For this week, the focus of my Annual Review moves to natural resources. I’ve owned a bunch of stocks in this sector over the years, though it has grown more concentrated of late in the mining area — mostly gold, though not entirely.
To start with, I should share my basic strategy — or my bias, if you will. I think gold is likely to continue to be an important financial asset for the foreseeable future, and that it will likely continue to help those who own it to preserve their purchasing power, as a form of savings in the face of what will likely continue to be a “race to the bottom” when it comes to global currency depreciation.
That doesn’t mean I have any certainty about what will happen to the gold price in the next year, but I do feel that it’s likely we’ll see continued strength in gold as the dollar weakens — and I suspect that the dollar will weaken even as interest rates climb this year, though that’s not always the way it works (generally, higher interest rates attract more money, bringing foreign cash to the higher rate bonds and increasing the relative value of that currency, though the scale has been thoroughly tampered with by quantitative easing so such “usuals” might not apply).
So that’s my rationale for owning gold and silver and mining stocks over the long run, and for expecting a strong environment for precious metals in 2018. It could very easily be wrong, but at least you know where I’m coming from.
The first clarity I should bring here is a portfolio update in my commodities-related positions: I have sold my shares of First Mining Gold (FF.TO, FFMGF, used to be First Mining Finance), repurchased shares of Equinox Gold (EQX.TO, LWLCF), and added to my existing positions in Sandstorm Gold (SAND) and Altius Minerals (ALS.TO, ATUSF). More reasons for that as we go through the positions one by one.
And in non-commodity portfolio news, I also took some profits on my 2019 JD.com (JD) call options, both the $30 strike and the $70 strike, following today’s news that they are looking at entering the North American market pretty aggressively by the end of this year. That brought a strong boost for the stock, but my initial response to that news is mostly negative ...