Marc Lichtenfeld on the Cost of Prescription Drugs

Transcript:
Samuel Taube: Joining us again by phone is Marc Lichtenfeld, the Chief Income Strategist of The Oxford Club and the head of Lightning Trend Trader, Tactical Trader Alert, Chairman’s Circle Breakout Alert and The Oxford Income Letter. Marc, thanks for joining us again.

Marc Lichtenfeld: My pleasure, thanks for having me.

ST: Today we are talking about the high and ever-rising cost of drugs, a topic that’s been in the news a lot.

So I know that this is a very broad question I’m going to start with here, but what are some of the factors that contribute to the high cost of drugs, particularly brand-name drugs?

ML: I think a lot of people don’t quite appreciate how costly it is to create these drugs because they just hear the expensive price of the drug and maybe the margins on that particular drug.

But to get to the point where a drug is approved by the FDA costs hundreds of millions of dollars, typically. The average drug costs a billion dollars from the time it’s in a test tube to the time it’s approved by the FDA in roughly eight to 10 years.

Also, you have to consider all of the drugs that don’t make it. Because if a company does some drug discovery – it goes into clinical trials and it’s spending millions of dollars – and then the drug doesn’t work, or it’s proven not to be safe, or it’s rejected by the FDA for whatever reason, that’s all money that the company has spent as well.

So when a drug does get approved and does make it to market, not only does the company need to make that drug profitable, but it also tries to recoup the costs of all the failed trials.

Now, just to give you an example of how difficult it is: From the time a drug is in a test tube – so before it’s in human trials – to the time it gets to the FDA and is approved, only one in 1,000 of those drugs makes it all the way to approval. So it’s a very costly business. That’s one of the main reasons why drugs are so expensive.

ST: I see. I had no idea the ratio was that low – one in 1,000. That’s something. So then how are generic drugs developed, given the extremely high barriers of entry that you just described to creating new drugs?

How are generics developed, and why are they cheaper than brand-name drugs?

ML: So the reason they’re cheaper is because the generic drug company doesn’t have to go through all that expense – all that throwing stuff at the wall and seeing what sticks and seeing if the drugs are safe and effective.

Basically, once a drug is off patent – the brand-name drug goes off patent – all a generic drug company has to do is copy it. It can just break down the formula and make it itself. So it’s not paying all those costs for developing the drug and …read more

What’s Going on in Gold? Ask Greg Weldon.

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Gregory Thomas Weldon is in his 31st year observing and analyzing the global financial markets.

His pedigree includes a trial-by-fire introduction to the industry spending three-years as the point-man in the COMEX Gold and Silver pits for one of the largest COMEX Gold and Silver floor brokers of the 1970’s and 80’s, Stanley B. Bell and Company.

He left the floor upon the introduction of US stock index futures and international bond futures markets in Europe, and went to work as an institutional broker for Lehman Brothers.

It was at Lehman where Greg met broker-turned-trader Louis Moore Bacon and shortly thereafter left Lehman when Moore Capital was formed. At Moore, under the tutelage of Louis and Zack Bacon, Greg really honed his skills as a trader, purveyor of macro-markets and portfolio-risk manager.

After profitably managing ‘in-house’ money at Moore Capital, Greg made the move to the birthplace of many great traders of that era including Louis Bacon’s mentor, Paul Tudor Jones, Commodities Corporation, where he spent two years as one of the firm’s top performing risk-adjusted traders.

When Goldman Sachs bought out the partnership of Commodities Corporation in 1997, Greg started Weldon Financial, and launched “Weldon’s Money Monitor”, and “The Metal Monitor”, products that have more recently evolved into the all-encompassing “WeldonLIVE (with TradeLAB).” Greg has successfully navigated some of the most treacherous markets in history, most often guiding clients into macro-market trends and profitable trading strategies, repeatedly, year-after-year, over the 18-year history of producing top-shelf, thought provoking, global-macro market research.

Indeed, Greg authored the book “Gold Trading Boot Camp”, published in November of 2006, in which he very accurately predicted that the US credit markets would implode, that the Fed would purchase trillions of dollars of US government debt, and that Gold prices would more than double from their then-level of $550 per ounce. In fact, most everything Greg predicted would happen happened. Moreover, “Gold Trading Boot Camp” is also a “how-to” manual offering insights into the ‘job’ of trading the futures markets.

Greg has appeared on most every financial-focused television channel, and has been a regular in the past on several specific financial market television shows. Greg does the occasional radio interview, and offers customized, in-depth, comprehensive financial market conference presentations and speeches that leave his audience abuzz with a feeling of high-energy, and an abundance of factual information.

