Flaherty Special Situation Newsletter #37
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BioSig Technologies, Inc. Is Going Commercial!

 

BioSig Technologies (OTCQB: BSGM) is racing to record abnormal heartbeat wave signals and significantly improve innovation - starved arrhythmia treatment. Cardiac electrophysiologists who monitor and correct electrical activity of the heart need cleaner, clearer, real time intra-cardiac within the heart recording. Success should bring improved better results for thousands of patients, shorter operations, reduction of unacceptably high recurrence procedures, lower costs and result in high exponential returns for early investors. Follow Up: The fairy tale life of one of America's first female financial writers, courageous Clare Reckert.        November 20, 2014

Bob Flaherty Rides Again! Welcome to our 37th Flaherty Special Situation Newsletter. If you have not already done so, please join our financial family. Go to our website http://www.flahertyfinancialnews.com/ and opt in as a reader to receive your next FREE issues of Flaherty Special Situations and also our sister Flaherty Financial News Newsletter. You can opt out any time.

A Special Situation Bargain with the Templeton Touch!

It's still a tale of two stock markets. The popular blue-chip indexes are soaring while the micro-cap sector is on the bargain counter. Our late contrarian friend and pathfinder Sir John Templeton considered such moments as wonderful opportunities to find bargains. Just identify a significant hidden value gap. Our Stevia First (OTC: STVF) discovery last issue evoked this embarrassing praise from a well- known Wall Streeter, "In my eyes you are still the best editor in the world!"

Wow! Let's find a new bargain.

You have a heart. It's still beating. What's in this issue concerns you. The new   technology being introduced can change how you and your loved will be treated in the future. Turn your attention to heartbeat signal recording upstart BioSig Technologies, Inc. (OTCQB: BSGM-3.25). This six-year-old innovator is racing to introduce transformational technology to shake up the innovation- starved treatment of arrhythmia (irregular, fast or slow heartbeats). Success in this huge and rapidly growing market can yield significant investment returns. Its  47-year-old Executive Chairman Kenneth Londoner is an institutional investor turned entrepreneur. Even better, Ken managed money for Sir John Templeton for 3 years and benefited from his wisdom.

 

While piling up billions of assets from winning picks, John pinched every penny so the maximum could be invested in the best bargains selected from all over the world. He strived to outperform the stock indexes so he was fussy about selecting  money managers. Few made his cut.

Ken Londoner did. By age 25 he was one of the youngest mutual fund portfolio managers in the U.S. and oversaw  nearly $1 billion in assets at the J & W Seligman Growth and Capital Funds. In 1997 he left to start the long/short  hedge fund, Red Coat Capital Management and excelled. In l999  Morgan Stanley included him among 25 top money managers showcased in MS' conference in the luxurious upscale gated community of Lyford Cay, Bahamas.

Londoner had a private one- on- one meeting that took place in Sir John Templeton's beautiful huge white mansion overlooking the ocean. Billed as a fundamental investor whose extensive due diligence was converted into actionable new stock ideas both on the long and short side, Ken expected to be asked about his investment approach. Instead John grilled him with background personal questions concerning his philosophy of life. Religious beliefs? Yes. Bad habits? No. Ken was married with two children. (Now he and his wife have four and are reaching their silver anniversary.)

Satisfied, John abruptly ended their meeting. Would Ken like to manage some of his funds? Ken suggested a wire but John impatiently wrote out a check. Trying to be polite, Ken just  glanced at the $5 million amount and slipped it into his wallet. Back home in New York it turned out to be not for $5 million but $50 million!

As a leading emerging hedge fund performer, Ken's life was like a rollercoaster ride. After the high of early success, he experienced a drop in 2000. Then came the life changing 9/11 Twin Towers terrorist attack with the loss of scores of close friends. In spite of having a strong fund performance in 2001 he became overcome with grief and felt depressed over the Trade Center tragedy. Ken decided to take a new course. Life was too precious to continue just pursuing short term gains running a hedge fund. He wanted not just a high return on assets but a high return on life too.

Dissolving Red Coat in 2002, he focused on learning Manfred Mosk's alternative financing style of building new enterprises. Mosk, a limited partner in Londoner's hedge fund, preferred to bypass relying on hedge funds and venture capitalists to finance emerging growth companies. Sometimes he found their usual three to five year exit goals were too short term to finish off building an enterprise. Instead Mosk groomed a start-up on the illiquid OTC, built it quickly and up listed the stock as soon as possible onto a major stock exchange. Successful entrepreneurs could achieve more of their dream's potential to disrupt existing markets and be all they could be before selling out -if they sold out at all.

