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For decades, Robert West’s investment strategy was simple: buy whatever The Investment Reporter tells him to.

He has subscribed to the newsletter, which gives advice on Canadian stock picks, since the 1990s. His mother first became a subscriber in the 1970s, and the website for the outlet says it’s been providing investment advice since 1941.

But in the past couple of months, The Investment Reporter and its parent company, MPL Communications Inc., which also runs a newsletter called Investor’s Digest of Canada, have seemingly disappeared. Many readers complained to The Globe and Mail that they’ve stopped receiving their weekly newsletters for months, despite already having paid a roughly $300 fee for a year’s subscription.

Subscribers who spoke to The Globe said they received their last issue in June and haven’t heard anything from the company since.

Now, they find themselves looking for a new source of information to guide their investing strategies.

For Mr. West, the special thing about The Investment Reporter was the trust he had in its advice. For decades his own family benefited from its stock picks, and he appreciated that the newsletter promoted a buy-and-hold strategy, rather than actively buying and selling.

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He has tried other newsletters and even some bloggers on social media, but finding a source he trusts hasn’t been easy, especially when many newsletters focus too much on timing the market.

“It’s a bit of a loss for me because I’ve relied on them for so long,” said Mr. West, who isn’t fussed about losing out on the subscription money because of how profitable the newsletter’s picks have been over the years. “I did so well off them that losing a couple hundred bucks wasn’t really a big deal.”

E-mails and social-media messages to multiple staff and executives at MPL Communications went unanswered, and calls to the company’s office went straight to voice mail with answering-machine messages that were last recorded in June. In August, The Investment Reporter’s web page stopped loading up online.

At the company’s former office in downtown Toronto, a notice of lease termination was posted for failure to pay rent, and a mailroom attendant in the building said mail has been coming in for months without being picked up.

MPL chairman Stephen Pepper declined to comment for this story when reached by phone.

Meanwhile, David Carlson, a former executive who remained a shareholder after leaving the company in 2014, said Mr. Pepper contacted him in late June to notify him that all employees at MPL Communications had been laid off.

It’s not the first time the company has found itself in hot water. Freelance editors and contributors have complained of late payments for their services in past years, including a former editor, Mike Keerma, who said MPL fell seven months behind in paying him.

In the 2000s, Mr. Carlson launched a lawsuit over allegedly misused company funds by Mr. Pepper and MPL president Barrie Martland.

The Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta found in 2009 that while Mr. Pepper and Mr. Martland devoted their care to the company, corporate governance “was never something they took seriously or seemed to fully appreciate,” and they failed to see that their method of running the business “would eventually lead minority shareholders to ask legitimate questions about insider dealing.”

Despite the drama behind the scenes, many subscribers were diehard followers. Marty Juritsch subscribed for the past 13 years and felt he came out ahead of standard exchange-traded funds that track major stock markets.

He plans to shop around for other investing newsletters but, like Mr. West, he expects to switch to a simple investing strategy based on ETFs if he doesn’t soon find a trustworthy alternative.

The vast availability of ETFs that were diversified and low in fees led subscribers to question in recent years if The Investment Reporter would be able to continue operating.

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“I really liked The Investment Reporter but the newsletter format seemed dated and I wondered how they would continue to compete in today’s online environment,” Mr. Juritsch said. “It didn’t seem like a complete surprise to find out that they closed down.”

The newsletter business wasn’t always this difficult. Gordon Pape, editor and publisher of the Internet Wealth Builder and Income Investor newsletters, said he had seen physical mail circulation lists of more than 100,000 for The Money Letter, another newsletter he was involved with decades ago.

“It was huge, but when the digital age hit and other sources of information became available … that really started to whittle away at the circulation of these newsletters and I saw them go downhill quite rapidly,” said Mr. Pape, who said he was still sad to see MPL Communications disappear.

“We’ve lost one more source of information for Canadian investors, but times are what they are.”

Mr. West said he’s still looking for a replacement newsletter that will make investing as simple as it was in the past. He isn’t particularly confident his search will be successful.

“It made investing low-effort,” he said. “If I have to start investing that time in it, it may not be worth it.”

As a 59-year-old who has already had a successful investing life thus far, he said there’s another simple and relatively low-risk alternative ready for him if his search doesn’t pan out: a portfolio full of ETFs.

With a report from Kate Helmore

Are you a young Canadian with money on your mind? To set yourself up for success and steer clear of costly mistakes, listen to our award-winning Stress Test podcast.

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