Fool analyst Austin Smith addresses the latest Herbalife controversy and offers his advice on how to play this investment.

Herbalife came under scrutiny after Bill Ackerman of Pershing Square publicly accused the company of running a pyramid scheme. Carl Icahn and other investors claim Herbalife is a legitimate multilevel marketing business. 

As an investment, Austin recommends avoiding Herbalife and other multilevel marketing companies altogether. He cites one statistic that 99% of salespeople in such companies lose money. In the long run, this is not sustainable as these people will eventually leave and word will get out that you can't make money with this firm. As for Herbalife, Austin believes that regardless of whether Ackerman wins, someone is going to lose big on this company.


Rather than invest in this volatile stock and risk losing your shirt, Austin suggests you grab some popcorn, pull up a comfortable chair and enjoy the show.

Herbalife may not be the safest place for your money today, but you can still kick 2013 off with a bang. I invite you to uncover the stock The Motley Fool's chief investment officer has called his "Top Stock for 2013." You can take a copy of this premium report, free for a limited time. Just click here to find out the name of this under-the-radar company before Wall Street catches up.

The article How to Play the Herbalife Roller Coaster originally appeared on Fool.com.

Austin Smith has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of Tupperware Brands and has the following options: Long Jan 2014 $50 Calls on Herbalife. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Copyright © 1995 - 2013 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


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