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Long a buy and hold investor, I now believe that buy and hold has to be re-evaluated in a world of ever increasing, instant information and huge gyrations in markets all over the world. A value investor at heart, I anchor my portfolio with conservative funds and blue chip dividend stocks, but... More
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  • IBC Advanced Alloys Looking To Profitability In 2015
    Technicals turning up for IBC Advanced Alloys Corp

    A recent check of technicals for IBC Advanced Alloys shows a upward momentum and a possible price pop of 80-100%

    Here are the details

    Jan 14, 2015  Triple Moving Average Crossover (4-day 9-day 18-day)Short-Term Bullish$0.12n/a
    Jan 08, 2015MomentumShort-Term Bullish$0.12n/a
    Jan 08, 2015Price Crosses Moving Average (21-day)Short-Term Bullish$0.12n/a
    Jan 05, 2015Short-term KSTShort-Term Bullish$0.12n/a
    Jan 05, 2015Continuation Wedge (Bullish)Intermediate-Term Bullish$0.12Bullish $0.22 - $0.24


    IBC Advanced Alloys is a micro cap Canadian company which manufactures specialty alloys mainly for the Aerospace sector at it's four manufacturing plants in the United States. It's proprietary "Beralcast" family of Alloys are used in Aerospace applications to increase strength and stiffness at a lighter weight than most other materials used. IBC Engineered Materials Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of IBC Advanced Alloys Corp, manufactures Beralcast as a family of beryllium aluminum alloys that overcomes the limitations of pure beryllium and existing aluminum alloys, while retaining the benefits of the two metals. IBC Advanced Alloys Copper Division manufactures and distributes a wide variety of copper alloys as castings and forgings including beryllium copper, chrome copper and aluminum bronze in plate, block, bar, rings. They also develop specialty copper alloy forgings for plastic mold tooling and resistance welding applications. EOTS Recently, IBC signed a contract with Lockheed-Martin to supply the housing units for the EOTS system for the new, advanced, F-35 fighter jet program from it's proprietary "Beralcast" Alloys. The initial contract is worth $2 Million dollars but could rise to as much as $80 Million with continued production. (click to enlarge)
    The U.S. Dept of Defense is currently testing Beralcast alloys for use in their UAS and UAV programs in aerospace (Airforce), on land (Army) and underwater (Navy). This program is ongoing.

    IBC Engineered Materials, a wholly owned subsidiary of IBC Advanced Alloys, is also collaborating with Purdue University and the University of Texas on the production of Beryllium Oxide Enhanced nuclear fuel to increase the safety and longevity of nuclear fuel rods. IBC and PUrdue share patents for this technology.

    In November 2014 IBC partnered with Baoshida Swissmetal and Avins USA Inc. to manufacture a high performance alloy for use in multiple markets and applications.

    IBC trades on the Canadian Venture Exchange (ib-tsxv) and on the OTCQX International as IAALF

    Earlier today I spoke with Ian Tootill of IBC regarding their outlook for 2015. Although he cannot discuss any upcoming contracts or talks with other companies besides Lockheed, he did say he is very optimistic that IBC is moving steadily toward profitability in 2015.

    Currently IBC's market cap is only $9 M with 80 Million shares outstanding at today's price of .11c Revenue for 2014 was over $20M

    Disclosure: We are investors in IBC Advanced Alloys Corp

    Jan 14 1:24 PM | Link | Comment!
  • The Synergy Between Natural Gas, Lithium And Graphite

    Natural gas is too "unstable" to use on our roads and highways where millions of cars and trucks are subject to millions of traffic accidents. From a safety perspective alone, natural gas vehicles should not and cannot be allowed on our roads. There are simply too many uncontrollable variables.

    Natural gas can however, power the transportation of the future as feed stock for electrical power generation. Because natural gas is so abundant, it makes sense that electric power plants will use more and more natural gas as their feed stock over time. As this abundant source of power generation comes on stream, look to invest in the companies that stand to benefit from this game changer.

    Although energy providers such as Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK), and Progress Energy (OTC:PREX) are good bets as is laid out by theStreet.com, electric power storage is also a great place to take a long term view. Progressive companies in that space looking for fuel cell solutions (large fuel cell stacks that can burn nat gas) include Ballard Power (NASDAQ:BLDP), Plug Power (NASDAQ:PLUG), and Hydrogenics (NASDAQ:HYGS) They are all pursuing such a solution at this writing.

    My focus today however, is on the growing importance of energy storage. In the age of mobile devices, electric cars, wind and solar power and grid protection, it is crucial that proper energy storage devices, both large and small, be developed and keep developing.

    Many investors are not aware that there is 8-12 times more graphite in a Lithium-ion battery than there is lithium. As Lithium and graphite become more and more the "go to" source for new battery technologies, from your iphone and laptop, to golf carts, electric motor cycles, cars, trucks, ships and large storage facilities, look to the miners who produce, or will produce graphite and those who produce lithium carbonate from two different sources, hard rock (pegmatite) and lithium brines or clays. Let me explain.

