Today, I want to return our focus to a topic I’ve written about a lot since the start of 2017, the outlook for gold and silver assets, particularly for gold and silver mining stocks. As I stated to start this year, I still believe that 2017 will mark another strong year for gold and silver asset prices, and certainly this year has gotten off to a strong start. As I mentioned in previous articles, we utilized a lot of successful hedges and moved some positions to cash in December prior to the bankers’ significant raid of spot gold and silver prices. This allowed us to close out multiple very significant profits in our hedges that allowed us to stay net long in gold and silver assets, without much worry and without being chased out of our core positions.
However, before I dive into this topic, I want to briefly re-visit another article I wrote about BTC last week in which I stated, “it is always critical to track what is happening to the Chinese BTC market to understand what may happen to BTC prices in the future” because “if the PBOC cracks down on BTC, they could cause another huge, rapid sell-off in BTC prices.” About 12 hours after I wrote and posted this article, the Chinese government imposed new regulations on Chinese BTC exchanges, and BTC rapidly plummeted $100. Since then, BTC has regained about half of that dip, but my above statements still remain true for the future, as the Chinese government is not yet done with imposing restrictions on BTC exchanges inside of China. Of course, with large global banks rapidly increasing their influence among blockchain development companies and other digital currencies, the Chinese government is not the only institution one has to worry about when predicting future BTC price volatility, but you can refer to last week’s article for more information about that topic. Now let’s return to today’s topic.
The strong performance of gold and silver assets to start 2017 has been nearly completely ignored by the mainstream financial media, even though its performance to start 2017 has crushed the performance of the favorite investment of the financial media, the US S&P500 and the DJIA. But more on that later. What is also quite evident as we start 2017 is that junior gold and silver mining stocks have been quite significantly outperforming their larger peers. Is this a temporary outlier event or one that will persist throughout 2017? I believe that this outperformance is one that will persist throughout 2017. So what are the reasons that would produce this belief?
To answer this question, we have to understand what happened during the 4 ½ year decline in spot gold and spot silver prices between 2011 and 2015. During this time, the smaller, junior gold and silver mining companies, to survive the vicious banking industry suppression of spot gold and silver prices, had to implement a plethora of strategic moves, including cost cutting, streamlining operations, improving drill techniques, improving metal recovery rates, changing mining techniques to increase gross margins, and even shuttering non-profitable assets while seeking to re-open them after prices recovered. The best junior gold and silver mining companies were able to implement tactics, such as temporarily shuttering non-profitable assets, that their larger peers due to excessive debt burdens that had to be serviced, simply could not. Thus, when gold and silver prices finally reversed last-year, the best gold and silver mining companies positioned to benefit from this price reversal were the smaller, now more efficient companies, not the industry leading behemoths. And this will remain, true, in my opinion, for this year, and quite likely the next as well. And while there are no “secret” massive gold and silver discoveries that everyone in the industry doesn’t already know about, the highest-grade reserves don’t always translate into the lowest-cost mines nor do the largest gold and silver reserves always translate into the “safest” reserves as well. Consequently, analyzing junior gold mining companies is a complex task that requires hundreds of hours, and sometimes, even surveyed mining executives get their analysis wrong. For example, I recently conveyed to clients, that I knew of a mining jurisdiction that was rated fairly high in attractiveness by mining executives a couple of years back that never deserved such a high rating. Due to my own travels to this country and knowledge of the internal business workings inside this country, including how poorly foriegn investors were treated inside this country (i.e. the conditions that were granted to attraction foreign investment were not conditions that held up once foreign investment was made), we strictly avoided all mining companies operating within this country.
But even with a sector that I still view as highly undervalued and above-average in attractiveness for this year, many people will shy away from junior gold and silver mining stocks because the greater rewards reaped from this asset class during rises in past years has also translated into much greater risk on the downside. And for this reason, many people say, “Thanks, but no thanks”, and largely ignore the junior gold and silver mining stock asset class. Though typically this reasonto avoid this asset class was a very valid one for those without a larger risk appetite, and last year, many smaller gold and silver mining stocks gave back 35% to 50% of their gains during the second half of 2016, I believe that the risk of such massive downside volatility will be much more muted in 2017. The reason I believe that downside volatility of junior PM stocks will not match the excesses of last year is because of the massive geopolitical instability that will continue to build and rear its ugly head worldwide throughout 2017, a topic that I will explore more in my next blog post.
So after such a strong start to 2017 for our top junior gold and silver mining stocks, many of which have risen by 30% or more since December 1, will it be a continued push straight higher for the rest of 2017? Of course not. Even with the very strong start among the best junior gold and silver mining stocks this year, there will, of course, be corrections, and likely some significant corrections, in the future. However, despite these future significant corrections, I believe that this year presents a unique investment opportunity in junior gold and silver mining stocks in which the best junior gold and silver mining stocks will significantly outperform the best intermediate and large-cap gold and silver mining stocks, and with not much more volatility than their larger peers, a risk-reward scenario that has not existed for many years.
About the author: JS Kim is the Managing Director of SmartKnowledgeU, a fiercely independent wealth preservation and gold and silver consulting company. Though mainstream financial media continue nearly 100% of their focus on the S&P 500 and the DJIA, respectively up 2.49% and 1.48% YTD as of 8 February, our Crisis Investment Opportunities newsletter has yielded 11.22% YTD as of 8 February, and 14.77% since 1 December. For those that joined our Platinum Membership at the start of this year, which focuses mostly on junior gold and silver mining stocks, our yield has been about 18.59% (not including additional positive returns from utilized hedges), and about 28.90% for those that joined as of 1 December.