Greg’s Website & Subscription Information 

WeldonOnline.com

Weldon Live Subscription Information

Twitter: @WeldonLive

…read more

The Physical Economy Is Deteriorating At An Accelerated Pace, It Will Not End Well:David Morgan

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Today’s monetary system is based upon a lie. The lie is that you can get something for nothing, or perhaps more simply stated, wealth can be printed. History has shown throughout 5000 years that whenever a country has tried to maintain this illusion (lie), failure has been the result. We invite you to learn more about what The Morgan Report can do for you. Click on the Learn More About The Morgan Report button now!
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The post The Physical Economy Is Deteriorating At An Accelerated Pace, It Will Not End Well:David Morgan appeared first on The Morgan Report Blog.

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The Morgan Report’s Weekly Perspective with David Morgan

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The Morgan Report is all about YOU and how you can build and preserve Wealth for generations to come. We know it can sometimes seem a daunting task to protect your assets and preserve or grow your wealth. Over 15 years ago, a small group of us started The Morgan Report and formed an exclusive membership organization to promote personal freedom, an honest money system, free market wealth accumulation and asset protection.

Thus was born The Morgan Report – since then we’ve helped 11,000-plus members scattered over the globe in every continent and over 100,000+ e-newsletter subscribers have read our weekly e-newsletter — This Week’s View from The Morgan Report.

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The post The Morgan Report’s Weekly Perspective with David Morgan appeared first on The Morgan Report Blog.

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Starfish Limbs... and Why Bitcoin Forks Are a Good Thing

bitcoin forks 1

Have you ever seen a starfish get a limb cut off?

It might sound cruel, but it’s an impressive sight.

Nature has gifted these creatures with a unique competitive advantage. It’s one that few other species can boast.

Cut off one of its limbs and it won’t die…

It’ll simply grow a new limb over time. And in some cases, the severed limb can grow into a new starfish.

It’s one of the most astonishing adaptive traits you’ll see in the animal kingdom… and it’s all thanks to the principle of decentralization.

Starfish have a decentralized nervous system. Each limb contains most, if not all, of its vital organs. And select species of starfish can regenerate an entire body from a severed limb.

So if a starfish loses its arm, that arm could become an independent starfish… and may even compete with the original for dominance.

I bring this up for a reason…

The principle of decentralization has value beyond the ocean floor.

Decentralized organization is the driving principle behind prosperous free market economies… It’s the signal virtue of political democracies.

And as you can see from this week’s chart, it’s also the key innovation of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

[iu-adbox]
Bitcoin: the Starfish of the Currency Market?
According to Bitcoin.org, “Bitcoin uses peer-to-peer technology to operate with no central authority or banks… its design is public, nobody owns or controls bitcoin, and everyone can take part.”

In short, bitcoin is a decentralized monetary system built on cryptographic technology.

As the first mover in this new economic landscape, bitcoin has adapted to user concerns thanks to its decentralized nature.

Here’s what I mean…

When disagreements occur on how to improve bitcoin’s underlying technology, developers offer competing solutions. But since there is no central authority to impose a single solution on the entire network, users are free to choose whichever solution they prefer.

If enough users decide not to follow the most popular or mainline solution, they can simply create their own version of the software and maintain a separate ledger of transaction activity moving forward.

You can think of making these splits – or “forks,” as they’re known – as severing the limb of a starfish.

Bitcoin has endured several limb-cutting events over the years… but none have resulted in a deathblow to the original bitcoin currency.

In fact, bitcoin has remained as stable and competitive as ever.

Take some of the forks that occurred in 2017…

In August, a proposal called “SegWit” was introduced to improve bitcoin’s client software and allow bitcoin to handle transactions more quickly.

A small group of users believed the proposal would be ineffective and implemented a fork to avoid implementing the proposal.

As a result, “Bitcoin Cash” was born and began to trade separately from bitcoin. You can see the side-by-side performances of both in the chart below…

In October, another dispute between users took place that led to another fork.

A small group of users wanted to create a version of bitcoin that could be mined using GPU power instead of requiring specialty ASIC mining equipment.

As a result, “Bitcoin Gold” was born on October 24, 2017. Again, here’s a chart …read more

Zinc Explorer Finally Hits; How Big Can the Resource Get?

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Source: The Critical Investor for Streetwise Reports 12/09/2017

The Critical Investor provides an update on this zinc explorer’s latest drill results.


