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Jan 06, 2011

Golden Parachutes

By Andrew Mickey, Q1 Publishing

 

Update: (January 6, 2011) This report has been updated as many of the gold company shares originally recommend in this report have performed exceptionally well since its original release on March 2, 2009.

As a group, the original recommendations have significantly outpaced the rise in gold prices. The five originally recommended stocks posted total combined gains of 2,126%. That’s an average of 427% each. In comparison, gold prices have increased 42% and the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF increased a mere 71%.

Now there are five new recommendations with the potential to outpace the major gold stocks by more than five times all over again.

 

Golden Parachutes
A Field Guide to Making A Fortune in Gold

Normally, gold is a poor investment. Just look at the gold bear market between 1981 and 2001. Not much money was made in gold. Every few decades though, the right conditions come along to make an absolute fortune in gold and gold stocks. Right now the conditions are right.

- Andrew Mickey, Chief Investment Strategist, Q1 Publishing, March 1, 2009

 

Every few decades a chance to get rich off gold comes along.

This is likely one of those times.

At Q1 Publishing, we consider ourselves and our readers to be opportunists. We take what the market gives us. The way things are shaping up, the market is giving us an opportunity in gold.

Don’t let the recent volatility in gold prices fool you. Gold is likely going much, much higher. And the current crisis/liquidity crunch is probably the last opportunity to get in on gold while it’s still reasonably priced.

Right now the opportunities in gold are tremendous. Just take a look at what we’ll be detailing in this report:

- How gold will win whether we’re facing inflationary or deflationary pressures

- The #1 thing you must understand before buying ANY mining stock

- A small gold company which could return more than 470% without setting a new high

- A fast-growing gold miner set to increase gold production as much as 150%

- One gold miner who just partnered up with a 98-year old mining firm and it’s the perfect time to buy in

It’s an exciting time to be moving into gold. What we’re facing is a once in a life time kind of thing in gold which only comes along every few decades. And, as you’ll learn in this report, there is a lot to know about investing in gold and gold mining stocks, but once you understand it all, the opportunities to make an absolute fortune is well worth it.

Normally, gold is a poor investment. Just look at the gold bear market between 1981 and 2001. Not much money was made in gold. And from a fundamental perspective, gold is a metal with virtually no industrial uses. Gold’s not like a piece of manufacturing equipment. It’s not productive capital which you can invest in and use to increase production of something. It’s gold.

Every few decades though, the right conditions come along to make an absolute fortune in gold and gold stocks. Right now the conditions are right.

Ready…Set…Gold

The next three to five years offer exceptional opportunities for those of us moving into gold now. Everything is falling in place to launch gold prices to the next level.

Governments around the world are borrowing at unprecedented levels. They’re facing record budget deficits. To make a bad situation worse, most of them have already borrowed so much money their creditors are getting worried about their solvency and unwilling to lend anymore to them.

That’s why the world’s central banks, the “lenders of last resort,” are “printing” money to extend to their governments.

Case in point is in the United States. The Federal Reserve (Fed) has a monopoly on printing money. But right now, no one has any. The banks are facing record losses. Consumers are overburdened with debt and are starting to pay down their debts – all at the same time. Insurance companies and pension funds are reeling from stock market losses and collapsing bond prices.

Earlier this year, as I spoke about with demographer and author Harry S. Dent , we considered the different ways this can all end. He has looked at the history of bubbles busting in his latest book, The Great Depression Ahead, and is determined there is only one way for this to end: deflation.

A massive credit contraction will and always has led to deflation. Of course, deflation makes stuff cheaper. Oil, gasoline, houses, labor, coffee makers, etc. all get cheaper. Deflation resets the price of everything.

Stuff getting cheaper is a good thing for those of us who are savers. The bad part about deflation is debts become more expensive. So when the government, which controls the money supply and has the ability to print money and inflate away debt, is so deeply in debt itself, it’s only recourse is to print more money.

The federal governments want inflation. They need inflation. They will guarantee inflation.

