Nikola Tesla has probably gotten more attention in the last five years than at any other time since he passed away during World War 2… for a while it was enough that the car company named after him was a daily headline generator and stock market darling, but now he’s also being connected to work that’s a lot closer to the dreams he had of providing a global wireless electricity network in the years after he left Edison’s employ.
The Tesla/Edison feud that has been called the “War of Currents” was not about wireless electricity — that was the argument, which was really probably more accurately (but less colorfully) a Westinghouse/Edison feud, about whether to use AC or DC for the power grid then in the early stages of being built, but Tesla was an advocate of AC (and sold some patents to Westinghouse — he was an incredible visionary and a terrible businessman) and an inventor of electric engines and lots of other things, in addition to his development of the “Tesla Coil” that he used transmitting electricity through the air. (The AC/DC feud brought us a name for a great band, of course, and also an excellent rap battle a few years ago.)
We’ve seen Tesla’s story and the idea of wireless electricity used to sell a few different newsletters, most recently with the pitches from Microcap Millionaires (“Expose the #1 ‘Deadly Flaw’ in Every Single Smartphone”) and Nick Hodge (“Apple’s Going Wireless”). Both of those were teasing Energous (WATT), which has most recently been over-the-top hyped largely on the premise that Apple is going to say something in their WWDC keynote next week about wireless charging, and use wireless charging technology from Energous for the iPhone by next year. If that meeting passes on June 13 without any wireless charging news from Apple (I have no inside information on what the odds are), it might be “look out below” for WATT — when newsletters and pundits drive a frenzy about a small cap “story” stock and a specific date when a catalyst is expected, the stock tends to move sharply if that date passes without the catalyst happening, or with the wrong catalyst. I’ve got a small bearish position (put options) on WATT just because of the possibility that the super-hype from Agora causes short-term selling when there’s no WATT news on Monday.
This latest pitch that uses the Tesla name, though, is from Ray Blanco for his Technology Profits Confidential, and it’s teasing a different company. So, naturally, we want to know what it is… and preferably, we’d like to know without having to pony up $49 for a subscription to that newsletter.
I know I repeat myself on this matter all the time, but some folks don’t read every single article I write (shocking, I know!): please don’t ever subscribe to a newsletter just to learn about a “secret” earthshaking stock that’s being teased — that puts you in poor position to consider the investment rationally. Check with us, think about the stock on your own, then you can subscribe to their letter if you feel like it. It can really make a difference — most of us suffer from cognitive biases that mean our brains tend to overweight both information that we pay for and the first information we hear about an investment. Of course, sometimes getting the “first information” about a stock from yours truly isn’t that much better, since I’m likely to put more of a skeptical spin on things to counteract the hype of an ad… but thanks to the lack of “called strikes” in investing, being too cautious costs you only potential opportunity, not actual money.
So… back to work, digging into the teaser pitch. Here’s how Ray Blanco sucks us in:
“His works was smeared in the U.S. press… his research confiscated by government thugs… and he died penniless and alone.
“Now watch America’s greatest forgotten genius get his ultimate REVENGE… with a ‘lost’ breakthrough that will disrupt a $268 billion industry….
“Military and air-traffic control radar and seventeen of the patents used to invent the radio… early robotics and the remote control you use in your TV room…
“Wireless Internet… hydroelectric power… and early versions of the very same transistors you have in the computer in your office and the smartphone in your pocket…
“You wouldn’t have any of it, without Tesla’s genius.
“But his biggest breakthrough yet… a discovery he never got to see finalized while he was alive… is one that’s just recently resurfaced. And it could make you very rich.”
And he puts the promise for gains up front, as usual….
“If I’m right you could see as much as 21 times every dollar invested.
“In just a second I’ll show you how.
“Keep in mind, this won’t be overnight — and of course there’s no guarantee that any investment will pan out exactly as planned, let alone one with such massive gains.
“We’re looking here at a potential long-haul boom with years of growth ahead.
“Think Intel, Apple, Microsoft and Google.”
No one ever says, “think Blackberry, Digital Equipment Corp, Palm and Atari” — investing in the next big thing at the early stages almost always seems dangerously easy, partly because of the skills of copywriters who sell ideas and partly because of survivorship bias… our brains forget about the failed and gone companies that seemed once to be ready for enduring greatness, and fixate on the world dominators that stand astride the economy today.
This is, at least, a real business… according to Blanco:
“In fact, according to at least one independent source, a very early form of this brand new tec