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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Bloomberg Radio - Dave Iben On The Markets - December 28, 2020

In this interview with Bloomberg Radio’s Daybreak Asia, Kopernik CIO Dave Iben discusses the extremely bifurcated market and opportunities that we’re finding in gold producers and emerging market telecom companies. Listen to the full interview here.

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One-On-One with Dave Iben - Bloor Street Capital - November 23, 2020

Kopernik CIO Dave Iben spoke with the team at Bloor Street Capital to provide a rundown of Kopernik’s investment philosophy and explain why 25% of our assets are currently invested in gold and silver equities. Watch the two part series to learn more about how Kopernik values investment opportunities in the mining space.

Part 1 - Gold and Silver

Part 2 - Copper and Uranium

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TD Ameritrade Network - Alissa Corcoran - December 4, 2020

Kopernik's Director of Research, Alissa Corcoran, joined Oliver Renick on TD Ameritrade Network to discuss opportunities in emerging markets, energy, and mining stocks. Watch here.

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Bloomberg Radio - Alissa Corcoran On The Markets - September 7, 2020

Kopernik's Director of Research, Alissa Corcoran, joined Bloomberg Radio to discuss where she is finding buying opportunities in today's bifurcated market, including in commodities like uranium and gold. Listen to her full interview here.

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TD Ameritrade Network - Alissa Corcoran On The Upside for Gold - September 1, 2020

Kopernik's Director of Research, Alissa Corcoran, joined Oliver Renick on TD Ameritrade Network to discuss the upside for gold mining stocks and how other commodities like uranium are trading well below their incentive price. Watch here.

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Value Investor Insight - featuring Dave Iben - July 31, 2020

Kopernik CIO Dave Iben recently spoke with Value Investor Insight for a feature piece on where he's finding value and why it's one of the best times ever to be an active investor. Read the full interview here to learn more about how he's identifying opportunities in high-quality companies in emerging markets as well as situations where cash flows are latent and reside in real assets.

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