A Medical Breakthrough Making You Rich… by Accident?

A Medical Breakthrough Making You Rich… by Accident?

Medical Marijuana Buds on Black Background

Happy Easter! We hope you enjoy the Easter break with your family. The Port Phillip Publishing offices are closed for the Easter holiday long weekend. We’ll resume our normal schedule on Tuesday, April 18. For now enjoy Sam’s article below. 


We wager the name Betty James rings zero bells.

Don’t worry. We hadn’t heard Mrs. James’ story either, until a few days ago.

But we know you’ve likely seen, heard — and maybe even owned — the invention she named in 1943.

Any guesses?

We’re talking about the ‘slinky’.

Yes, the spiral metal toy that could walk down a staircase. More than 300-odd million Slinky’s have flown from global toy store shelves in the 77 years since Betty coined the name.

Enough Slinkys — apparently — to circle the earth twice over.

The slinky rocketed Betty and her husband, Richard from broke, working class Philadelphians to certified US billionaires inside a few years. All by accident, mind you.

See, the slinky was never supposed to be a toy. Let me explain.

Betty’s husband Richard was a mechanical engineer toiling away at a shipbuilding company as the Second World War raged. One day he struck an idea to steady shipboard instruments during rough seas using tension springs. He dropped one by accident and was enthralled by the way it stepped across the room.

The slinky was born.

The slinky is no loner when it comes to accidental discoveries. The microwave oven, Velcro, Play-Doh and super glue were all accidents.

But the grand-daddy of all accidental discoveries? We award that honour to Alexander Fleming and penicillin.

Fleming was a messy bloke. After an extended holiday with family overseas he opened the door to his lab and met a familiar sight. A mess of lab equipment and petri dishes strewn across his desk.

But one petri dish caught Fleming’s eye. A staphylococcus sample, left open by mistake, was contaminated by blue-green mould.

A halo of inhibited bacterial growth surrounded the mould.

Fleming concluded the mould released a substance that halted the mould’s growth. That substance was penicillin.

Fleming later recalled, ‘When I woke up just after dawn on September 28, 1928, I certainly didn’t plan to revolutionize all medicine by discovering the world’s first antibiotic, or bacteria killer.

‘But I suppose that was exactly what I did.’

Before penicillin, a simple cut on your finger could spell death. Penicillin helped to virtually eliminate bacterial infections caused by staphylococci and streptococci. By some estimates Penicillin has saved more 200 million lives.

But unlike James and the slinky, Fleming’s life-saving, accidental discovery never earned him a penny.

Try as he might, he could never work out how to scale penicillin to commercial quantities.

But a (then) tiny pharmaceutical firm called Pfizer did.

Pfizer purpose built dozens of penicillin factories in the US. By 1945, Pfizer produced HALF the world’s penicillin supply.

Fleming didn’t see a penny from penicillin, but early Pfizer shareholders made a mint.

$1,000 in Pfizer stock in 1942 would be worth around $206,950 today (if you’d reinvested dividends you’d be up a lot more).

Penicillin Factory, Brooklyn NY
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If you’d laid a down $10,000, you’d sit on two million dollars today. Not a bad earner for an accidental discovery, right?

Well, guess what? We reckon we’ve found the next accidental medical breakthrough perched to go gangbusters over the next few years. And like early Pfizer investors, you could be well-rewarded IF your quick to jump aboard.

The greatest accidental medical breakthrough since penicillin

Like Betty James, the name Robert C Randall is probably a head-scratcher. Yet he was instrumental in what ranks as the biggest medical breakthrough in the last couple decades.

At an early age, Randall was diagnosed with glaucoma. A nasty eye disease where vision is slowly lost over time due to optic nerve damage.

In the 1970s he discovered — by accident — smoking marijuana improved his vision. By 1976, Randall became ‘one in 213 million’ — the only American legally allowed to use medical marijuana. For the next 20 years he was responsible for 34 new laws that recognised marijuana’s medical utility.

Thanks to his early efforts, science has cracked opened marijuana’s many medical benefits. We’re at the start-point of a new medical age, when cannabis-derived treatments could halt cancer, cure Arthritis, stop Parkinson’s in its tracks, reduce severe epileptic seizures, and much, much more.

The radical companies poised at the centre of cannabis’ revolution could deliver you Pfizer-sized wealth. And we’ve unmasked four ASX pot stocks that could be your ticket to ride the new wave of marijuana wealth.


Sam Volkering
Sam is Editor for Money Morning and it's small-cap and technology analyst. He spends his time hunting down the most exciting stocks on the planets, whether they’re potential-packed volatile small-caps or tech firms transforming our future through cutting-edge technologies. You can find more of Sam’s work over at Australian Small-Cap Investigator, where he shares the best small-cap stocks he finds on the ASX, or at Revolutionary Tech Investor where he reveals the latest breakthrough tech investment he’s discovered. If you’d like to more about Sam’s financial world view and investing philosophy then join him on Google+. It's where he shares investment insight, commentary and ideas that he can't always fit into his regular Money Morning essays.
Sam Volkering is Editor for Money Morning and its small-cap and technology analyst. He’s not interested in boring blue-chip stocks. He’s after Australia’s rising stars — companies whose shares trade for cents on the dollar — and are often shunned by those in the financial services industry. His mission is to make you big money, from small stocks.
If you’d like to learn about the specific companies Sam is recommending you buy for turbo-charged stock returns, take a 30-day trial of his small-cap investment advisory Australian Small-Cap Investigator here. But that’s not where Sam’s talents end. From discovering the Apple 2e and Macintosh in the mid-80s, to the rise and fall of the Mini Disc in the 90s…to building internet apps in the 00s...Sam is an amazing talent at finding new, cutting edge technologies and translating that research into how the future will look — and where the opportunities lie.It’s his job to trawl the world to find, analyse, research and — in the right situation — recommend investments in the world’s most innovative and technologically advanced companies.He recommends the best ones he finds in his breakthrough technology investment service Revolutionary Tech Investor.This revolutionary investment advisory is dedicated to finding the best ways to profit from technological developments across the globe. If the best action is in Australia, Sam will find it. If it’s in Silicon Valley, Frankfurt or Tokyo, Sam will find it there too.To find out more about how Revolutionary Tech Investor can help you profit from breaking developments in the tech world click here to take a 30-day no-obligation trial today. Official websites and financial e-letters Sam writes for: (You can find a list of recent articles written by Sam at the bottom of this page.)

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