No drill results? No worries. Good geology, good management, a good cash position and a good stock price are good enough to coax renowned exploration analyst (and geologist) Brent Cook into buying junior prospect generators and explorers. He finds his sweet spot being near the top of the batting order. If he waits for drill results to confirm what he expects them to reveal, he may miss the best time to buy. With year-over-year returns on his Exploration Insights portfolio averaging 80%—and one superstar at 10 times that!—Brent’s clearly hit a few homers with his strategy. But in this exclusive interview, he cautions Gold Report readers against believing everything you read and hear. He says, “It’s really, really critical to evaluate what a company’s telling you.”When we chatted in August, you were looking at a gold price in the $900 neighborhood, indicating that fear of another financial disaster was driving gold prices. Since then, gold broke through $1,200 and has now corrected down to about $1,120. Is fear still the driving factor or has the dynamic changed?
The Gold Report: When we chatted in August, you were looking at a gold price in the $900 neighborhood, indicating that fear of another financial disaster was driving gold prices. Since then, gold broke through $1,200 and has now corrected down to about $1,120. Is fear still the driving factor or has the dynamic changed?
Brent Cook: I was probably wrong in my assessment at the time. I didn’t take into account the amount of liquidity—money being pumped into the system. I think what is driving gold now and drove it up through $1,200 is greed much more than fear. In my view, gold has become part of the global asset bubble—which includes foreign real estate, stock markets and base metals. So it’s actually greed that’s been driving gold, at least over the past few months.
TGR: How long can greed support a rally?
BC: It’s all tied to the dollar carry trade and the irrational actions of the crowds. You can borrow U.S. dollars at essentially negative rates and invest it in any other asset. Fund managers and bankers are just piling into whatever is hot, and that includes gold. The problem is that new participants in the gold market really don’t view gold as an alternative to the U.S. dollar and don’t fear fiat currencies as many of us do. They don’t believe gold is money; it’s just another asset to pile into with the crowd.
I am concerned about what happens if the dollar carry trade gets reversed and/or if the Fed jacks up interest rates. Then we’d see gold come crashing down and maybe the market as well. Except for the U.S. dollar, this has been an extremely positive year for almost anyone investing in the markets.
TGR: So you’re looking at the asset managers piling into gold as the “flavor of the month” lately. Would the Fed have to raise interest rates for asset mangers to tire of gold and just dump it on the market?