LAWRIE WILLIAMS:: Recommended precious metals advisory services
I am sometimes asked who I rate most highly among the precious metals analysts and commentators whose musings I am occasionally exposed to and whose opinions I would recommend to my readers. Many of these offer paid services, although I usually get to access them for free either courtesy of the analysts themselves, or through some of their material being occasionally forwarded to me by a few of my correspondents. This listing is not necessarily a comprehensive one and the reader will note that few, if any, of the most high profile commentators come into my recommendations – which probably says something about how I view their ‘advice’ and forecasts. They usually seem to have an often not-so-hidden agenda and the perhaps justified belief that the more outlandish or high their forecasts are the greater the readership they will secure. So here are my recommendations of those advice services that I do find consistently valuable – and probably largely independent of ulterior motivation. They are listed in no particular order:
Murenbeeld & Co.: This Vancouver Island-based economic consultancy, with a particular specialisation on gold, publishes the weekly Gold Monitor newsletter. It is led by Martin Murenbeeld – currently conservatively bullish on gold – and whose calculated gold price forecasts are consistently among the closest to real life performance of the gold markets. The newsletter’s analysis of the economy and of gold is perhaps unequalled anywhere. The group has just launched a parallel Silver Monitor publication, intended to come out monthly, but this is too new for me to pass judgement on its value.
Grant Williams: Grant publishes the ‘Things that make you go hmm...’ newsletter. How Grant manages to come up with his detailed analyses of various aspects of the global economy, with occasional forays into precious metals coverage, and make these both prescient and frequently amusing, is a mystery. I wouldn’t have thought there were enough hours in the day to do this. In his newsletter, he also republishes extracts from articles by others which he finds particularly valuable to his way of thinking. Grant is also an accomplished speaker and if you get the chance to attend one of his presentations I would strongly recommend that you do so.
Michael Lewitt: Publisher of the Credit Strategist newsletter. Michael is perhaps politically too right wing (but not pro-Trump) for some tastes, but he is always hugely, and in my opinion valuably, outspoken on matters political and financial. He tends to be strongly pro-gold as a wealth protector. I do find some of his political views a little OTT, but although I am Conservative-inclined (right-leaning) in my own country, in the U.S. my political views would probably make me a left wing Democrat! Such are the differences in political perceptions on differing sides of the Atlantic Ocean. However I do find Michael Lewitt’s views and insights into the U.S. political system and markets hugely informative and valuable regardless.
Metals Focus: One of two major London-based independent consultancies focussing on precious metals, Metals Focus also provides the data on which the London-based World Gold Council and Washington DC-located Silver Institute base their analyses and reports, always additional valuable sources of information on the global gold and silver sectors. Metals Focus produces some hugely valuable detailed statistical reports on all aspects of precious metals, and their markets, every year as well as a weekly newsletter covering various aspects of the sector.
CPM Group: A New York based analytical consultancy which covers much of the same ground as Metals Focus above, as well as a wider spectrum of metals, but on occasion comes up with slightly different figures and analysis from the London view. The group is led by Jeffrey Christian – something of a bête noir for the out-and-out gold bulls because he does not believe in gold market manipulation. I don’t always agree with Jeffrey’s conclusions, but the overall analysis of the group’s research is always hugely detailed and extremely valuable.
Ted Butler: For more years than I can count Ted has been a voice crying in the wilderness about the nefarious goings-on in the U.S. silver futures market. No-one follows silver as closely as Ted and his views are extremely well researched and valuable and should not be ignored. For many years he has called out the JP Morgan Bank’s silver dealings which he deems a criminal enterprise, but without any denials from the U.S.’s biggest bullion bank, nor much in the way of action from the various relevant regulatory bodies. He also writes a regular free-to-access column for the Silverseek website.
Incrementum AG: Incrementum AG describes itself as an independent investment and asset management company based in Liechtenstein. As such it publishes annually one of the most comprehensive free-to-download reports and analyses of the global gold market titled ‘In Gold We Trust’, put together by Ronni Stoeferle and Mark Valek. The authors are very much pro-gold coming from the Austrian School of economic theory. The 2020 report, available in English and German versions is over 300 pages long (a compact version is also available) and is packed with statistical data and analysis. Not to be missed.
Ed Steer: Ed writes a five-days-a-week precious metals newsletter which I always read for insights into the North American precious metals sector in particular. Another primarily right-wing commentator - perhaps over-fixated on gold and silver market manipulation by the big bullion banks and traders – but don’t write his views off as conspiracy theory. There’s a slew of evidence supporting his views. As well as his own chart-supported analysis he republishes articles and excerpts of articles he feels his readers will find valuable and draws heavily on charts provided by Australian-based precious metals chart specialist Nick Laird’s www.goldchartsrus.com - another hugely worthwhile service.
I should probably add in here the site I write for - Sharps Pixley – as being one of the most informative around in that it publishes, via www.metalsdaily.com, links to more precious metals-focused articles, of all hues and opinions, than any other website. Of regular contributors to the site look out for opinions from the group’s former owner and managing director – Ross Norman – his many years of experience in the sector and his insights into the London and global gold markets are always very much to the point.
There are of course many other hugely valuable commentaries on precious metals – some I see occasionally and some probably never. The ones noted above I look forward to receiving and read regularly and avidly and obviously they can tend to colour my own opinions. Thus at the current time I remain cautiously optimistic on precious metals, although at heart I tend to call things as I see them, which does not preclude a bearish viewpoint if I feel that is the way precious metals markets are trending. Readers of my columns should note that, contrary to many advisers out there, I do not trade precious metals or related stocks, but I do have a proportion of my pension and ISA funds in them and am thus indirectly an arms-length investor, but a pretty inactive one. These investments have been serving me well in recent months!