedures. We are delighted to seeing them now doing this. We laud them for this effort and look forward to sustained and accurate reporting moving forward.
B. What would also help (although not part of my compliant above and clearly an aside) -- is that they hire people on their staff who have requisite financial analysis certifications (i.e., are Chartered Financial Analysts or CFAs, a normal requirement for an Equity Research Analyst). The reason I mention this is that frequently the newsletter indicates that you should buy a stock below a certain price (e.g., buy stock ABC below $40.00. However, they never advise what the stock is actually worth based upon its projected cash flow. Consistent with points above -- transparent valuation of equities and accurate reporting would strengthen the fabric of the organization. You will also note the value of having people on the staff with these certifications, based upon my comments regarding the Canadian Edge Newsletter (which is also published by the Capital Information Group).
Regarding the company's assertion that the errors were unintentional -- we are willing to give them the benefit of the doubt at this time -- and in the spirit of fairness. While it is possible to make an argument either way here (based upon my calls to the Newsletter, the emails I sent, my Stock Talk conversation with **** *********) -- we are willing to give the company the benefit of the doubt at this time, based upon their efforts to improve their internal procedures as documented in *** *****'s response to you.
In this regard, we appreciate **. ****** reaching out to me, and we appreciate the Newsletter's efforts.
I would also like to thank the Better Business Bureau for their time and efforts here. Clearly, you have made a difference in this case to date, and we very much appreciate it.
We are hopeful that the Capital Information Group will embrace this discussion and the associated actions as a true opportunity to strengthen their company. We are hopeful that they will see as strongly as us -- that the actions suggested herein will create the type of service that consumers need and deserve. Thank you.
BBB's Final Determination: Consumer accepted resolution offered by the business.
|9/28/2013||Problems with Product/Service|