Are mining stocks the safe haven from the bailout crisis?
There is no deal on the bailout of the U.S. financial markets as of this moment. Treasury Secretary Paulson is in the White House as I type trying to create a new plan. The Congress is busy trying to make their own plans as well.
That is the situation that the world markets will be facing tomorrow. And in the wake of this revelation I expect that the Dow Jones Index and other markets will retreat in the face of an unsure weekend. Which means that this is a great market for mining stocks.
I have already mentioned that I feel that coal mining is a great area for the future, based on the need of alternative sources of energy to crude oil. But when the markets are in turmoil, and with direct talk from the likes of Warren Buffett stating that the potential of failing to get a bailout deal done is akin to a financial Pearl Harbor, well there is just 2 place you can bet people will go – gold and oil.
Gold is the traditional hedge in worrisome times. And crude oil has gained in popularity as a hedge as demand has increased in China and other developing nations. Both of these items are limited commodities, and require mining to bring them from the earth that surrounds them.
In the immediate short-term gold will have to fluctuate to handle the demand for safety. Which means that the gold supply will diminish and mines work harder to make up the difference. In the short and long-term oil is both required for energy needs and depleting the finite supply.
And I have to say that mining stocks look great because of all these factors. Why?
There was an old saying from when I was a stockbroker
“You may or may not get rich looking for the gold vein, but if you own the picks and axes you’ll never go poor.”
Companies with proven assets in coal, gold, and oil are the picks and axes of this market and on into the future. The world needs these commodities for safety and energy. No matter the financial outcome, and perhaps because of it, these valuable commodities have to come up to the surface. And mining companies are the means to do so.
With the decreased liquidity in the capital markets, competition is reduced and weaker companies will be forced to merge with bigger and stronger companies. Thus supply will be centralized into fewer hands. With demand up, profits will increase.
Now some would say that this is a temporary blip. And were this the spring I would agree. But with winter and cold weather approaching, and the fact that a slow 4th quarter is all but guaranteed in the U.S. this small blip should last for 6 months from this point.
Plus the fact that a Democratic President has usually been met with a lower market day one. In this case, Senator Obama has yet to declare that the current bailout of $1 trillion (including AIG and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) will disallow his initiatives on healthcare and other social programs. So the damage, unless he changes his stance, will even be worse.
When you consider all this, I come to the conclusion that mining stocks are one of the few safe havens in this tumultuous market. If you disagree, please do let me know why.