Monthly Archives: November 2007

Marl the Stock Robot: Scam?

Have you heard of Marl the Stock Robot? Google “Marl” and click the first ad you see. You don’t have to read the whole page because I have summed it up in the next paragraph. Please click the ad anyway. You’ll understand why in a minute.

That page tells a story about the invention of “the first commercially available stock picking robot” which is available for $28,000 per license, which includes a week of training in the programmer’s home. The script assumes you can’t afford the software and offers you a stock tips newsletter subscription for only $47.

Maybe it’s a great newsletter. I don’t care about that. I am interested in the Marl software which, at $28,000, is out of the reach of anyone earnestly reading that page but vastly under-priced if it does what they claim.

Normally you would reject this sort of offer on the “too good to be true” rule alone but I wasn’t satisfied. I went looking for the software and I didn’t find any information leading to the purchase of a Marl software license. I did find a large number of sites echoing the same story and offering the same newsletter.

The site is one of a great many taking part in an affiliate marketing scheme to sell a newsletter subscription. This is just one of countless schemes telling lies in order to sell something. This is why I told you to click the ad rather than publish a link. They are paying for those ads, baiting real suckers, lying about a non-existent robot. Your clicks cost them money.

I don’t know whether the newsletter is any good. Maybe it can teach you enough to make some lucky investments. But if you want to make real money from Marl, I suggest you set up an affiliate marketing web site to sell that newsletter and buy all the ads you can get for $47.

Update 1: This is how a person can make money on a stock tip scam and why the government puts them away:

The volume of distribution of a newsletter such as the one at issue can rapidly become large enough that its membership, acting on the tips they receive, create an artificial demand for the penny stock and consequently cause the stock price to rise. If one reacts quickly enough and buys the stock before this wave of demand comes to market, it may be possible to realize a very high margin of profit where no real value exists in the merits of the company being traded. In this scenario, the biggest winner will be the first person to know about the tip and act on it, i.e. the publisher of the newsletter. Subscribers can profit, too, but they must buy fast and sell before the artificial demand bubble pops and the price regains parity with the actual market value.

Update 2: A reader going by the name of Mistlethrush left a very important comment below. It reveals the inner workings of the Marl software!