Seeking Alpha

Retirefund's  Instablog

Send Message
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
My blog:
View Retirefund's Instablogs on:
  • Gold Miners are in the drivers seat, during these economic head winds.
      Sacramento Gold Miners logoImage via Wikipedia

    I like gold miners this summer!!!

    I especially like gold miners that do not have any of their production hedged.

    I like gold miners that are producing lots of gold right now!

    I like gold miners whose production is increasing at this writing.

    I like gold miners who have more than one producing mine!

      I like gold miners whose infrastructure and operations are sound, with no forseeable production problems!

    I like gold miners that operate in safe mining jurisdictions, with no political overtones!

    I like gold miners that are well lead by smart management who show their smarts in an ongoing basis, with great execution of clear business plans!

    I lke gold miners that make money, and that will continue to make money, no matter what the market does.


    For those of you who have read past articles, you know I am invested in physical gold and silver. Make no mistake, I view these as great investments in this environment. However, this year, it is the gold miners, especially those miners meeting the above criteria, that will out perform the markets this fall, and beyond.

    The U.S. dollar is shrinking, and will continue to shrink in the long run. Over the past six months, the U.S. dollar has lost 10% against the Euro!  THE EURO!, where countries are lining up from the smallest (Greece) to  some of the largest (Spain, and now Italy) at the European credit window.

    The European union could, on paper, save Greece and maybe even Ireland and Portugal. But Spain and Italy are both way too big to save. There is now no doubt that the Euro is in crisis and may not even survive, at least in its current form.

    The macro picture grows dimmer with each passing month.  The debt ceiling crisis in the USA, and the muddying of those waters by both political parties, is becoming the 800 lb gorilla.  The Tea Party will have none of it.  Their patrons in the Republican party, at the insistance of the TP, are playing brinkmanship with the U.S. economy at this writing. They do not want to extend the ceiling and will not approve ANY kind of tax increase, even though every expert in the field feels tax increases absolutely have to be part of the overall solution to U.S. debt. Democrats are once again, sitting on their hands. The unemployment rate is printed at just over 9%, but if you believe that, I have a bridge to sell you. Fully 14.5% of America is now on food stamps!  (That's right, 1/7th of the pupulation)

    In comparison, the debt problems of  Greece is barely a 40 lb monkey in the mechanics of global markets. Even if the U.S. debt ceiling gets raised in the medium term, where does that leave the USD, especially as QE2 ends, and there are not enough buyers of U.S. treasuries to keep up the charade.

    The new Gorilla stumbling into the zoo of international finance  is the debt problems of Italy, whose economy, over 1 $Trillion and about 25% of the Eurozone, might be considered a 700 lb Gorilla.  Greece, Ireland, and Portugal , are one thing, but Spain and Italy are in a different financial league, and if they go, so goes the Euro. Spain has 20% unemployment right now and Italy is more in debt that any of the others.

    The golden elephant in the room is, India, which now buys more gold than any other country.  China, viewing gold as an alternate currency, however, is catching up. They now allow their citizens, for the first time, to hold physical gold. The Chinese government has actually been quietly encouraging its citizens to do exactly that. Other countries increasing their purchasing of gold include Brazil, Germany, Russia, Indonesia etc.  European banks, and by proxy, U.S. banks are no place to invest right now. Get out while you still can.

    These problems are not new.  The tipping point was circa 2008, and the storm was sidetracked by the biggest financial experiment in history. Yes, there will always be "some" good stocks to buy, but for now:

    I want to own gold, and gold miners, of the best quality. I am buying them now!

    My current picks:

    1. SanGold
    2. Barrick
    3. Kinross
    4. Brigus Gold

    In that order.

    Happy investing


    PS: If you want to speculate with the big boys....

    Nautilus Minerals (Seabed mining)

    If you want to speculate on the cheap....
    TNR Gold (Alaska)

    Jul 11 4:57 PM | Link | Comment!
  • Germans partner with Canadians in Fuel Cell technology.
    Ballard Power Systems gains strong partner in Daimler as Germans look to Fuel Cell technology!
    Daimler announced this week a partnership in the development of fuel cell technology which includes the grandaddy of that industry, Ballard Power Systems of Burnaby, British Columbia. Ballard (BLD-T)(BLDP-OTC) has, since the 1980s, been quietly developing its PEM fuel cell technology.

