Brien Lundin of the New Orleans Investment Conference on a Blockbuster & Timely Lineup for 2023 NOIC
Gerardo Del Real: This is Gerardo Del Real with Resource Stock Digest. Joining me today, this is the gentleman that organizes and oversees my favorite investment conference every single year. It's been this way for me since 2008 when I first went on the retail side. I'm talking of course about Brien Lundin and the New Orleans Investment Conference. Brien, before we get to the blockbuster lineup that you've put together this year, how are you, sir? It's been a while.
Brien Lundin: Yeah, it has been a while, Gerardo. It's great to talk with you, as always. We share so many similar views from the markets, and you're such an optimistic, bright light in our industry, so it's always a great pleasure to talk with you. And everything is going well on my end. The markets have been kind of in the doldrums, which is to be expected, granted, but I think that we are turning a corner here, and I'm very excited about the rest of the year.
Gerardo Del Real: Well, let's talk market and opportunities. I'm a contrarian at heart is how I was brought up in this business, and so I actually personally have been taking advantage of a lot of the opportunities out in the space the first six, seven months of the year. And I mentioned to you off air that I think we're going to close the year very, very strongly in the commodity space. But before we get to all that, we have to talk about the incredible lineup that you've once again managed to put together at the 2023 New Orleans Investment Conference. And I'll make sure that we put a link at the end of this to give everyone the opportunity to come out and listen to the likes of a Brent Cook, Danielle DiMartino Booth, James Rickards. I could continue, Mr. Nick Hodge, my business partner and friend. Peter Boockvar, who was absolutely fantastic. Rick Rule, Tavi Costa, yourself. I mean, it's an all-star lineup. Congratulations. Well done again, sir.
Brien Lundin: Yeah, and you just scratched the surface there. I mean, you give me a chance and I'll go through the complete lineup. But it is, I think a lineup easily that cannot be duplicated anywhere else in this industry or at any other event out there today, but it's really one of the best lineups you'll ever see at an investment conference. It's really unbelievable.
Gerardo Del Real: Well, listen, I mentioned in the introduction that my first real exposure to the conference circuit and the junior resource space was 2008, 2009, 2010. And it was through the New Orleans Investment Conference. And at that time, I flew out, paid for the room, paid for the conference, and it was the networking that I was able to do and the wealth of information that I was able to pick from that really, really helped accelerate my learning curve. And here we are, without dating myself some 15, 16 years later in the space. And it's been a fun, fun time for me. And then luckily get to do what I love for a living. So all the best all the time as it relates to the conference. Can't wait to get out there. Let's talk markets. What have you been doing the first six, seven months of this year?
Brien Lundin: The first few months I went in and loaded up on junior mining stocks and really deployed all my risk capital, because I expected the Fed, quite frankly, to pause much earlier than they did and be forced to pause for a lot of reasons, but they didn't. And so the metals have kind of languished. The junior mining stocks, they went a little bit lower. But I got in a lot of good companies at good prices, some of which have done very well since then. But generally speaking, I've had that money sitting out there incubating and kind of waiting for the chicks to hatch, which I think is going to happen later this year as I mentioned. But that's what I've been doing this year so far. But I kind of did that in the first few months of the year, and since then I've just been sitting back and I would like to redeploy some cash right now, but it's a lousy market to sell anything too.
So I'm kind of stuck here. But it is an incredible situation right now. I've been in this market for the better part of four decades at this point, and I don't know that I've seen a better opportunity since 2000, 2001. But back then, the metals were at really all time lows on an inflation adjusted basis. And right now gold's within 5% or 6%, I guess about 8% now of an all time high. So the situation right now is one where the mining stocks are at the same levels that they were, say in 2000, but the metals are really supportive of much, much higher prices really immediately. So all we need is for this trend to get restarted and these things are going to explode higher. I really think it's a generational opportunity right now.
Gerardo Del Real: I agree with you 100%. I've been acting that way with my checkbook all year long. Let me ask you this, Brien, are there specific commodities that you favor, and I kind of know the answer to this already, but for our audience that may not be as familiar with your preference for speculations, which commodities do you typically gravitate towards?
Brien Lundin: Well, I would hedge that by saying I think the entire commodity sector is really primed right now for reasons that are varied, as varied as the commodities themselves. I may not be bullish on the diamond market, but I'm not sure what else I'm not bullish on. And for a lot of different reasons. So if there's a good company with good management that has an exciting prospect, I'm kind of metals agnostic. But that said, I like gold and silver. I like gold for all the macroeconomic reasons. And if you like gold, you have to love silver because it should outperform gold. It always has in any kind of a bull market that's based on monetary issues, which of course every long-term bull market in gold is, so gold and silver. And copper I think is one of the most extraordinary commodity stories that we've ever seen.
