Investment newsletter firms operate under Section 401(f) of the Uniform Securities Act, which is the basis for state securities laws, that excludes from the definition of investment adviser "a publisher of any newsletter, whether communicated in hard copy form, or by electronic means, or otherwise, that does not consist of the rendering of advice on the basis of the specific situation of each client." Therefore,a newsletter publisher is not viewed as an investment advisor under securities laws.
Section 202(a)(11)(D) of the Investment Advisers Act enables newsletters exemption to ensure First Amendment protection of financial and investment publications.
The principal guidance on Section 202 is Lowe v. Securities and Exchange Commission, 472 U.S. 181 (1985). where the Supreme Court allowed investment newsletters to provide impersonalized investment advice and commentary in securities and related services.
Your investment account in any 401f newsletter subscription program always remains under your control at the discount broker you choose, who can't be owned or related or pay the investment newsletter service. Investment newsletters can only make recommendations for what securities to own, and provide related technical services to those recommendations.