    Several years ago, (2009) I posted an article entitled, the future of energy, where I laid out the probability of Fuel Cell stacks such as Ballards stacking technology, being developed to the point where they will easily power buses, fork lifts, ships, trains, small towns, and eventually big cities. In the beginning, many pundits speculated on the development of pure hydrogen fuel cell cars.  Eventually those same people began to discount what they called the hydrogen economy, saying that fuel cell cars probably would not ever replace the internal combustion engine.

    Since then, there have been inumerable articles and arguments both con and pro, fuel cell investments. Ballard, (and a number of other fuel cell companies nicknamed baby Ballards, such as Plug Power) saw their share prices subsequently wane as investors grew weary of the argument.  Ballard, having partnered earlier with auto makers such as Ford and Chrysler, basically sold off their auto technology to those entities. They concentrated on larger vehicles such as buses, and most recently, the fork lift industry.

    Where I believe Ballard really shines is in their fuel cell stacking technology which last year, allowed them to supply a small town in Ohio with a fuel cell power plant as a factory size test of such technology. (see: Worlds largest fuel cell power generations system being tested in Ohio)

    Think of towns and cities of the future being powered entirely by hydrogen fel cells, with absolutely no pollution as the only byproduct of the technology is pure water (H2O).  How about cruise ships, tankers, industries and buildings being powered in the same way.  Ballard recently contracted with India to supply over 10,000 smaller stacking units for their growing wireless industry in that country.

    Ballard now has fuel cell buses being tested in London, California, Vancouver and Amsterdam.  They are now building fuel cell fork lifts and plan on supplying that market, anywhere in the world where clean energy is a must.  Now, Daimler has announced that it will power its fuel cell fleet with Ballard technology.

    This technology, especially its use in stacking up to power plants capable of powering entire populations, just makes sense. Couple hydrogen fuel cell plant power with the emergence of the electric vehicle industry (our investments in lithium production) and, I believe, you will have a big winner, especially in places like China and India. Here in North America natural gas is very abundant with new fracking technologies allowing for an untapped bonanza of natural gas energy capable of powering us for 200 years.

    As it turns out, natural gas is a great feed source for hydrogen. In other words, Fuel cells can easily run on natural gas!

    Happy investing.

    Jun 13 1:06 PM | Link | Comment!
  • Stratfor believes Chinese growth is unsustainable!
    Chinese economy is unsustainable according to Stratfor Global Intelligence.
    IN "China, Power and Perils" the latest report from Stratfor Global Intelligence, a case is laid out for  unsustainable growth in the CommuCapitalist country. Stratfor builds a case for the unsustainability of an 8% growth minumum, which China says it needs to placate the growing millions who have entered and are entering the job market at a staggering 16 million this year alone.

    Stratfor says there are "structural elements that render 8% annual growth impossible" and compares the current Chinese economy to a giant ponzi scheme!

    So, how are ponzi schemès maintained? Well, if Bernie Madoff and his ilk are an indication, it is done with lies, lies and more lies! The lies have to convince some smart people of their legimacy, after which those lies are then spread by otherwise legitimate people and businesses.It is only after the lies have been uncovered that the typical ponzi scheme begins to unravel. As I have pointed out in prior posts, if you cannot believe some of the economic reports coming out of some Wallstreet firms, then how can you count on the word of a cloistered, communist elite, that has absolutely no interest in your (or your moneys) wellbeing. Their only interest is how they will hold on to power in the coming years.

    Stratfor brings up some familiar old ghosts, from our own recent past as they point out:

    " China's economy (according to China) needs 8% annual growth, just to keep the roughly 16 million new people entering the work force from rising in jobless protest—and to keep up with climbing wages and to sustain a growing retired population. A combination of exports, loose lending practices, super low margins, and government spending help keep up the growth. Sound healthy to you? "

    For several years now I have enjoyed reading the informative, and sometimes contraversal reports from Stratfor Global Intelligence.  For the purposes of disclosure, I have no interest or investment, nor do I benefit from Stratfor, except for sometimes using their valuable intelligence.

    This week, if you join Stratfor, at a cost of $129 for one year, they will send you this extensive report as well as the book, "The next 10 years" written by Stratfor founder, George Friedman.

    If you do not wish to join at this time, you can sample some of their in depth reports for free simply by giving them your email address.

    Stratfor is one more valuable resource, in the world of investing, politics and world events.

    Visit them at  for more information.

    Happy investing.
    May 25 6:42 PM | Link | Comment!
Full index of posts »
Latest Followers


More »

Latest Comments

Posts by Themes
Instablogs are Seeking Alpha's free blogging platform customized for finance, with instant set up and exposure to millions of readers interested in the financial markets. Publish your own instablog in minutes.