-- Published: Friday, 1 August 2014 | Print | Disqus
By Henry Bonner
Vancouver was a blast. Even coming from San Diego, there just isn’t anything that quite matches Vancouver in the summertime. It was tough leaving it behind this weekend.
We went up there last Monday to get ready for the Sprott Vancouver Natural Resource Symposium, which kicked off Tuesday evening and went through Friday.
After an initial cocktail reception on Tuesday evening, the show really got going Wednesday morning. Rick Rule was the opening speaker, and he delivered an entertaining talk on the cyclicality of the resource market, followed later by an introduction of the different exhibitors.
Attendees also heard from Adrian Day and Kim Iskyan, followed by renowned but reclusive billionaire Robert Friedland.
Friedland led the discovery of Voisey Bay, one of the largest nickel deposits in the world, as well as the sale of Oyu Tolgoi, a massive copper complex in Mongolia.
He is now the Chairman of Ivanhoe Mines Ltd., which is developing three world-class deposits in the DRC and South Africa.
He told the audience about the world’s problems with the supply of metals such as platinum and copper. The situation for platinum is especially dire. The mines in South Africa that produce it are simply getting too deep to send humans down to collect the metals. Platinum is principally used for purifying motor exhaust, so it’s a hot commodity in the world’s growing mega-cities, where air pollution is taking a serious toll on their inhabitants.
Copper is also underappreciated, says Friedland. Besides being the metal of choice for electrical grids, it is also underused in medical settings. Copper is actually better at killing off germs than stainless steel, and should be increasingly used for doorknobs, clinical tools, and hospital beds, he explained.
Friedland’s speech was a big headliner for the show. I heard attendees raving about this one for the next several days. His speech title, “Mega Wealth through Mega Discoveries” is probably the best description of his professional career.
Other speakers on the first day included Brett Aitken of Stansberry Research, John-Mark Staude of Riverside Resources, Darin Wagner from Balmoral, Almaden’s Morgan Poliquin, and Miles Thompson of Reservoir Minerals.
I didn’t get to listen to most of these speeches, so I’ll just have to listen to the recordings. Instead, I was out on the exhibit floor, chatting most of the time with investors.
It wasn’t hard to sense that many of the attendees saw the opportunity to get into natural resources now, when it feels like a bottom. We’re not the only ones out there looking for bargains in an oversold market.
The bear market may have culled investors, but those remaining seem sophisticated and wealthier than typical bull market investors.
We wrapped up day one of the conference with a special panel presented by Casey Research. They had gathered a select group of “hall of famers” in the mining industry: Ross Beatty, David Lowell, Ron Netolitzky, Ron Parratt, Mark O’Dea, Bob Quartermain, Ron Thiessen, and Andy Wallace. The discussion was honest and to-the-point, with Louis James of Casey Research as moderator.
The second day of the conference kicked off with Rick Rule’s early-morning session. The talk started at 7:00 AM, which was a good reason for me to get up early. That and the unbearably loud construction noise outside my rental apartment at around 6:00 AM!
With a crash-course on performing due diligence, Rick reminded the early worms in attendance that resource stocks were “cheap, cheap, cheap, cheap, cheap, cheap, cheap.”
The morning keynotes that followed came from Frank Trotter of Everbank, Byron King of Agora Financial, Louis James, a couple speakers from the Lundin Group, Ivan Bebek of Cayden Resources and Jeff Clark of Casey Research.
After a short break, attendees came back for Matt Badiali of Stansberry Research, Andy Schectman of Miles Franklin, Christian Easterday of Hot Chili, Karim Rahemtulla of the Wall Street Daily, and Brent Cook, author of Exploration Insights.
Andy Schectman, who started the precious metals coin dealer Miles Franklin alongside his father, struck a chord: Is gold being knocked down on purpose? “Who in their right mind sells that much gold all at once?” he asked, referring to the massive dumps of gold futures into the market last year.
Doug Casey would kick up controversy by taking on this issue later on.
Doug categorically denied the notion that precious metals were being controlled in his Friday talk. The powers that be “don’t care” about gold, he said, “they don’t consider it money.” And besides, prices are manipulated anyway by market participants, as that is how markets work, but not suppressed by governments and bank cartels.
Casey Research once again wrapped up the day with a special panel, featuring their “NexTen” – people who are set to transform the mining industry. Marin Katusa, who moderated, explained who they were this way: “I don’t know if all of these guys will be huge successes, like Robert Friedland, but I’m confident that at least one of them will be.”
If that’s true, then investors should pay attention. Friedland has likely made more money for investors than nearly anyone else in the industry.
