The number of questions about this one is going off the charts, so I’ll look into it for you — even though it’s related to not one but two bubblicious sectors that are designed for the manipulation of investors, so I might get a little grumpy. Bear with me.
Here’s a little tantalizer from the top of the ad…
“Right now, we are living through not one… but TWO of the most profitable market explosions of all time.
“Cryptocurrency… and marijuana.”
That’s what has Gumshoe readers all hot and bothered about the latest pitch from Matthew Carr for his VIPER Alert service — the idea that somehow the ridiculous trading spikes of marijuana stocks and cryptocurrency prices could be combined into one super-duper extra-huge gain.
And, sez Carr, he’ll “guarantee” you a 2,500% gain on this excitement (don’t get too excited… more on that in a minute). You really couldn’t come up with a better story to lure an investor — two hot trends that taste great together!
So you can probably guess that I’m planning to be a bit skeptical here, as usual. Here’s some more of Carr’s ad, to give you a taste of what we’re being sold:
“As you probably know, California just fully legalized recreational pot use… And this market is projected to surge six times bigger than Colorado’s. Then there’s the Canadian and European markets setting up to be 8 1/2 times larger…
“So you’re going to see pot stocks rocket even higher….
“The main commodities exchanges both launched bitcoin futures recently… the NYSE just applied to list not one but TWO bitcoin ETFs… and Goldman Sachs is setting up their own crypto trading desk.
“It’s clear cryptos will also have a mammoth year in 2018.
“But instead of trying to predict which market will be hotter… crypto or pot…
“I’ve discovered a way to supercharge your returns by playing BOTH at the same time.”
He calls it a “Crypto Pot Trade” and, naturally, the promise of gains is extraordinary… more from Carr:
“The Crypto Pot trade I’ve discovered could alone hand you up to $1.1 MILLION.
“And best of all, with this much potential, you could get started with a small stake and still transform your golden years.
“In fact, I’m going to guarantee the chance of at least 2,500% in the coming year on my Crypto Pot recommendation.”
Just to check the math for you there, to get to $1.1 million you’d need to start with a pretty large investment — even if he’s right about the wildly aggressive 2,500% gains he’s “guaranteeing,” you’d have to start with $40,000 to get to $1 million. If you have enough to bet $40,000 on something this wildly speculative, which you know in your heart has a really strong chance of falling to near zero overnight, then you’re not the kind of person who probably believes ridiculous predictions from investment newsletters. Even pricey ones, like this VIPER Alert (currently $1,597).
And yes, in case you’re wondering, that “guarantee” is easily offered and easily backed up… but it still doesn’t really mean anything. They back up that “guarantee” that the VIPER Alert will present the opportunity for 2,500% returns this year by saying that if they don’t get to that, they’ll give you your money back.
Ha! Just kidding.
Of course, they’re not going to give you your money back if they’re wrong, and they won’t give you a 2,500% return if they’re wrong, either, or make good on your losses if it turned out to be a terrible idea. They will instead give you another year for free — Carr says this puts him “on the hook” for $1 million in free subscriptions if he’s wrong, which somehow is supposed to make us believe he’s really personally committed to this idea and that he thinks this “guarantee” means something… but we know, of course, that offering a free year of an electronic newsletter costs them exactly nothing in marginal costs, and if they actually mail you a paper copy it probably costs them about $20 a year.
This is what I like to call the, “I guarantee you’ll like it, and if you don’t like it I’ll give you twice as much!” promise. Don’t like that yogurt flavor? Here, have another! It’s the same, so you probably still don’t like it… but it’s twice as much!
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To be fair, they’ve gone a step further and said that if you still don’t like it, your pro-rated subscription fee can be transferred over to another Oxford Club newsletter… so you could get another flavor of Oxford-ness if you prefer. But, again, the sale is done and you’ve paid for their advice and their “guarantee” really means “I guarantee that The Oxford Club is going to keep your money.” As we’ve seen in lots and lots of newsletter promos over the years, “guarantee” may cause you to think of the happy little word, “refund” … but they don’t mean the same thing.
And, of course, they have “only 250 slots” available to send in your $1,597 fee — so hurry!
Man, I’m feeling kinda snarky today. Maybe that’s because so many folks asked about this “Crypto Pot” idea, and because it seems like such a transparent money grab. There is, of course, no real connection between “marijuana” and the possible advantages of a distributed ledger… other than the fact that bitcoin has been used since its inception as a way to semi-anonymously buy drugs online. This is just a “there have been two bubbles in the recent past with crypto stocks and marijuana stocks… wouldn’t it be fun if we could smush them together and inflate a super-crazy bubble?!”
So if you want to dabble in this kind of magical thinking, go