News & Views

News & Views

David (Dave) Iben CFA

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

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JIG'S UP (Sep 29, 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 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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Kopernik Perspective: 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 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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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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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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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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The Antidote to Correlation Webinar - Mining Companies

September 10, 2020 - Director of Research/Analyst Alissa Corcoran interviews analysts Steve Rosenthal and Taylor McKenna about how Kopernik values mining companies. Although these companies may come with a lot of baggage, we believe the upside potential more than offsets the risk. We discussed how we assess the risk, the opportunities we are seeing today, and took time to answer live questions.

Please click here to watch the replay.

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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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