Alcor News

Alcor News

News Blog of the Alcor Life Extension Foundation

The Alcor Endowment Trust Supporting Organization

Alcor is pleased to announce the creation of the Alcor Endowment Trust Supporting Organization. The Alcor Endowment is a Type II supporting organization intended to support the Alcor Life Extension Foundation. It will provide that support by prudently investing funds above and beyond what makes sense to allocate for general operations and research, and by providing a stable payment stream to Alcor to assist in the running of the organization.

The Alcor Endowment serves several purposes. It provides a structure for strategically investing Alcor’s funds in a way that will put the organization in an ever stronger position as time passes. It guards over $5 million of assets to benefit Alcor, a figure that is expected to grow over time, in a separate organization, making it more secure from lawsuits. It ensures a smooth disbursement of funds to Alcor in a way that both protects against market fluctuations and against future boards/management spending down Alcor’s assets for short-term needs.

The Alcor Endowment makes annual distributions to Alcor which will average very nearly 2% over the long-term. To buffer Alcor from large market fluctuations, increases or decreases in the annual distributions to Alcor can generally vary by no more than 10% either up or down from the previous year’s distribution. The exact distribution algorithm is legally binding on the Endowment pursuant to the Endowment legal documents. Having a set distribution policy also checks against spending down of the endowment by future boards.

Unlike the Patient Care Trust, or its new successor, the Alcor Care Trust, the Endowment’s investment strategy is geared more towards maximizing long-term returns and less towards minimizing year-to-year fluctuations. This is because the Endowment is not focused on paying the patient care expenses.

The Alcor Endowment Board consists of five members. At least three of these members must also be on the Board of Directors of Alcor proper. The current composition of the Endowment is:

Ralph Merkle (Alcor Director)
Mike O’Neal (Alcor Director)
Andy Aymeloglu (Alcor Director)
Kenneth Weiss
Saul Kent

Donations can be made to the Alcor Endowment directly as an alternative to donating to Alcor. Alcor may also choose to transfer funds into the Endowment at its discretion. As of May 12, 2018, the Endowment had $5,980,706.73 under management. The full text of the operating agreement detailing the distribution policy, board composition, and other details can be found here.

Unprecedented $5 Million Contribution to Cryonics Research!

I am delighted to announce that Alcor has received a stunning $5,000,000 contribution to fund cryonics research. Alcor member Brad Armstrong (A-3000), came to visit Alcor in November 2016. After a tour and long and fascinating chat, before he left I suggested that he finally sit down and sign the membership paperwork. We would provide the witnesses and the Notary Public. 90 minutes later, Brad was done and handed us a check, making him a member. (See? It’s not as difficult as you think.)

Fast forward to April 2018. Brad’s assistant called to say that Brad wanted to make a major contribution to Alcor for the purposes of cryonics research. When I called Brad, I was immediately reminded that he is a down-to-earth, easygoing fellow who wants cryonics to work and is eager to fund what he knows matters.

Brad is an enthusiast of cryptocurrencies and an admirer of Hal Finney – the first recipient and early developer of Bitcoin – and an Alcor member cryopreserved in August 2014. The $5 million research contribution is being held in the name of the “Hal Finney Cryonics Research Fund”.

Brad’s cryptocurrency contribution was made by transferring it to an intermediary organization. Formally, we must therefore note that the funds were received from “Against Aging Fund at East Texas Communities Foundation”. But make no mistake. This funding came from Brad.

Brad has done well financially from his inventions and his cryptocurrency investments. Even so, we know that there are Alcor members of considerably greater means. Some of these are well into their later years. I imagine myself in the position of having a net worth of a billion dollars or more and being in my 60s, 70s, or 80s. Certainly, I would be funding life extension research. But I am certain that I would also be putting serious money into cryonics, not only for research to build up Alcor’s technical capabilities and strength.

On behalf of Alcor and the cryonics effort in general, I want to say thank you. But how can I possibly express those thanks adequately?

With a gift of this magnitude comes the responsibility of managing and spending it wisely for maximum impact. Until the Alcor board and Research Group determine how best to hold and use this funding, I have moved it from Alcor’s bank account into a money market fund earning 1.5%. As puny as that percentage sounds historically, it means a yield of $6,000 per month (after keeping $200,000 to shore up the Research Fund). Stay tuned as we determine how to use this remarkable influx of funding to boost Alcor’s cryonics research.

–Max More