Like his late mentor Mosk, Ken is focusing most on building medical companies. The returns for early investors should be rich, but mankind should benefit more too. This goal would get a thumbs up from John Templeton. He always stressed that you cannot find happiness by seeking it directly; it is a byproduct of serving others.

Here is the tremendous opportunity for BioSig if its early goals are achieved. One out of 18 of the entire population and one  out of four senior citizens suffer from irregular heartbeats such atrial fibrillation, the most common cardiac arrhythmia (irregular or fast or slow heartbeats). Unfortunately relying on outdated cardiac electrophysiology recording signal technologies contributes to overly lengthy surgeries averaging four to over eight hours. Out dated technology results in unacceptably high arrhythmia treatment reoccurrence and sometimes even death.

Innovation can make a difference. Enter BioSig's processing and recording solution. BioSig's PURE EP™ stands for Precise Uninterrupted Real-time Evaluation of Electrograms. The system cuts treatment times of arrhythmias significantly by eliminating background static and other noisy distortions common in the signal recordings. Recording within the heart intra-cardiac signals will be clearer and give cardiac electrophysiologists a better idea in real time of what they are doing during treatments. It will save costs and more importantly lives. These are goals worth spending a significant part of your career on accomplishing.

An institutional money manager turned entrepreneur and chastened by past experience, Ken Londoner has developed the staying power and wisdom needed to build BioSig to the success it deserves. Here is the first story anywhere on this latest new entry in a double digit annual growth medical device niche searching for heartbeat recording signal innovation to improve medical treatments for millions of patients. Another scoop for Bob.

Please note that new technology in the electrophysiology (EP) market is currently heating up. So is merger and acquisition activity which  has been robust  for the past five years. Medical giants such as Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), Boston Scientific (NYSE:BSX), St. Jude Medical (NYSE:STJ) and Medtronic (NYSE:MDT) have paid handsome cash prices for innovators similar to BioSig Technologies.

On Oct. 29 Abbott (NYSE:ABT) entered the catheter-based electrophysiology market with three transactions which a Fortune article estimated had a combined value of nearly $500 million. The keystone was acquiring a pre-revenue BioSig look- alike, the still private Topera Medical, Inc. The price was  $250 million, plus potential future payments tied to performance milestones.

This rich price is clearly a validation that there is opportunity in this innovation starved rapidly growing medical device niche. Considering BioSig's recent total stock market capitalization of only $53 million early investors can anticipate their own rich gains if management continues to execute their operating plan. Longer term returns could be exponential, considering the rich premiums acquirers pay for innovators in this niche.

The goal of a Flaherty Special Situation is a gain of 50% to 100% over two years.   Astute patient investors who stick around as the company achieves its potential have the opportunity for larger exponential gains. These usually go to the venture capitalists who are being bypassed by this new enterprise.

In this little lead we touched on the highlights for investing in this special situation: seasoned management with patented innovative technology to disrupt a high growth medical device signal market and an exit down the road of ultimately being acquired by a giant at a generous premium. In the following pages containing greater detail we make the case for BioSig Technologies, Inc. We like it a lot. Read on and see if you agree.

 

BioSig Technologies' goal is to dramatically improve arrhythmia treatment.

http://biosigtech.com/ 

  

BioSig Technologies' (OTCQB: BSGM) PURE EP™ System can greatly improve the $3 billion catheter-based electrophysiology treatment for heart patients. Innovative signal recording of clearer within the heart intra-cardiac signals will  enable doctors doing their surgeries to see problem areas that they can't see today with older technology. The advance will shorten today's grueling treatments to correct irregular, fast or slow heartbeats. A seasoned management team with a classy board of directors and scientific advisory group pioneer long awaited technology to improve signals for millions of suffering patients. Success will mean improved results, reduction of unacceptably high recurrence procedures, lower costs and result in high exponential returns for early investors.

