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Bet on the Jockey

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Yesterday my father-in-law called wondering about an investment article he read on the future of rare earths and whether or not he should invest. He knows absolutely nothing about that sector so we encouraged him to dig a little deeper before committing his not so abundant retirement savings. The other day my dear friend, Phillip asked me about a coal technology stock trading on the OTC. I didn’t know of the company, to which he replied “Well there are just so many of these little companies out there, how does one know what to buy?”

I was recently at the PDAC Trade Show and there too, investors asked me what my top ‘picks’ were. This is a touchy subject for me. There is no rhyme or reason why I’ve made or lost money in the stock market so my advice is fraught with disclaimer. However, if I look at the history of the 1000+ companies we’ve featured on the BTV show and with CEO Clips, there is one common denominator that I can share with you: Bet on the jockey.

We’ve covered a few stories where a CEO has driven his train out of the station and all the way to the purchase party. And we’ve seen that CEO move on to subsequent success. Case in point, Clive Johnson, CEO of Bema Gold who I first interviewed back in 2005 where he headed up a gold production company with projects in Russia – an area investors were never too fond of. But despite the odds, Mr. Johnson steer headed the sale of Bema to Kinross for $3.5 billion dollars, and he and his team went on to form another B company, aptly named B2 Gold. This company has done well for shareholders, and currently has a valuation of $2.2 billion. Bet on the jockey.

I preface this sentiment with a clause: bet on the jockey means the person that was at the forefront of the deal. I’ve seen companies fail where the new CEO was the previous CFO or COO of a prior success story. That format isn’t as transferable because the skills required are different. With the internet and sites like Linked-In it’s now easier than ever to check out the background of top management and CEO’s of any publicly traded company. Good luck investing and until next time, may your portfolio prosper!

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