It’s been a long week. Surely there were two Wednesdays.

And it’s bloody cold, too, with talk of thundersnows and polar vortexes. Vortices. Whatever.

The best place to be right now, and Saturday morning, is somewhere warm, with the best of friends, talking rubbish about how to make some money.

Here’s all you need to know – the best of Stockhead this week. You’re welcome:

1 – There’s a gap in the stocks chat market that Hot Copper missed – and the new players are jumping in

The stocks chat market is heating up. You might know it right now as “Hot Copper”, which is by far Australia’s biggest stock chat forum.

HC’s a pretty wild beast though, as is any forum with around 70,000 unique visitors a day. Things can get a little… ropey.

There’s a much more involved discussion to be had about how much attention you should pay to a vehicle that enables anonoymous pumping and dumping on such a huge scale. “Do your own research” are always excellent words for day traders to live by.

Tony Cunningham knows it all too well, because he bought a stake in Hot Copper way back in 1995 from its founder. And in 2016, Tony sold out and now has his own stock chat forum, Stocks in Play.

Why? Because, he says, “people are tired of losing money”.

This is how he reckons Stocks in Play cuts through the Hot Copper bulls..t.

And here’s why you know it’s a post worth reading – it’s even got the thumbs-up from Hot Copper’s director of client services:

2 – Gold: There’s a flood of really ridiculously good-looking bonanza hits out today

As Diggers and Dealers kicked off on Monday, a swag of small cap gold explorers just so happened to walk in with their bonanza strike news all like:

Oh look, here’s Frontier Resources (ASX:FNT) with a whopping 535 grams per tonne gold at its Saki prospect!

And Golden Rim Resources (ASX:GMR) with 1m @ 783.8g/t Au from 44m in Burkina Faso!

Pack up lads, you’re done for the year.

Bellevue Gold (ASX:BGL), Venus Metals (ASX:VMS), Vango Mining (ASX:VAN) and Azumah Resources (ASX:AZM) also had great results to report on Day 1 of Australia’s biggest mining conference.

Feel free to add “the week before Diggers and Dealers” to your 2020 gold investing diary.


3 – Diggers & Dealers, all week

Even by D&D standards, it was a huge week.

It kicked off with Johnny Howard talking about the cricket and not having the first clue why anyone would mine in space.

We learnt how small cap explorer Gold Road Resources (ASX:GOR) became a +$1.2 billion success story.

How Northern Star Resources (ASX:NST) delivered its faithful a 63,000 per cent return on investment over the past decade or so.

And took a visit out to Lefroy Exploration’s (ASX:LEX) greenfields Lucky Strike prospect to look at these bags of gold:

Don’t change, Kalgoorlie.

(Also… 63,000 per cent.)

4 – Hot Money Monday: The most in-demand stocks on the ASX right now

The award for the hottest stock on the ASX in the past fortnight goes to… gold explorer Spectrum Metals (ASX:SPX).

It hit a whopping RSI of 92.23 for continuing to find gold at Penny North, but got pulled up eventually by a $7m capital raise.

If you’re new to Hot Money Mondays, any RSI over 70 generally means a stock’s been overbought. The explainer’s here if you need the fine detail.

Also in big demand was Pacific Energy (ASX:PEA). Acquisitions will do that.

And PointsBet (ASX:PBH) ran hot as it announced a brave plan to build its own casino in Colorado and a roll out in five other US states.

On the cold list was a strange one – scaffold lessor Oldfields Holdings (ASX:OLH) hit a chilly 23 RSI despite surging 60 per cent on Friday for…. well, doing nothing.


5 – Investors are fed up with pumping, dumping, gouging and shorting – and ASIC’s gutless response to it all

Funny how things work out. In the same week we report on some new stock chat sites aiming to cut through the pumping and dumping, a large group of shareholders band together to launch a petition calling for an investigation into exactly that.

Specifically, for ASIC and other assorted regulators to actually take small cap investor’s concerns seriously. Because up to now, ASIC’s response to dodgy boards has largely been:

Down with this sort of thing. Picture: BBC

Our favourite saddest story is the one in which the company took mum and dad bucks to fund its manufacture of proppants — sand-like materials used to “prop” open tiny fractures used to access oil and gas via hydraulic fracturing (or fracking) techniques.

