X-ray sunglasses… exploding toothpaste… cameras that fire laser beams.
If you’re a James Bond fan, you’ll be familiar with these gadgets from eccentric inventor Q in the spy movies.
Later in today’s dispatch, you’ll find out what connects Q to the real-life CIA.
First, a warm welcome to new readers…
Legacy Research is the publisher behind Teeka Tiwari, Jeff Brown, Dave Forest, Nomi Prins, and Jason Bodner.
The Daily Cut is the e-letter we created to make sure you never miss one of their big moneymaking – and wealth-protection – ideas.
Every week, we send your questions to our experts. And on Fridays, we share their answers with you in our mailbag edition.
So if you have a question for the team, write us at [email protected].
This week, we’ve been shining the spotlight on our tech investing expert, Jeff Brown.
As you’ll know, public stock and crypto markets have been tumbling lately.
The Nasdaq-100 – which is full of mega-cap tech stocks – is now down more than 30% from its high last November.
And bitcoin (BTC), the granddaddy of crypto, has fallen 58% from its peak around the same time.
But Jeff has been working on a private investment strategy to help you profit even as public stocks and crypto plummet.
It’s why he held his Crypto Placements Summit on Wednesday night.
Crypto placements are private investments in early-stage crypto and blockchain companies. Jeff believes some of these companies will be the Amazons (AMZN), Googles (GOOG), and PayPals (PYPL) of tomorrow.
And he’s found two that’ll open their doors to investors in the next few weeks. The first deal goes live this evening.
To learn more about these deals and how they can help you grow your wealth in these volatile times, check out the replay of Jeff’s summit here.
Now, a crypto-related question from one of Jeff’s readers…
Reader question: Jeff, I’m a big fan and follower of yours. I’d like to get more exposure to blockchain technology without investing in cryptocurrencies. I’ll be 90 years old in a couple of months. My brain is functioning well, but forgetting passwords is a high risk.
I’ve read some bizarre suggestions for how to keep track of crypto passwords. Not for me.
I do hold some trust shares covering bitcoin and ether (ETH) but have read that they’re imperfect ways to track those cryptos.
I’d like to invest in companies exploiting blockchain technology without having to use wallets, etc. Thank you.
– John W.
Jeff’s response: Hi, John. Thanks for the kind words. I’m glad you’re interested in this exciting asset class.
I hope you tuned in for my Crypto Placements Summit. I detailed how to invest in early stage crypto companies by buying shares in them while they’re still in private hands.
But investing directly in crypto tokens is easier than you think.
In crypto’s infancy, it was normal for investors to self-custody their digital assets. This meant managing your private keys.
Crypto wallets use a pair of cryptographic keys – one public and one private – to control access to them. If you lose your private key, you can’t access your cryptos. There’s no customer service to help you out. Without that private key, you’re done for.
Luckily, there are now many safe choices for folks who don’t want to self-custody their assets. The experience is much like using an online brokerage account.
The only password you’ll need is the one you use to log in. If you forget it, you can reset it and create a new one.
A good choice is to open a Coinbase (COIN) account. The company has the best security in the world. And its accounts are easy to use.
Coinbase follows Know Your Customer rules. So it verifies your identity when you open an account. If you forget your password, your coins aren’t gone. As long as you can prove your identity, you can access your account.
So for anyone starting to learn about blockchain and crypto, this is a great way to go.
Now back to that James Bond reference I mentioned up top…
Fictional inventor Q’s high-tech creations weren’t far from what’s common today in real life – including GPS, smartwatches, and fingerprint scanners.
But that’s not Q’s only legacy… The “Q” codename is part of the name of the CIA’s secretive venture capital fund, In-Q-Tel, as a tribute to the character’s innovations.
The CIA set up In-Q-Tel in 1999 to invest in early-stage tech companies.
This put the CIA at the forefront of the Silicon Valley’s most disruptive advances… and gave it a strategic edge in gathering intelligence on America’s foes.
But In-Q-Tel’s support for the tech industry goes beyond surveillance. It’s also involved in lab-based biotech companies.
And that worries this Jeff reader…
Reader question: You recently mentioned that the CIA sponsors Automata, the company that makes lab robots. This shocked me.
You said, “There’s obviously a vested interest in accelerating drug discovery, diagnostic testing, and even molecular sampling for an organization such as the CIA.”
It’s far from obvious that this has anything to do with the bread and butter of the CIA. That would be spying on (hopefully foreign) governments and military targets as well as influencing events by blackmail, murder, and so on.
If the CIA is interested in industrial volumes of lab work, to me it means it’s planning to use the results on many people… not just a few selected targets.
