09/09/2010
December 3, 2017
08/30/2010
December 3, 2017

09/03/2010

I am now in Hong Kong. I somehow chose to come during a tropical cyclone (typhoon). At least I can catch up on email….


Kuppy hope your travels are going well. Have you done any work on Sprott Resources, these guys seem very smart and strategic and it seems to be the easiest way to invest alongside their smarts. Not sure about all the portfolio companies or how to value them so not sure if its a cheap or expensive stock but woul dlove to know your opinion of owning it or buying at now. thanks

I looked at it a year ago and thought it was interesting. Some smart friends keep telling me to look at it again. With such a well known manager, I just wonder how it can be cheap enough to offer the 5-fold upside that I demand on an investment. That said, I certainly wouldn’t bet against Sprott. He’s a very smart guy.


Thanks for sending the report on Mongolia. During my visit in 1992 I was able to barter for a privatization voucher. My yellow voucher is missing the pink strip that citizens of Mongolia could use to get sheep or cows from the
State.
Have you visited the Museum of Natural History yet?
Enjoy the rest of your visit to Mongolia.

Fascinating. I looked in a few antique places for vouchers for my scrap book but couldn’t find anything. Thanks for recommending hte natural history museum. I stopped in during a meeting. It has a really great dinosaur exhibit.


What a thoughtful piece, Harris.  The questions you posed and the the frustrations you shared about not being able to invest echoed what Western investors went through during much of World War I.  Many stock markets closed during that period, not allowing investors to buy or sell as the war (and various economies) ebbed and flowed.  Opportunities on both sides of the market came and went without anyone being able to capitalize on them.

I also was heartened to hear that capitalism and a can-do work ethic is faring well in Ulan Bator (or is it Ulaanbaatar?).  The nest-feathering U.S. CEOs (many of whom Bill Fleckenstein calls “cry-baby capitalists”) could learn a trick or two from those who you met in Mongolia.  It may be next to impossible to capture this emerging success story via investing, but it’s admirable nonetheless.

I am also sick of cry-baby CEOs. These guys in Mongolia dealt with communism, rampant inflation and archaic equipment, yet returns on capital are some of the highest I have ever witnessed. Our CEOs can barely deal with a 6 month period of economic turbulence. I think the real difference is that the guys in Mongolia own so much stock that they haven’t taken chances with their companies. They haven’t leveraged them up and they haven’t looted them for egregious salaries. These guys are long term investors and it shows.

On work ethic, every guy I met had some extra business to earn a bit of extra money. Everyone was looking for financing for some sort of project. Even my driver one day took me to look at some of his side companies. These guys get capitalism and they want to be rich. It’s a culture that will come out on top. I cannot remember another country that I’ve visited where everyone was this entrepeneurial.

I’m still trying to figure out how to invest in Mongolia…. I haven’t given up yet….


I notice that GROW can’t seem to maintain any sort of rally. I’m wondering if the existence of GLD, GDX, GDXJ and other precious metal and natural resource ETFs are draining AUM away from GROW?

Clearly, incremental assets are flowing into all sorts of assets and mutual funds seem to be losing out. I also think this is a function of investors just not caring for metals at this point.That said, GROW hasn’t had net inflows or outflows. It’s been pretty static. It is a concern, but I knew this going into the investment.