 

By Robert J. Flaherty and Brian D. Flaherty

 

Buy Recommendation

 

Los Angeles-based BioSig Technologies, Inc. (OTCQB: BSGM-3.25) is an exciting start-up in the sizzling atrial fibrillation space. Trading on the OTC just commenced on Nov. 6th. A special letter to shareholders of Nov. 10 declares expectations to greatly improve recording signals for the $3 billion electrophysiology (EP) market. EP is simply the study of the electrical pathways and activity of human hearts. Electrophysiologists, EP's specially-trained clinicians, have desperately long awaited replacement of their out- of- date technology.

BioSig's technology platform has been demonstrated at several leading U.S teaching hospitals and research centers. Animal studies have been completed and human clinical trials are in the planning stage. Two patents have been filed and more will be. FDA medical device application 510(k) will be filed. A commercial launch is planned in 2016.

The ambitious goal is to dramatically improve the treatment protocols and outcomes for treating cardiac arrhythmias for abnormal heartbeats-irregular, faster or slower than normal. This type of heart disease afflicts 14.4 million Americans or one in 18. Over one in four senior citizens over 65 has this problem.

Complicated cardiac arrhythmias are what BioSig's proprietary signal recording technology is about. Two major and most deadly types are atrial fibrillation (AF) and ventricular tachycardia (VT). Both are challenging to treat, resulting in lots of hospitalization and costs in the health care system. The most common arrhythmia with 2.7 million cases in 2010, AF is forecast to grow to 5.6 million by 2050. Already AF leads to 600,000 hospitalizations with a direct cost of about $6 billion annually. Indirect costs lift the total to $26 billion. While you can often live with it a long time, AF increases your risk of stroke, the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S.

In contrast, VT is a different story and can be rapidly fatal if not reversed. VT arrhythmias account for 350,000 sudden cardiac arrhythmia deaths annually.

At the clinical level there are two primary classes of treatment for AF. They are drugs and cardiac catheter ablation, which means using a heated catheter to destroy the damaged heart tissue which triggers abnormal heartbeats. Anti-arrhythmic drugs often have limited effectiveness and can cause serious side effects. That leaves cardiac ablation as the main procedure performed to correct abnormal electrical impulses in the heart. It requires a board certified cardiac elecrophysiologist to obtain highly detailed ECG and intra-cardiac signals to pinpoint the location of the malfunctioning heart tissue to properly place and then use a heated catheter to burn and scar just that tissue disrupting and  affecting the heart rate.

Many cardiac arrhythmias are well understood and ablation simply requires destroying a small area of heart tissue possessing electrical abnormality. In contrast complex arrhythmias can often be largely empirical because of the difficulty identifying the areas causing the abnormal electrical heart rhythm.

Unfortunately current procedures leave much room for improvement. Unacceptably high treatment recurrence ranges from 31% to 41% for AF. There are very long procedure times of two to over eight hours depending upon the heartbeat complexity. Problems arise partially due to limitations of old technology. The heartbeat signal recording inadequacy issues affect the ablation procedure. Many cases are very challenging. Clinicians have little choice but to use an empirical geographical approach on the heart. That means searching to find proper areas to start burning damaged tissue causing abnormal heartbeats. They must take a shotgun approach. As a result electrophysiologists  don't always treat the right areas. Signal interference from equipment in the EP Laboratory operating room can completely mask some tiny but important heartbeat waves in current recording equipment. Other heartbeat waves can be distorted in transmission.

Forget the big words you don't understand. The problem is simple. Your heart works by electricity. When your heart beats there is an electrical impulse that fires from the top of your heart and goes to the bottom. As we grow older, the electricity transmission heartbeats become irregular in one out of every four people over the age of 65. Malfunctioning is a big problem and a huge disease. The treatment problem is a lack of innovation and the EP industry is starved for it.

Well rounded Gregory Cash recently joined BioSig as president and CEO. Greg has a 30-year track record of accomplishment in the cardiac medical device field. Besides heading start-ups and turnarounds, Greg held senior positions with market leaders including Medtronic, Boston Scientific and Covidien (NYSE:COV). He has come on board to lead BioSig's transformation from a R&D technology development to commercialize its revolutionary PURE EP™ recording technology.

Why will doctors want it? The PURE EP™ System is dedicated to preserving the form and structure (which current recording systems can distort) of the patient's cardiac signal recordings. It can visualize crucial information in real time, eliminating the need for manual data validation. It generates confidence indexes to assist clinical decision making for improved ablation outcomes. "We think we can reduce the time of the ablation treatment procedure 10% to 20% and possibly even more than that," says CEO Cash. "Our software replaces a lot of manual sub process in the procedure itself. We offer electrophysiologists real time information that will help them shave time off the procedure."

