gold standard2013 has been a brutal year for silver.  And a brutal year for a metal obviously doesn’t bode well for its mining stocks.  Companies that have been exploring for deposits, developing mines, and producing silver have sadly become the pariahs of the markets.  But if silver’s fortunes change in 2014, as they ought to, then right now could be one of the best buying opportunities of this entire secular bull market.


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Unfortunately silver is currently in a sentiment wasteland.  Even contemplating a foray into this metal, let alone its stocks, is a fool’s errand to the majority of mainstream investors.  Their mindset is why bother wasting even a cent of precious capital investing in a sector led by an asset that’s down 36% on the year.  It’s much more prudent to throw money at the ever-rising stock markets, right?


Indeed the bloated general stock markets have sucked in a lot of silver’s capital.  With the headline indices all soaring to record heights, more and more investors have joined the herd to chase the gains.  This has left little room for alternative investments like silver, fundamentals be damned.  And as a result, this metal and its associated stocks have greatly suffered.


The artificially-levitating stock markets aren’t silver’s only problem though.  And certainly the biggest one by far is its association with gold.  Sadly gold has endured a panic-stricken year that has devastated the entire precious-metals realm.  The mass exodus from bullion-backed ETFs and an anomalous futures-shorting bonanza have left mass quantities of blood on gold’s streets.  And silver has been unable to avoid the splash damage.


It’s no secret that silver’s performance is slave to gold’s.  It essentially mirrors the directionality of its big brother, with much more volatility on both the upside and downside given its smaller market.  As goes gold, so goes silver.  So until gold turns, silver will almost certainly remain stuck in its rut.


Fortunately gold is overdue for a massive recovery rally.  Even with the rampant ETF selling, it still has incredibly strong structural fundamentals.  It should soar on its own merits, but an overdue stock-market correction is sure to accelerate investors’ desire to put capital back to work in this sector.  For a myriad of reasons I suspect gold will be the story of 2014.


When gold comes back, so will silver.  And silver’s gains ought to dramatically outpace gold’s, like they usually do.  Speculators are naturally drawn to silver in precious-metals uplegs, they crave upside leverage.  And this metal still has its own strong fundamentals to attract in a more diverse crowd (indispensable industrial usage and essentially the same investment allure as gold).


Silver even has a leg up on gold considering the stability of its premier bullion-backed ETF.  While gold’s flagship GLD ETF has seen its holdings fall by a staggering 40% in 2013, silver’s flagship SLV ETF has seen its holdings remain stable.  This is an incredible show of relative strength.


SLV’s physical inventory happens to be at the same level today as it was at the beginning of the year (324m ounces).  This certainly demonstrates strong hands amidst silver’s slump!  And it points to what should be a major boost to this ETF’s holdings once investors actually shift capital back to silver.


Finally once silver again starts to shine, investors will naturally return to the mining stocks.  And they’ll return in droves to chase after gains that normally positively leverage a rising silver price.


And the return to silver stocks won’t come a minute too soon considering their dilapidated state.  With leverage being a two-way street, the silver miners have been crushed amidst silver’s decline.  This three-year chart of silver and Global X’s Silver Miners ETF (SIL) shows just how bad things have been for the silver stocks.




SIL tracks an index that is designed to reflect the performance of the silver-mining industry.  This index is comprised of companies that mine, refine, and explore for the metal.  So in general the higher the price of silver goes, the more money they make and the more their in-ground resources are worth.  And inversely the farther the price of silver falls, the more their margins are pinched and the less their deposits are worth.  It is thus fundamentally natural for silver stocks’ directionality to be correlated with silver’s.


This correlation is of course visually evident.  And it is backed up mathematically as well.  Since April 28, 2011 (silver’s bull-to-date high) SIL has had a daily correlation r-square with silver of 93.2%.  This means that over 93% of SIL’s daily price action over the last 2.5+ years is directly explainable by silver’s own.  Such an incredibly high correlation reveals silver’s tight grip on its miners’ stocks.


As you can see, anything silver has had a rough three-year stretch (SIL in blue and the metal in red).  Since silver’s April 2011 high, it has fallen 60% to this week.  Regardless of how illogical this decline is, it’s no wonder investors have been scared off.  This brutal selloff has brought silver’s price all the way down to 2008 levels.