Ayawilca project; drilling location

After several attempts in vain, it seems like Tinka Resources has finally found what it was looking for: mineralization on the highly anticipated target Zone 3. Drilling in Zone 3 isn’t easy as the terrain in this area is steep, and the drilling itself took longer than usual, causing earlier hole 091 to be abandoned after no less than six weeks of drilling it. The rig was also badly needed for resource drilling at the time, so it was of better use elsewhere (South Ayawilca). Notwithstanding this, CEO Graham Carman didn’t forget the significant green alteration appearing at the very end of the drill core of another abandoned drill hole in Zone 3, hole 081, caused by chlorite, which is a strong indicator mineral for zinc. He needed a definitive answer from Zone 3, and deepened hole 091 another 145 meters. This time he and his crew had more luck and finally hit economic grade mineralization. What this could mean for the resource will be explained in this update.

All presented tables are my own material, unless stated otherwise.
All pictures are company material, unless stated otherwise.
All currencies are in U.S. dollars, unless stated otherwise.

Please note: the views, opinions, estimates or forecasts regarding Tinka’s performance are those of the author alone and do not represent opinions, forecasts or predictions of Tinka or Tinka’s management. Tinka has not in any way endorsed the information, conclusions or recommendations provided by the author.

Things are getting interesting again for Tinka on the exploration front, after the company outlined the resource on South Ayawilca and updated the total Ayawilca resource estimate to 42.7Mt @7.3% ZnEq on a US$55/t cut-off (about 3.6% ZnEq cut-off grade). As Zone 3 is a large target, and mineralization is abundantly found at Ayawilca, I wasn’t too concerned about the first misses. The current resource already indicates a pretty economic and sizable project, but investors (and management) were hoping for more, which might have been one of the reasons the share price didn’t hold on to higher levels as much as anticipated after the resource update on November 8:

Sean Brodrick Remains Bullish on Energy Metals

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Sean travels far and wide to seek out small-cap values in the natural resource sector.

His journey started in New England. As a youth he worked on Mt. Washington, on the cog railroad that runs to the summit. Working on the coal-fired, steam-powered trains was hard work but it was also incredible fun, and perfect for someone with an interest in the great outdoors and heavy machinery.

He graduated college with a journalism degree, and experienced the Internet boom and bust firsthand as the personal finance website he worked for suffered a spectacular flameout. The experience of being dumped on the curb with a handful of useless stock options gave him an appreciation for real assets, something he followed up when he joined Weiss Research as an analyst.

Sean left Weiss to become the investment director of the Sovereign Society, the world’s leading publisher of offshore asset protection strategies and global investment. But eventually, Dr. Weiss lured Sean back by promising he could do anything he wanted. What Sean wanted to do was cover natural resources … especially the little-known, undervalued foreign stocks he picked as likely to ride the next wave of the commodity supercycle.

Sean’s travels have taken him from diamond fields north of the Arctic Circle … to a gold project in Argentina … to an ancient city of mummies and silver … to a wild patch of mountains in Alaska where gold flakes still wash down crystal-cold streams.

Now, Sean contributes regularly Uncommon Wisdom Daily’s Morning Edition and Afternoon Edition e-letters. His special reports on precious metals, energy, agriculture and more have gathered accolades from investors and industry insiders alike. And his book, “The Ultimate Suburban Survivalist Guide”, which helps prepares readers for all sorts of physical and economic crises, hit Amazon.com’s best-seller list.

Sean is a biweekly guest on one of Canada’s premier financial websites, HoweStreet.com, and from time to time he makes appearances on various U.S. radio and TV news programs. He contributes to Dow Jones MarketWatch.

Sean’s Columns & Contact Info

Sean’s Columns

Twitter: @SeanBrodrick

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The Three Stages of Investment Booms

This post The Three Stages of Investment Booms appeared first on Daily Reckoning.

The boom in cryptocurrencies is following the same script that has played out over, over and over again.

You see, every boom follows a sequence of three stages. Every single boom throughout history has followed this script.

The stock market boom in the roaring ’20s… the tech boom in the 1990s… the housing boom in the 2000s.

And now the booming cryptocurrency market is following this exact same 3-step script.

First, only early enthusiasts are courageous enough to invest in the new trend. That’s stage 1.

Then, institutional investors (the so-called “smart money”) jump in. That’s stage 2.

Finally, the public joins the party, triggering a massive explosion in price. That’s stage 3.

If you know how to use this roadmap, you could make an absolute fortune. And to help you understand how this 1-2-3 sequence works, let me show you what happened during the 1990s boom in tech stocks.

In the mid-1990s, most people didn’t even know what the internet was. In 1994, the morning show NBC’s Today had a segment where one of the anchors asked, “What is the internet, anyway?”

