Again, I want to reiterate how impressive the current strength is in the broader stock market. We continue to get lackluster news on employment, housing and consumer prices, but the stock market seems to be moving beyond the bad news. Institutional investors are focused on stability with the sovereign debt issue in Europe and the upcoming third-quarter earnings season.
I wrote about the strength in some large-cap companies, but the real standouts in terms of capital appreciation continue to be in gold mining shares. Even as the spot price of gold is retreating, taking a well-deserved break from its recent run, all kinds of gold stocks are hitting new record highs. It’s not with the same fervor—not by any stretch—but it would seem that gold stocks are the new technology high flyers. Only this time, these businesses are generating some serious bottom-line earnings for stockholders.
For equity speculators, I think it’s very fair to conclude that gold and silver mining should become a sector with significant focus and attention. With the current state of the economy and the prospect for little to no growth in gross domestic product (GDP) over the next several quarters, speculative investors will be far better off learning about the mining business than any other industry group. The technology sector used to be the hottest—now resources are: real assets that can produce returns while the Main Street economy stagnates.
As always, timing is everything in the equity speculation business. I’ve witnessed dozens of gold mining stocks go up significantly in value over the last several months. Trying to find value in the gold mining business is becoming more difficult, but it is out there. Because the gold mining business model is so attractive ($1,800 spot price with an average cash cost of $500.00 an ounce), earnings growth has been spectacular. Even though gold miners have already seen their share prices soar, many of these stocks are not expensively priced at this time, because the earnings portion of the equation has been so robust.
I would love to see a major correction in the spot price of gold and in gold shares. This would present a most attractive new entry point for equity speculators. The mining business is where the growth is, right now and in the future. Whether it be financially, operationally or in terms of expected returns, it’s a great time to be in or associated with this business. If I was a student graduating from college next spring, I’d go right into the mining business. The commodity price cycle is only at the end of its beginning.