Nancy Zambell has managed to build up a big marketing push for hew newsletter as quickly as anyone I’ve seen since Jeff Clark at Stansberry & Associates — I guess, if you’ve got a “hook” for your letter and can make the sale, the publishers are still willing to pour a lot of money into building a readership for you.
Her Buried Treasure under $10 newsletter hasn’t been around that long — I’ve been noticing the ads for most of this year, but that’s about it. And she’s got a folksy style (or at least, her copywriters do) that makes you think of the old man who sits on the front porch of the general store and has a two sentence solution for the world’s problems — you kind of wish he was right, but can it ever be that simple? (And are there general stores anymore?)
Anyway, the main thing Zambell is teasing in her latest ad is a promise that she’s found the “anti-bank” — a “bank that reinvents lending,” and that it’s on the way to a “quick double.”
I’ll take a double at any speed these days, so let’s take a look and see if we can pull the curtains aside for you, shall we?
Here are the clues we get:
“If you are sick of megabanks screwing up your life, you’re gonna love this. I’ve found a “mini-bank”—almost a micro-bank—trading at $7, that is rewriting the rules.
“That’s right: Bank that Benjamin Graham would approve of that lends to entrepreneurs whom they believe in.
“What a wild concept.
“I’m Nancy Zambell, and I find gold where others see rocks.”
(OK, that last bit isn’t a clue, really, but who can resist that kind of language?)
She goes on, of course — though she generally follows the “less is more” ad letter strategy, which seems to be standard for all her fellow Investorplace editors (Louis Navellier, Robert Hsu, Tobin Smith, etc.) — their ads all have short-attention-span paragraphs, big colorful headlines and crazy claims, of course, but they’re a lot shorter than typical ads from the Motley Fool or the folks in the giant Agora-plex.
That’s not to say she doesn’t squeeze in a few more clues to tantalize, of course.
“Banks, frozen solid in this capital crisis, are still unable to operate as banks. But micro-banks can trickle out money to nourish promising ventures.
“In so doing, they enrich themselves and their investors.
“The risk of these loans is clear—transparent—and so are the rewards. A restaurant in Tulsa, a web concept in Oakland, a healthcare IT initiative in Ellicott City. These small innovations are the building blocks of America’s comeback. When the story of this comeback is told, megabanks won’t figure in the tale. But my mini-bank will.”
And she finally tells us that, yes, this is a Business Development Company (BDC), not really a bank — and she gives the final clues:
“The BDC I’ve found has deep pockets and a sharp nose for promising new businesses.
“Earnings, just released, show a 200% increase.
“Add in an eye-popping dividend yield of 22%.
“Top it off with a double on the stock, as it rockets from $7 to at least $15.”
So who is it? Well, you might be a little surprised that there is a BDC that reported a 200% earnings increase in the last quarter — most of them have reported pretty massive losses as they write down their portfolios of debt and equity. But the clues are, in fact, real — this is …
Ares Capital Corporation (ARCC)
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