While most people were dismissing the technology as a fad, early adopters like myself were heavily investing in it. In 1995, I correctly predicted every company would need a website. So I started my first internet company to help big corporations get online.

That’s how I ended up building the first websites for American Express, HBO, Sony and Disney, among others.

That was stage 1 of the boom.

Only when Netscape went public in late 1995 did people outside Silicon Valley start taking the internet seriously. That’s when institutional investors started joining the party, with pension funds and venture capitalists making a fortune when companies like Yahoo and Amazon went public.

The additional flow of money from the “smart money” helped pushed tech stocks even higher. That was stage 2 of the boom.

But the public was still not participating.

In June 1998, for example, mainstream economist Paul Krugman predicted the internet’s impact on the economy would be no greater than the fax machine. It wasn’t until 1999 that the masses finally started to invest heavily in tech stocks.

With more people jumping into the market, tech stocks jumped even higher, attracting more and more people wanting to get a piece of the action.

And that was the third and most explosive stage of the boom, with the Nasdaq soaring more than 85% in 1999 alone.

I’m telling you this because my research shows that cryptocurrencies are following this exact same script…

First, early enthusiasts, then, institutional investors, and finally the public. Where are cryptocurrencies right now?

In stage two of the boom.

The public is still not invested. That’s why right now is so special. If you get in before the masses, you could see astronomical gains.

And to help my readers take advantage of this generational opportunity, I’ve organized a very special team.

Using my network, I’ve located a small group of experts and hired them to also take a look inside …read more

The Zealous Pursuit of State-Sponsored Collapse

 

When Bakers Go Fishing

Government intervention into a nation’s economy is as foolish as attempting to control the sun’s rise and fall by law or force.  But that doesn’t mean governments don’t meddle each and every day with the best – and worst – of intentions.  The United States government is no exception.

From the “When the government helps the economy” collection: Breaking a few eggs while baking the bridge to nowhere omelet. [PT]

Over the years, layers and layers of interference by various federal, state, and local agencies have built up like grime on a kitchen window.  The grease shines and smells of something fierce.  The layers of government grime also drip and ooze into every crack and crevice of the economy.

These days, for example, it is impossible to carry out a simple private transaction with your barber or barista without some form of government interference.  Has your barber obtained the required license and paid the obligatory fees to be able to legally taper your neck line?  Has your barista’s espresso bean grinder passed city health inspection?

Is the hot Cup of Joe served in a paper cup of appropriate recycled material composition?  Did the hot beverage exceed the legally accepted temperature standard?  Did state and local governments receive their tax exaction upon payment?

The licensing racket – left panel: the basic definition of the racket; middle panel: how long it takes and what it costs to obtain licenses for assorted jobs in the US; right panel: the inexorable growth of rules and regulations. One shouldn’t be surprised that the pace of real economic growth has steadily declined since peaking in the late 19th century (or if one wants to focus on the modern era, since it peaked not too long after WW2). From money supply inflation to regulatory inflation, Leviathan has undermined the economy at every turn by inflating all the stuff we definitely don’t need more of. The pretense is that this is needed to “protect” us (for instance, last year the police courageously protected the citizens of Georgia from the dangers of an unlicensed lemonade stand by arresting its 14-year old female proprietor). Let us be clear: No-one will be allowed to terrorize the community by running an unlicensed lemonade stand or engaging in the high crimes of dispensing unlicensed manicures and haircuts. [PT] – click to enlarge.

When it comes to more complicated matters, where real money’s on the line, government interference is an absolute disgrace.  Did you know that it costs 10 times more to have an appendectomy in the United States than in Mexico?  Is the procedure 10 times better?

Obviously, this is nothing new.  Governments have been regulating and impressing their fingerprints all over commerce since society first granted its leaders the opportunity.  People are so accustomed to it that they accept government intervention as necessary to better their lives.

When it comes to price fixing, wage controls, and dictating oil production, things quickly go haywire.  This is because prices, wages, and resources have their own …read more

Crypto Alert: Mastering the Volatility

Greg Guenthner

This post Crypto Alert: Mastering the Volatility appeared first on Daily Reckoning.

It was the most expensive pizza ever bought in the history of human existence…

In May 2010, an unknown programmer named Laszlo Hanyecz exchanged 10,000 bitcoins for two Papa John’s pizzas.

About $30 could have netted you the 10,000 bitcoins Laszlo needed to fork over for his two pies, according to Coinbase.

It was the first real-world bitcoin transaction.

But that’s not the only reason it made history.

Fast-forward to today and we find ourselves smack in the middle of a bitcoin buying frenzy.

Everyone will remember 2017 as bitcoin’s breakout year.

