Blog Post – Wednesday, January 12, 2022
by Denny Hatch
An Amazing Infomercial, a Wizard and His
Gizmo That Can Make You Obscenely Rich
2021 Event: Marc Chaikin’s
Gauge Investment Opportunity
Just over a
decade ago, the guy on the right — shaking hands with CNBC’s legendary Jim
Cramer — bought the gargantuan double-house next door to us on sleepy, narrow
Gaskill Street in center city Philly. His name is Marc Chaikin. He is a
legendary investment guru and inventor of the Power Gauge—the most
astonishing stock market analysis gizmo in the history of finance.
ran into Marc at the annual holiday Gaskill Street block party in the summer 2021 and
he told me that he and his gizmo were now in the hands of Bill Bonner’s Agora
Publishing, a billion-dollar-a-year direct marketing, privately-held
conglomerate in Baltimore. He was finally, at last! poised to make a
gazillion dollars after ten years in the wilderness.
Triggered this Blog Post:
Textbook Brilliant Infomercial!
Marc and Sandy sold their big house and moved to New England. Below is the
7-word email from Gail—our incredibly savvy, eagle-eyed former neighbor across
the street—about our former neighbors, Marc and Sandy Chaikin, who lived next
door. Gail’s 7-word email:
Chaikin is alive and promoting himself.”
included a link to Marc’s extraordinary infomercial selling his Gizmo.
You will have the link to Marc's textbook brilliant infomercial at the end of this post. (Note: I found myself hanging on every word.)
The Nightmare Revisited
hot, hot Fourth of July many years ago at our Gaskill Street block party I
found myself sitting next to the new neighbor, Marc Chaikin. We got talking
about investing and — you guessed it — direct marketing. He started describing
his invention — a gizmo/widget that could be installed on an iPhone or
computer. It contained detailed data on the stock market. Updated continuously,
it synthesized dozens of metrics for 5,000 stocks and could tell you in an
instant whether to BUY, HOLD or SELL with unerring accuracy:
Marc set me up with his Power Gauge widget on my Apple computer. I
started playing with it. Peggy and I have turned over our modest portfolio to
Fidelity and are happy. But I was dazzled by this extraordinary invention.
Marc was in
the process of putting together a small company to market his Power Gauge to
investors. On that Independence Day picnic I said: “Marc, I can make you very
After a few
more conversations about direct marketing, Marc hired me as a
consultant/copywriter for $1,000 a month. As I recall he gave me a wee piece of the action if the thing flew.
Kooky Business Model
My memory is
a bit fuzzy here, but as I recall Marc had assembled a small gaggle of options
brokers, traders and advisors. They had convinced him that he had come up with
a neat-o lead-generation gimmick for traders to land customers and make big
bucks on commissions. The deal: give away the Power Gauge free to options
investors. When an investor placed a trade through the optionsXpress platform
Marc’s little company would get a nice commission. As I recall, it was a one-time
commission; not a commission on every trade.
The Obvious Business Model
one to mince words, I told Marc I had never heard of a deal like this.
immediately saw the Power Gauge as a potential gold mine and the
foundation of a fantastic investor’s advisory service. Alas options traders are
the wrong people. This gizmo is for serious, long-term stock market investors.
Options guys are get-rich-quick day traders. They are not investors; they are
crap shooters—gamblers. They love hot action, day trading and the rush of quick
the immortal words of professional gambler Nick Dandolos—a.k.a. Nick the Greek.
(He died Christmas Day, 1966). The Greek reportedly proclaimed: “The greatest
thrill is winning. The second greatest thrill is losing.”
My Pitch to Marc
“Don’t give this
gem away free!” I urged. Yeah, give it away as a free trial for a week or two.
During the trial period, blitz the responders with emails about what the gizmo
is saying and how much money investors were making from it. Then convert them
to becoming paid subscribers to the Power Gauge. Once in the fold, go
for the jugular. Upsell the users to a pricy email newsletter that tipped them
off to the hottest stocks to buy and the money-losing bummers to short.
