From a CEO’s Desk
I’ve been enjoying things since recently becoming the President/CEO of Alset Energy (ION.V) and moving my reports in a new direction. My recent show with Ray Marks from website sponsor Tudor Gold (TUD.V) was the first edition of the new CEO Roundtable shows. It’s a good example of how I’m shifting things professionally with my new position and my website.
I’m changing things somewhat with my update reports that I do in written posts and in video shows. I will be shifting them to a report that is basically what comes across my desk. From leading Alset, to watching my sponsors, picks, and the markets, I will be reporting on what comes across my desk. I see a lot of stuff on a daily that I think are great observations and I’m pumped about the new focus for my update reports.
Yesterday was a great example, I spent the day at the Metals Investor Forum in Vancouver, listening to speakers including market commentators as well as CEOs. During the conference, I also had a chance to meet with several people and after the conference, there was a dinner I attended with several of the speakers, exhibitors, and other invited guests.
I always try to formulate big picture thoughts and get industry insights at these events and sure wish they happened more often. This show was a great one and I came away with a lot of helpful information and wanted to share for readers to benefit.
Whenever I go to these shows, I try to get a feeling for the sentiment of the speakers and the audience. One of my pet peeves about these shows is there aren’t enough questions from the audience to the speakers. Company reps come on to deliver their presentations, that investors in the audience can go read on their websites, and they don’t have a Q & A period.
Sure, they invite folks to their booths to come to ask questions, but I like seeing how people act under the lights in front of an audience of investors. Nothing like some pressure to see how folks react and it can often help get closer to the bottom line.
It kind of surprises me that presenters don’t want more question and answers in front of the crowd because it gives them a chance to have insight into what investors are thinking about their company. Plus, they get to field those questions and answer them in front of a crowd of investors that may also become more interested. That is a lost opportunity. But I don’t design the format of these shows, yet.
This brings up a topic that I was talking about with several other company executives at the show. I took the opportunity to tell them about the new CEO Roundtable shows, how the plan is to have other CEOs join me to talk about my company and theirs, as well industry related stuff that can be helpful for investors in my audience.
I also let them know that the goal is to have the CEO Roundtable chats on a weekly basis and then once every few months we can have a CEO Summit. At the CEO Summit, I will invite the guests from the CEO Roundtable chats. I will rent a big room in Vancouver, we can livestream it as well as have a live audience attend.
In addition to talking to some of the companies of interest I wanted to see, I also had a chance to speak with several folks that follow my reports. I got a sense of cautious optimism. A couple comments were about how hot the weed stocks are, accompanied with a head shake and look around the room like what’s up there are plenty of quality mining projects trading at cheap valuations. I’m not worried, the contrarian spidey senses were going off that we are on the verge of a strong move for resource stocks, especially in the quality gold stocks.
One of the speakers that stood out was John Kaiser, in addition to having a solid group of stock picks, he also explained why he likes exploration so much. Basically, success in exploration can lead to fabulous returns. I’m an exploration guy myself, it is the focus of my reports. There are plenty of folks that cover mining stocks, only a few that cover the space are people I value their opinion on exploration, John is high on the list.
I kind of felt for John as well during his presentation, he tried to analyze what it means that Donald Trump was voted in as the new president. He was trying hard to put on a brave face that hopefully Trump won’t be as crazy as he was on the campaign trail. Having spoken to John a lot in the past about Trump as a candidate, I know he is concerned about the racism and lack of empathy in Trump and agree it is scary.
John wasn’t the only one concerned about Trump, I’m alarmed voters decided to give the GOP control of the Congress and Senate as well. But, John did an excellent job trying to pull the topic apart and considered some of the possible outcomes. He was in a challenging spot, as were all the market commentators when it comes to Trump, he is a loose cannon.
At the end of the day, there was a panel of the market commentators, with questions from the audience. Almost all the questions were about Trump, and what can happen to the markets and the economy. I could sense a lot of concern, bordering on fear, I don’t blame them.