In addition to preserving the pathology or shape of the signal, BioSig also includes some software features that allow the electrophysiologist to speed up the procedure by confidence indexes rather than reading hour after hour of retrospective analysis of the heart signal. That's why PURE EP™ can be a welcome productivity tool in one of the faster growing and lucrative segments of the hospital. If using PURE EP™ reduces procedure time, extra procedures (perhaps two or three in a week with an average reimbursement of $10,000 or $15,000) can be performed. Hospitals can recover the cost of buying the PURE EP™ System technology pretty quickly. Customers? There are 4,000 cardio electrophysiology labs worldwide; 2,800 in the U.S. EP treatment is very big.

 

The Management Team: Executive Chairman Ken Londoner, 47, is an institutional money manager turned entrepreneur who had helped create, turnaround and build a number of successful medical technology companies. One is Alliqua (NASDAQ:ALQA), which also started out on the OTC and up listed its stock onto NASDAQ. Ken was instrumental in attracting $89 billion total stock market cap Celgene (NASDAQ:CELG) as a strategic partner and key investor. Ken also worked on InspireMD (NYSE:NSPR), which took same pathway from the OTC and successfully up listed onto the Big Board. He was responsible for recruiting Sol J. Barer, founder and retired Chairman of Celgene to accept the Chairman's role at InspireMD. Barer has led a transformation by bringing in a Fortune 500 management team and board and positioning it for great success. An institutional investor for almost 15 years, he worked for J & W Seligman & Co and co-managed two of its large mutual funds. Then he founded and ran a billion dollar hedge fund for seven years. In 2007 he saw the opportunity for innovation in a rapidly growing medical device niche in desperate need for new technology. He has been developing BioSig for almost six years. It has taken that time to get their system working, functional and to have sound technology. Meanwhile Ken has done an outstanding job recruiting BioSig's new CEO and assembling a truly outstanding board of directors and an all-star scientific advisory group. He is partnering with the leaders in this cardiac treatment niche.

"We believe we have transformational technology," says Ken. "I have committed a significant amount of my career trying to improve the outcomes for patients in our market. Unacceptably high repeat procedures are still about the same rates as they were five years ago. Our goal is to create a product that does well for patients and doctors and also makes the stockholders a really big return."

 

President and CEO Gregory Cash, 57, joined BioSig about four months ago with a great pedigree in the heart space. Starting at Medtronic in his career he has run numerous cardiac operations. They have groomed him for every part of marketing and general management. His area of expertise is cardio medical devices and he knows this field. He chose BioSig because of its promising product and the opportunity to sell into a market with double digit growth when most other medical devices are only growing 1% or 2%.

Ken Londoner has put together a world class board. BioSig has three directors who are former executives of the biggest player in this catheter-based electrophysiology market. Seth H.Z. Fischer, current CEO of Vivus, Inc. (NASDAQ:VVUS) is also former World Wide Group Chairman of Johnson & Johnson Cardiovascular. Roy Tanaka reported to Seth and ran BioSense Webster, J&J's rapidly growing and dominant electrophysiologist business. Asher Holzer was a key early executive of the heart mapping company Biosense, which was acquired by J & J in the mid l990s.  

Patrick Gallagher is managing director of underwriter Laidlaw & Co. in New York. Jonathan Steinhouse is a prominent active investor and executive in the healthcare information space and a former director of Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL).

BioSig's Medical Advisory Board is a Who's who of electrocardiology leaders. Their presence is a tremendous vote of confidence that BioSig is headed in a direction to benefit mankind.

 

Competition:

Four giant multi-national companies have locked up the biggest part of the EP market. J& J has the largest market position with its BioSense Webster franchise and St. Jude is the second largest player. The remainder is divided among a couple of other large players like GE, Boston Scientific and Siemens. New entry is expensive and usually risky. The history has been early innovation, consolidation and then aggression among the giants. They fight over sales and marketing capabilities, ability to influence doctors globally, their ability to train and educate practitioners. Companies find little ways to make products better every year to try and refresh the product line. So competition is not really a risk, but there is the possibility that BioSig might get bought out sooner than its founders would like or would be beneficial to mankind. At a rich price shareholders would benefit but the control group also wants to see its transformational technology developed to the fullest extent possible. Sometimes giant acquirers are satisfied with less than founders dream to achieve.