Anybody out there remember Rod Smart of
The short-lived (2001) XFL Football League
Whose nickname was, "HE HATE ME"?
guys that Marc had assembled hated me. I hated them. Yeah, I wrote the copy
that Marc and his guys ordered me to write, but I was miserable. The business
model was going nowhere and I knew it. My arrangement with Marc lasted a couple
of months. Then one day a member of Marc’s team called me up and started
screaming at me over the phone. Peggy and I talked and we decided that since
Marc and Sandy lived next door it was not a good idea to get into a fight with
neighbors. What’s more, I was spending too damn much time on Marc’s project for
the grand a month he was paying me.
Back in Hindsight…
At the time,
I was a freelancer with a 50-year career in direct marketing. When I signed on
with Marc and he explained the cockamamie business model, I smelled a rat. As
founder of WHO’S MAILING WHAT! and, later, editor and publisher (with
Peggy) of Target Marketing magazine, I traveled the country attending
and exhibiting at myriad expos, conferences and local gatherings selling ads
and interviewing top direct marketers for cover stories. I knew the business.
Above all, I knew cold the arithmetic of continuity series and subscription
services many of whom had been early employers of mine as well as clients.
seemed to me these guys Marc had assembled had figured out how to co-opt the Power
Gauge—a work of authentic genius—to be used as a common lead generator.
mini-consortium I was the arch-enemy—a pain-in-the-ass little jerkwater
copywriter in the sad-sack shack next door who knew nothing about the inner
workings of Wall Street and was trying to upset their gravy train to juicy
commissions from options traders.
the Next 10 Years…
became close friends of Marc and Sandy. Periodically we would bump into each
other on the street or at summer block parties and I would ask him how he was
doing with the gizmo. He would regale me with the names of all the important
people who loved it and all the great connections he was making. But I gathered
the business did not take off.
Then in the summer
of ‘21 he told me he was in business with Bill Bonner’s billion-dollar Agora
Marketing, publisher of 300 books and 120 newsletters with 205,524 active
subscribers. It was a yummy (and long overdue) association.
Bill Bonner in front of his French Chateau d'Ouzilly—
down the road from David Ogilvy's Chateau dte Touffou.
"I never understood why copywriters feel the need to own
French chateaux," Bonner once said to me.
I knew Bill
Bonner fairly well. I wrote a cover story on him for Target Marketing. His sister-in-law
was a dear friend of my parents in upstate New York.
deep into my files and came up with a fascinating exchange of memos
where I tried to introduce Bill Bonner to the fledgling direct
marketers, Marc and Sandy
later, it turns out I was right.
= = = = = = = = = = = = = =
From: Denny Hatch
Subject: Breakthrough New Stock Rating
System and iPhone App—Free to Your Subscribers
catch-up lunch with Beth Ketzner and Kathleen Peddicord last month here in
Philly. All very upbeat and great fun.
I don’t think
you and I have spoken since you were the 1997 Target Marketing magazine
Direct Marketer of the Year and I came to Baltimore to interview you for the cover
currently working with Marc Chaikin, who is well-known in the financial world
and regular columnist for SeekingAlpha.com.
you’ll find his new Chaikin Power Gauge Reports and iPhone App to be
breakthrough achievements as stock research tools.
You can read
this e-mail or cut to the chase and go directly to [Marc Chaikin's link].
makes the Chaikin Power Gauge unique:
• It distills masses of complex data on each stock into clear and concise
actionable color displays.
• Green is bullish-positive – BUY NOW.
• Red is bearish-negative — SELL (or maybe Sell Short)
• Yellow is neutral — HOLD.
the Power Gauge it’s possible to make a buy-sell-hold decision literally in
only are the red-green-yellow displays based on impartial, third-party research
into more than 5,000 stocks—all updated daily—but also the system has been independently
back-tested over a 10-year period with complete success.
that want detailed analysis beyond the green-red-yellow indicators can enter an
e-mail address and the ticker symbol of any stock and click on “SEND MY
e-mail comes the 4-page pdf Chaikin Power Gauge Report.
