Here’s what you might have missed on Stockhead this week, but everyone else didn’t, and liked the most.


1. Australia is a leader in cannabis biotechs – here are three stocks that could be poised for growth

It’s been a few pretty bumpy rollercoaster years for cannabis in part thanks to continued regulatory uncertainty around what weed growers and purveyors can and can’t do.

To try and make sense of it all, Stockhead recently spoke with Mark Bernberg, the Sydney-based cofounder of cannabis investment firm The Green Fund.

In mid-2017, cannabis went on “a huge bull run – picking winners was like throwing darts at a dartboard”, according to Bernberg. But by 2019 the market had gone the other way, wiping off 65 per cent.

But pot fans can take heart, there’s still opportunities to play the game. Read all about where Bernberg thinks they lie.


2. How to ‘recession proof’ your portfolio in the event of a market downturn

Timely advice it would seem, what with markets taking one almighty beating this week.

As the global bull market started out heading into its 11th year, the dreaded “R” word was getting a bit more of a workout in some circles.

And now, investors are fleeing stocks and piling into gold like fleas on a dog, but how exactly does one “recession proof” their portfolio?

I am glad you asked, because Steve Collette from advisory firm Merchant Group has some insight on what to look out for.

Read on if you missed it.



3. Wildcatter Podcast: Understanding rising Alaskan oil interest, piggybacking off Oil Search’s success and XCD’s year ahead

Alaska, it might be cold, but I guess that’s why it’s an ideal place for the oilies – more of the good stuff to keep the Alaskans warm.

In the latest episode of our Wildcatter podcast, Peter Strachan checks in with XCD Energy (ASX: XCD)managing director Dougal Ferguson.

XCD holds a 100 per cent working interest in 149,590 acres of the highly prospective Alaskan North Slope, nearby to existing exploration and appraisal activities.

Listen in to find out what the buzz in Alaska is all about.


4. The rhodium price has quadrupled in a year — here’s why and who’s in it

It sounds like something that could cripple a superhero – a bit like what kryptonite does to Superman.

While that theory hasn’t been tested, we do know rhodium is actually quite handy for humans.

As with its platinum group cousins, rhodium’s primary use is in three-way catalytic converters for cars — these reduce emissions from exhaust systems.

But right now, there aren’t too many ways to play rhodium on the Aussie stockmarket.

See for yourself just who is dabbling in it.


5. Here’s how to pick a successful drug out of the 99pc of failures

It’s a tough and expensive gig getting a drug onto pharmacy shelves, I mean just check out this stat:

Let’s say you have 1000 drug candidates nudging about petri dishes in a lab. About 100 will survive to be tested on humans. Of those, just seven will become drugs, according to a study published in Nature magazine last year.

And the total cost to make a drug in 2013 was an eye-popping $US2-3bn ($3-4.5bn), according to a US study, which also pointed out that the cost was rising by 8.5 per cent every year.

Sheesh, no wonder so many biotechs go belly up.

Predicting which compounds will make it through the gauntlet and which will stall is very difficult, requiring experience, broad industry knowledge, and help from software.

Here’s what Rachel Williamson found out.


6. It’s not just hand sanitisers, these 3 micro-sectors have been winners during the coronavirus crisis

Not sure about you, but I’m just waiting for the zombies to turn up – isn’t this how the apocalypse starts, with a virus?

The biggest coronavirus-panic-fuelled share price gains have come from antimicrobial solution maker Zoono (ASX:ZNO), which has witnessed insane gains since mid-October last year.

But it’s not just the hand sanitiser dudes feeling the investor love – Nick Sundich found three micro-industries that are cashing in.


7. Think Big: One expert’s tips on how to invest in a pandemic

Coronavirus is certainly a drawcard for our readers.

And now ScoMo has labelled it a pandemic and incited fear in everyone (which is pretty sad for the markets), investors are eager to find out how the hell to play it.

To get some extra perspective it helps to talk to the pros, and this week Stockhead’s Sam Jacobs caught up with James Whelan, investment manager at specialist advisory firm VFS Group.

These guys are pretty clued in – they started making some virus-related tweaks to their portfolio as far back as January, when early reports began filtering through of a viral outbreak stemming from the central Chinese city of Wuhan.

So Whelan’s tips are definitely worth a look if you missed them.


8. Do hydrogen investments show the sector is gaining traction?

Australia is picking up speed in hydrogen. The Australian Renewable Energy Agency is doling out the dollar, dollar bills yo!

It flicked Yara Pilbara Fertilisers $995k in funding to support a study into the production of renewable hydrogen and ammonia.

And then lobbed $1.28m in funding to Australian Gas Networks to establish the Australian Hydogen Centre, which will investigate the blending of hydrogen into natural gas pipelines in South Australia and Victoria.

So hydrogen is firing up Down Under and our readers want to know more.


9. Gold Digger: A weekly recap of the news driving ASX small cap gold stocks

It wouldn’t be a Kick Back without some mention of gold…

This week the yellow metal hit its highest point since February 2013, punching through $2,500 an ounce Aussie.

And the gold players are loving it.

Find out who this week’s mover and shakers are.


10. China can grow your business 5-10x times faster than Australia: investor

Chao Yao, the youthful face of his family’s Australian mortgage funding and property development company, believes the outbreak of COVID-19 means many rich Chinese will be thinking seriously about investing overseas.

But is China the ‘be all and end all’?

Sure it is Asia’s powerhouse and has a massive population, so it can certainly bring a company great wealth, but there are benefits to adding other geographies to the portfolio.

Wanna know why? Well, Rachel Williamson tells you all about it.