Curiosity, Passion And Diligence – The Makings Of An Expert Investor

Curiosity, Passion and Diligence

What is it at the core of an investor that makes them successful? There may not be a universal answer. Everyone brings unique experiences, ideas, techniques and strategies to investable assets. Thomas Kaplan, Chairman of The Electrum Group and executive chairman of Panthera Corporation, might be one of the most unique investors over the last millennium. He joined Rick Rule, President & CEO of Sprott U.S. Holdings to discuss his thoughts on the precious metals markets. Kaplan had a background in history before he ever started as an investor – but he believed that would be his edge. 

He is curious, passionate and diligent by nature.  Risk taking is a core principle of his business philosophy. His team is made up of intelligent thinkers who cannot be afraid to tell him he is wrong – even if they may be wrong. Kaplan has no tolerance for ‘yes men’ or butt kissers. He feels they simply waste the time and effort of the entire team’s work. Everyone on his team is there to help the group excel and if someone is afraid to speak their truth, it holds everything back.

Making A Name in Silver

Kaplan had experience in the property auction process. Natural resources were an area he was looking to invest. He looked at the landscape and saw there were very few silver bulls. After evaluating the silver industry, he saw an opportunity and created a silver mining company. 

Silver prices were beaten down. Kaplan believed that price was more likely to go to 50 than it was to two – a belief that would eventually come to fruition. His biggest investment would come from George Soros. Soros and his brother Paul liked Kaplan, they saw that he knew how to do his research and understood what he was talking about. However, they were skeptical of his background to implement the idea. 

Kaplan had options on several properties in Peru and Mexico. After a little bit of convincing from a mutual friend, the deal was signed for $10 million. They would eventually find one of the largest silver deposits in Bolivia. That investment paid off handsomely for everyone involved.

How does silver look as an investment now? From our Precious Metals week, Lyn Alden of Lyn Alden Investment Strategy and Ron William of RW Advisory explored the opportunities that will arise over the next few years.

Precious Metals and International Mining

Kaplan believes the best days for precious metals mining in the international markets are long gone. There are shifts occurring that just lead him to the conclusion that gold and silver mines will be nationalized in most countries. The days of United States or British intervention are a thing of the past.  If a country decides to make a move – and there is no intervention – neighboring countries will look at the situation and follow suit. 

In North America, he still believes that the United States and Canada will be accommodating to the miners.  He does not foresee any major changes if Biden or Trump wins the election.

The Generational Trade in Gold

Plenty of investors are bullish Gold. They all have external reasons: inflation, war, pandemic, etc. Kaplan is bullish on gold because of the fundamentals. 

He looked at his history in oil, where they made a discovery and drilled within a month. With gold, when a discovery is made, it takes a long time to start mining. Most of the current mines are known and supply is being burned by majors. There are no new discoveries – even by juniors. The quality of the mines is deteriorating. The industry is crippled – which is a good thing for gold. 

Sophisticated smart money is becoming constructive on gold. Owning it is starting to make sense to many. But the big money is not there yet. This is Kaplan’s belief that the real gold run has not even started. 

To see the whole interview between Kaplan and Rick Rule, click here.  Also, learn Rule’s thoughts on Gold from his interview with Real Vision from April.


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