With the new
iPhone App (released yesterday), all this research is not only available, but
also iPhone users can trade 24/7 anywhere on the planet. In Marc Chaikin’s
words, “It’s like having broker in your pocket.”
[I included the iPhone App link.]
system is currently free.
No cost. No
risk. No obligation.
tried it, you might like to pass it on to your readers.
a fascinating test:
Take a moment to visit
[Marc Chaikin's Blog]
2. Pick a
stock symbol and get a Free pdf 4-page Power Gauge Report by return e-mail.
enter the same ticker symbol into Google Finance, MSN Money and/or Yahoo
yourself which one solves the information overload problem by providing quick
and easy decision-making tools.
I think you
will agree the Chaikin Power Gauge Report wins hands down!
If you would
like to offer it to your readership, Marc Chaikin is available at:
[I supplied Marc's contact information.]
I hope all
= = = = = = = = = = = = = =
Breakthrough New York Stock Rating System and iPhone App—Free to your subscribers.
Friday, March 25, 2011, 2:08 PM
Yes, it's been
a while. Beth tells me you've been busy.
product is interesting...how does he make any money?
= = = = = = = = = = = = = =
From: Denny Hatch
for getting back to me about the new Chaikin Power Tools Research Reports
system and iPhone App.
This is in
response to your 6-word question: “How does he make any money?”
Two years in
development and several months in beta testing, this is in the early stages of
the product launch.
By way of background
Marc Chaikin’s team includes Wharton grad students, the past Head of Marketing
for Reuters America, a Gartner analyst and a veritable cadre of smart staffers
from twenty-somethings to septuagenarians.
are working at the intersection of two well documented trends: (1) online
financial services are migrating to primarily mobile access at unprecedented
rates and (2) massive flows of assets are moving out of traditional brokerage
accounts and into self-directed accounts.
investigating everything from paid apps to "freemiums" to
advertising-supported, they've settled on a blended business model to
commercialize their service.
time, the iPhone app is free to download. This is based on analyses of how
rapidly initial interest and downloads drop off for paid apps.
with other mobile services, they've negotiated with their brokerage partner,
optionsXpress, to receive revenue for their users who open new accounts.
is the primary revenue stream that they are pursuing. They expect to prove that
not only do their clients open new accounts but also trade frequently, and so
repeat this model with other online brokers in the near future allowing a
variety of online brokerage clients to transact right in the app.
it was reported this week that Charles Schwab will be acquiring optionsXpress:
Schwab's $1 billion offer last week for midsize optionsXpress seems like a good
move for the online-brokerage giant. The all-stock deal should allow Schwab to
update the options tools on its Website and to integrate futures trading, helping
it stay relevant in a very competitive technology race. The firm is choosing to
buy the technology rather than build it, and also gets the chance to absorb
optionsXpress' nearly 400,000 accounts.
Saturday, March 26, 2011
be a very positive development in the dynamics of the launch and the future of
Chaikin Power Tools.
the focus is building traction and creating evangelists with their brokerage
partner revenue model.
to the above they are also pursuing development and testing of other revenue
advertising support into their apps.
subscription for an "ad free" version.
• A paid
real time product for the active trader community with real time data and trading
• Turn the
research reports—now entirely free—into a subscription product.
