The Importance Of Stealth Investing

February 6, 2021
Junior Mining & Exploration Specialist

If someone were to ask me my opinion precious metals tape action during the period January 28th to February 1st, 2021, two words would come to mind with the first being “enlightening” and the second word “engaging”. The events of those three trading days enlightened me to just how many new, unsophisticated traders have now entered the world of financial speculation thanks to serial largesse of the central bank printing presses. It has also forced me to engage an entirely new opposing force, that being the arrival of “fake news” to the world of stock market rumourmongering and manipulation. I say “fake news” because whoever planted the rumour of a Reddit/WSB assault on those short silver and specifically those short First Majestic Silver (AG:US) (the most-heavily-shorted of the miners these days) was most certainly the illicit purveyor of garbage information designed to liberate a once-losing position through prices massaged higher by the greed, fear, and naivety of a virginal crowd of newbies.

Last weekend, I warned the world about taking on the bullion banks, described as the “wiliest, meanest, coolest, and most formidable creatures you will ever meet in the trading pits” and it was on the second trading day of the week that they dispatched legion after legion of #silversqueeze assault troops armed with $5,000 stimulus cheques, student loan money, and granddad birthday money all intended to vanquish the bullion banks. It was like sending the high school dance team to take on a troupe of Navy Seals as they let wave after wave of screaming Millennials spike the silver price to over USD $30/ounce on MASSIVE volume. Just as we saw back in April 2014, in the wee hours of the Western World morning, silver futures were decapitated with surgical precision and by the time the Crimex opened later that morning, a rout of unimaginable breadth and impact laid to waste an army of undercapitalized kids as silver futures did the predictable 360« round trip, resting back at USD $26/ounce where they began before the swindle began – and that is exactly what it was – a good old-fashioned bar room swindle.

On page 3, you will find a couple of charts that both illustrate the March silver contract, but I eliminated the #Silversqueeze tape action and instead present a chart that shows just how perfect the uptrend line was going into mid-last-week when all the nonsense began.

Our silver market was never in need of any type of artificially induced adrenalin injection; it was flying in perfect “stealth formation”, letting the “crazies” obsess over the Gamestop and AMR and Nokia and Blackberry short sellers and the lunatic fringe of Millennials and GenExers that sent a dozen hedge funds to the trash bin, all the while sailing under the radar screens of the Navy Seal traders that were busy handling that pit of viper-laden insanity.

Instead, in the 2021 version of “The Ted Mack Amateur Hour”, the accordion players and the tap dancers with the gyrating batons decided to scream as loudly as they could that they were “COMING” (after the bullion banks) and totally forgot the number one rule of breakout passes in hockey: Never telegraph a pass and never fire it up your teammate’s rear end or he winds up in St. Mike’s with serious trauma. Last Monday, egged on by their older and much wiser “mentors” (eyes rolling), they led with their chins (forgive my switching to a boxing metaphor from hockey) and received a Mike Tyson overhand right squarely in the middle of their angry faces proving once again that, as Iron Mike said in reply to Trevor Berbick’s very public “fight plan”, “everybody got a plan ‘til dey get punched in the face.”

I am sure that most subscribers have seen all my tweets by now and I apologize if I appeared someone overzealous in my angry responses but the seasoned veterans out there with highly visible presences in the Twitterverse or Instagramia or the blogosphere should not have joined into that orgy of silver cheerleading; they should have known better. What also irked me to no end was on Sunday when I read a post by an extremely popular precious metals “guru” that has weekly interviews with everyone bullish to the cause that was urging “caution”, but this was after four consecutive days of “Join the cause!” and “We’re in this together!” and “Tell all your friends!” – a tad late to be telling the driver to hit the brakes when he is sailing through the air having gone over the cliff.

I told everyone to let the bullion bank behemoths have their fun on Monday and Tuesday, after which on Wednesday I began to add to silver and gold into a market that was about as painful to watch as you could imagine. I watched First Majestic get pummelled as the amateurs that piled in on the Monday opening at USD $24 were regurgitating millions of shares in wave after wave of panic selling. I added small positions at $16.50 and $15.50 as well as call positions at the lows in both SLV and GLD. We had a great week with Norseman Silver and Getchell Gold still sporting superb YTD returns despite profit taking late week in both.

The lesson for us all to learn and remember is that the most gratifying advances are in stocks that grind higher with little or no fanfare or hype. Smart money usually finds these types of trades early and are content to accumulate before it is highlighted by the superstars, we see at all the Precious Metals Conferences and in podcast after podcast that are increasingly becoming meetings of the Mutual Admiration Society. There is a great old horse chestnut that we sexagenarians were taught in the days before the internet: “Stocks rise on “mystery” and they decline on “history”.” This is why the title of this missive deals with stealth investing.

Flying low and off the radar screens of the bullion banks, oblivious to the professional short sellers, removed from the clutches of the hedge fund community that loves to buy into private placements only to strip out the stock and go short against the remaining warrant position. These are the pariah of the precious metals ecosystem that can turn the best intentions of the long-term investor – the BUY-and-HOLD shareholder that are critical to funding the junior miners in either development of existing resources or exploring for new ones – into futile exercises in self-flagellation.

I close today’s missive with a chart of the Gold-to-Silver ratio (“GSR”) which I have always treated as the best tool for judging the longer-term health of the precious metals markets. If the GSR trends up over an extended period, it is usually an omen of trouble for both gold and silver. Since the lunacy of the Covid Crash took gold and silver to Generational Buying Opportunities in miners and metals, once silver found its footing in late April 2020, the GSR has been in a powerfully bullish descent that continues to scream “New Highs” as the year unfolds.

One of the classic trademarks of a gold market gathering steam is a silver market outperforming gold and that it has been doing without fail and without the need for pompoms, cymbals, or megaphones.

Stealth is good…

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Originally trained during the inflationary 1970s, Michael Ballanger is a graduate of Saint Louis University where he earned a Bachelor of Science in finance and a Bachelor of Art in Marketing before completing post-graduate work at the Wharton School of Finance. With more than 30 years of experience as a junior mining and exploration specialist, as well as a solid background in corporate finance, Ballanger's adherence to the concept of "Hard Assets" allows him to focus the practice on selecting opportunities in the global resource sector with emphasis on the precious metals exploration and development sector. Ballanger takes great pleasure in visiting mineral properties around the globe in the never-ending hunt for early-stage opportunities.

The California Gold Rush began on January 24, 1848 when gold was found by James W. Marshall at Sutter's Mill in Coloma.

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