The Gold Report: You warn investors against trying to time the market. If even experts don't know a bottom until it's behind them, how do regular investors know when to invest, when to buy the next tranches and when to cut losses?
Louis James: The wisdom of not trying to time the market is tried and true. Benjamin Graham said the same thing 60 years ago. I shouldn't have to defend this premise. Even though investors all know it, they fervently wish it weren't so; they just can't help themselves.
You can't time the market. A bureaucrat in Washington can open his mouth and send the price of gold up or down 5% in an afternoon.
Fortunately, we can look for value. Value tends to be slippery in the junior sector when you have a bunch of companies that, as Doug Casey famously says, are little better than burning matches. They have no income. Even the biggest players in the field are so volatile that Benjamin Graham would never touch them.
However, there are things that we can look for. We can compare companies to their peers. We can look at the ounces in the ground and see if something is out of whack. We can look at cash in the bank. The market is so beat up now that some companies with viable projects are trading for cash or less. It's actually possible in a market this beat up to make relatively low-risk acquisitions. [Read more...]