In January, bitcoin was trading near $1,000. It crossed above $3,000 in June. Then it hit $5,000 in September.

On Dec. 7, the great bitcoin rally screamed to a staggering $19,000 before falling back to $15,000 in a matter of hours.

Bitcoin has proven it can turn just a few bucks into a fortune. But the dips and rips are more volatile than in any other market in history.

But with my Seven-Figure Formula, you could master it.

Time to seize the day!

The Simplest Way to Profit From the Bitcoin Boom

So what’s the best way to play the bitcoin boom?

The best way is simply to buy bitcoin itself.

Thanks to recent developments, that’s actually a lot easier than it used to be.

It also requires a whole lot less capital than you may think. You don’t need to invest tens of thousands of dollars to get exposure to bitcoin. A couple hundred dollars is enough to get you started.

The advantages of buying bitcoin come from the fact that it’s the only cryptocurrency that you can buy and forget about right now. When the day of reckoning comes for the crypto bubble, bitcoin is likely to be the only coin left standing.

Another benefit to bitcoin is that you can buy as little as 0.00000001 bitcoins — making the tiniest unit of bitcoin tradable today worth less than a penny.

You can get exposure without sinking a massive chunk of cash into it.

Just remember, the major upside doesn’t come without some risks.

The smartest way to play this crypto king is by making a modest bet and then not fixating on the roller coaster ride to follow.

Will “Crypto Boom” Stocks Quickly Go Bust?

Bitcoin and other digital currencies aren’t the only assets benefiting from crypto mania.

There are many ways investors can speculate on cryptocurrencies without buying a single coin.

With bitcoin mania ramping up to all-time highs, some of the smallest stocks operating in various spaces related to cryptocurrencies are starting to go wild too.

These plays are taking Wall Street by storm. Three of the four most actively traded stocks in the country the Monday after Thanksgiving were crypto plays, Reuters reports.

However, not all of them were rocketing higher. Many of these stocks have endured incredible intraday price swings of triple digits in a matter of days.

That’s enough to give even the most adventurous investor heartburn.

Moves like the ones we’re witnessing in these emerging crypto plays are rare …read more

How to Buy the Next Great Tech IPO for Pennies on the Dollar

This post How to Buy the Next Great Tech IPO for Pennies on the Dollar appeared first on Daily Reckoning.

One share of Facebook stock will cost you almost $180.

A single share of Netflix is worth almost $200.

Apple stock will run you more than $165 per share.

But these popular tech stocks look downright cheap compared with Amazon and Google. You would have to fork over more than $1,000 for just one share of either of these household-name tech giants.

If you’re looking to get in on the ground floor of Wall Street’s next tech all-stars on the cheap, you’re better off going after hot names right when they debut on the public markets, right?

Wrong.

The most anticipated initial public offering of 2017 was Snap Inc. (NYSE:SNAP). The company is the creator of the Snapchat app that’s constantly distracting your kids. As you would probably expect, it debuted on the market eight months ago to a hoard of hungry buyers.

Unfortunately, investors grabbing shares of SNAP weren’t exactly getting in on the ground floor. The hot social media stock was valued at around $30 billion the first day it hit the New York Stock Exchange.

Like most initial public offerings, Snapchat’s rally fizzled just a few days after the stock hit the market. By the end of the summer, SNAP had dropped more than 50%. The excited throng of millennials who jumped at the chance to purchase shares of their favorite social media platform didn’t make a single dime.

But what if you invest in the company before it hits the market?

The day Facebook went public back in 2012, venture capital firm Accel Partners had already turned its $12.7 million investment into $12.48 billion. That’s nearly a 1,000-fold increase!

If you had invested $2,500 in the deal, you’d have walked away with $2.5 million before regular folks even had the chance to buy a single share.

But obviously, that’s easier said than done. There are countless privately held companies out there trying to raise cash, so it’s very difficult to figure out which one is the next Facebook and which is trash.

Worst of all, to even think about investing in a private company, you typically have to be an accredited investor. That means you must have $1 million sitting in the bank or make more than $200,000 each year.

The bar is set impossibly high.

That brings us to one of Wall Street’s dirty little secrets: You won’t get rich betting on a hot new IPO.

Contrary to popular belief, IPO day isn’t the best time to get in on the ground floor of an exciting company. In fact, the ground floor was built long before the company’s board is trotted out to ring the opening bell on the stock’s first trading day.

By the time a company is big and successful enough to issue a public offering, the early investors have already made their money.

It’s sad. The Wall Street crowd gets the chance to sell their shares as soon as unsuspecting mom and pop investors swoop in to …read more