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 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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Kopernik Perspective: Mining (Sep 2020)

In this white paper, Kopernik’s Investment Research team analyzes the potential risks and upsides of investing in the mining space and describes how Kopernik values mining companies.

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Kopernik Perspective: Uranium (Aug 2020 Update)

In this update of our 2017 white paper, analyst Steve Rosenthal discusses Kopernik’s perspective on uranium, its unique properties, and the global opportunities Kopernik is currently seeing in the industry.

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Is This An Inflection Point For Passive Management? (Jul 2020)

In this June 2020 white paper, analyst Taylor McKenna explores the similarities and differences between active and passive management strategies. He argues that passive management strategies, such as ETFs and closet indexers, cannot replicate a more active approach. Using the metaphor of a thoughtful baseball manager, Taylor suggests that active management adds value to an investment strategy.

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Bloomberg Radio - May 10, 2020

Our CIO, Dave Iben, went on Bloomberg Radio to discuss where he's currently finding attractive buying opportunities around the globe, and why some of the safest investments, such as gold mining stocks, might also have the most upside.

Listen to his full interview here.

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Russell Investments - The Tradeoffs Between U.S. and Global Equities - featuring Dave Iben - May 7, 2020

Kopernik CIO and Lead Portfolio Manager, Dave Iben recently sat down with Russell Investments to discuss the case for investing beyond the U.S. Originally presented at a Russell Investments event for institutional investors. You can watch the full video here.

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MarketWatch - April 29, 2020

Kopernik CIO, David Iben, was featured in MarketWatch today discussing how value stocks are offering "opportunities of a generation" and why he thinks investors who believe value is gone for good will be proven wrong.

Read the full story here.

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TD Ameritrade Network - David Iben On The Case For International Stocks

David Iben, Kopernik’s CIO, appeared on TD Ameritrade Network to discuss current investment opportunities.

March 09, 2020

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Welling on Wall St. - Listening In: Dave Iben - Embracing Vol, Hated Stocks (Nov 2019)

Dave Iben recently sat down with Kate Welling at Welling on Wall Street to discuss finding values in the market’s most reviled sectors and why active management is more important than ever.

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Value Invest New York

The inaugural edition of Value Invest New York took place at the Metropolitan Club on December 4 2018. It featured renowned Value Investors from the United States, including David Iben, Kopernik's CIO, as well as being a showcase for other Value Funds to talk about investment ideas from around the world.

See the full story here.

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