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Contributor driven miner and explorer list

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The contributor driven miner and explorer list goes back nearly a decade, but only few of the original contributor picks have been maintained throughout that period.

The main feature removed has been the author of the contributed pick. During the harsh miner bear market which has followed starting the list, most picks invariably dropped out of favor and quite a few were withdrawn. Picks in ‘exile’ include a few final un-listings from the TSX-V and even some bankruptcies.

Yet how does the contributed list eventually perform as compared to its benchmarks? You find the link here. One remarkable constant: in the benchmark list at the bottom, the royalty and streaming companies withstood the bear market relatively well and came out victorious. An investment in the three mayor of those : Franco Nevada, Royal Gold and Wheaton Precious Metals would have kept you out of the red.

However all of the gold mining ETF’s: GDX, GDXJ, SIL and GOEX not only lagged gold but also left you with a significant long term loss. This is not the idea of ‘leverage’ to the gold price which might have drawn investors to these instruments. 

Note: Investment vehicles with designed-in leverage are absolutely detrimental over time. Both Direxion Daily instruments needed several share rollbacks to maintain a meaningful share price. Those products are explicitly commercialized as short term speculative instruments, not as long term investment vehicles.

Despite a decent profit over the existing portfolio, our contributor driven miner and explorer list still carries a small loss over the complete period. We probably waited for too long in cutting losses on existing picks. At the other hand, a few of the discarded explorers eventually did recover. The ‘exile list tab’ contains all discarded picks, whereas the ‘Successful exit’ list contains all list components which were sold at a profit or taken over (in one case only mitigating the loss incurred).

The excellent performance of the current list is a decent example of ‘survivor bias’. Moreover, profits are concentrated among a few ‘winners’ on the list. Even Barrick Gold has been fortuitous, since its performance is that of including Randgold prior to the merger.

No doubt it is fairly easy to beat this list, hence also beat the mining ETF’s. Personally I only own one of the three picks still down since inclusion. Yet, even on that one, my average purchase price brings me (barely) above break-even. Lightening up on some picks after a company specific rally allows locking in some gains. 


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