Martin D. Weiss (born 1946) is an American financial market analyst and an advocate of long-term investor safety. He has been interviewed by U.S. media for his opinions on the money markets, in particular of the reliability of the banking and insurance sectors, an issue on which Weiss has also testified before the United States Congress.
Martin Weiss was born in 1946 in New York but was raised from the age of 6 in Anápolis and Piracicaba, Brazil. After receiving a liberal arts degree from New York University, Weiss moved to Japan for two years on a Fulbright fellowship to study the Kabutocho, Tokyo's financial community. He later received a Ph.D. in cultural anthropology from Columbia University. Martin Weiss is the son of J. Irving Weiss, also an economist, who founded the Sound Dollar Committee in 1959, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that was instrumental in helping president Eisenhower balance the 1960 federal budget. As a teenager Martin Weiss would ghostwrite for his father's Money & Credit Report. Weiss is married to his high-school sweetheart Elisabeth, with whom he lives in Jupiter, Florida.
In 1971, while beginning his doctoral work, Weiss founded Martin D. Weiss Research, Inc., later renamed Weiss Research Inc, to evaluate the investment reliability of banking and insurance institutions. Five years later, in 1976, Weiss began publication of his flagship newsletter, now published monthly and called the Safe Money Report.
In 1989, Weiss began rating life and health insurance companies, assigning letter grades from A to F. His rating agency, unlike others. did not accept compensation of any kind from the rated companies, deriving revenues strictly from the sale of the ratings to consumers.
Since his ratings were often lower than those of his competitors, he invoked the ire of some insurers accustomed to getting higher grades from established rating agencies. However, in 1994, the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) reported that Weiss's life and health insurance company ratings were first in warning consumers of future financial difficulties three times more often than those of the leading insurance rating agency, A.M. Best & Co., while also significantly outperforming those of Moody's, Standard & Poor's, A.M. Best and D&P (now Fitch).
In January 2002, Weiss wrote The Ultimate Safe Money Guide: How Everyone 50 & Over Can Protect, Save And Grow Their Money. The book was listed on the New York Times Business, Wall Street Journal, and BusinessWeek best-seller lists, as well as the Barron's Roundup for 2002. In January 2003, Weiss published his Crash Profits book, which predicted a financial crisis in the decade of the 2000s, and which also became a Wall Street Journal bestseller.
In October 2004, Weiss co-founded Financial Publishers Association, devoted to enhancing and maintaining the financial publishing industry's reputation for excellence while helping individual investors build their wealth. And in November of the same year, he relaunched his father's Sound Dollar Committee, a nonprofit organization that seeks honesty in government accounting, a balanced budget and sound economic policy.
In February 2005, Weiss began publishing Money and Markets, a daily investment e-letter, and shortly thereafter Weiss founded the Financial Publishers Association (FiPA) for the promotion of investor education and independence.
In March 2009, Weiss presented a white paper to the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. entitled Dangerous Unintended Consequences: How Banking Bailouts, Buyouts and Nationalization Can Only Prolong America's Second Great Depression and Weaken Any Subsequent Recovery.
In April 2009, Weiss published his latest book, The Ultimate Depression Survival Guide: Protect Your Savings, Boost Your Income and Grow Wealthy Even In The Worst Of Times, listed as Wall Street Journal and New York Times bestsellers within days of its release. He donated all of his present and future royalties earned on the book to the Campaign to End Child Homelessness, with the first donation ($100,000) made on April 17.
SEC action and settlement of 2006
In the mid-2000s, a dispute arose between Weiss Research and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which centered on whether Weiss Research acted as a publisher or a financial advisor. In its filing, the SEC argued that the actions were those of an adviser, while Weiss Research maintained that it acted strictly as a publisher.
In 2006, Weiss voluntarily settled his dispute with the SEC. The SEC instituted cease-and-desist proceedings against Weiss Research Inc., Martin Weiss and Lawrence Edelson. The proceeding stated, "13. Weiss Research, in promotional materials prepared by Martin Weiss, Edelson, and others, sometimes used selective, outdated, and/or hypothetical examples of specific returns that subscribers might have realized on individual trades had they followed Weiss Research's recommendations, without advising that the overall return was or might not be profitable," and "14. The overall performance of Weiss Research's premium services did not support these profit claims. In fact, during the relevant time period, many subscribers who followed each Weiss Research trading recommendation – as Weiss Research encouraged its subscribers to do – experienced overall returns that were substantially lower than Weiss Research's profit examples and most actually lost money." 
In his open letter dated July 26, 2006, Martin D. Weiss fully disclosed the issues and background of his settlement with the SEC. He stated that fewer than 2 percent of his firm's paid subscribers were affected by the issues the SEC raised, and he provided data on improved investment performance. He further stated that this matter was not related to Weiss Research's large-circulation publications such as the highly rated Safe Money Report, Money and Markets, or Larry Edelson's Real Wealth Report, and that the SEC did not dispute the accuracy of Weiss's economic data or the objectivity of his analysis.