Silver’s plunge naturally fed selling in silver stocks.  And over this exact same period, SIL responded with a whopping 62% decline of its own.  But provocatively this comparable loss hardly demonstrates leverage (1.03x negative leverage).  As mentioned, the risk/reward paradigm that comes with stocks typically has them outperforming on the upside and underperforming on the downside.  Yet if you had purchased SIL on April 28, 2011, you’d be no worse for wear today than if you’d bought the physical metal.


This lack of leverage is explainable if you consider the action prior to silver’s apex.  Interestingly there was somewhat of a disconnect between the precious metals and their mining stocks in the first part of 2011.  Most investors vividly remember this occurrence, much to our chagrin.  On the gold side the mining stocks didn’t participate at all in its final upleg.  Gold stocks were essentially flat as the metal forged a series of all-time highs through the first three quarters of 2011.


It wasn’t so bad for the silver stocks as measured by SIL, but it was still very concerning for investors.  While silver skyrocketed 80% trough-to-peak in its massive early-2011 parabolic upleg, SIL was only able to muster a 36% gain.  Why bother owning the riskier mining stocks if their gains can’t outpace the metals’?  This disconnect really left a bad taste in investors’ mouths.  And for this reason they lost confidence in the stocks prior to the bull highs achieved in their underlying metals.


Ultimately it was that poor pre-apex action that supported silver/SIL’s minimal post-apex negative leverage.  It just so happened that in the beginning part of this stretch silver needed to correct sharper than it usually does compared to stocks.  As is the nature of parabolas, the downside is just as violent as the upside.  Just as we warned at the time at Zeal, silver needed a fierce correction in order to rebalance sentiment.  And since silver stocks weren’t bid as high amidst silver’s parabola, they didn’t need to correct as much immediately afterward.


But while the pre-apex action distorts the concept of leverage over this longer-term post-apex measure, by no means has leverage abated.  As expected, it didn’t take long for SIL/silver to assume their traditional leveraged relationship.  On the negative side, silver-stock investors got smacked silly in 2013.  With silver down 36%, much of the remnant capitulated.  This drove SIL down 52% to this week (1.44x leverage)!


Thankfully investors can cling to the hope of positive leverage even amidst the recent carnage.  Silver stocks have been positively leveraging silver’s gains for over a decade, making investors fortunes.  And despite the fact that stocks lagged in early 2011 (0.45x leverage) and then again in early 2012 (0.81x leverage), positive leverage was bound to return.  If positive leverage didn’t exist, it would be the end of publically-traded silver stocks as we know it.  There would be no reason to own them!


Fortunately silver stocks finally started showing signs of life amidst silver’s last two uplegs.  The Q3 2012 upleg saw silver gain 33%, over which time SIL rose 43% (1.30x leverage).  And it got even better for silver’s Q3 2013 upleg, with an SIL gain of 46% to silver’s 33%.  This latest upleg gave stock investors 1.39x leverage to the metal, which is improving.  And I expect this leverage to progressively increase in future uplegs, going from “improving” to great.


Ideally investors would like to see leverage of at least 2 to 1, a nice reward for the risk of owning mining stocks.  And this is certainly not unheard of based on historic precedent.  In fact, in previous uplegs we’ve seen precious-metals stocks positively leverage the metals by greater than 5 to 1.


If silver launches radically higher like we expect it to, there will no doubt be a stock-buying frenzy that should lead to great positive leverage.  The producers will see their margins skyrocket, the developers will see the IRRs of their prospective operations increase, and the explorers will see the values of their undeveloped deposits soar.  It won’t take long for investors to realize that the beaten-down stocks are incredible bargains.  And the gains should be spectacular for those who get in early.


Overall with silver way oversold and due for an epic mean-reversion recovery rally, now is the time to buy the mining stocks.  Silver’s next upleg is poised to be powerful, and should pull it out of this current vicious cyclical bear.  And it’ll likely lead to the stocks delivering outsized positive leverage vastly better than what’s been seen in recent years.  This could be one of the best buying opportunities of silver’s entire secular bull market!


The SIL ETF is of course a great option for investors who are either new to the silver-stock circuit or who are looking for a more diversified and conservative vehicle.  Its holdings are comprised of 29 stocks, of which the majority consider silver their primary metal of focus (those that don’t still have strong silver, with their primary metal being gold).  It also offers investors exposure to foreign stocks not listed on US or Canadian exchanges (Fresnillo PLC, Polymetal, Hochschild Mining, etc.).