Right now, we’re in the middle of the road amid an epic battle between natural post-credit bubble deflationary forces and the inflationary government printing of dollars. It’s not a conspiracy. It is what it is. But the big question remains; who will the winner be? Frankly, only time will tell. But I can tell you one metal is in perfect position to win either way.

Inflation vs. Deflation: Gold Wins Either Way

Over the past few months deflation vs. inflation has been a popular subject of debate. While $60 trillion of wealth has been wiped away in this downturn, central banks are going all out to print new money. They’re going to do everything they can to prevent the inevitable deflationary effects of the contraction. And, as we’ve noted before, all speculative bubble-booms end in deflation.

So we have two opposing forces here. The governments of the world are willing to debase their currencies in order to prevent a deflationary spiral. The credit contraction has caused trillions in paper wealth to disappear. It’s going to be a struggle and it’ll be years before we know for sure whether we have to deal with rampant inflation or the economy-destroying effects of deflation.

But here’s the thing about gold, it wins either way. That’s right. Gold wins – either way.

If the global economy comes back to life, credit gets flowing once again, and there are all these extra dollars floating around, inflation is the result. We’re looking at the very real possibility of 5%, 10%, or higher inflation rates in the years ahead. When inflation is high gold prices will go up.

If there’s no economic recovery, the governments of the world will continue to “stimulate” the economy by handing freshly printed money out to everyone (maybe not everyone, more like their friends – banks, contractors, etc.). They’ll pull out all the stops on this one. Even if they have to completely debase their currencies. Nothing will stop them.

Of course, debased paper money is worth what it’s printed on and not much more. Investors will inevitably turn to gold as the currency of last resort. As a store of value. As a result, deflationary forces push up the value of gold.

Gold is in a win/win position. But don’t think gold absolutely has to go up from here. Financial markets are funny things. We’ve got all the conditions for a huge run in gold, but there’s one last part. It’s what I call the “missing link.”

The missing link is absolutely necessary for a genuine bull market in gold to emerge. It’s the only thing which can spark the kind of demand that's strong enough to send gold prices soaring past $1,500 on their way to $1,800 then to $2,000 and beyond.

It hasn’t been there for decades. But, in early 2009, the missing link may have been found and a multi-year bull market is underway.

Not Just for “Gold Bugs” Anymore

You see, gold’s a funny thing. It elicits such an emotional response. Gold has had a pretty volatile year. The yellow metal started attracting a lot of attention when it passed its early 80’s highs in 2007 and has been up and down since. Lately, it has had more ups than downs. Despite all the recent attention, we’re still right back where we were when gold passed $900 over a year ago.

Whether you’re an all out “gold bug” who has been waiting a long time for this run, you question the value of gold because it has very little industrial use (ala Warren Buffett), or somewhere in between, you’ve got to take a look at what has happened to gold in the past few weeks.

Here’s the thing, this time around there’s interest from some very big money investors. The big money is now considering gold a viable investment again. It’s not just the hyperactive, hot money hedge funds batting around gold anymore. Now pension funds, mutual funds, and other institutional investors are betting on gold – in a big way.

That is the big difference this time around. The big money interest hasn’t been there for decades. It looks like that’s starting to change – quickly.

Unprecedented sums of money have been pouring into gold in the past few months. While a lot of funds are licking their wounds from the recent downturn and facing ongoing redemptions, some still have money. Those that do are putting it in gold. At least part of it.

Betting Big on Gold

Just take a look at the recent money which has been put into gold companies across the board. They’re all getting new cash. Major miners looking for extra cash to fund takeovers, exploration, and mine development are getting it. Small gold companies looking for one more financing to put themselves into production are getting it too. There’s money out there for gold.

Leading the charge in financing major and mid-tier gold miners has been syndicates led by Citigroup, J.P. Morgan, and BMO. They’re the big money. And they (except for BMO) wouldn’t have given gold the time of day when private equity players were chasing after real estate, Chinese companies, and other “hot” sectors over the past few years.

Of course, it’s not just one or two big deals though. There have been six different $100 million plus financing arrangements completed in the past few months and many more to follow.

Industrial companies may be going under because they can’t get financing. But when it comes to gold companies though, there appears to be plenty of money available. In a way, the whole gold situation may have changed completely with the big money moving in. And they’re moving in big.

