The furor over gold in the past couple months has now leaked over into biotech land, with the FDA Trader newsletter from Agora Financial now catching your attention with the big bold word “GOLD” even as they pitch a “gold-based oncology protocol” that they say could set you up for 10,000% returns.
Sounds a little absurd, no? Well, let’s sift through the ad, put the Thinkolator to work, and see what they’re really talking about.
The ad is signed by Joseph Shriefer, the publisher, though the stock pick is apparently from their technology analyst, Ray Blanco, and the big idea is “How to get rich on gold’s true destiny… as medicine” — with the urgency (all ads need urgency, otherwise you’d never subscribe to their newsletter) being that “sometime in the first quarter of 2017” the company they’re teasing will be filing for marketing approval with the FDA. They’re charging $2,000 for FDA Trader, with no refunds allowed.
Here’s a little snippet to give you the gist:
“… even though monetary gold has been crucial to the economic, financial, and commercial arenas for nearly 3,000 years…
“Gold’s greatest value to the world will soon prove to be as a form of medicine.
“That’s because — as you’re about to see with facts, photos, and hard numbers…
“The new Gold Protocol I’ve been talking about is set to become a global game-changer for cancer diagnosis and treatment, starting in 2017.
“Millions of lives will be saved as gold assumes its “true destiny” as a global healer.
“But only a handful of investors will make the biggest money on it…
“The ones who get into position before this untold story hits the mainstream’s radar.”
They compare the potential of this “Gold Protocol” stock to other “game changer” medical technologies that have provided massive returns, with the examples given including Gilead (up 10,000% from 2000 to 2015) Illumina (up 11,000% from 2005-2012) and Medivation (up 11,000% from 2006-2016), and then make a wholly unsubstantiated and ludicrous claim:
“Good companies with true medical innovations — not simply minor improvements on existing technology…
“Consistently tend to post medium-term gains in excess of 10,000%.”
Ummm, thats a really big claim to make from a couple cherry-picked examples. No type of stock or innovation “consistently tends” to post 10,000% gains… those gains are reserved for the almost unfathomably fantastic winners in every industry, in every market, in every sector, and an investor would be very fortunate to ride one of those in a lifetime. Those are the investments that turn $10,000 into a million dollars, and daydreaming about that is what destroys so many portfolios with excessive risk-taking.
But anyway, what is this stock? We get into the clues now:
“This small American company is about to roll out the most important part of this Gold Protocol (so you must hurry)
“To be clear: It’s not just one company that we predict will positively explode on this new generation of gold-based medicine.
“It’s going to be dozens of them, over a period of several years…
“Each one with the possibility of scoring you enormous returns in its own right….
“The company I want you to discover how to get in on NOW has the biggest, fastest, and most assured profit potential of them all.
“Remember, I’m explicitly predicting that you’ll make at least 10,000% on this company — if you get into them immediately…”Are you getting our free Daily Update
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I had to include that bit, just to help us remember, when we look back, what the prediction was from Joe Shriefer.
More from the ad:
“… no cancer treatment of any kind can occur without the critical medical function this company specializes in.
“And because their new gold-based technology represents such a quantum leap in this crucial part of the process (I’ll walk you through this shortly)…
“Our medical and technology expert, Ray Blanco, says this company will soon become the linchpin of the entire $120-billion-a-year oncology industry.
“Again, that’s more than the GDP of 70% of the world’s nations!”
This is a common technique for the ad copywriters, conjure up notions of a huge industry and then imply, somehow, that the “one tiny stock” they have in mind is going to become the “linchpin” of that industry and, so we imagine, get a huge percent of the profits. Life is almost never that simple… Roche, for example, has oncology-related revenue of about $25 billion a year because of a slew of hot-selling cancer drugs, and that’s a $200 billion company that has built that position over decades of R&D. Novartis, another almost-$200-billion company, recent was in second place on that list with oncology revenue of about $10 billion (out of $50 billion total).
Companies do not come out of nowhere to get tens of billions in revenue in this business… which doesn’t mean that there mightn’t be potential in whatever this stock is, but it does mean we should wipe out those “dominate the industry” daydreams before we even identify the stock. Crush those absurd expectations, for your own good… it will give you a fighting chance to consider the investment rationally and critically.
So what is Blanco’s “Gold Protocol?” He seems to say that it’s some combination of diagnostic and therapeutic technologies and techniques that will be used in oncology — he lists these as Theranostic Nanomedicine, Micro-Fluidic Diagnistocs, IR Pulse Laser Hyperthermia, RGB Cellular Invasion, Plasmonic Resonance, Enhanced Radiotherapy, Enhanced Drug Uptake and PNG Nanosurgery.
More from the ad:
“… the glue that holds ALL of this protocol’s exciting new technologies together? ….
“The truth is, it would take several books to cover all the ways in which oncologists will soon be able to fight and beat cancer with gold.
“And that’s the best part — aside from potentially being able to cure cancer, I mean.
“The fact that ALL of these gold-related technologies…
“Things with crazy new names like ‘PNB nanosurgery,’ ‘microfluidic diagnostics,’ ‘theranostic nanomedicine,’ and so many more…
“Will bring with them opportunities for incredible profits as they’re developed and brought to market by cutting-edge companies.”
One of those “therapeutic aspects” of the “gold nanoparticles” refers to injecting those nanoparticles, coated with cancer-targeting proteins or antibodies, and then bathing the body with a special type of laser that targets those gold nanoparticles, heats them up, and turns them into “suicide bombers” — that’s the one that’s used in the video to show the dramatic example of the cancer cell being destroyed, though it’s not necessarily specifically the stock he’s pitching today (the ad says that technology may be tried in humans within two years, which means it’s certainly not the medical device that he’s saying will be with the FDA for approval within a month or two).
So what’s the stock being pitched right now? More clues:
“… one small American company is about to roll out the most important part of this new Gold Protocol for cancer…
“A device that could make earlier cancer detection a painless, 10-minute affair at your GP’s office — with up to 96% accuracy!
“That means if Ray and I are right about the incredible therapeutic potential of the Gold Protocol in the near future…
“Cancer itself could soon be up to 96% survivable.”
Ah, OK — so the notion of cancer becoming 96% survivable comes from the idea that there’s a new diagnostic tool that’s 96% accurate… and then that one of those other in-the-future “gold protocol” technologies will make cancer itself 100% curable. So diagnosis will equal cure, easy peasy!
So what is the diagnostics company? That is, in the end, what our tease is — that this company, with some sort of diagnostic tool that will be perhaps approved by the FDA in the near future, will revolutionize cancer diagnostics and allow for much more early detection. Certainly a worthy goal, though I imagine there isn’t just “one little company” with the undisputed lead in better diagnostics.
And in this case it’s a “Microfluidics” company — which makes some investors frown because of the catastrophic failure of widely-hyped Theranos, but is a big area of diagnostic and blood test research:
“… what the company I’m talking about has developed is a way to use microfluidics in combination with gold nanoparticles…
“To create a dirt-cheap, completely portable — yet extremel