Monday, August 8, 2011

Mailbag: Reader MW and Rick Rule on the failing Casey model

The following is an excerpt from a mail sent in by reader MW. It speaks for itself, I think.

I started in the gold world in 2006- immediately fell in love with it.  All I knew then was Rick Rule, Bob Bishop and Casey - hung on to everything they said and wrote.  I collect sayings that seem important when I hear them---the following were transcribed by me from an interview Rule did in 2007 or so- all these impacted me greatly at the time because I was such a newbie:  
Rick Rule interview
1. Resource markets extremely cyclical:
            When things appear to be very good, it is because they are about to get very bad;  When things seem very bad, they are preparing to get good. (Thus- you will be a contrarian or a victim----stay away from crowd)
 2. With small companies, price of gold has little impact- they have no gold.
These companies make paper (thus, things that affect paper (financial world) affect them.
3. Pay Attention to MICRO (the company), not MACRO.
4. An unvarnished belief in your own thesis is extraordinarily dangerous to your financial future. 
(so I always temper my own enthusiasm for everything)
In that regard, Doug (Casey) has hired a bunch of young analysts currently unscarred by failure- he believes they are better prepared to deal with a bull market, because they believe less in the thesis of cyclicality than I do.  
5. If I choose companies correctly, the increase in commodity prices should be the icing on the cake rather than the foundation of my investment thesis.
6. I am interested in being in the best 5% or 10% of the companies in a sector- which will punish me less if I am wrong, and, theoretically at least, reward me more if right.
7. In high risk/high reward businesses, managing risk is much more important than chasing reward.  If you manage the risk, the reward will takes care of itself.
(most speculators chase reward without any thought of risk)
8. Just having risk as your primary focus, regardless of the technique you use to manage it, puts you ahead of 90% of the competetion.  The fact that you consider risk rather than greedily chasing rewards is important.
9 How I manage risk: 
a I am a contrarian: when gold is hot, I am a seller of gold.  When natural gas is dead, I am a buyer.  ‘Buy straw hats in winter’
b. People matter: 50-60% of the wealth is generated by 5% of the people in that activity

Item 4 is why I thought of forwarding this to you.  At first I was kind of shocked by the information you put out on the Casey BS being pumped out.  However, it resonated true with what I had seen start to come out of that outfit gradually over the years.  Hats off to you for calling these guys out---I have written about my disappointment to the 'old guard' there.  Afraid they have turned into 'Stansberry Lite' however.