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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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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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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