News & Views

News & Views

A Value Investor's Reflections on a Unique Decade (Jan 2023)

As the firm approaches its 10-year anniversary, CIO Dave Iben reaffirms Kopernik’s unchanging philosophy and process and describes opportunities we are finding as we enter our second decade.

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JIG'S UP (Sep 2022)

In his new commentary, Kopernik CIO Dave Iben discusses how, after a four-decade long period when central bankers were idolized, someone has pulled back the curtain and revealed that "the jig is up". Stocks and bonds appear to have entered a bear market, and the economy is stagnating. What is an investor to do in this new paradigm?

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Changes in Latitude (Feb 2022)

Although our CIO’s commentary was planned to be published last week, in light of current world events, we elected to hold it back and to address more pressing matters first. We reiterate that our thoughts and prayers are with the Ukrainian people during this troubling time. Like all of you, we continue to monitor events and hope for peace.

In this letter, we have the audacity to give a non-standard view of “Buffett” stocks. Fortuitously, Mr. Buffett issued his annual letter this weekend, lending credence to our belief that he may share the view that now is more of a time for investing in real assets than in the stocks of over-earning consumer brands. In his summary, Mr. Buffett writes about how Berkshire Hathaway was a struggling ‘value’ stock in 1965, having just cumulatively lost money over a nine-year period. Its stock had more than halved. This quintessential deep value stock was the only holding that Warren kept when he unwound his investment partnership in the late 1960s.

Buffett made a point to emphasize (headed ‘Surprise, surprise”) Berkshire’s “Four Giants”: a railroad (BNSF), an utility franchise (BHE), insurance businesses, and – yes – Apple. Three of the four are ‘value’ businesses, two of which are clearly endowed with significant Real Asset holdings. Interestingly, he starts his summary with the fact that Berkshire is the single largest owner/operator of infrastructure in the U.S. It is on their books for $158 BILLION. It was fun to see him end his summary with a reference to “Cousin Jimmy Buffett” who apparently will be selling “party” boats at the Berkshire annual meeting in late April. Apparently, a Berkshire subsidiary is building the boats that Jimmy designed, and Warren is buying one from him. We’ve read that they are long-time friends. Apparently 23andme recently disproved years of conjecture that the two are related.

We hope you enjoy the read.

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Sedona (Sep 2021)

In his new commentary, Kopernik CIO Dave Iben summarizes many of his thoughts on the current inflationary environment and gives examples of how this has benefited value investors. They now figuratively have the wind at their backs.

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29 Palms (Jul 2021)

In his newest commentary, Kopernik’s CIO Dave Iben draws inspiration from Robert Plant and the deserts of Morocco to discuss the Fed’s printing press, the Cantillon effect, and the value Kopernik is finding in scarce, undervalued, useful assets.

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The Nifty Seven (Jan 2024)

As Benjamin Graham points out, "The intelligent investor is a realist who sells to optimists and buys from pessimists." In her year-end letter, Deputy CIO Alissa Corcoran highlights the extreme optimism and pessimism in today's markets. Drawing parallels to the 1960s and 1970s, she notes that there are similarities in investor psychology and warns of the risks when price is not considered in investment decisions.

The U.S. momentum market is on a roll. However, Kopernik is finding opportunities by venturing into less loved areas of the market, such as real assets and emerging markets. Corcoran argues that now may be the time for investors to sell to optimists and focus on the fundamentals.

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Uranium 2023 (Dec 2023)

In the third iteration of our uranium whitepaper, Kopernik energy analyst Stephen Rosenthal explores the state of uranium investing in 2023. When our previous whitepapers came out, uranium was far from popular with investors - now, it seems like we’re finally sitting at the cool kids’ table in the investing cafeteria.

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Misunderstandings Present Great Opportunities (Jan 2023)

In his latest commentary, Kopernik analyst and co-portfolio manager for the International Strategy, Mark McKinney analyzes and compares how the current developed world’s characteristics such as inflation, excessive deficits, censorship and politicized economic decision-making are looking more like emerging markets. This begs rethinking the prevailing rules and risks applied in the valuations of both. Is the valuation premium awarded to developed markets for so long still warranted? Or do emerging markets with sizable discounts offer better investment opportunities due to the misunderstood risks?

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A Differentiated Approach to ESG (July 2022)

In this whitepaper on ESG, Kopernik’s investment research team provides an update to our March 2021 webinar on the same topic. In summary, ESG is important, complex, and nuanced. This whitepaper will give an update on how we think about the current ESG environment, provide examples of the types of ESG risks we are evaluating, and explain how we integrate ESG risk into our valuation process.

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Managing Geopolitical Risk in a Global Portfolio (July 2022)

In this whitepaper, Kopernik’s investment research team builds on our April 2022 webinar about geopolitical risk, breaking down our process and examples of both successes and losses in emerging markets. Evaluating geopolitical risk has always been a key factor in our global investment process. As global crises have made our role as investment manager more crucial than ever, our mission of being independent thought leaders could not be more pertinent.

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Fear is Good (July 2022)

In his latest commentary, Kopernik analyst and co-portfolio manager for the International Strategy, Mark McKinney, compares today’s U.S. market to the tech bubble of the late 1990s and 2000s. He also gives examples of the many “mini bubbles” that have already burst under the surface of the bigger names in the index. Lastly, there are some thoughts on the US Dollar, inflation, and gold.

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The Clockwork CIO Podcast | CIO Dave Iben on Inspirations, Leadership & Risk | February 22, 2024

Kopernik CIO Dave Iben joined The Clockwork CIO podcast to discuss his leadership style, his thoughts on risk, and the mentors who shaped his success in the investment industry.

Dave's full interview can be found on Spotify or Apple Podcasts.

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Benzinga Webinar | Analyst Taylor McKenna on Opportunities in the Mining Sector | February 15, 2024

Kopernik Analyst Taylor McKenna was invited as a panelist on Benzinga's recent webinar, "Mining Unearthed: Navigating the Ore of Innovation," to highlight attractive opportunities in the mining sector, focusing on miners where Kopernik maintains strong conviction. While gold prices are at all-time highs, the miners are trading at substantial discounts, presenting a chance to acquire optionality on sale.

Watch Taylor’s interview here, along with the complete panel discussion here

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Bloomberg Markets | Deputy CIO Alissa Corcoran on Top Investment Ideas for 2024 | December 4, 2023

Kopernik Deputy CIO Alissa Corcoran appeared on Bloomberg TV to discuss the firm’s top investment ideas for 2024 and her outlook for value investing overall.

Alissa’s full interview can be found here starting at 52:00.

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Wealthion | CIO Dave Iben on Inflation and Opportunities in Mining Stocks

Founder and CIO Dave Iben appeared on the Wealthion investing series to speak about the current inflationary concerns and how inflation impacts assets differently. Tune in to uncover his perspectives on gold, uranium, and lithium, and gain valuable insights into the risks and opportunities in mining stocks.

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Super Terrific Happy Hour with Stephanie Pomboy and Grant Williams | CIO Dave Iben on Investment Opportunities in Inflation | October 8, 2023

Founder and CIO Dave Iben appeared on The Super Terrific Happy Hour Podcast to discuss how the bifurcated market presents opportunities in real assets in an inflationary environment. Listen to the podcast or view the transcript.

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MarketWatch | Analyst Taylor McKenna on Silver's Investment Appeal | September 13, 2023

Kopernik’s Taylor McKenna spoke with MarketWatch about silver and gold’s performance and the opportunities the firm is finding with mining companies. Read the full story here

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