Recently, Pequot Capital Management, a hedge fund with more than $4 billion in assets, ramped up its gold exposure by 997%. Pequot plowed more than $250 million into gold in less than three months. And there’s Highfields Capital too. Highfields managed as much as $10 billion last year. They’ve got a lot of money and they’re starting to show the early stages of gold fever. In the past few months Highfields has upped its gold exposure by 302% when it threw more than $150 million into gold.

The big money is coming – quickly. And, given all the turmoil and uneasiness in the markets, there has never been a better time to bet on gold stocks.

Hit for the Cycle in Gold Stocks

We’ll get to the stocks in a moment. First there is one thing that’s absolutely imperative to understand about mining stocks. If you don’t, you’re doomed to fail when it comes to investing in gold. It will seem like the cards are stacked against you even in the strongest bull market in gold.

All mining stocks are highly cyclical. Gold stocks are no different. As a result, the key to winning big, safely, and consistently comes from understanding the cycle and turning it into an advantage.

In a recent article about mining stocks, Frank Holmes, CEO of resource-focused mutual fund management Global Investors (NASDAQ:GROW) and a man with decades of experience in the mining stock world, put together the perfect illustration of the life cycle of a mining stock (see chart to the below).

image

If you look through all of the historical data, you’ll see most stocks go through this cycle. There’s a lot of initial excitement. Then there’s a long period of development and most of the initial excitement fades. All of a sudden, it seems, investors realize how long it takes to build a mine. Then the company really gets going in the final stage.

Paying attention to these cycles will help keep your money safe when it comes to gold and mining stocks. Here are the signs to watch out for to tell you which phase you’re in.

Phase 1: This is the most exciting time. It’s when a tiny junior mining company strikes a large amount of high grade gold or copper. It’s when that 20 cent stock goes to $1, $2 or higher. It’s when speculators push up shares thinking this is the next stock which goes from 20 cents to $80 a share.

The big successes are rare here, but they’re there. But if you pay close attention and create a solid plan before going in, it’s the only time you’re going to make 50%, 100%, or more in a matter of days or weeks.

Phase 2: This is a long, boring, and usually unprofitable time. The herd that piled in at the end of Phase 1 expecting to make a huge score slowly realizes the odds of shares of the company going from $2 to $80 are about 1 in 5,000 and sell out.

This is the period when mining companies are actually busiest. There are environmental approvals to get, financing arrangements to be made, all kinds of studies to complete, mining plans, and building of the infrastructure required.

It’s when the hot money rolls out and the big money starts to buy in. You’ll see the occasional takeover in this time or a competent management team push a mining project into production. It’s also the time when the company runs into at least one unexpected delay. Depending on the size of the project, this phase can last anywhere from six months to five or ten years.

If you’re looking to buy in at this phase, you better be prepared to wait a long time.

Phase 3: This is when the mine actually goes into production. The company starts pulling resources out of the ground and selling them into the market. It’s when you can start to value a company based on cash flow, earnings, future growth in production, and other fundamental criteria.

That’s the key. The big money is focused on the fundamentals and, as a result, this is when the shares of the company get a second life. As the company delivers quarter after quarter and meets its growth goals, shares will steadily rise. This is also the phase when shares will move up when the price of the commodity it produces goes up.

This is the lowest risk phase, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be profitable. The second time to buy into a mining company is near the end of Phase 2 right before Phase 3.

5 Great Ways to Make a Fortune

As you can see, there are two profitable phases for investors. It really doesn’t matter how the underlying commodity is performing if we’re buying in at the wrong part of the cycle.

We can talk for days and days on end about how great gold is going to do over the next couple of years. We can touch on things like how the gold bull market will push shares of gold miners to the moon, but if you’re not buying in the right part of the cycle, you could be taking on big risks for making less of a return.

Buy these:

1. Fast-Growing Gold Producer Set to Jump to “Next Level” - Brigus Gold (TSX:BRD or AMEX:BRD) – is a rapidly gold producer which is currently developing a second mine and advancing it high-potential gold exploration projects.

