What is Frank Curzio’s “$10,000 Pill” Stock?

Identifying the pick teased by Phase 1 -- genetic testing

By Travis Johnson, Stock Gumshoe, August 24, 2011

I suppose I should expect this by now — whenever Frank Curzio and the gang put out a teaser for Phase 1 Investor, which is the big-money newsletter from Stansberry & Associates ($5,000/year, though almost always “on sale” at $3,000 when they’re running promos), my inbox gushes like Spindletop.

Didn’t matter if it was a tiny gold stock, or a ridiculously speculative little miner, or a tech breakthrough company, or some kind of biotech innovator, the Phase 1 promos reach so many people, and inspire such profit-lust, that they immediately jump to the top of my “to do” list. I do, after all, aim to please — and the reader interest in a teaser helps me decide what you most want to hear about (so yes, keep on sending in those requests — ILoveStockSpam@gmail.com — I won’t answer ’em all, but they help us prioritize and discover new topics). And some of those picks have been good ones over the years, though most are so tiny that they move up and down frenetically … like a four-year-old in a bouncy castle after four birthday cupcakes. So the word even before I figure out what this stock is should be, “careful.”

Moving on to the meat of the meal, then — what is Curzio talking about?

The letter starts out by telling you all about the excitement of the research they’ve done for past stock picks (you’ve probably read a bunch of the teasers of these stories over the years — I know they all sound familiar to me … nothing like “risking your life” for your subscribers to make an idea sound exotic and a subscription price sound like a bargain):

“In the history of our firm’s business, we’ve gone to some pretty extreme lengths to investigate investment opportunities… We’ve explored underground vaults in Switzerland, trekked mosquito–infested jungles 12,000 miles away to check out a natural gas discovery…

“We’ve hopped helicopters in the Yukon, explored casinos in Macau, and infiltrated the Byzantine world of high–level academia to get the scoop on vaccine technology…”

And they also pull in that other old newsletter teaser ad technique, the secret insider who lets us in on the straight dope:

“Two months ago, one of my most valuable contacts reached out to me. I hear from this gentleman once, maybe twice a year. But when I do, the information is big and almost always leads to huge opportunities.

“He agrees to share data and information with us on the condition of full protection:

“Not only can we not print his name, but we cannot reveal any of the details about his identity and professional involvement. Especially in this case, as he’s actively involved with several major players in the field of technology I’m about to describe.

“So, for a frame of reference, I’ll refer to him in this presentation as ‘Dr. W.’

“In short, Dr. W alerted me to a breakthrough in medical technology, which he calls the ‘$10,000 Pill.'”

I won’t bore you with more about what this “$10,000 pill” is — Curzio makes the case for how critically important it might be for a bunch of diseases, and tells us how he, his boss Porter Stansberry, and his colleague Dr. David Eifrig all took this “pill” in their Baltimore offices …

… but then he goes on to be clear that, as they so often do for these promos, they’ve just invented the phrase “$10,000 pill” to simplify and explain the technology they’re touting. The real discovery and breakthrough that they’re pitching here as being on the verge of mass commercialization and huge profits is genetic sequencing.

And to his credit, Curzio doesn’t try to keep that a secret — he does eventually get into the fact that DNA sequencing for individuals is the theme of his investment idea, and that this technology is on the cusp of a breakthrough as the cost declines. The current $10,000 price is already dramatically increasing usage of this technology, we’re told, and “Dr. W” notes that it will soon hit the critical $1,000 price point that will stop health insurance executives from slamming the door in your face.

Curzio compares it to the computer industry, and the huge breakthroughs and consumer breakout products that emerged rapidly once personal computers became feasible and started to sell widely in the late 1970s and 1980s, and also notes that the race to capitalize on this is not