Famous families and historical fortunes fascinate investors — the idea that these families you know and (sometimes) worship created vast fortune because of one wily speculator way back in the family tree is almost irresistibly interesting. It gives us the feeling that any family can rise up and make a big bet on the way to riches… hey, maybe if we try that speculation when there’s “blood in the streets,” my grandchildren will be a staple in People Magazine in 20 years as speculation stirs about who will marry into the golden [insert your name here] family.
We’ve seen lots of different family fortunes teased as a “what if” for potential newsletter subscribers over the years — from the Rothschilds and their forebears’ savvy bets on gold coins, to the families who gave their money to a young Warren Buffett to manage when he started his first partnership, and this latest one pitches a family fortune that’s a bit older than Buffett’s, a lot younger than the Rothschilds or the Rockefellers, and a family still often thought of American royalty: the Kennedys:
“The Kennedy Story You Were Never Told
“A Surprising Income Stream of the Famed Kennedy Family Fortune. This Secret Could Actually Make You A Small Fortune Over The Next Few Years.”
Larsen Kusick writes the ad letter this time around, he’s a Stansberry analyst and is apparently working for Frank Curzio on his Small Cap Specialist, because that’s the newsletter they’re flogging with this pitch.
So what’s this “story you were never told?”
Well, it’s mostly about how the Kennedy fortune really started to build almost 100 years ago, when Joe Kennedy was speculating on distillers and related alcohol companies just as prohibition was starting to weaken. It’s a long spiel and I’ll share a couple key points from it so we’re all on the same page (you can see it here if you prefer), but the basic pitch from the Small Stock Specialist folks is that the marijuana industry is going to have a surge much like (or even better than) the profit surge of the distillers, brewers, suppliers and other booze companies. And that they have the right strategy for investing in the three “Waves” of the coming marijuana boom.
The comparison has some logic to it — marijuana legalization does seem to be proceeding apace, though I think we’re probably going to hit some more hiccups along the way to more recreational legalization if there’s any kind of backlash from Colorado and Washington (state) after their first months with legal recreational marijuana industries. Legalization of marijuana for medical use is, I think, probably already past the point of no return, and I’d guess that full federal legalization will come to us within a decade or two… particularly for communities who would much rather be spending their money on fighting the (much more cruelly addictive) heroin and prescription painkiller trafficking that seem, from my perspective, to do a lot more harm than recreational pot smoking (not to the smoker’s lungs, perhaps, but to society at large).
That doesn’t mean marijuana companies are guaranteed winners, it’s still generally a commoditized business without any real leading brands that have taken hold (that’s one substantial difference with prohibition), and there are always big losers in big transitions too — and smaller companies or more speculative companies trying to take advantage of legal loosening are not always well-financed enough to get through the volatile early years even if their strategy ends up being the right one over the long term. And, of course, the excitement of a new industry brings the rats out of the cellar, too — there are dozens of publicly traded penny stocks that profess a marijuana connection and have gone on wild 1,000% rides, and it’s quite possible that none of those companies will exist in a year or two. I can’t imagine Curzio is touting the real “pennies” in this se