Doug Casey's Secret to Finding Winning Stocks

By: Doug Casey | Wed, Nov 24, 2010
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The Eight Ps of Resource Stock Evaluation

I've been asked "What's the secret of finding winning gold, silver, and other natural resource stocks?" more times than I can even begin to count. And for over 20 years, my answer has remained pretty much the same: the Eight Ps.

The Eight Ps is a relatively simple question-and-answer process we use as part of our due diligence on the stocks we consider for recommendation in our monthly newsletters. Only a small fraction of companies successfully make it through the Eight Ps screening and into the pages of our publications.

As you'll read, the Eight Ps process is relatively simple and, with a little practice, you, too, can use them to screen any and all resource stocks you are considering for your portfolio. At the very least, answering the questions will give you a much better understanding of the true potential of a company.

PEOPLE

The first question you want answered is "Who are the key players involved with the company?" As is the case with all human beings, some are more skilled, more honest and harder working than others. To state the obvious, Boy Scout virtues like honesty, thrift, courage, and diligence are always good traits for your management teams, as are competence, knowledge, experience and, perhaps most importantly, a track record of success.

You can find this information from a variety of sources, starting with management biographies (increasingly available on company web sites), then doing your research by talking with the managers themselves or their investor relations staff. Use a service like Stockwatch.com to research the track record of the companies that the management has been involved with previously (during their tenure, of course)... and don't hesitate to ask your broker or even competitors what they think about the people in the deal.

Despite being a multi-billion-dollar, global business, the mining and resource industry is actually a pretty small village. If someone is a known snake oil salesman or poseur, chances are good you'll be able to ferret out that fact with just a couple of phone calls.

In addition to trying to sort out the black hats, a key goal of this exercise is to find out if investors have made money in their past deals. Or, if things didn't work out too well -- mining is a high-risk business, after all -- did the company at least make an honest attempt to "do the right thing" for their shareholders? Remember, nothing succeeds like success.

While we are on the topic of People, it is worth noting that there has been a noticeable gentrification of the mining business during the 20-year-long bear market that ended in 2001. Everyone in the business is complaining about the fact that they can't find qualified mining engineers and exploration geologists because so many have retired or are getting ready to. It is understandable: it would take a fairly odd engineering school graduate to opt in for what is perceived as a politically incorrect and faltering "Choo-Choo Train" industry, rather than taking their degree down the street to a more lucrative or modern line of business.

As someone who habitually looks for the opportunity embedded in just about any crisis, we use the labor shortage as a useful leading indicator by watching the career moves of the superstar mining pros. The good ones are in such demand that they can work for pretty much any company they want to… and so, as is human nature, gravitate to those projects which they believe will provide them with the best personal upside.

Conversely, if the good people start to jump ship from a company, it may be a negative indicator. In the final analysis -- bet on the winners.

 


Though hugely important, "People" is only the first of the 8 Ps the Casey team uses to gauge winning resource stocks. To learn how to put the other seven Ps to good use for your own portfolio, click here to read our FREE Special Report.

 


 

Doug Casey

Author: Doug Casey

Doug Casey
Chairman
Casey Research, LLC.

Doug Casey

Doug Casey is a highly respected author, publisher and professional investor who graduated from Georgetown University in 1968.

Doug literally wrote the book on profiting from periods of economic turmoil: his book Crisis Investing spent multiple weeks as #1 on the New York Times bestseller list and became the best-selling financial book of 1980 with 438,640 copies sold; surpassing big-caliber names, like Free to Choose by Milton Friedman, The Real War by Richard Nixon, and Cosmos by Carl Sagan.

Then Doug broke the record with his next book, Strategic Investing, by receiving the largest advance ever paid for a financial book at the time. Interestingly enough, Doug's book The International Man was the most sold book in the history of Rhodesia.

He has been a featured guest on hundreds of radio and TV shows, including David Letterman, Merv Griffin, Charlie Rose, Phil Donahue, Regis Philbin, Maury Povich, NBC News and CNN; and has been the topic of numerous features in periodicals such as Time, Forbes, People, and the Washington Post.

Doug, who divides his time between homes in Aspen, Colorado; Auckland, New Zealand; and Salta, Argentina, has written newsletters and alert services for sophisticated investors for over 28 years. Doug has lived in 10 countries and visited over 175.

In addition to having served as a trustee on the Board of Governors of Washington College and Northwoods University, Doug has been a director and advisor to nine different financial corporations.

Doug is widely respected as one of the preeminent authorities on "rational speculation," especially in the high-potential natural resource sector.

Information contained herein is obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but its accuracy cannot be guaranteed. The information contained herein is not intended to constitute individual investment advice and is not designed to meet your personal financial situation. The opinions expressed herein are those of the publisher and are subject to change without notice. The information herein may become outdated and there is no obligation to update any such information. Doug Casey, entities in which he has an interest, employees, officers, family, and associates may from time to time have positions in the securities or commodities covered in these publications. Corporate policies are in effect that attempt to avoid potential conflicts of interest, and resolve conflicts of interest that do arise in a timely fashion. No portion of this web site may be extracted or reproduced without permission of the publisher.

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Source: The Contrarian Take http://blogs.forbes.com/michaelpollaro/
austrian-money-supply/