$10,000 Or Snake Bites: A Dangerous Investment

By John Del Vecchio  |  July 5, 2019

Snake… The word alone makes me cringe.

When I think of snakes, I think “scaly”… “slimy”… “evil”… They sure don’t create warm and fuzzy images in my mind, like my puppy does. When you call someone a “snake,” it’s never a compliment.

It’s no surprise, of course, that one of the most dangerous places in the world is filled with snakes. It is an island in Brazil, IIha da Queimada Grande, more commonly known as “Snake Island.”

It’s about 90 miles off São Paulo. People don’t venture there to hang out on sandy beaches. It’s undeveloped, which is saying a lot in Brazil. And it’s populated by an estimated 2,000 to 4,000 snakes.

That means they blanket just about every square meter of the island. These golden lancehead vipers have no natural predators, so they breed like rabbits.

And they’re dangerous… very dangerous.

They have no ground level prey. Instead, they stalk birds and kill them for food. But they can’t track the birds once they’ve bitten them. So, over time, they’ve developed very potent venom. It’s about three to five times more potent than a typical snake. It can kill a human in under an hour. It can melt skin.

Fortunately, the snakes can’t swim, so they don’t terrorize folks on the mainland.

A Snake Can Make You Money

Their potency and remoteness make them extremely valuable. Those dumb enough to sail over to Snake Island stand to make $10,000 to $30,000 from illegally capturing and selling a single lancehead.

For me, it’s not worth the risk. Venom rapidly coursing through my veins leading to a painful death is not how I want to leave this world…

But there are ways to profit from venomous vipers — safely.

You see, it’s not all bad with them. Yes, they can latch their fangs onto you land a killer blow.

But they also save lives. It’s true. The venom in snakes is being used for all sorts of medical cures.

For example, snake venom is used in cancer treatments. Venom from rattlesnakes carries a chemical called crotoxin. Researchers found that the toxicity of crotoxin was helpful in targeting and killing out-of-control cancer cells. Venom is also useful for pain management. Another potent application is to lower blood pressure. Most of us could use lower blood pressure, especially if you closely follow these crazy stock markets!

In particular, the Brazilian pit viper’s venom contains a protein that disrupts the angiotensin-converting enzyme, commonly known as ACE. It’s that non-toxic ACE inhibitor that helps reduce blood pressure. It’s also used by millions of patients to reduce the chance of stroke or diabetes.

The Food and Drug Administration approved this type of treatment back in 1981.

The latest Hidden Profits recommendation launched a drug in 1981 based on pit viper venom, a product called Captopril. It helps lower blood pressure. Over the last few decades, it’s saved millions of more lives than those very snakes took.

Cancer. Chronic pain. Hypertension.

Snake oil? It all adds up to a huge market opportunity…

And it’s managed to be the driving factor behind one of Hidden Profits most recent recommendation.

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John Del Vecchio

John Del Vecchio is the author of the bestselling book, Rule of 72: Compound Your Money and Uncover Hidden Stock Profits and What’s Behind The Numbers: A Guide To Exposing Financial Chicanery And Avoiding Huge Losses In Your Portfolio.

As the in-house stock market guru and forensic accountant for Dent Research, John stood on the shoulders of the great David Tice, James O’Shaughnessy and Dr. Howard Schilit, and built a framework of algorithms and a multi-factor grading system that has made him one of the more successful short-sellers around.

John is also the executive editor of our Hidden Profits newsletter and our trading service Small Cap All-Stars.

He graduated Summa Cum Laude from Bryant College with a B.S. in Finance and was awarded Beta Gamma Sigma honors. He earned the right to use the Chartered Financial Analyst designation in September 2001.MORE FROM AUTHOR