I’m expecting there to be less civility in the US, a president like Trump with his rudeness, racism and crassness as a leader of the nation can only result in things being way less politically correct. He will be able to pretty much push everything through that he wants with a weakened GOP leading the Congress and Senate. He pushed the old guard republicans around prior to the GOP convention, had none of their support in the campaign for president. As we used to say in hockey, he took their numbers, he will be looking for them later for payback.
With a Loose Cannon in Chief, he will be able and willing to move markets with some of his outbursts in public and on Twitter. He will also be able to push through whatever economic plans he wants and what he wants is just basic trickle down economics, the GOP in Congress and Senate will jump all over it. Despite it being horrible at improving the economy and more effective at increasing the gap between the rich and poor.
Despite plenty of evidence Reagan’s prized Trickle Down economics lead the country from a large lender to the biggest debtor, people still think it has validity. The plans to stimulate, such as tax cuts will only put more money into the accounts of the wealthy and do nothing for the economy. The economy doesn’t need more of the wealthy hoarding cash and corporate America doing the same. Make no mistakes about it, the already alarming debt level of the nation is about to go into overdrive.
Initially, this will cause plenty of demand for raw materials as they start spending money on infrastructure. The US has plenty of aging infrastructure that needs to be rebuilt and to be built to prepare for the future. The supply chain of plenty of commodities are weak and with stronger demand from US it will drive prices higher.
If you cut taxes, spend more on infrastructure and military, the debt will explode, it is inevitable. This will ensure long-term weakness in the USD which is always bullish for gold and other commodities.
Another thing that I’m sure of with Trump is that there will be plenty of turmoil and drama which will cause plenty of volatility in the markets, and the economy for that matter. US stocks are already priced for perfection and the earnings growth is non-existent. A stock market correction or a prolonged period of sideways action is likely with bouts of volatility seesawing the market.
With stocks priced for perfection and no earnings growth, the market can not handle a rise in interest rates. But, that is exactly what the Fed has been trying to sell the market and the various speakers that I heard speak about the December Fed meeting believe they will raise rates. I don’t agree, I think Janet Yellen and the rest of her gang at the Fed are a little shell-shocked by the outcome of the election. I expect them to be unable to move as they are so nervous about a Trump White House and GOP Congress and Senate.
I was extremely bullish on gold before the election based on long-term fundamentals of supply and demand, with the way American voters chose to go, I’m even more confident now. Interest rates will continue to stay close to going into negative territory, the national debt will be off to the races and put pressure on the USD. Trickle down economics has never worked and never will at helping economic growth, it only works at increasing the gap between rich and poor, and driving debt through the roof.
While I was listening to the company presenters, I must say, I was unimpressed with most. They tend to be geologists that write their presentations to impress other geologists. I kept thinking to myself, do these presenters understand they are speaking to an audience of investors. Yes, the rock stuff is important, but please get to the key points sooner about why investors should consider investing in the company.
That is the stuff investors want to hear about. One of the presenters spent the bulk of his time talking about the structure of their deal, his team and his experience. So, when he got to the most important part, the targets and the drill results and plans for the next round of drilling, he ran out of time. This company has a great story on recent drill results and what that means for drilling next season, but the audience learned very little about their impressive project.
After I left the conference, the organizers had a private dinner that I attended, and a few of my friends in the business huddled together and talked about presentations and how companies report their news. I don’t want to give too much away, but these guys have a lot of great information for investors and I will be inviting them on for future CEO Roundtable shows. Stay tuned for those.
I sat down on a rainy Sunday to write this, and I had a lot on my mind, mainly because I have a lot on the go. I love being busy with plenty to talk about. The conference and recent elections give me trepidation about plenty of topics. But, I’m certainly not concerned about my bullish call for gold and other commodities.
I enjoyed being able to tell folks that hadn’t heard or those that did and wanted to talk, about my new position as the President/CEO of Alset Energy. I told them about what lead me to take the position and about my goals for the company. I was pleased with the reception I got for my efforts to move Alset in the right direction. I’m sure we will have a new group of investors taking a closer look at the company.
The show was a great opportunity for me on several levels, from getting out in public to chat with investors about Alset, to seeing what is going on with companies I follow, and market commentators I highly respect.
That’s all for now.
All the best,
Allan Barry Laboucan
Alset Energy (ION.V)
Allan Barry Reports