Brett Eversole has a new ad letter out promoting subscriptions to True Wealth, Steve Sjuggerud’s “entry level” newsletter service over at Stansberry, and it sounds awfully exciting — how do we make 500% returns, and what’s the “tiny device that’s eating the world?”
Well, the ad is all about mobile payments — using your cell phone to send and receive money and to make purchases. And the basic gist is that the smartphone, which is that “tiny device that’s eating the world,” will do to money what it did to landline telephones, cameras, flash lights, dictionaries, etc… that is, it will make old-fashioned cash money nearly obsolete.
That’s obviously horrifying for anyone concerned with privacy (no electronic currency is truly anonymous or untraceable, like cash can be) or reliability (how often does your cell phone or its battery stop working properly for you?), but it is indeed the trend — more and more payments are being made using mobile devices, and in some ways we are pretty far behind the curve in the US when it comes to this trend.
And to entice us with the possibility of these untold riches coming our way, the ad implies that you can get “UBER Rich” just like a few investors they mention in their examples.
This isn’t really germane to the specific mobile payments companies they tease as their “secret” recommendations, and we will get to those, but I want to digress for a moment — because each of these “success stories” helps to build up those daydreams in your head, and it’s the daydreams of wealth that make investors subscribe to newsletters… and sometimes take risks they probably wouldn’t otherwise consider.
So who are these “UBER Rich” investors? Are they people like you, who just happened to listen to a stock idea and got wealthy because of it? Let’s see…
“In short: as the smartphone transforms this industry this year, ordinary investors stand to get rich…
“Meet “UBER Rich” Investor #1: Garret G.
“Like Garrett G. from Utah.
“In 2011, a company called Scan Inc. began developing a way to scan barcodes from a smartphone.
“When the company was bought for $54 million three years later, early investors, as well as Garret G., became ‘UBER Rich.'”
OK, so what does he mean by “UBER Rich?”
“I call this group of individuals the ‘UBER Rich,’ not just because of how wealthy they have gotten (Which, as you’ll see in a minute, is incredible).
“I also call these people the “UBER Rich” because they are putting their money behind innovative companies, with two distinct traits.
1. Each utilizes the smartphone to disrupt the status quo… making a technology or task more convenient.
2. They all see explosive success and help ordinary people get rich.
“Ironically enough, it’s the same approach that Travis Kalanick, the founder of ride-sharing taxi service, UBER, used to become ‘UBER Rich’ by turning his idea into the world’s most valuable start up in just seven years.”
OK… so that Garrett G.? That’s actually Garrett Gee, who started the company Scan, Inc., raised millions, pitched it on Shark Tank, and, while he was still a college student, sold it to Snapchat.
That’s not a story of investor success, that’s a story of entrepreneurial success and good fortune — a fascinating story, but not one that has much direct meaning for folks like you and I who are considering how to allocate our 401(k) savings for retirement.
What’s the next “UBER Rich” investor?
“I recently heard about a guy named Tony F., from Detroit, Michigan.
“By all measures, Tony grew up in an average middle-class household. His father worked as a Levi’s jeans salesman and his mother worked as a hospital administrator.
“But Tony’s story took a remarkable turn…Are you getting our free Daily Update
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“In 2010 a company called Nest started to develop smartphone technology to control and monitor your home heating and cooling systems through an internet-connected thermostat.
“The technology was a hit, and four years later Tony sold his stake for more than 20x his money — enough to turn a $10,000 stake into more than $200,000.”
Oh, for pete’s sake — this is, again, not a case of a person who “sold his stake for more than 20X his money” as an investor. Tony F. is Tony Fadell, and his story took a remarkable turn a long time before he cofounded Nest — a decade before starting Nest with a fellow Apple alum, he was part of the group that designed the first iPod for Apple (he’s often referred to as the “father of the iPod”). I don’t know if he put his own money into founding Nest, but he certainly might have, and he raised a bunch of venture money as well… and Nest was acquired for $3.2 billion by Google three years ago, so probably everyone involved got rich. But not “regular investors.”
(And it hasn’t gone all that well since then, Fadell left Alphabet last year right around the time that Alphabet’s newly cost-conscious leadership started to pressure Nest to generate some return on investment.)
More from the ad:
“Can you imagine how great it could be to make that kind of gain thanks to the smartphone?
“The truth is, it’s not just a fantasy. It’s the growing reality for many Americans…
“Dozens of whom are becoming ‘UBER Rich’ every day.”
Sure, dozens of people become rich every day. There are seven billion people in the world, and more than 200 million working-age adults in the United States. Just about anything you can think of, dozens of people do that every day.
Just don’t get it into your head that they do it because they followed a newsletter suggestion and invested $5,000 into some hot company.
So are all of these examples of “UBER Rich” investors that silly? Here’s the third one:
“Meet “UBER Rich” Investor #3: Mary M….
“Mary is a 57 year old woman from Portland, Indiana.
“A while back, Mary had an ‘aha’ moment that would change her life forever…
“About a year before the iPhone launched… I had an old Motorola phone, and my Chinese friends were laughing at me. They were saying… you can’t use the Web on it…”
“She remembered that moment… And a few years later, in 2011, she jumped at the opport