John Embry: Exclusive Interview with Canada's Foremost Gold Investor
Is gold the next “ hot ” investment? Or will it never break through the $1,000 threshold?
Some of the world's leading investors are currently placing their bets.
For instance, hedge fund manager David Einhorn recently bet big on gold. Einhorn manages $6 billion at Greenlight Capital and has averaged a 20% annualized return by booking only one losing year since 1996 (last year). His fund recently bought more than $200 million of SPDR Gold Trust ETF (NYSE:GLD) and more than $75 million worth of Market Vectors Gold Miner ETF (NYSE:GDX) .
On top of that, the big money managers have already pumped billions of dollars directly into gold mining companies to fund takeovers and new mines and expansion.
It's looking like a lot of smart and big money is betting on gold. And as the financial markets, economy, and future outlook worsen, gold is holding up as a last bastion of hope for many investors.
How can you get in on it? Is it just gold? What about silver? Where are the real values to be had? What about other hard assets – water, agriculture, etc.?
It's best to start getting prepared now.
Most recently, Q1 Publishing's own Andrew Mickey, editor of the Prosperity Dispatch , had a private one-on-one conversation with John Embry, one of the leading gold investors in the world.
Embry has been following the gold sector for 35 years (that's since the early 1970's) and is one of the leading authorities on gold. Embry is currently the Chief Investment Strategist for Sprott Asset Management – a legendary name to long-time gold investors.
Prior to joining Sprott, Embry oversaw more than $5 billion in assets including the Royal Precious Metal Fund as VP, Equities and Portfolio Manager for RBC, a top-tier Canadian bank. Under his watch, the Royal Precious Metals Fund returned 153% in 2002 and was ranked #1 across all funds in Canada (remember 2002 was a horrible year for stocks as tech stocks continued to fall).
Now, gold is springing back to life and you'd be hard pressed to find anyone more knowledgeable about gold than Embry. In this exclusive one-on-one, you'll learn:
- What Embry calls “an extreme bright spot”
- The one metal which might even be better than gold
- The asset class which has “fallen off a cliff” and how the decline “is a great thing”
- The #1 problem facing gold miners in the years ahead
- Why gold production will actually decline if gold continues to climb
- Could we have hit peak gold
It's not just all precious metals for Embry and the folks at Sprott. In a few moments you'll also learn about the one investment Embry says, “We haven't done as much as we should have.” (Hint: it's not gold, silver, potash, oil or platinum)
We've got a lot to go over so let's get right into it. Hope you enjoy.
Andrew Mickey: Precious metals have been getting a lot of attention lately. But it seems like there has been a divergence between gold and silver. We've been watching the gold to silver ratio (the number of ounces of silver which can be bought for an ounce of gold) get wider and wider. Gold to platinum too. Do you see the divergence tied to the industrial aspect of metals like platinum and silver, gold is the supreme precious metal, or is there something else going on behind the scenes?
John Embry: No – it's a very strong manipulative aspect at work. If you go to the COMEX and look at the trading patterns and the short positions and such, clearly the prices are being messed around with.
Silver is a smaller market and can be messed around with more easily. I think silver probably has a bit more upside potential because the price is so far behind where it should be.
Andrew Mickey: So do you see silver as one of the bright spots?
John Embry: Oh yeah, it's an extreme bright spot. I could easily see it three times where it is now in the not-that-distant future.
Andrew Mickey: As far as gold supply, there is one period in the world gold supply where gold production kind of crested around 2007 or 2008. Are we facing a “Peak Gold” kind of situation?
John Embry: Yeah, we have most assuredly crested in terms of mine supply without question.
Andrew Mickey: So, when you look at five, ten years out…let's say in a world where gold is $2000 or $3000 or higher, how much more gold can realistically be produced in a year?
John Embry: Zero, I think. In fact, I think you probably need a lot more lead time - maybe five to ten years.
Just look at what happened in the ‘70s. The gold price went from $35 to $800 and, believe it or not, gold production was at a lower level worldwide after that 10-year period.
Now, the big question is what will happen this time? Number one, a lot of the existing mines are being depleted quite rapidly. Number two, when the gold price goes up a lot, mines generally tend to sort of drop the grade they mine because they can make a lot of money with lower grade and they can keep the good stuff for the bad times.
So by definition, they will be mining in the same number of tons but they will be taking the gold grade out of it, so collectively they will be mining less gold. They will make more money because the price is up but they will be mining less.
The other problem is that so many of the new interesting deposits that may or may not be developed in the future are located in these God-awful third world countries. They are having a real battle now with the governments, getting permitting, deciding who makes the money out of the mine, environmental issues etc. The gold deposits are all over the place and the governments are going to delay projects.
Say you find an ore body today. It would probably take a minimum of five years before the gold hits the market with all the attendant problems there are getting it into production. So all that's already baked in the cake. The gold price could be doing anything it wanted for the next four or five years…gold production isn't going to increase much – if any - at all.
Andrew Mickey: Amazing, gold production declining in the last great bull market for gold. So what does this mean for gold stocks , from your perspective? Where should we focus our investments across the whole range - from explorers all the way up to the majors?