 

And Then There Was One!

M & A activity has been rich and active. Deals have recently ranged from $225 million to almost $460 million and most targets were pre-revenue. When Ken Londoner started BioSig in 2009 there were eight little companies that were pre revenue and had serious modernization efforts for segments of the EP industry. Over the years each of the others got bought out. On Oct. 29th Abbott (NYSE: ABT) announced two acquisitions and a related separate investment totaling nearly $500 million. Abbott's acquisition of private, venture -backed Topera Medical Inc. was Abbott's entry into the $3 billion catheter-based electrophysiology market growing annually at double digit rates. The rich price was $250 million upfront, plus potential future payments tied to performance milestones.

 

12-Month Goals:

BioSig has set ambitious milestones for the next 12 months. Right on the horizon is the initiation of human clinical trials. Management is putting that plan together right now and working with some of the leaders in the field. Several prestigious cardiac centers have agreed to collaborate on them. The good news is BioSig should have a relatively easy pathway to file a 510-k application with the FDA before the end of 2015. Approval should come in 2016. In the EP medical device field the size of the trials should be small. The reason is there is a desperate need for improved and functional technology. So trials can be done fairly quickly and in expensively. This is one of the few fields in medicine where you can do clinical work, convert it to marketing and do it for a reasonable amount of money.

 

Patents:

Is the way still open? "We have a clear path," says Ken Londoner. "What we are working on, nobody else is working on. Nothing filed at the U.S. Patent Office that would be comparable, similar. But we have two provisional patents that we actually are just converting and we are doing international filings on our first two patents. We expect to file many more patents over the next year or two. "

Liquidity?

"We will work to get off the OTC as soon as possible," says Londoner. "This stock is tightly held by management and the board, who control over 50% of the equity. We hope to up list to NASDAQ stock market in 2015. We will make the transition into a commercial organization. We will start hiring people in key roles we need, not just in sales and marketing but in program management, clinical and business development."

The goal of a Flaherty Special Situation is a gain of 50% to 100%.

Astute investors who stick around longer as BioSig achieves its more of its potential have the chance of for an even larger winner.  

 

Risks

 

After six years BioSig is shifting from R&D only to human clinical trials and commercial development. First and biggest is the execution risk. No one knows how an emerging growth company will perform making this crucial transition. The other risks go with a medical device technology emerging growth company. Selling capital equipment into the hospital sector is always challenging because hospitals really don't want to spend money. BioSig hopes that its technology will save hospitals money and be a revenue -generating technology.  

When a really good technology comes out hospitals tend to use it as a marketing feature for the overall hospital. You hear and see this in radio, local TV and billboard advertising. Another risk is you can never take for granted clearing the FDA. Still we believe if BioSig can achieve its 12 month milestones it can be a big winner.

 

COMPANY CONTACT INFORMATION

BioSig Technologies, Inc.

www.biosigtech.com 

12424 Wilshire Blvd. Suite 745
Los Angeles, CA 90025
Phone: (310) 820-8100


Investor Relations:

Jody Cain Senior Vice President

Financial Profiles, Inc.

Phone: (310) 478-2700 ext. 227

Email: BioSigInfo@finprofiles.com    

For more information please visit http://biosigtech.com/
Follow Up: Remembering Clare Reckert 

Because an unknown hacker knocked a story out of our archives I am rerunning "The fairy tale life of Clare Recket, one of the first female financial writers in America." My final salute was "Here's to you, babe. You were one of the best!"

Back in l996 when I was editor of Equities Magazine I conducted an  in depth interview with Clare about her pioneering career at The New York Times. This gutsy gal kept shattering countless glass ceilings.
Her ceaseless efforts infuriated The Times ruling males so much her passing did not receive even a single line of obit in the print edition of the paper when Clare died at 100 four years ago. So I turned our interview into her obit. One of The New York Financial Writers' Association student scholarships was named for Clare. A business journalism major at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Jenny Surane wrote her own interesting piece about Clare in 2013, which is posted on the American History of Business Journalism website. That should have been the end of the story.

