In a recent edition of my free, no spam email digest, I commented on the almost religious fervor of the responses I get when I write something about uranium. Uranium bugs—or haters—seem much more emotional than gold and silver bugs…
Responses that amount to this (though often less polite) aren’t particularly useful, but they do remind me that people have been hurt on such speculations before. It’s a fact well worth remembering.
“You fool, uranium prices are down 80% over the last 12 years!”
This sort of thing is less useful than the wounded accusations of wrongdoing. The person is cherry-picking the data to present the worst case. I can’t even tell if the person is just angry, or an environmental extremist, or a coal miner worried about his job. Or maybe it’s that bully from the third grade who never got over me collecting more gold stars than he did. I can only tell that determining the truth is not on the person’s agenda. That makes any reply a waste of time.
“You’re a genius! Uranium is going to the moon!”
While more pleasant—and certainly welcome—this sort of response is mostly useful as a measure of market appetite for uranium (or whatever I’m writing about).
“You’re wrong/right, for reasons A, B, and C that you haven’t considered.”
This is my favorite type of response. It’s really useful. It shows that the person is interested in the exchange of ideas that may lead to more value for both of us. And I’m happy to say that I’ve received several replies along these lines in response to my writing on the unique opportunity I see in uranium today.
I bring this up because it occurred to me as I worked on my analysis of a bunch of stocks for this month’s edition of My Take that most of my conclusions were negative. I worry that readers might think I’m like the folks who send in the “you fool” type of feedback—just looking to attack, not find the truth.
This is important.
I understand that if people write in for my take on a stock, they likely own it, or like it and plan to buy it. Having me rain on their parade may come across as simply being too negative.
And boy, is it easy to be negative in the resource sector… Even the very best companies in the business have warts all over them. Even the best mining jurisdictions in the world are not free of political risk. And even the hottest metals on the market today are subject to sudden reversals that are the stuff bankruptcies are made of.
Pick a mining stock—any resource in the world—and I could give you good, persuasive reasons not to buy it.
Easy pickings—and exciting copy.
But that’s not why there are so many negative takes in My Take.
The goal is to boil down everything I know about a given company (in many cases I’ve been to the flagship property and met the key people) and its underlying commodity, and then offer the most useful guidance I can.
Often that is negative—but for good reason.
As Doug Casey always told me: “You can’t kiss all the girls.”
To which I replied: “And you’re asking for trouble if you try.”
So if you want to think of me as Dr. No, please imagine me being a doctor like Hawkeye Pierce in MASH. Triage may seem heartless, especially to the ones who aren’t going to make it, but it’s absolutely essential for maximizing positive outcomes.
Yes, it’s my job to say “no.”
I consider it a key skill of mine to be able to get to a “no” decision as fast as possible.
This way my time—and your attention—is focused where it can do the most good.
That’s how my “negativity” delivers positive value for clients of My Take, or The Independent Speculator.
The same goes for this free digest; if I’m down on lithium or helium or whatever the storyum of the day is, it’s not just to make headlines by being obnoxious. It’s to help you make money—or avoid losing it—to our mutual benefit.
It’s my job to look for the best speculative opportunities wherever I see them—and triage is a vital part of that.
That’s my take,