We're Number Two!: The Year Ahead - Part Two 

From the HRA Journal Issue 226,
January 15th, 2015

The first couple of weeks of 2015 certainly look nothing like the same period in 2014.  It would be wise to treat that as a warning.  We will all have to stay on our toes this year.  The many imbalances in the world’s financial system are coming to a head.  All may be resolved in a positive way but there are many places things can potentially go wrong.

Tarnished - Part One:

From the HRA Journal Issue 227-228,
February 12, 2015

The results of the ECB meeting and Greek election were as expected, only more so. Credit where it’s due; Mario Draghi did a masterful job of playing both the traders and the Germans. He had to make a major concession to Germany and other northern central banks to close the deal. That concession will weaken the impact of the QE program but let’s not quibble during Mario’s victory lap.

Tarnished - Part Two:

From the HRA Journal Issue 227-228,
February 12, 2015

This last of three issues covering my thoughts about 2015 will focus on base metals and a couple of bulk materials with some guesses on major markets.  The editorial was a long one and has been split into two parts of which this is the second. This final installment of the early year market overview deals with bulk minerals, oil and major equity indices.



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But Aren't Commodities Dead?

No. Metals are basic necessities of modern life and the per capita use of metals rises with income levels. In the past decade several of the world's most populous countries underwent accelerated growth. While countries like China, India and Brazil are currently being impacted by recessionary forces, the changes that spurred their stronger growth are not cyclical. These secular changes occur as per capita income reaches levels that require increased infrastructure spending by government and allow for discretionary spending on things like housing. All advanced economies have gone through these high growth secular periods in the past. The difference is that never in history have so many people in the world been entering the "lower middle class" at the same time. The impact on resource use from this massive change is just beginning to be felt. Remember too that there are several other high population countries like Malaysia, Turkey, Indonesia and Pakistan that are just entering this growth phase now. Collectively, these countries have a population roughly equal to China.

Historically, these sorts of Quality of Life cycles last a full generation or more. We are a bit over 10 years into this one. There will be cyclical slowdowns within the secular trend and individual metals will underperform or outperform depending on their particular supply/demand balance. The mining sector, which we have decades of experience in, will have to struggle just to keep up many times during this trend. Economies turn much faster than metals production. In short, there are more bull runs ahead for various metals and they will start much sooner than most people think. Metals producers and explorers will go from pariahs to market darlings and the change will happen fast when it comes. It has many times before. Buying low and selling high means seeking out the right companies before the market does. HRA can help you do just that.

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