Instead, an unknown hacker attacked our website and knocked my version out of our archives. Lost were  many gritty details of Clare's struggles for women's rights in financial journalism. She fought for a byline for years. First she got to use her first two initials. That was probably because financial columnist Sylvia Porter, who started a newsletter in l934 which was published in the New York Post, only used her first two initials. When Clare finally won the right to spell her first name Claire it was without an i so readers would think she was a man.

Using a lady's privilege, Clare knocked ten years off her age during our interview. She  also appears to have adjusted some of the dates in her early career. It makes it hard to verify if Clare, as she claimed, was the first woman financial writer in America. She was the first at The New York Times.

Being descended from a line of Irish boxers I know what to do when you get knocked down. Get up. So here is Clare's story someone felt was important enough to knock out of our archives. Meanwhile, besides abruptly sacking their lady editor Jill Abramson, The Times continues to run stories about other institutions' coming up short on gender equity. Clearly it is easier to chide others than to do the right thing yourself.

 

Clare
Clare Reckert did anything she wanted.
 
CLARE RECKERT: "I WAS THE FIRST WOMAN FINANCIAL WRITER IN AMERICA."

A gutsy lady who successfully stormed an all-male bastion reveals the secrets of her "fairy tale life."

 

By Robert J. Flaherty (This interview was written in May l996 and updated following her death at 100 on November 4, 2010. Clare pioneered woman's rights as America's first female financial writer at male- dominated New York Times, which didn't even run her obituary. So here is the story the guys wouldn't tell. Another scoop for Bob!)

 

Few things faze Clare Reckert, the gutsy gal who declares," I was the first female financial reporter in America." For fifty-five years Reckert shook up The New York Times financial news department, and broke many a man's heart along the way.

Not intimidated by anybody, she used her aggressive style to work from a secretary at The Times during the sleepy pre-World War II days of reporting to being a respected financial writer while many women were still getting used to having the vote.

Reckert, who has always been at least a generation ahead of her time, was the first to open many doors and win rights now enjoyed by hundreds of female financial reporters. Few realize her trail blazing accomplishments.

Clare Reckert got her drive and business sense from her father, a German immigrant carpenter who had lots of patents, and her courage from her demanding mother, who married on the condition that her husband take her from Germany to New York where her children would be freer.

Her mother named her Clara, probably after Clara Barton, who founded a school in New Jersey which grew so large and successful she had to be replaced because women weren't permitted to run large institutions. Undaunted, Barton became a Civil War nurse known as "the angel of the battlefield" and went on to found the American Red Cross.   Clearly, mother's message to her daughter was not to let obstacles prevent her from being all she could be. However, little Clara disliked her given name and went by Claire instead.

Born on Central Park West, which she recalls was "just like a field," Reckert absorbed the ambitions and spirit typical of so many immigrant families chasing the American Dream. Her interest in investing developed as a teenager by hearing stocks discussed at the dinner table and keeping a pretend portfolio in a notebook. "I thought how great to make money without working for it," she recalls. "I decided to see how well this business worked."

After a year at business college, she set her sights on an opening in the financial news department at The New York Times at a time when she remembers business was still an exclusively male domain. Edwin L. James in l938, then managing editor of The New York Times, openly wondered why "a young blond chick would want to work in the financial news department." Barely eighteen, she persisted, and impressed financial editor Jack Forrest with her writing and joined The Times as a secretary.

Forrest, a thin man who ate very little, got drunk after even a single drink. Unfortunately, he had one at nearly every lunch. Subordinates did likewise. The bacchanal atmosphere at the financial department of The Times of the day turned out to be a disguised blessing for Reckert. Her first task was to type copy for Eugene Logie, the chief financial reporter, because after lunch he "came to the office, loopy and couldn't type." As she learned to check stock prices and sales and earnings figures in the stories that Logie dictated, Reckert began covering for other reporters too busy or too drunk to write their own articles, and signing their names to her stories. The newsmen soon accepted Reckert into their ranks.

Since she was already writing copy regularly during the manpower shortage of World War II she was promoted to reporter. One other woman, Elizabeth Fowler, also was hired to write. Over the course of the war Clare filled in on virtually every kind of financial news story from aviation to utilities, behind the ambiguous byline C.M Reckert. She was forced to use C.M. because her male superiors wanted readers to assume she was a man.

She made another breakthrough while laying out the Sunday financial section on a Saturday morning and making decisions such as which were the most important stories to headline and where each would be placed and which stories had to be trimmed or cut when space was tight. Reckert says she received this important responsibility because none of the men wanted to work on Saturday.

