“This is all a bit of a tempest in a teapot, which sounds funny given that the whole world is worried about Evergrande right now.”
— Andrew Collier
This week in The Wiggin Sessions, we had a strange mix of vignettes. While covering a host of Ray Blanco’s science and tech recommendations, we were treated to a debt-crisis scare in China and a subsequent sell-off in stock markets around the globe. Our Tennis Buddy Indicator (TBI) flashed red. And the Volatility Index (VIX) went through the roof. Readers also gave a mouthful on changes we’re making to publications in the Reserve. As always, take your time and enjoy — after all, it’s Saturday!
We opened this edition with an email we’ve received at Feedback@TheFinancialReserve.com because there have been a lot of changes at our Baltimore office… with more on the way. So not only do we want you to understand what we’re up to… but we also want your input on what happens next. Please take a second to let us know what you think about my interviews and daily emails, including how we can improve them. Then we check in with Ray Blanco, who shares details on three next-generation infrastructure plays
The men lacing up for tennis this morning were practically flehmening as I approached — ready to sniff out what I knew about the market sell-off yesterday. “I got stopped out of my Amazon position yesterday,” one decried. As you may know, I play tennis with a group of guys several times a week. We’re all roughly in the same stage of life: financially secure, but worried about the government, the economy and the stock market in particular. Since they know I’m in financial publishing, they often pepper me with market questions — especially when big movements are afoot.
Evergrande is one of the largest real estate companies in China. The last time we were in Beijing, investors were gobbling up high-rise apartments as a store of value. In some cases, the locks on the apartments were never breached. Like a car being driven off the lot, the apartments were depreciating in value as soon a human entered them. Evergrande took full advantage of the property boom, using debt to build its business as quickly as possible. Today Evergrande has $300 billion in liabilities — debt to banks and investors — on its books … but doesn’t have enough cash on hand to pay. The company could default at any time.
Watching the market’s ups and down while waiting for the fall has made us pretty anxious. In fact, the past year and a half hasn’t been good for anyone’s mental health. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the number of adults showing signs of an anxiety or depressive disorder jumped 5% between August 2020 and February 2021. That’s why I was very interested in what Ray Blanco had to say about Cybin Inc. (CYBN), a company working on a unique treatment for mental disorders. Its drug “could be powerful therapeutic tools for stuff that we can’t treat right now, like treatment-resistant depression, addiction, post-traumatic stress disorder and things like that” — giving it a huge advantage in a $27.4 billion market.
MyMD has set its sights on fighting inflammation — which is essentially what happens when your immune system is triggered. As we get older, our immune systems can keep reacting as if the body is under attack. The constant state of inflammation can cause autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, as well as various types of cancer. One of the key chemicals responsible for the immune system’s overreaction is called TNF alpha. And scientists discovered a chemical in tobacco that could be modified to inhibit the production of TNF alpha. The first drug to use this chemical was approved in 2002. “It was the first antibody therapeutic approved by the FDA,” Ray says. And today, “the best selling, most successful drugs in history are TNF alpha blockers.” You may have heard of them, including AbbVie’s Humira and Amgen’s Enbrel. All told, they’re a $40 billion market. But there’s a small problem…
You can catch our full interview with Ray Blanco, right here.
Through it all, Ray gave some great insights on some very intriguing companies. Just click on the photo above to listen to the whole thing.
Founder, The Financial Reserve
P.S. As part of our ongoing consolidation of services, Ray recently sold his position in Cybin Therapeutics, but he says he’s still watching the stock closely for a new entry point. We had a chance to sit down with Doug Drysdale, Cybin’s CEO.
Next week, you’ll hear all about the company’s technology and business strategy for taking on the $12.7 billion depression and addiction market. Stay tuned.