• A plan to
offer their application and a module to be integrated with a traditional
broker's desktop workflow to full-service brokers in a traditional enterprise
Marc Chaikin is stoking the fires with his weekly column in SeekingAlpha.com and will be making the
rounds of the cable financial shows. The schedule so far:
— Fox Business,
Varney & Co. with Stuart Varney
— CNBC Worldwide Exchange
(“CNBC networks' most distributed show, simultaneously available in more than
100 countries across the globe.”)
the Chaikin Power Tools iPhone App was featured as the leading financial app in
the iTunes Store.
reviews are real good. Below is a sampling:
FREE IPHONE APP
called Chaikin Power Tools was just launched. It provides trading signals on
approximately 5,000 stocks. The app lets you set up your own watch list or
select from a built-in industry list. If you pick, for example, conglomerates,
you'll see recent prices (20 minutes delayed) for the companies in the group,
plus a proprietary Power Gauge, which gives you a bullish (green), bearish
(red) or neutral (yellow) signal. Clicking on a gauge provides additional
detail, plus the ability to view a graph and see some basic information about
the company. It's free, and it's fun. Check it out.”
Saturday, March 26, 2011
Power Tools (iPhone, iPad) FREE
market savvy app owners will have a good time with Chaikin Power Tools, an app
filled with analytical tools to monitor the market and making smart moves. The
app was designed by market expert Marc Chaikin and it works through more than 20
different factors of information to help make buying and selling decisions.
“The app also keeps track of outside information that can help you make
decisions about stocks. You can monitor breaking news that might affect the
market, and even keep up on high activity on Twitter regarding a certain stock.
And you can make your trades right from the app using optionsXpress.”
in my brain is an exchange we had over lunch in 1997 about the (then nascent)
Internet that nobody really understood except perhaps Jeff Bezos and yourself.
I muttered something about the business models that were built on “attracting
eyeballs” as being nuts.
bank that takes eyeballs,” you shot back, “is the eye bank.”
ain’t in the eyeballs business!
A couple of
financial guys are having lunch at the Bar Vendôme and one guy mentions a hot
stock. After lunch the other guy goes on his iPhone to the Power Gauge
on the Chaikin App. The colors are green—bullish-buy. Just to be sure he
requests the 4-page Power Gauge Report on the stock and it arrives as a
pdf by return e-mail. Everything looks good and he trades in his account, which
is confirmed shortly after the market opens.
if his luncheon partner identified some bad news about a stock that was in the
guy’s portfolio, he could sell on the spot and be out before it started to really
with the Chaikin Power Tools App, an investor has instant hands-on control of
his portfolio 24/7 anywhere in the world. Isn’t this 21st century personal
financial management at its most elegant?
Marc would be happy to jump on a train to give you more details in person on
his Chaikin Power Tools—or, if you are so inclined, we’d love to see you in
Philly for lunch at the Union League. He is:
[I supplied Marc's address, phone and email.]
again for following up. Hope this is helpful.
= = = = = = = = = = = = = =
Zero reply from Bill. He blew me off.
Now, 10 years later, Bonner and Chaikin have themselves a joint venture and a riveting one-hour-plus infomercial.
Maybe if I’d hung in there and got Chaikin and Bonner seriously talking to each
other I mighta wound up richer than Croesus.
• I love
Bonner. But hated the guys Chaikin had assembled.
• Life’s too
damn short to spend in perpetual misery, fear, angst and anger hoping for a big
payout in an uncertain future.
Marc's Current Offer from Agora Marketing.
The Link to Marc
Power Gauge Infomercial Currently Running
YouTube Key Words
The Most Fun You Can Have
In the English Language
At age 15, Denny Hatch—as a lowly apprentice—wrote his first news release for a Connecticut summer theater. To his astonishment it ran verbatim in The Middletown Press.
He was instantly hooked on writing. After a two-year stint in the U.S.
Army (1958-60), Denny had nine jobs in his first 12 years in business.
He was fired from five of them and went on to save two businesses and
start three others. One of his businesses—WHO’S MAILING WHAT! newsletter
and archive service founded in 1984—revolutionized the science of how
to measure the success of competitors’ direct mail. In the past 55 years
he has been a book club director, magazine publisher, advertising
copywriter/designer, editor, journalist and marketing consultant. He is
the author of four published novels and seven books on business and
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