When curious shareholders went to visit the factory in India to see where their $40 million was being spent, they found a factory full of old ice cream machines with signs saying “alkaline” and “acid” on them.

They’re still waiting for ASIC to GAF.

6 – High Voltage: A ‘false narrative’ is driving lithium stocks down, Benchmark says

It’s time for your weekly roundup of all the battery metals news that’s fit to print.

And here comes Benchmark Mineral Intelligence to the rescue of lithium fans. It reckons there’s been quite enough talk in the meeja about how the industry is “awash with battery-grade lithium chemicals”.

Nope, says Benchmark. There is still far from enough lithium to meet the needs of tomorrow’s electric vehicle (EV) expansions.

It’s now saying “spectators that flocked to the market in 2016 on the promise of an EV super-cycle have left before the warm-up, let alone the main event”.

Here’s when Benchmark reckons the next lithium deficit will hit.

7 – Trade war schmade war? How Trump’s Don Quixote moment may affect commodities

According to China Briefing, we’re almost about to tick over into day 400 of the trade war between China and the US.

It’s been largely entertaining, and to be honest, quite lucrative for those traders watching it closely enough.

But this week it cost the ASX about $38 billion and it looks a bit like, should it go on, and on, and on, terrible news for commodities.

Not so much, according to MineLife founder Gavin Wendt.

Here’s why he reckons iron ore should hold up, and there’s no correction to gold’s boom in sight.

8 – Stockhead columnist Barry FitzGerald takes out Diggers and Dealers media award

Did we mention our own Barry FitzGerald took out the Diggers and Dealers media award for 2019?

Well, he did, and fair enough too, because he’s ace.

Garimpeiro was actually the very first recipient of the media award back in 2003 when he was working for The Age.

He loves this stuff. And this year, he’s scored plenty of hits, highlighting Spectrum’s (ASX: SPC) potential before it blew up 1950 per cent, and breaking news of a big fat gold find in the Fraser Range made by Independence Group (ASX:IGO) and Rumble Resources (ASX:RTR) before the companies announced it.

Lately, he’s been waiting for the happening intro music to die down before launching into a fireside chat with prominent mining figures on his new podcast.

Here’s this week’s with Anthony McClure, managing director of Silver Mines (ASX:SVL):

Onya Barry.


9 – India looms as the ‘other’ big opportunity for small caps – but here’s why it’s not China

India and China have 1 billion populations. China has developed, therefore India will. Right?

Nope, says Indian fund manager Ruchir Sharma. China, he says, is a one-party autocracy that mobilized its homogeneous majority behind a decades-long campaign of radical reform.

India, however, “is a diverse, multiparty democracy that will always struggle to rally its hundreds of ethnic and linguistic minority groups behind any single goal”.

The only thing the two share is population. But it is also growing over 6 per cent per year and people are gradually being lifted out of poverty.

So here are the opportunities it affords ASX small caps and investors who are ready to look beyond China. Think infrastructure, battery metals, jewellery (i.e. gold and silver), and “Modicare”.

This is all good news, because China’s starting to look like it’s actually serious about that Aussie coal snub thing.

10 – The Secret Broker: Fat finger tales and putrid briefcases that make online trading smell rosy

All this moaning about how risky trading is.

At least when you trade online, you can’t put in a buy order for more cash than have in your account.

And you can’t sell more shares than you hold.

That sounds obvious. But brokers In Real Life can – as much as they want, because it’s all fixed up somewhere else by the back office peeps.

The best part of that is it can lead to the best kind of hilarious mistakes, which are those mistakes made when someone else’s huge amount of money is lost.

Like the Japanese broker who instead of selling 1 J-Com share at ¥610,000 ($8,483.73), he sold 610,000 J-Com shares all the way down to ¥1.

Cost to the company? Around $541.9m.

Welcome to the secret, bumbling life of traders. You don’t even want to know how The Secret Broker ruined a complete stranger’s briefcase on the train home after the Christmas Party.

Oh go on then.

That’s quite enough. Thanks for being a Stockhead this week, enjoy your weekends.