"If there were one over-arching theme at the BMO Global Metals & Mining Conference, it was that the gold miners are upset and even embarrassed that their shares have so dramatically underperformed bullion...
"On the one hand, they were delighted in 2011 when it was reported that since Nixon closed the gold window, a bar of bullion had delivered higher investment returns than the S&P 500 for forty years-- with dividends reinvested. But some gold mining CEOs find it an insult that what they mine is more respected than their companies' shares...
"In our view, we have entered the most favourable era for gold prices in our lifetime, and the share prices of the great mining companies will eventually outperform bullion prices."
Gold remains one of the most widely misunderstood assets in the investible world. Indeed, it may be better to refer to it as a means of saving that does not expose the saver to counterparty or credit risk or to the depredations of the monetary authorities.
As Don Coxe makes clear, governments are running deficits"beyond the forecasts of all but the hardiest goldbugs five years ago; central banks are printing money and creating liquidity beyond the forecasts of all but the most paranoid goldbugs a year ago."
The choice for the saver is essentially binary: hold money in ever-depreciating paper, or in a tangible vehicle that has the potential to rise dramatically as expressed in paper money terms.
Gold prices have now softened, offering investors yet another chance to get back on board what is perhaps the most compelling form of money- and portfolio insurance available.
Why large cap gold miners are being so undervalued by equity investors relative to gold is an open question that takes us back to the realms of stories. That the discount exists is undeniable; all that is required to crystallise that value, we believe, is patience.