A surprised Orville Dryfoos, then publisher of The Times, passed by. In shock, he asked what a woman was doing laying out the pages of the financial department. "I've been working here for ten years, sir," she replied. I'm C. M. Reckert." Embarrassed, Dryfoos replied, "I thought you were a man."

"That's what you were supposed to think," she said. Gathering her courage, she asked, "Sir, would you mind if I use my own first name instead of C. M. in my byline?"

After pausing a moment, Dryfoos agreed. Then why did Claire use Clare without the "i" so there was still ambiguity in her byline? A male supervisor, who still wanted readers to think she was a man, insisted.

Did that get her down? Not at all.

"I had the upper hand in everything I ever did," Reckert insists. This positive attitude certainly helped her overcome the constant reminders that she was an intruder in a man's world. When she went on a press junket to Paris, a French company hired husband and wife chaperones to protect her. The couple stayed up all night worrying who sent roses while she was partying with other journalists.

Reckert reveals in another telling anecdote of how she tried to fit in. Convention in the Forties required that a reporter of The New York Times wear a hat, and Reckert was not allowed to be an exception. "You can't go to a meeting without a hat," she recalls being told by Jack Forrest. You have to look like a representative of The New York Times. So Reckert kept a hat in her locker that she wore to press conferences. She still wears one everywhere she goes.

The difficulties weren't always that easy to handle. She was paid much less than male reporters, a constant reminder that women were not considered equal. At the end of the war the management dealt her another blow by choosing a man as assistant financial editor because of opposition to her from male reporters. But here's what really burned her up. "In fact, I trained him in the job," she says indignantly. Later, Reckert participated in a women' s protest at The Times by wearing a tea bag after a top executive suggested that making tea was something Times women might do better than editing. A law suit brought improvement in woman's pay and to a lesser degree in their prospects for advancement. Later Clare gave her tea bag badge to Bob Flaherty to add to his political campaign button collection.

Characteristically undeterred by these setbacks, Reckert set her sights on becoming a member of the all-male New York Financial Writers' Association, and performing in their annual Financial Follies where the female roles were performed by men in drag. After years of rejection, she and Dorothea Brooks of United Press became the first female members in l972. Clare appeared in many following Follies.

She also brought her professional ambition and savvy into her personal life. Engaged eight times (once with two men in different cities at the same time), she never married. Of her most serious and wealthy suitor her eyes became hard as she says, "He loved his money more than her loved me." Now that was an independent lady! Even today, now many women are that sure of themselves and their ability to make it on their own, that they would make such a decision? Continuing she added, "Besides why should I take care of a man? I always played around with men."

One date taught her to play tennis where she became the first woman admitted to certain courts in his Westchester, NY country club. Others soon followed. She also fished and was a fine golfer who could beat most of the guys. Describing herself as an athletic "cute blonde chick," Clare was way ahead of her time.

Her career and freedom were much more important to her than playing it safe in marriage. "I loved writing about business," she says. And she also shared the joy of children by helping raise her sister's son, Randall W. Forsyth who after writing for The New York Times is today Editor -in-Chief of Barrons.com, the web site of Barron's Financial Weekly.

At the time Reckert joined The Times financial department all her bosses didn't want writers buying any stocks to avoid conflict of interest. The financial reporter front-running scandals exposed in the Thirties were still remembered. The headstrong Reckert simply set up a brokerage account under an assumed name and made her trades. Being paid less than a man she felt she deserved some way to catch up. Besides she felt the draconian rule was unreasonable.

Since Reckert, an ethical person, ignored The Times stock investing ban, the lesson is clear. Media companies should create sensible rules and then enforce them. Fortunately, she claims she never bought a stock for a short-term profit to unload immediately after one of her stories. She was a long-term investor.

Reckert also invested with a Times commodity writer who doubled her money. At his wake another Times writer was doubly sad for losing a friend and his last bet.

Consistent with her proud "never lose" attitude, Reckert developed risk rules for stock investing. Recalling that she tended to lose money on smaller less developed companies, she avoided unprofitable small companies and made out very well on large profitable ones like W. R. Grace. When something went wrong at a little company it collapsed, while big corporations often thrived again after changes. "What you have to base your purchase on is how much profit the company is making. When you find a good one, keep it." Held over several years, stocks of almost every large company she bought went higher.