Possibilities that occur to me are designing germs or poisons that target individuals, families, or even ethnic groups.
– Mike L.
Jeff’s response: Hi, Mike. Thanks for writing in. You’ve touched on one heck of a topic. The history of the CIA is checkered. The organization has been involved in a range of surprising activities.
In-Q-Tel is the CIA’s venture capital fund. It invests in early stage tech companies to get them off the ground.
That also gives the CIA early insight into the key technologies these companies are developing. I like to think of this strategy as intelligence-gathering.
The insights the CIA gathers through its investments may not be directly relevant to its mission. But they help prepare it to counter new tech from bad actors.
And although the CIA has been involved in nefarious activities, we don’t need to be overly alarmed about In-Q-Tel’s investment in Automata.
It’s a robotics firm that aims to automate laboratory tasks – especially repetitive tasks like filling, testing, and analyzing pipettes.
In-Q-Tel intends to tackle national security threats with its investments. And given our recent experience with COVID-19, it’s easy to see why it’s interested in lab work efficiency.
As we saw during the pandemic, our country needs a better response system to see who is infectious and who is not.
If we experience another pandemic, or a man-made biological threat, the government will need better testing and analytical capabilities.
That’s something Automata can help with. It can also help develop vaccines and therapies.
In-Q-Tel helps the CIA stay competitive with the exponential pace of tech innovation we’re seeing. And when it comes to national security and intelligence-gathering, the U.S. can’t afford to fall behind.
Over its decades in operation, In-Q-Tel has also helped develop breakthrough technologies such the touch screens on our phones and tablets… Google Earth imagery and maps… and holographic displays.
I understand your concern about what the CIA may be getting up to. It no doubt has used some dark tactics to help it in its mission. But if I was at the CIA, I’d want every edge I could find to keep bad actors at bay.
Next, we look at how companies are using artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and gene editing to create life-saving medicines.
It’s another of the tech-related profit opportunities Jeff is bullish on.
And one of his readers got in touch to ask what impact this will have on cancer treatments…
Reader question: Hello, Jeff. With biotech companies now using AI and ML to help with drug discovery, do you have a prediction for the extinction of chemotherapy for cancer patients?
– Gary S.
Jeff’s response: Traditional cancer treatments such as chemo and radiation basically burn down everything in your body to take out the cancerous cells in the process. Even surgery is invasive and risky.
It’s miserable for patients. And for those in advanced stages of cancer, success rates are low.
But cutting-edge companies are working on far more effective – and less painful – alternatives.
Last year, I wrote about a company called Deep Genomics. It’s developing an AI-enhanced approach to gene editing. When a genetic mutation causes cells to produce the wrong proteins, Deep Genomics’ tech will “turn off” those genes.
Specificity is key. We don’t want any genetic changes we weren’t planning. Luckily, Deep Genomics can target specific areas of our DNA for treatment.
Researchers are now also using AI and ML to understand how proteins fold, how they interact with different compounds, and how individual DNA interacts with specific therapeutic approaches.
In time, physicians will be able to feed our DNA into a system and quickly decide the best course of treatment based on our individual makeup.
This puts us on the path to treating many human diseases we previously thought were incurable. So much progress is happening in the biotech industry right now. AI and ML are speeding it up… and creating new ways of thinking about medicine.
This topic is deeply personal to me. I’m experiencing my own health challenge – prostate cancer.
But because we found it early, I’ve got a good shot at beating it.
Through my efforts, study, and support from a great medical team, I’ve begun to grasp the full effect our diet and lifestyle choices have on our health.
Yes, part of the problem is our genetic makeup. But most of our health problems come from our diet and the quality and regularity of our exercise.
If I work hard enough, I may be able to reverse the cancer and avoid surgery altogether. All I know is I’m up for the fight.
At the moment, advanced precision medicine techniques aren’t available to me. But it won’t be long before they are.
Now’s the time to make extra efforts to take care of our health. If we can stay in good health for the next five to seven years, the range of therapeutic options will be remarkably better than what’s available to us today.
We’ll wrap up with a message of support from one of Jeff’s readers…
Reader comment: As a lifetime subscriber of yours, I can’t tell you how much I’ve learned by reading your newsletters and how confident I am when talking to others about investments and technology. I’m even making money!
I sincerely pray you beat this cancer. You’re the type of person who can do it. Through your courageous efforts and our prayers, you will come out on top.
Stay strong, Jeff. We’re here for you.
– Charles S.
To read Jeff’s account of the revolutionary health screening that uncovered his cancer, go here.
That’s all for this week.
If you have a question for any of the Legacy experts, write us at [email protected].
May 20, 2022