It is normally wise to take off at least one day a week from the stock market if only to recharge one’s mental and physical batteries.
However, yesterday was Master Investor, at the Business Design Centre in Islington. I have been going there for over 20 years. In the old days, I actually presented there and worked for the organisation for a time. But with successive years, rather like the reverse glory career of Orson Welles, I am happy to be just another punter. That said, it can be said that my interaction with people at the conference took three main forms, and is typical of the experience:
- People I really wanted to talk to, and really enjoyed talking to. This was around 30% of those talked to over the three hours I was at Master Investor.
- People I wanted to talk to, but could not: 20%. The busiest stands at Master Investor were that of Poolbeg (POLB), Condor Gold (CNR), Panther Metals (PALM), and CleanTech Lithium (CTL). It was wall-to-wall people engaging with management here, great news in the current small-cap stock market environment.
- Making up another 20% are people I may not know, or was not expecting to see, but had a really constructive conversation with. This could be classed as the icing on the cake part.
- The rest was people I meet at Master Investor every year, and you know how it is: they might not really want to talk to you, you might not want to talk to them, but you have a good old catch-up anyway!
While this week included the face-to-face at Master Investor, most weeks include a heady mix of physical and virtual communications. This includes a networking event in Fitzrovia. What is interesting to me now is the way that in the 20-plus years, I have gone to such general tech sector-focused events, and how much the people and pitches have really improved. This comment covers education, knowledge and general professionalism, which is just as well given how difficult the present economic environment is.
Graft Polymer (GPL):
On the individual companies’ side, I spoke with one whose name and EPIC code I had not heard of before. Given the way that I have been looking at small caps day, and day out for over 30 years, interviewed many of them, and am writing them up on my RNS Hotlist at 7 am, this is quite an achievement. The company in question is Graft Polymer (GPL), and I was happy to speak to CEO and CTO, Victor Bolduev. Perhaps the most exciting aspect of the company is actually the development of drug delivery systems. But as in everything, I would commend small-cap fans to kick the tyres on GPL in their own way.
First Class Metals (FCM):
During the week I was contacted by an investor friend regarding First Class Metals (FCM). This is a company which has had a buzz to it from coming to market last July. On listing at 10p FCM had seven gold, base and battery metal exploration projects in Ontario, Canada, and its flagship Project in North Hemlo. Interestingly enough, there was also a JV/Earn-In with Palladium One Inc (TSXV: PDM) at Pickle Lake. The JV came into focus a couple of weeks ago when Glencore (GLEN) – yes, that Glencore, took a 9.9% stake in Palladium One.
There are a couple of key points here to note: first is that one cannot underestimate the validation to the FCM JV strategy via Glencore in terms of building nickel/copper sulphide projects in Tier 1 jurisdictions. The second is how much progress FCM has made since its IPO over the first season, and how the market will be anticipating the 2023 season. Shares of First Class were trading as high as 18p in December, versus the rather mean level of 11.75p currently. The December peak is a decent target for the next couple of months.
Altlantic Lithium (ALL), Bradda (BHL), Firering (FRG)
Interestingly enough, the past week saw some decent rebounds in mining minnows who have been on the back foot for quite some time. In no particular order, one would mention Bradda (BHL), Firering (FRG) and Atlantic Lithium (ALL), all lithium plays that have been on the back foot, and all were up around 20% over the week. One would like to think that some new financial year buying has come in for these stocks, and hopefully many others.
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