Its current mine, the Black Fox Mine, is rapidly growing production. It produced 52,000 ounces of gold in 2009. It’s on pace to produce between 80,000 and 85,000 ounces in 2010 at an average cost of $500 to $550 per ounce. Production is expected to grow to 110,000 ounces in 2011.

Its development stage project, the Goldfields Box and Athona Deposits, is a low-capex, low-operating cost developing gold mine in feasibility stage. The expected economics of the project are very strong. With a one million ounce gold resource estimate, the project is expected to produce 70,000 to 90,000 ounces of gold per year at a cost of between $400 and $425 per ounce and with a mine life of 14 years across both deposits.

Brigus Gold, with a current market value of 368 million (178.8 million shares outstanding @ $2 per share) is well on its way to becoming a mid-tier gold producer with production potential of as much as 200,000 ounces per year in the near future.

Best of all, Brigus Gold’s rapid growth is being funded primarily through its cash flows from mining operations and not at the expense of current shareholders via dilutive financing agreements. This ability increases the upside potential and leverage to gold prices immensely.

Brigus Gold web site: www.brigusgold.com

2. Western Europe’s Largest Undeveloped High-Grade Gold Deposti - Astur Gold (TSX-V:AST) – has acquired one of the prize gold assets in Western Europe.

Located in the Asturias region of Northern Spain, Astur Gold’s Salave gold deposit has been discovered and largely developed by some of the largest miners in the world over the past few decades. Cominco (prior to merger with Teck Resources), Anglo American, and Rio Narcea among others have all invested time and resources to advance this prized asset.

They’ve done it for good reason too, it’s big, high grade, and has exceptional economics. The Salave Gold deposit contains an estimated 2.1 million ounces of gold with grading more than 2.8 g/t across the entire deposit.

The company has attracted a top-tier leadership team to advance its development. For example Sean Roosen, President and CEO Osisko Mining (TSX:OSK), joined the board of directors in 2010 and Paul Conibear, former President and CEO of the Lundin Group’s Tenke Mining is also on the board of directors.

Astur is waiting for final permits and additional studies, but if Spain’s economic condition is any indicator, they’ll be glad to have a mine built to provide jobs in a country where the “official” unemployment rate is nearly 20%.

Astur’s current market value is a mere $37 million (33.8 million shares outstanding @ $1.10 per share) with a value per ounce in the ground of less than $20 per ounce of gold.

Astur Gold web site: www.asturgold.com

3. Project Generator with Big Upside and Well-Diversified Risks - Nevada Sunrise (TSX-V:NEV) – is a project generator with four high-potential projects in the heart of Nevada’s most prolific mining districts.

It has already inked a development joint venture with Animas Resources for the exploration of its most advanced project, the Golden Arrow project. The project already contains an estimated 346,000 ounces of gold and 5.25 million ounces of silver and has exceptional exploration upside potential.

Nevada Sunrise has three other properties as well, all three of which have strong potential:

Kinsley Mountain: The project was originally discovered in the 1980s and consists of 2807 acres of prime gold exploration real estate in Nevada’s “Carlin Trend.” It has a past producing mine that produced 135,000 ounces of gold in the past. To accelerate its exploration and development, it also has a JV agreement with Animas Resources.

Juniper: is 100% controlled by Nevada Sunrise and consists of 2,026 acres of “Carlin Trend=style” real estate in Nevada. It has an estimated resource of 181,000 short tons grading 0.15 ounces per ton.

Iron Point: is an early stage exploration project located in the Battle Mountain region of Nevada. It is located along the Eureka Trend and is surrounded by significant gold deposits/mines including Lone Tree, Pinson, Marigold, Twin Creeks and Getchell.

Nevada Sunrise has a very low market value of $7 million (50 million shares at 14 cents per share).

Neveda Sunrise web site: http://www.nevadasunrise.com/

4. Golden Needle in the Haystack: Backed By 98-Year Old Mining FirmGold Resource Corp (NASDAQ:GORO) - One of the easiest ways to lose money is to buy into companies listed on the OTC Bulletin Board. This is one of the most loosely regulated markets in the world. It attracts some of the slickest scam artists, criminals, and outright thieves.

