We’ve got a good teaser to solve today, but first — a quick plea: This will be our final week of “Gumshoe Gives Back” this year — we will be donating at least half of all the membership contributions received through the rest of this week (until the end of the day on Friday, 12/12) to some worthwhile charities — so far this year the Irregulars have enabled us to make meaningful donations of more than a thousand dollars each to Homes for our Troops and our local Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, among others, and we have some other charities and nonprofits we’d like to support as well.
So please, if you’ve been at all interested in being a paid member of the Stock Gumshoe Irregulars, try it out now and help us boost our giving at this crucial time of year. It’s still only $49 a year (or $249 for a onetime fee if you don’t want to renew every year — and yes, upgrades will also go toward our charitable giving), or just $6 for a monthly subscription if you’re afraid of commitment, and it gets you access to everything I write and to any guest columnists we have… and it also gets you that handy little “quick take” box below that would have meant you already knew the gist of this particular article without reading through the clues and my blatheration (if you already have a free membership, just click that “upgrade” link at the top right). If you’re not interested, that’s A-OK too — we continue to love our free members almost as much as our Irregulars.
And now, back to our regularly scheduled programming…
The folks at Stansberry & Associates have shaken things up a bit in the last couple months — with the most visible change being that they laid off Frank Curzio and canceled his two small-cap newsletters, the relatively inexpensive Small Stock Specialist and the pricey, premium Phase 1 Investor service.
The latter, Phase 1, was the service that was most limited in number of subscribers — because they kept the price at $5,000. So it was for that service that they could recommend the truly illiquid penny stocks and the very speculative small cap ideas that would have been blown up if their broad-circulation letters touted them (you can’t suggest that 100,000 people buy a stock if it only trades 10,000 shares a day) — much of the time those ideas were either junior mining stocks or emerging biotech or technology companies. And it looks like they’ve got a replacement for Phase 1 set for the “top of the sales pyramid” as the ultimate upgrade service that they can sell to their customers — Stansberry Venture, just launched recently with Dave Lashmet at the helm.
Porter Stansberry gave Lashmet credit for recommending Cubist (CBST) and Durata (DRTX) for his Stansberry Investment Advisory service, and those both have been fantastic stocks this year (though I’m told they “stopped out” of Durata just before their premium buyout — one of the problems with using stop losses on illiquid stocks)…. and biotech has been the home of big winners all year, so it probably won’t surprise anyone to hear that Lashmet’s first teased idea — “Stansberry Venture #1” — is a biotech stock.
The hints are a bit thin, but it’s in the area of cancer immunotherapy where there has certainly been a l