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: 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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Kopernik Perspective: Gold (Jul 2020 Update)

In this update of our 2015 white paper, analyst and Director of Research Alissa Corcoran, CFA discusses Kopernik’s view on gold, its unique history, and the global opportunities Kopernik is finding in the industry.

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The Subtle Art...(Sep 2019)

Mark McKinney, CFA, Kopernik Analyst and Portfolio Manager discusses the opportunities that volatility can offer and why Kopernik focuses on long-term performance. Mark uses the popular 2016 self-help book by Mark Manson to offer interesting insights and applicability in the investment world.

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Kopernik Perspective: Uranium (Feb 2017)

Stephen Rosenthal, CFA, Kopernik Analyst, discusses Kopernik's view on Uranium.

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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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The Super Terrific Happy Hour Podcast - With Stephanie Pomboy and Grant Williams featuring David Iben - July 8, 2020

Kopernik CIO, David Iben, joins Stephanie Pomboy & Grant Williams to discuss the art of value investing, the challenges it faces in today's market environment and why it's a bad idea to write any obituaries for the strategy just yet. Tune in to this podcast to listen as Dave discusses the cycles he's witnessed over his career as he gets ready to enter his fifth decade in the business, the lessons he's learned and offers some thoughts on where value can be found off the beaten path as equity markets scream towards all-time highs.

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Financial Advisor - Emerging Markets Roar Back, Too - June 5, 2020

Kopernik CIO, David Iben, recently discussed with Financial Advisor where Kopernik is finding attractive opportunities within the emerging markets.

Read the full story here.

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Value Invest Interview (Part 1) - June 2, 2020

Kopernik CIO, David Iben, was recently interviewed by Robert Hunter from Value Invest.

Listen to the interview (Part 1) here.

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Value Invest Interview (Part 2) - June 2, 2020

Kopernik CIO, David Iben, was recently interviewed by Robert Hunter from Value Invest.

Listen to the interview (Part 2) 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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