Digging for Opportunity in Precious Metals, Part 2
This is the "greed" dynamic: accepting a higher level of risk in return for (significantly) greater profit potential. Arithmetic can tell us precisely how much these mining companies should be able to leverage gains in the price of bullion. How much they actually leverage metals prices is the net product of the fear/greed dynamic.
This is where things get interesting. Gold and silver miners must (over time) leverage gains in the prices of the commodities they produce. However, the media have told us again and again that for most of the 12-year bull market in bullion prices the miners have "not leveraged" the gains in bullion prices.
But it's much more than that. For most of the time they have "underperformed" bullion. This doesn't mean partial leverage, or "only a little" leverage. We're talking about less-than-zero leverage. This can only mean one of two things.
Perhaps we have "the market" telling us that we're witnessing the most intense fear dynamic in market history. Low tide in the precious metals mining sector...for 12 years. Investors fleeing in panic because these companies are reporting "record profits" throughout most of this 12-year run. Twelve years of the most cowardly and/or ignorant investor behavior ever witnessed in our markets.The other explanation is much simpler: The share prices of these mining companies have been ruthlessly/relentlessly suppressed to prevent them from reflecting the leverage inherent in the business model of all commodity-producers. This question can perhaps be resolved with a simple (if ad hoc) investor "test." With the entire precious metals sector at "low tide" throughout this 12-year bull market, most of the investors reading this will have never held any bullion or shares in the miners at any time in this epic run. Those readers can ask themselves this question: Have you shunned this sector because you're a cowardly idiot, or simply because you have been deceived? Even those who accept "suppression" as the more likely explanation, why risk investing in a sector subject to serial suppression? The reply comes in two parts. Like pushing a cork beneath water, such price suppression inevitably fails and the "cork" pops back up.
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