This article originally appeared on July 22, 2015, and the bulk of it has not been updated or revised since. The meat of the ad is essentially the same, and if Lichtenfeld really “bet his paycheck” on this stock (which was and is Alnylam) on July 22 he’s so far lost about 65% of that paycheck… though he would have had similar results with betting on any biotech stock at that time, since 7/22 was only about a week removed from the all-time peak in the biotech index.
A second version of the ad back in November had a different intro, implying that the company would surge because of an announcement at a “billion-dollar facility” in Orlando in the first week of November — the “billion-dollar facility” is the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, where the American Heart Association meeting took place from November 7-11. The shares didn’t really move based on anything that happened that week, the data was more or less positive but it wasn’t a key moment for that particular drug (ALN-PCSc). The stock has generally been acting like a 2X leveraged play on the broader IBB biotech index in recent months, since November it’s down about 40% while the broader biotech group is down 20%.
There is a lot of data coming this year, so the story of Alnylam’s attempt to get RNAi drugs approved is likely to continue to evolve — they’ll have data released mid-year for a few of their programs, and the stock is down a bit over the last few days mostly because (as I interpret it) one of their earlier-stage drugs is not proving to be as effective as some investors had hoped and might be a complementary therapy instead of a first-line therapy. They posted an update and summary of the “data rich” year to come with their quarterly update here.
So with that intro, I’ll send you back to our original article about Lichtenfeld’s teaser, which started running almost a year ago… I still have never owned the stock, and don’t personally intend to get involved in this kind of multi-billion-dollar long-term science speculation. Enjoy!
A lot of readers have chimed in with questions about this latest ad from Marc Lichtenfeld — it’s a pitch for his higher-end newsletter service called Lightning Trend Trader, published by the Oxford Club, and he’s got a nice big promise to get your attention — not only does he “guarantee” that you’ll have (the opportunity to) double your money in his favorite pick soon (“starting August 30”), but he’s also “betting his paycheck” that this double will happen.
None of which really matters, of course, it’s just a way to get attention by demonstrating his conviction that the stock will be a big winner. Nearly every newsletter company of any size offers at least a short-term money-back guarantee, and many of them use these kinds of “I’ll guarantee you a 100% return by X date” promises in their ads, and that feels comforting… but they do not, of course, guarantee to “make good” on that guaranteed double. In this case, Lichtenfeld’s publishers will, if he fails to generate a 100% gain for you in this stock (or give you a few chances at 100% gains in the next year), give you… another year of the newsletter for free.
Which, of course, is no skin off their nose — if you’re calling out of anger and looking for a refund, you’re not going to renew anyway, and adding another free subscriber adds no marginal cost to a newsletter’s business… nothing wrong with making the guarantee, and Lichtenfeld may end up being right, but don’t make the mistake of assuming that these “guarantees” mean it’s a surer bet than any other investment idea — it’s just a marketing tactic, and every stock needs to be understood and evaluated on its own merits before you can think about buying it.
OK, lecture over — what is the stock Lichtenfeld is pitching? It’s in the hot RNAi space but he doesn’t use that term, since it would perhaps make it too easy to identify the stock — he renames this and calls it “Gene Mutation Silencing (GMS)” and says that his favorite GMS stock is “the most profitable stock opportunity I’ve found in my 20 years in the markets.”
Here’s a bit from the ad:
“It’s a business that just picked up seven different revenue streams that could be worth $329.8 million each… It just received favored legal status that gives it a monopoly for over seven years…
“It’s sitting on a mountain of cash (more than $1 billion) and has ZERO debt.
“I calculate revenues are set to jump as much as 3,733% (or more).
“And beyond all that, the company is in control of what is perhaps the biggest development in medical history.
“Dr. Phillip A. Sharp, Nobel Prize-winning MIT biologist and ‘Senior Statesman’ of biotechnology, called the initial discovery of the technological breakthrough being utilized by this company ‘the most important and exciting