The Medical Acronym Investing Newsletter

Last October I wondered what happened to a company which interested me at one time during the 1980s. The company was Chock Full o'Nuts, and its symbol was CHF (you can understand why it caught my attention).

Last October I wondered what happened to a company which interested me at one time during the 1980s. The company was Chock Full o’Nuts, and its symbol was CHF (you doctors can understand why it caught my attention).

This time when I typed CHF into the CNN stock quote box, I came up with a different company—Converium Finance. It seemed that Chock Full o’Nuts was no longer listed on the stock market, and that its symbol was now assigned to a Swiss finance company.

This made me curious. I wondered how many other medical acronyms could I find in the stock markets’ symbols, and had I stumbled on a new way of investing? Could I beat the system? Maybe I could participate in the only true way to make money on the stock market—the investor newsletter.

I could see it now—only $199 per year (discounted rate), interviews on Wall Street Week, photo in Forbes. I’d make a fortune.

I resolved to find 10 common medical acronyms, which were also stock symbols, and follow their fortune over six months. It took me 29 tries before I came up with 10 current listings. They were BP, CAT, CVA, CHF, STD, CAP, AOB, CRF, MRI, and HRT. There were no current listings for IBS, PERL, AOM, OPD, TIA, MVA, BKA, TEMP, PUD, HSV, HIV, BNP, BMP, RA, OA, CAD, RCT, DOA, and CDC.

A pricing for BNP popped up during the six months, but in the interests of science I decided to ignore it. CHF became CHF.CL and then became valueless, along with MRI. I couldn’t find what happened to my virtual investments in either of these.

So, was it a success? Absolutely, as long as you bear in mind that “you should invest for the long haul, not the short term, and so the results should be interpreted in that light. Stocks may etc….”

It may not have helped that I had “invested” in 100 shares of each at almost the zenith of the stock market in October 2007. I also have to hope the two symbols that disappeared completely morphed into something else, not recognized by the Medical Acronym Investing Newsletter (MAIN) software.

For the rest, two went up in value, but the remaining six lost between 8% and 40%. Not entirely successful if I was after returns, but this was newsletter material, so results were not the point. The goal was not to evaluate how good MAIN’s picks were, but to compare them to other newsletters’ choices.

Of course, since MAIN is the only acronym investing newsletter, whatever it does it becomes the leader in its field.

I didn’t do any direct comparisons with other newsletters, since it is difficult to compare apples and oranges, but I suspect MAIN may have even come out ahead of a few of those over the last six months.

(By the way, MAIN is also the symbol for the Main Street Capital Corporation Com. It has a great yield, so it’s a pity I can’t think of an associated medical acronym—can you?)

Perhaps what would be more beneficial would be to prepare specialty-specific acronym investing advice. My search above was based on my family practice background, but I am sure I can find 10 stocks with an orthopedic acronym, and these would be far different from those in, say, cardiology or psychiatry. This could be the Medical Acronym Specialty Specific Targeted Investing Newsletter (MASSTIN—no symbol found)—a supplement to MAIN.

So, what happened to Chock Full o’Nuts? According to Wikipedia it was founded by a Russian immigrant who got his start selling nuts in Times Square. It was purchased by Sara Lee in 1999 who sold it to Massimo Zanetti Beverage USA in 2006.

A scene from the 1981 movie Escape from New York takes place in a Chock Full o’Nuts store, and other stores were seen on Seinfeld episodes. However, it’s no longer listed on a stock exchange, nor is any other company using the symbol CHF at this time. Could this be a commercial opportunity for manufacturers of implantable defibrillators, ACE inhibitors, and diuretics? Purchase the newsletter and find out.

Dr. Searle is a family physician from Port Orchard, Washington. He welcomes comments at searle.a@ghc.org.