Friday was the final day of our inaugural symposium. And after two long days – nearly twelve hours each – we were in the final stretch.
Rick Rule once again addressed the audience at 7:00 AM. Resource stocks are “cheap, cheap, cheap…” he said, in case you’d missed it. The objective of this final talk was to give attendees a taste of what he’s actually looking at now, and could be of interest to our group of investors.
He was followed in the general session by Dan Ferris, of Stansberry Research, Marc Lichtenfeld of The Oxford Club, Chuck Butler of Everbank, Eric Coffin of the excellent Hard Rock Advisory, and Doug Casey, who, as we mentioned before, went for the jugular on manipulation conspiracy theories.
After a short break came Jeffrey Tucker of Liberty.Me, Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors Inc., Keith Schaefer, author of Oil and Gas Investments Bulletin, and, finally a special video address from Bill Bonner, Founder of Agora Inc. and international best-selling author (as well as my dad).
Bill (/dad) made one of his most dire predictions yet. He showed how the world is split into two categories. There is Wall Street and other “big boys” who get to access ‘NIRP’ rates. And then there is rest of us. In the ‘NIRP’ world, which stands for “negative interest rate policy,” you get to borrow money for less than the real cost of capital. In such a world, money doesn’t matter and anything is possible – because the value of money is less than nothing. It doesn’t matter whether you have capital or not. And it doesn’t matter whether you employ capital efficiently or not.
He said the most important thing to do now is to understand how to profit from ‘NIRP,’ and avoid the stunning losses that will occur when the ‘NIRP’ world implodes.
We ended the whole show with a “farewell panel” that featured Rick Rule, Adrian Day, Keith Schaefer, and Byron King.
Along with some hardball questions ranging from the panelists’ biggest mistakes to Russia, the panelists were asked for their single top pick.
Finally, Adrian sparked the question everyone had been waiting for: Will the Sprott conference return?
“This conference will happen next year - you can count on that,” said Rick.
Raucous applause from the audience was the response – a great note on which to end our inaugural event.
To hear all the impromptu remarks, the bombshells, and the speakers’ own picks, you can order the recordings straight to your inbox. The audio replay of the event is available for a fee from Agora Financial.
Friedland’s speech not included.
Sprott U.S. Media is not affiliated in any way with Agora Financial. A portion of the fee you pay will be received by Sprott U.S. Media for purchases made through the link on this page. Sprott U.S. Media is the sponsor of this symposium and provides a forum for speakers we believe have useful and reliable information for you. While we believe these speakers provide worthwhile insights, we cannot guarantee the accuracy and/or reliability of the information provided, nor are we responsible for any errors or omissions by them. Sprott U.S. Media cannot provide individual, personalized investment advice. Agents and affiliates of Sprott U.S. Media and of Sprott Inc. entities appearing and speaking at this symposium present information for the general public and at no time during the conference should any person acting as an agent for any Sprott Inc. entity and/or its affiliates be relied upon or construed as rendering personalized investment advice. Information provided by Sprott U.S. Media and its agents and affiliates is of a general nature and not tailored to your specific situation nor should any statement be considered as such. You should always consult an investment professional for advice regarding your specific situation. Past performance is not indicative of future results. All investing carries an inherent risk of the loss of principal.
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Generally, natural resources investments are more volatile on a daily basis and have higher headline risk than other sectors as they tend to be more sensitive to economic data, political and regulatory events as well as underlying commodity prices. Natural resource investments are influenced by the price of underlying commodities like oil, gas, metals, coal, etc.; several of which trade on various exchanges and have price fluctuations based on short-term dynamics partly driven by demand/supply and nowadays also by investment flows. Natural resource investments tend to react more sensitively to global events and economic data than other sectors, whether it is a natural disaster like an earthquake, political upheaval in the Middle East or release of employment data in the U.S. Low priced securities can be very risky and may result in the loss of part or all of your investment. Because of significant volatility, large dealer spreads and very limited market liquidity, typically you will not be able to sell a low priced security immediately back to the dealer at the same price it sold the stock to you. In some cases, the stock may fall quickly in value. Investing in foreign markets may entail greater risks than those normally associated with domestic markets, such as political, currency, economic and market risks. You should carefully consider whether trading in low priced and international securities is suitable for you in light of your circumstances and financial resources. Past performance is no guarantee of future returns. Sprott Global, entities that it controls, family, friends, employees, associates, and others may hold positions in the securities it recommends to clients, and may sell the same at any time.
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-- Published: Friday, 1 August 2014 | E-Mail | Print | Source: GoldSeek.com