    The largest supplier of Lithium today is Sociedad Qumica y Minera de Chile S.A. (SQM) which produces Lithium as a byproduct of its massive Potash operations. As with other large miners, SQM sells it's lithium on a spot market (there is currently no futures market for lithium)

    Now electric battery manufacturers and car makers require a steady stream of lithium carbonate for their manufacturing processes so as not to interrupt production. To date, suppliers such as SQM, FMC et al have refused to sign contracts to supply a continuous, uninterrupted supply of product to manufacturers. This is mainly because, even though brine production is the most economical way to produce lithium, it is more sporadic than spodomen production, due to the natural drying out process supplied by the sun, that makes it more economical in the first place. In other words, it is extremely hard to provide a "steady stream" of Lithium carbonate for a production facility.

    Australian producer Talison Lithium (TLTHF.PK) (TLH-T) is the largest, pure lithium producer on the planet, and its spodomen production from its Greenbushes operation in Western Australia, is the richest hard rock deposit on earth. Talison supplies over 300 customers with product and is the largest supplier to the growing Chinese market, due to its ability for continuous production and its proximity China. Talison also boasts a very large brine deposit in South America due to its purchase of Salares Lithium in 2010. Since 2012 Talison has reported at least a 25% increase in the price of lithium it sells to it's over 300 customers, the majority of which are in China.

    (click to enlarge)

    FMC Corporation (FMC) is another large producer based in South America, with brine production as a byproduct of other operations such as potash. As with SQM, lithium is only a part of its total operations and as potash becomes more important as agriculture attempts to feed a hungry world, its share price looks attractive as well.

    As the lithium market grows, you should not ignore the juniors who have popped up over the past five years to take advantage of large deposits which may at some point, be quite productive or gain the notice of larger producers as consolidation takes place, as it so often does in young, growing markets.

    In this space I like both Western Lithium (WLCDF.PK)(WLC-T) for its large, Kings Valley clay deposit in mining friendly Nevada where Tesla may build it's promised "mega" battery plant, and Rodinia Lithium (RDNAF.PK) (RM-T) as it owns three of the top 20 lithium brine deposits on the planet. If there is a future consolidation in the industry, these two should be tops on the majors lists.

    The above chart shows some of the other companies working in this field and as you can see from the chart, Lithium is a common denominator in battery development.

    Currently there is no large producer of graphite in North America as almost 80% of all graphite to date has been provided by China. China, however, is now beginning to restrict graphite exporting as it considers graphite a crucial element. This opens a huge door to first movers in North America.

    At the top of that list are deposits in Canada being developed by Mason Graphite (OTCQX:MGPHF), Focus Graphite (OTCQX:FCSMF) and Northern Graphite (OTCQX:LMRMF). These are still small companies, but have huge deposits of the purest natural graphite, and as I pointed out, have first mover advantage. Focus Graphite also is making a push into the burgeoning graphene market.

    Another Microcap with a similar profile is Lomiko Metals (LMR-TSE) which is also making a push into the bursting production of the wonder material, graphene.

    I will leave that space for a future article.

    Dec 30 3:12 PM | Link | Comment!
  • Target Dated Retirement Funds

    Target date retirement funds or retirefunds are growing in popularity

    Target dated Retirement funds are known as Retirefunds. They are often set up to target a specific date which is usually the retirement date of the individual investor in question.

    Examples of such funds can be found at BMO, Scotiabank, Manulife, T. Rowe Price, Pimco, American Funds and many other banks and financial institutions to numerous to mention here. These funds are the "cruise control" of mutual funds. As the investor gets closer to retirement, the fund's asset allocation becomes more conservative and focuses on fixed income. The changing asset allocation is called the glide path.

    "In the U.S., target-date funds hit the public consciousness after the Pension Protection Act of 2006. The legislation allowed 401(k) plan sponsors to make life cycle funds the default investments for participants who didn't choose their own funds. The logic was that since investors were now in charge of their own retirement funds, sitting in cash wasn't going to get them there".(See Nasdaq)

    In Canada, target dated funds began gaining more interest around the same time. These funds have some very positive aspects which are desired by many investors. Many individuals are so busy with their own careers, family and lives that they truly want their retirement funds on cruise control. Although I often point out you are the best keeper of your retirement plan and your money, many people either do not, or cannot look after their own plans.

    There are however some drawbacks to these plans you should be aware of. The Canadian investment review has an excellent article on this very subject entitled: The trouble with retirement dated funds.

    Retirefunds may not be for everyone but there is a growing investor base that wants to keep their investments on cruise control. If you are interested in this form of retirement financing, you should contact a qualified financial adviser.

    Dec 08 12:51 PM | Link | Comment!
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