In 2016, my publishers thought I was nuts. I told them I wanted to recommend bitcoin to my readers.
At the time, few people had even heard of bitcoin… and even fewer actually understood it.
But over my three decades as a Wall Street executive and hedge fund manager, I’ve learned a lot of lessons. And one of the most important is to have the courage to stand by your convictions.
I didn’t take recommending bitcoin lightly. I knew that I would get pushback from my publisher… hate mail from my readers… and ridicule from my colleagues.
But I did my homework on blockchain technology… and I could see its potential to disrupt global fiat currencies.
Even then, there was no guarantee… but I wasn’t going to put my reputation on the line for something I didn’t have conviction in.
So in April 2016, I recommended bitcoin to my readers for around $400 a coin. Today it’s trading upwards of $19,000. A $1,000 investment would be worth $38,000 today.
But anyone who’s kept an eye on bitcoin during the last four years knows that it wasn’t an easy ride up.
The crypto rallied hundreds of percent… only to come crashing back down many times over the years. It’s been counted out as dead at least 340 times… Yet today, its market cap is sitting near record highs.
If you really want to be a successful investor, you can’t care what other people think. You have to rely on your own judgment. And I’ve done that again, and again, and again.
I tell you all of this because today, I’ve come across another idea that may sound as crazy to you today as bitcoin did to my publishers back in 2016.
An Unprecedented Crisis Calls for an Unprecedented Solution
According to a Pew Research study, one-third of Americans have experienced high levels of psychological distress during the pandemic.
At the peak of this crisis, nearly 13% of the workforce was unemployed. Anyone who has been laid off knows the mental burden of looking for work while bills pile up.
And with a surge in cases, millions of people fear the virus may infect them or their loved ones. I know many people who are suffering, both physically and mentally.
The traditional way to treat mental health disorders was with antidepressants like Prozac. But these drugs usually only treat the symptoms… not the underlying causes.
This is an unprecedented problem… which necessitates an unprecedented solution.
And the solution may be one of the most controversial ideas I’ve ever come across. It’s called psilocybin.
If you’ve never heard of psilocybin, it’s the active ingredient found in “magic” mushrooms.
Now, before you call me a quack, I want you to hear me out…
Cutting-edge research into psychedelics like psilocybin is revealing surprising effectiveness in treating mental health issues.
For instance, a study by the Journal of Psychopharmacology found that a single dose of psilocybin was enough to reduce depression and anxiety in cancer patients for up to five years… without the bad “trips” associated with recreational use of psilocybin.
And Johns Hopkins University recently published more evidence supporting those claims. Its study showed psychedelic-assisted therapies were effective in treating emotional traumas.
The findings are so robust that Canada’s Minister of Health has approved the use of psychedelics in palliative care patients.
In November, voters in Oregon and Washington D.C. approved measures to legalize guided psilocybin therapies. These measures are the first of their kind in the U.S., so they’re still developing a framework for the treatment process.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, one in five American adults suffers from some form of mental illness. This has created a huge market for antidepressant drugs. Sales are expected to grow to $18 billion by 2024.
So not only is it a major health issue… it’s also big business.
Suppose a safe and effective psychedelic drug can capture just a fraction of the antidepressant market. In that case, we could see this niche industry explode in value… Just like we saw the medicinal cannabis industry rocket higher.
Take GW Pharmaceuticals, for instance.
It was the first company to receive FDA approval for a cannabis-based drug. Shares opened at $8.90 when it had its IPO in 2013. Today, they trade around $138… that’s a 14x return for early investors. Enough to turn every $500 into $7,500 and $1,000 into $15,000.
I believe we’ll see a similar growth trajectory for the best-in-class psychedelic companies.
The Next Asymmetric Opportunity
I know psychedelics are a controversial subject… Just like cryptocurrency and legal cannabis. Many analysts thought crypto and legal cannabis were fads – that they had no utility or efficacy.
But we’re seeing adoption explode in both areas…
Just last week, the CEO of the world’s biggest asset manager, Black Rock, said bitcoin could “evolve into a global market” asset like gold.
Giant payment platforms like PayPal and Square now offers bitcoin trading services to their millions of clients. And world-class luminaries from the traditional financial world – such as billionaires Stanley Druckenmiller and Paul Tudor Jones – are buying bitcoin.
As for cannabis, just this past election we saw votes in five states passed ballot initiatives legalizing cannabis in some form. That brings the number of states that have some form of legal cannabis on the books to 36.
According to November 2020 poll by Gallup, nearly 68% of Americans support legal cannabis. Compare that to 2010, when just 50% supported legal cannabis, and you can see just how quickly views have shifted in the last decade.
Friends, we’re seeing an absolute sea-change in attitudes about technologies like crypto… and pharmaceuticals like cannabis.
We’ll see the same with psychedelics.
Researchers are only just beginning to uncover psilocybin’s true potential. But already, the results look promising. Studies are finding evidence that psychedelics treats anxiety… PTSD… substance abuse… insomnia… and potentially so much more.
If this sounds like an unorthodox approach, that’s because it is. As a society, we’ve never tried to treat mental health issues with psychedelics.
But the pandemic has created an unprecedented crisis. And it requires unprecedented solutions. Psychedelics is one of them.
Here me when I tell you this… We aren’t even in the early innings of this trend… In fact, the game hasn’t even started yet.
That’s why psychedelics will be the next big asymmetric opportunity. Eventually, we’ll find start-ups in this space that can turn tiny grubstakes into life-changing gains.
I’m putting my team to work to find the best ideas in this space. I believe it’ll be one of the biggest trends of 2021 and beyond.
Let the Game Come to You!
Editor, Palm Beach Daily
P.S. Let me know your thoughts on using psychedelics like psilocybin to treat mental illness. Are you pro or against the use of psychedelics in a clinical setting, and why?