Knocking ten years off her age, Reckert remained active. Although she retired from The New York Times in l984, she worked as a freelance writer (sometimes for Bob Flaherty), was a financial consultant and served as an arbitrator in trading disputes for NASDAQ. She continued to be an active investor and tried to share her knowledge with the elderly who are living longer and need higher returns, but keep their money in the bank out of fear and lack of knowledge about investing.

"There isn't anything more fascinating and interesting in the world than buying stocks and bonds or writing about them," she declares. As for breaking down barriers to places where women weren't admitted until the lady from The Times came along, she says, "It was surprisingly easy. My mother told me I could do anything I wanted to do, and I did. I've lived a fairy tale life."

On November 4, 2010 at 100 Clare died. She was saluted in the Financial Follies program by the current president of The New York Financial Writers' Association, fittingly its second African American President: "Claire Reckert brought change to the media world half -a -century ago when she became the first female financial writer at The New York Times." Her nephew Randy pitched The Times to run an obit for his aunt as a feminist pioneer who got her opportunity there. But so far the males in power chose to ignore the struggles and the triumph of that valiant lady.

So above is the story the guys in power wouldn't tell. Another scoop for Bob. Clare was a true pioneer and many female writers who followed after her never knew how much they owed to her trail breaking. Here's to you, babe. You were one of the best. -RJF

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Disclaimer and Safe Harbor Statements

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Disclaimer: This Flaherty Special Situation Newsletter contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties, and actual circumstances, events or results may differ materially from those projected. We caution readers not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements and to supplement this newsletter with specific company SEC filings and their own research. Before purchasing any shares or making an investment, readers should review the company's SEC filings, including the most recent 10-K and 10-Q, available at www.sec.gov. Please be aware that there is risk in every company stock that you buy. Coverage or other mention of a stock or fund in this newsletter is neither an offer nor solicitation to buy or sell any securities mentioned. We are not investment dealers or investor advisers registered with the SEC or State Security Authorities. We do not guarantee all the information in this newsletter is correct or will be updated. Remember some errors are inevitable. Reproduction without written permission is forbidden. Flaherty Financial News Inc. received $10,000 in cash from BioSig Technologies, Inc. This was an editorial writing and online distribution fee for BioSig Technologies, Inc. to be featured in this Flaherty Special Situation Newsletter. Our own policy forbids editorial from buying or selling a featured stock until this issue is out at least 10 business days after its issue date, which in this case would be December 5, 2014. In cases where a report or profile is subsidized, readers should consider such subsidized articles as paid advertorials and understand that sponsored material will not be as objective as non-sponsored editorial. As Flaherty Financial News editor I always reserve "Final Copy Responsibility" on what to include and what to leave out of every issue. The buck stops here. We have tried to be objective, but may have failed. We are not security analysts or stockbrokers engaged in buying or selling, but financial journalists with all the many failings of that profession. You readers must decide the merits of each investment yourself and whether to invest. -Bob Flaherty, Editor


Flaherty Financial News Inc. (FFN) and its newsletters Flaherty Financial News and Flaherty Special Situations are not registered as broker dealers or investment advisers with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission or any state securities authority. Our newsletters and their information and content providers make no representations or warranties of any kind in connection with the subject matter, performance or suitability of the information contained in the publications for any purpose and are not liable for the timeliness, accuracy or completeness of the information. The information is provided for general information purposes and is not a substitute for obtaining professional advice from a qualified person or entity familiar with your personal circumstances. Please seek the help and advice of professionals as appropriate regarding the evaluations of any specific security, report, opinion, advice or other content. FFN is not responsible for trades placed by recipients. All opinions expressed, information and data provided are subject to change without notice. FFN, its officers and its employees may have positions in and may from time to time make purchases or sales of the securities discussed or mentioned by FFN. (However, we will avoid front running and the buying or selling of any security about to be discussed until ten business days after our particular report is released to the public.) FFN shall have no liability for any newsletter that is lost, intercepted or not received in a timely manner, or not received at all, for any reason. -RJF

Dear Friends: We enjoyed bringing you another scoop - the first story anywhere on promising  BioSig Technologies. We thank each and every one of you readers for giving us a purpose in life. 

Bob and Brian Flaherty
Flaherty Financial News Inc.