What’s Chris Mayer’s “Bonner Family Gold Portfolio” Pick?

Teased as "A Way to Finally Invest Alongside the Bonner family in Gold"

By Travis Johnson, Stock Gumshoe, December 1, 2016

I always like paying attention to Chris Mayer’s recommendations — not because they’re infallible, but because he has a solid and logical process for choosing stocks, and I’ve found his arguments pretty compelling the few times I’ve heard him speak (and, of course, some of those stocks he has profiled have done well — though surely not all of them).

There’s been a pretty big push on for Mayer’s newsletters lately, largely because he switched publishers and moved over to the Bonner & Partners side of the Agoraplex (Bill Bonner is one of the fathers of the US investment newsletter industry, and a founder of Agora, which itself owns or is affiliated with tons of other spun-off publishers like Stansberry, Money Map Press, Sovereign Society, Oxford Club, etc.).

So Mayer’s old Capital and Crisis, which he helmed for ten years or so, is no longer with us… but there are now two Chris Mayer services being flogged by the Bonner folks: Chris Mayer’s Focus, which is generally aimed at small and mid-cap “riskier” stocks, and Bonner Private Portfolio, which is the less-aggressive “real money” portfolio advisory for Bill Bonner’s money and the newsletter that’s being pitched here today. Both are high-priced letters, with “list price” generally around $3,000 (though pretty much all newsletters are always offered “on sale” — in this case, Bonner Private Portfolio is being pitched at $1,950).

The spiel in the ad, which comes from Bill Bonner’s son Will, is that this is a way to “finally” get a chance to invest alongside the Bonners in gold — here’s how he puts it:

“… for years now, we’ve left you largely in the dark about the one asset that our family – and especially my dad – cares about most.


“As you know, Dad’s been writing about gold for decades now, first in The Daily Reckoning and now in Diary of a Rogue Economist.

“He has made clear many times why gold is important, and why he thinks you should own it.

“Currently, our family has one-third of our trust in gold, in one form or another.

“We’ve held it for as long as I can remember… and plan on holding it for the rest of our lives.

“Yet we’ve never shared the specifics of our gold holdings with you, or any of my father’s readers.”

And if there’s one thing the Bonners know how to do really, really well, it’s sell newsletters — so this gap in their reporting is, naturally, an opportunity to sell access to what they’re calling an “elite gold portfolio”… here’s how Will describes that:

“Chris has created an elite gold portfolio to share with Bonner and Partner subscribers…

“One that’s appropriate for all types of investors, and safe enough that even we can invest in it with our family trust.

“It’s called the Bonner Family Gold Portfolio. It’ll be a very straightforward and transparent way for you to see exactly how our family is investing in gold… and invest in each position before we do.

“The asset allocation Chris has described for the portfolio matches what my dad has preached for years.

“Chris says a certain percentage will be in bullion… some in an exciting new recommendation he will announce in the next few days… and smaller amounts in a few other positions that he’s found, which I’ll discuss later.”

So what is that “exciting new recommendation he will announce in the next few days?” That, friends, is why I backed the Thinkolator out of the garage this morning… whether it’s exciting or not, we can’t stand not knowing.

Need to be tantalized further? Here’s a bit more:

“It’s an opportunity he says is perfect for long-term gold investors, and is something that every one of our readers should consider – even if you’re not a diehard ‘gold bug.’

“Based on Chris’s research, he says it could give you 100%-plus gains in the short term… and 400% gains or more over the next several years.”

OK, geez, so what the heck is it? Some kind of hot new junior mining stock that’s about to make a discovery? A glamorous royalty stock? One of the big miners? We need some clues!

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Oh, wait, here they are:

“Chris’s New Gold Recommendation

“The investment opportunity I’ve found is not a mining stock… or a gold royalty company… or any of the flavor-of-the-month gold investments that typically surface after the gold price has shot up…

“It isn’t some ‘hot tip’ either…’

Dang it! Hot tips are way more fun. So it’s not a mining stock or a royalty company… and presumably it’s not some pre-discovery exploration stock because that wouldn’t fit the bill for being an investment that “every one of our readers should consider.”

Curioser and curioser. We need some more clues:

“It’s actually an investment that I’ve been tracking for a long time.

“It’s run by a Harvard grad who happens to be one of the most successful gold investors of the last several decades.

“Since inception in 1998, this investment has returned 11% annually – an exceptional feat, especially considering gold’s wild ride from $275 to over $1,800 and back down again over that time frame.

“In fact, every $10,000 invested back then would have grown into $60,900 today.

“By comparison, every $10,000 invested in the S&P 500 would be worth less than half that.

“And had you invested in the most widely-traded gold plays – like Barrick Gold, Newmont Mining, Kinross Gold and many others – you wouldn’t have made anywhere close to that… and would have l