It’s getting better and cleaning itself up. There are plenty of real companies which trade on the exchange, but they get overshadowed by the bad ones.

So I avoid stocks on here if I have any doubts whatsoever. When it comes to my investment dollars, I’d rather be safe than sorry.

Every once in a while, however, there is an opportunity that’s just too enticing to pass up. Gold Resource Corp is shaping up to be one of those opportunities.

GORO is in perfect position to get in on the ongoing gold bull market. It’s in Phase 2 and is about to enter Phase 3. GORO is on track to produce its first ounce of gold in mid-2009.

It’s shaping up to be one of the lowest cost gold producers in the world. GORO can mine gold for less than $100 an ounce. That means for dollar an ounce of gold rises in price, GORO will be booking an extra dollar of profit. You don’t get in much better position than that.

To give the company the added bit of credibility, it recently inked a partnership with Hochschild Mining, one of the oldest mining firms in the world. Hochschild was founded in 1911 and has mined gold and other commodities around the world for almost 100 years.

Gold Resource Corp web site: http://www.goldresourcecorp.com/

5. Tiny Gold Miner Shares Could Climb 470% Without Setting a New High – Timberline Resources (AMEX:TLR) – An old friend of mine once told me, “I’ve been in the mining industry for a long time. I’ve been through all the cycles. Sometimes you’ve got to wait a while – a long while - but if you’re waiting in the right spot, it’s more than worth it.”

Right now, gold is shaping up to be one of the right spots to be in and Timberline Resources (NYSE:TLR) is shaping up to be one of those opportunities.

Timberline is the perfect example of what can happen during the mining stock life cycle. Shares of this emerging gold producer climbed from around 30 cents in July of 2005 to a high of over $5 per share in July of 2007.

It was a great ride in Phase 1. Since then though, excitement has completely disappeared and shares of Timberline have fallen all the way back down to less than 30 cents per share. It was in the wrong part of the mining stock life cycle when the credit crisis hit and it was absolutely crushed.

That’s why now is looking like the time to get back in. Timberline is making its way out of Phase 2 and will be entering Phase 3 within the next year. Timberline should be producing about 40,000 ounces of gold each year from its Idaho operations. That’s not much compared to the big boys of the gold mining world, but when you consider Timberline has a market cap of less than $9 million, it’s insanely cheap.

This one is going to take at least a year or two to play out completely. But the opportunity to make 500% to 1,000% doesn’t come along often. And, quite frankly, it doesn’t happen overnight.

Timberline Resources web site: http://www.timberline-resources.com/

BONUS: Instant Gold Gratification: Talk to any gold investor right now and they will tell you physical gold is as scarce as it has ever been. When I say physical gold, I mean gold coins, bullion bars, or any other type of gold which you can physically hold in your hand and store away in a safe place.

There have been reports of line-ups two blocks long in the United Kingdom, the Middle East has been on a buying frenzy for gold, China has been spending part of its dollar hoard on gold, and Indians (the real Indians which live in India) have been big physical gold buyers for decades.

As a result, physical gold supplies are drying up. Local coin dealers are running low. National coin and bullion dealers are charging premiums as high as 10% to 15% over the spot market price. And customers who pay the premium often have to wait 6 to 10 weeks before their physical gold is even delivered.

Despite it all, there is a way to get physical gold and silver delivered quickly and inexpensively. It’s through www.seekbullion.com.

SeekBullion has set up an open market between buyers and sellers of gold and silver. It’s one of the most efficient ways to buy gold and silver. The premiums are smaller, you’ll have your physical gold and silver delivered within a matter of days (no waiting around for months!), and it’s run by some of the most trusted dealers in the gold and silver bullion industry.

Physical gold and silver is an insurance policy against total economic disaster and we at Q1 Publishing recommend everyone have at least a small portion of savings in physical precious metals. As with all insurance policies, you hope it is never needed. But you’ll be very glad you had it if it is needed. SeekBullion offers one of the easiest and low-cost ways to get insured now.


