News & Views

News & Views

David (Dave) Iben CFA

David Iben is the Chief Investment Officer of Kopernik Global Investors and is the sole Portfolio Manager of the Kopernik Global All-Cap strategy, Lead Portfolio Manager of the Kopernik Global Unconstrained strategy, Co-Portfolio Manager of the Kopernik Global Long-Term Opportunities strategy and Co-Portfolio Manager of the Kopernik International strategies. He is the Managing Member, Founder and Chairman of the Board of Governors of Kopernik Global Investors.

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Changes in Latitude (Feb 28, 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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Calypso's Market (Dec 2020)

With so much anxiety about the current euphoria in the market, we thought it was a good time to send out a little stocking stuffer with some of our thoughts. In a nutshell, we reach back into Greek mythology to explain why we believe that people are buying great companies but at the wrong prices. Of course, some are buying hopes and dreams at ridiculous prices as well, but that is a story for another time. More importantly, in our opinion, the real-money making opportunities lie elsewhere. This gives us hope as 2020 merges into 2021. Wishing you a Happy and Healthy New Year.

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The Greater The Suffering, The Greater The Peace (Jan 2022)

In his latest commentary, Kopernik analyst and co-portfolio manager for the International Strategy, Mark McKinney, compares the actions of the U.S. Federal Reserve and the resultant inflation and choppy investment environment to the dangerous aspirations of villains in Hollywood spy films and how Kopernik is actively managing our investments through “the greater suffering.”

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Lord make me green…but not yet (Nov 2021)

In his latest commentary, “Lord make me green…but not yet”, Kopernik Analyst Steve Rosenthal discusses a range of factors that handicap “net-zero” emission pledges around the world. While this ambitious goal will hopefully materialize, there resides a paradox in achieving it at the rate and extent we want/need.

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At What Cost? (Sep 2021)

In his latest commentary, Kopernik analyst and co-portfolio manager for the International Strategy Mark McKinney uses Thomas Sowell’s classic question “At what cost?” to articulate potential unintended consequences of finding solutions to current economic challenges.

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The Nine Most Terrifying Words in the English Language - Part 2 (Apr 2021)

As a follow up to his last commentary, Kopernik Analyst and Co-portfolio manager for the International Strategy Mark McKinney furthers the discussion that “help” from the government will create more economic harm than benefit, specifically as it relates to inflation.

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The Nine Most Terrifying Words in the English Language (Jan 2021)

In his latest commentary, Kopernik Analyst and Co-portfolio manager for the International Strategy Mark McKinney describes how the “help” from economic policymakers and government officials has historically and will continue in the future to create more harm than benefit economically and societally.

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Fed Bug (Aug 2020)

In his latest commentary, Analyst and Portfolio Manager Mark McKinney discusses the rise of a new group of believers in the omnipotent power of the government and central banks, affectionately nicknamed “Fed Bugs,” who believe that printing more money will solve society’s problems. He argues that these Fed Bugs are missing the point: economic logic always wins in the long run.

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BNN Bloomberg - We're calling for a $75 barrel of oil | Alissa Corcoran - March 10, 2021

Kopernik's Director of Research Alissa Corcoran went on BNN Bloomberg to discuss Kopernik's current incentive price for oil, and the big investing opportunities she's seeing in gold and uranium, which she feels continue to be undervalued. Watch the full segment here.

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Event: The Antidote to Correlation Webinar - ESG

On March 30, 2021, Kopernik's President Neda Yarich hosted a discussion on Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) with Chief Investment Officer and Lead Portfolio Manager David Iben and Director of Research/Analyst Alissa Corcoran. 

Presentation: Antidote to Correlation E.S.G. Webinar

Video Replay: Antidote to Correlation E.S.G. Webinar

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Barron's Penta: Future Returns: Investing Beyond the S&P 500, featuring Kopernik CIO Dave Iben - March 30, 2021

Kopernik's CIO Dave Iben spoke with Barron's Penta for a column on why investors should consider opportunities outside the S&P 500, and why becoming an "international bargain hunter" is a great first step. Read the full story here.

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BNN Network - Commodities Primed for a Price Surge | Alissa Corcoran - February 4, 2021

Kopernik's Director of Research Alissa Corcoran went on BNN Bloomberg to discuss why commodities like uranium and gold have been underappreciated (partly due to momentum stocks), why the price of each will need to increase, and her key sector picks including Cameco and Centerra. Watch the full interview here.

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Barrons Feature Story on Commodities with Kopernik CIO, David Iben - January 1, 2021

Kopernik Founder and CIO Dave Iben was included in a Barron's feature story, where he spoke with the publication about the buying opportunities he's currently finding in commodities like uranium, energy, and more. Read the full story here.

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Barron's "Top Income Investments of 2021" with Dave Iben - December 31, 2020

Kopernik Founder and CIO Dave Iben recently spoke with Barron's for the publication's "Top Income Investments of 2021" cover story, where he discussed where he's currently finding value opportunities overseas. Read the full story here.

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