I manage one of my mother's IRA accounts, and when it comes to investing, she doesn't like to take a lot of risks. I guess the same would be true for most of our mothers—and maybe for many of us as well.
Unfortunately, after surveying today's investment landscape, I see numerous risks—stock markets seem propped up and vulnerable, many major economies have low or suspect growth, and many currencies are being actively devalued or weakened by government actions. Even the number of options to park money is limited since investors can't earn a reasonable interest rate.
The easy solution would be to keep her in cash. But I'm convinced she'll lose significant purchasing power over the next few years with this strategy. This is the risk we all run; while having a healthy level of cash is imperative, an all-cash portfolio won't keep up with even low rates of inflation.
So, I must abide by my mother's low risk tolerance and play defense. But without some offensive investment moves that include a shot at great gains, her money is just sitting in a boat with a small leak.
Where can we get low-risk offense? Quality gold stocks, of course. However, they've been weak longer than expected, and many investors are frustrated with their performance. Would I really buy gold stocks with my mother's nest egg right now?
Yes, and here's why.
I have a strategy that will both reduce risk and hand us big gains when our industry turns around. And it can be summed up in one phrase:
Buy the next big producer before it becomes one.
Buying gold stocks certainly isn't risk-free. Yet we can minimize the risk and capture higher returns by selecting companies that are on track for big growth.
First, risk is smaller with companies that expect to see large increases in production over the next few years. How? Because even if gold flounders for awhile, they will still grow into bigger companies. Bigger companies command larger market caps.
Second, when our industry rebounds—and it will rebound—these stocks will outpace most other mining stocks, handing us the biggest profits.
A good example is Yamana; gold producers in aggregate (as measured by GDX, the Gold Miners ETF) are down roughly 26% over the past year, while Yamana is up about 12% (through April 24). Why? Because of the company's growth expectations.
I'm convinced that this is the optimal strategy to maximize our returns in gold stocks.
It's time to be picky with our investments. Whether our motivation is to reduce risk or capture leveraged returns, focusing on the best of the best is the ideal strategy for both the short and long term.
Which stocks are "the best of the best?" And what's the best way to get into gold right now? The 2012 Gold Investor's Guide will help answer these questions, plus many more. It's an invaluable asset, especially in today's economic climate – and the sooner you act, the greater your profit potential.
Jeff Clark, Casey Research