You Get What You Pay For

We’ve been over the stocks, the risks, and the timing. We’ve been over a few ways to get in on the gold boom, which at this point we have to say is highly likely (remember there are NO sure things when it comes to the markets). There is one more thing. It’s a question I get asked all the time.

Why would you be giving away all of this research for free?

Well, the answer is simple and it’s something you must understand before taking advice from anyone.

I’m in the research business. I’m 100% independent. I don’t take any payment for providing advice to others – there’s no hidden agenda. I own Q1 Publishing 100% outright. Every decision made here, every experience you have with us, falls on me.

Q1 Publishing’s goal is to find our readers the best opportunities possible and show them how to take advantage of them. We want to make our readers better investors.

Our business is a simple one. If you try us out and like the research and the safe and original (and often emulated) ideas we come up with, and we help you achieve your financial dreams, then you’ll want to stay on with us. If not…well, I won’t have any business at all. It’s just that simple.

So yes, this advice is free – take it for what it is and do what you like. You can buy into these stocks or just keep an eye on them and see what they do. The decision is yours.

The thing I ask you to pay close attention to is the rationale. That is the key to investing successfully in anything. You might go into an investment and it might work out occasionally. But if you don’t have the right rationale and a plan, you are doomed to fail.

Regrettably, the recent downturn has uncovered the flaws in a lot of people’s investing rationale. But, I implore you, now is not the time to throw in the towel because…

Crisis Breeds Opportunity

It’s no secret times are tough. But at Q1 Publishing, our investment research focuses on opportunity. I call it guarded optimism. As you’ll see in the next edition of the Prosperity Dispatch, there are plenty of silver linings in all this mess.

That’s because crisis breeds opportunity - you’ve just got to look a little bit harder.

For instance, we’ve already been over the positive outlook for gold. But we’re in the middle of a bull market for gold so more and more people are catching on. The thing most people haven’t realized is most of the truly iconic American corporations were founded during hard times.

Just take a quick look back through history. The Panic of 1873 kicked off the original Great Depression (which it was known as until the world rose out of the 1930’s Depression). The failure of the leading North American investment banking firm, Jay Cooke & Company, sparked one of the worst economic downswings in history (eerily similar – I know). The downturn lasted 23 years. Five years after Panic, with the country mired in depression, the Edison Electric Light Company was founded. Edison’s company grew into General Electric (NYSE:GE).

The Tabulating Machine Company, the company which would become IBM (NYSE:IBM), was founded during the late 1890’s recession shortly after the (then) mighty Reading Railroad failed. Microsoft (Nasdaq:MSFT) was founded in 1975. In 1940, the first McDonald’s (NYSE:MCD) opened up in California.

That’s just the start of it. There are hundreds more.

You see, these business visionaries jumped at the opportunity when everyone else was running for cover. They trounced their competition by innovating and not holding back when it came to ensuring their customers didn’t forget about them.

Speaking of the Prosperity Dispatch, I think you’ll find it’s unlike anything you’ve ever read. It’s made to be easy to read and useful for all types of investors. Whether you’re a novice just learning the ropes or a pro with decades of experience under your belt, I’m sure you’ll find plenty of value in the Prosperity Dispatch.

Most importantly, it was founded on the basic principle: there are opportunities to be had in any market. It might mean learning a new investing strategy or learning about a new sector, but there is always an opportunity coming around the corner.

The goal of the Prosperity Dispatch is to help our readers find those opportunities and become better investors all in less than 15 minutes a week.

With that, I’d like to say welcome aboard.

Here’s to the start of a long and prosperous relationship,

 

Andrew Mickey
Chief Investment Strategist, Q1 Publishing 

Original Publication Date: March 1, 2009
Current Update: January 6, 2011

Disclosure: The author of this report was not paid for the production or distribution of this report. Q1 Publishing is an independent financial publisher and we work for our readers. If we provide them good ideas and research and help them make money, they stay with us. If we don’t, we don’t have a business. We do, however, encourage Q1 Publishing editors to “eat their own cooking.” So you should expect editors to own shares in what they recommend to readers.

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