You've got supply constraints that are of historic nature and probably greater than they've ever been, where very few projects are being developed, very few projects are being discovered, and very little money has been put into the sector for 15, 20 years. And so you've got a lot of projects that are out there just kind of wasting and no new ones being found. And it takes a decade or more to get a new copper mine in production. Yet that supply situation is running headlong into what may be the steepest demand curve that we've ever seen for any commodity. With the electrification of the world and electrification of transportation and the necessary revamping of the power grid, we are going to need much more copper than we're producing right now. And the only way to do that, the only way to accelerate supplies is by far, far higher prices, and those are coming. So yeah, copper, I'm very excited about. And of course, gold and silver, and I think the gold and silver story is a bit more immediate.
Gerardo Del Real: So gold, silver, copper. Those you would say, if you had to pick a basket of three, are your top three where you're deploying capital.
Brien Lundin: Yeah, yeah, they are. But you look at zinc and other base metals, and there's stories there that are encouraging and that I'm bullish on. And there are companies in those areas that you look at them and say that this company is worth a considerable multiple of what it is today, and that value will be realized over the next few years. So there are opportunities, I think, in every commodity out there right now.
Gerardo Del Real: I couldn't agree with you more. I have my favorites, obviously, it's something that I'll share later on in the year. I absolutely want to give you the space and the platform to highlight the lineup that you've been able to put together thus far. And I say thus far because I know you work very diligently along with your incredible staff to secure the biggest names in the space right on through almost when it's actual conference time. So tell us who you got lined up for us so far this year, Brien.
Brien Lundin: Yeah, and one of the things I've been focusing on with our speakers over the past few years is I've been steering away from some of the big name political speakers, because all that tends to do is aggravate half the audience in this environment we have today.
It's a crazy world. Nobody agrees on anything politically across the board. And the very slightest disagreement means you ought to be put up against the wall and shot. So I try to stay away from the politically oriented and focus on the most insightful, the most thoughtful, the ones that have the best arguments out there. And we are living in extraordinary times right now. None of the crap that we're seeing out there these days that they're reporting on CNBC like it's normal. None of it's normal. They should be pulling their hair out on those sets, but they're not. And these extraordinary times bring out extraordinary people to explain them. And we've got just about all of them coming to New Orleans. I've got Matt Taibbi, who is probably the most important journalist of our generation, exposing the Russian collusion, exposing the social media censorship during COVID, et cetera.
Just an extraordinarily important person, have him coming. I have James Rickards, Danielle DiMartino Booth, George Gammon, a new speaker this year, Konstantin Kisin. I'm extremely excited about him. Hardly anybody knows who this guy is, but if you look him up on Twitter, Konstantin Kisin, K-I-S-I-N, and watch the speech that he has in his pinned tweet, you'll understand why I've got this guy coming. He's absolutely remarkable. One of the best, I think, geopolitical commentators out there today. I've also got Rick Rule, Dominic Frisby, Brent Johnson, Lyn Alden is coming. She rarely makes in-person appearances at conferences. Dave Collum, Peter Boockvar, James Stack, Peter Schiff, Jim Iuorio, Tavi Costa, Adrian Day, Adam Taggart goes on and on. And Nick Hodge, of course, is going to be highlighting our coverage of not only junior mining stocks, but as you know so well, Nick is very much diversified and a really big thinker these days. I've always been so supportive of Nick because he's one of the young guys in the industry. I'm not sure I can say that anymore, can I? I've been knowing Nick so long.
Gerardo Del Real: Let's say younger Brien, let's say younger.
Brien Lundin: Younger. You and Nick are the younger guns of the industry right now, and very excited to have you all back again as well. So it is an extraordinary lineup. I really urge everyone to go to NewOrleansConference.com and check out the full lineup because we are literally adding to it as I speak. It looks like we may be able to sign up James Lavish, who is another person you should look up on his tweets, does the best job that I can see of anybody out there of explaining very complex macroeconomic subjects very simply. He's really up there with George Gammon in that regard. So wonderful. Just really an incredible lineup, and I'm very excited about it.
Gerardo Del Real: I can't wait. I love the locale. I love New Orleans. I love the food, I love the people, and I love the lineups you put together. It's November the first through November the fourth. I encourage everyone to go to the link. We're going to provide NewOrleansConference.com and hopefully, hopefully everyone comes out and joins us. It's going to be another absolute blast, and again, as I mentioned, I appreciate the opportunity to come back once again and speak with the audience. Always a blast. Anything to add to that, Brien?
Brien Lundin: Yeah, I think the timing of this year's conference is going to be exceptional too, because the Fed, I think the markets are already starting to factor in the very essential fact that this rate hike cycle is peaking. We might have another quarter point left, but it is peaking and the Fed is looking forward to the next inevitable big thing, and that's going to be the downside of the cycle, which the Fed will be forced to address at some point for some reason. We're not really sure what those reasons may be. There's a long list of likely candidates, but it's probably going to be something we're not even thinking about today. But you don't go from the lowest interest rates, the easiest money in human history through one of the harshest tightening cycles ever seen without breaking more than one thing, probably a few things. And I think we're going to see that in the days ahead.
Gerardo Del Real: I couldn't agree with you more. Brien, looking forward to joining you in person. Always great catching up over the phone. Thank you so much for your time. Appreciate it.
Brien Lundin: I appreciate the opportunity, Gerardo. Thank you so much.
Gerardo Del Real: All right, chat soon.