As is the nature of ETF diversification though, there’s a limitation on the upside.  And that’s why investors who hunt the big gains tend to go after individual stocks.  A skillfully selected smaller basket of stocks will nearly always outperform an index-based ETF.


Picking stocks is of course a daunting task, which is why ETFs are so popular.  Not only do you need to have a keen understanding of the sector, you need to understand the intricacies of its constituents.  And in a period where silver companies have struggled mightily, this understanding is all the more important.


Silver companies have had to weather a double-whammy of a major price decline of their primary metal and a serious lack of funding.  And getting pounded by these realities over a multi-year period has led to radical changes in the silver-mining landscape.  Unfortunately we’ve seen somewhat of a sector cleansing, as even some of the former market darlings have struggled to stay afloat.


Picking stocks is more difficult today than it’s ever been.  The reality is there are fewer quality stocks out there than there used to be.  The survivors will perform well once silver starts roaring higher.  But the elite ones with a combination of strong assets, savvy management, and solid financials will really thrive.  Their stocks ought to seriously outpace the gains of SIL and the sector as a whole.


At Zeal our expert research has identified an elite group of 12 silver stocks that are indeed well-positioned to thrive upon silver’s imminent ascent.  These stocks range from junior explorers to large producers.  And we fundamentally profiled each of them in a brand-new 27-page report just published this month.  Purchase your report today to learn about the opportunities in the world’s best silver stocks!


We also publish acclaimed weekly and monthly newsletters.  These newsletters are action-packed with expert market analysis from a unique contrarian perspective.  They also include real-world trade recommendations.  And a sizeable contingent of our open trades are silver stocks that are profiled in our new report.  Subscribe today to find out which stocks we are trading!  Subscribers also get to purchase reports at a discount.


The bottom line is silver-mining stocks have had a rough few years as they’ve followed their underlying metal to the depths of its current cyclical bear market.  These stocks are universally despised, the ultimate contrarian play.


Silver’s fortunes are bound to change in the very near future though.  And when this metal recovers, the mining stocks are poised to rocket higher from their radically oversold levels.  Now could be one of the best times ever to buy silver stocks.  With a skillfully selected basket of individual stocks, the gains brave contrarian investors win ought to be fantastic.


Scott Wright


December 27, 2013


So how can you profit from this information?  We publish an acclaimed monthly newsletter, Zeal Intelligence, that details exactly what we are doing in terms of actual stock and options trading based on all the lessons we have learned in our market research as well as provides in-depth market analysis and commentary.  Please consider joining us each month at …


Thoughts, comments, or flames?  Fire away at .  Depending on the volume of feedback I may not have time to respond personally, but I will read all messages.  Thanks!


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  1. For me, next year is Silvers comeback. I read somewhere 50% and the ratio between Gold and Silver will get close again but what the heck do I know, I’m only a Silver Stacker just stacking away. @4oz are you ready to dive in again? I’m thinking about it. Lol Keep Stacking

    • +50% is most unimpressive for a silver year. From $20 to $30, when it was $50 2.5 years ago.
      The ratio has already been creeping down the past months. With prices at the same (non-USD) levels as June, the ratio is favoring silver. The ratio/price relationship is not set in stone, variances happen, but it just might be the start of a trend. Silver catching up, hard.
      Silver stocks, I would not dare to sit on a position too long. Risk of nationalization is evver increasing. And with the CIA running the largest drugs operation ever, Mexican drugs lords will need to find new enterprising opportunities. They have already started milking mine output, actually. How nice, first let mobsters walk in, then a military take-over and too bad for stock holders.
      I would LOVE to put some fiat in Eric Sprott’s and Rick Rule’s (50/50) personal portfolio’s though. Those should be WAY better than their oh so nice open funds to choose from.

    • Add when ever I get the chance Charlie.  Try to scrape together enough to get 4 oz silver a week and still planning to buy in size again beginning of Feb or so.
      Love these 2008 spot prices!
      Really helps bring my DCA down and whew— I’m still WAY underwater…but pleased to be stacking since those 2011 days when I was actually picking up ASE for $52….and I know…lol cuz I did it….that peeps WILL pay that price….
      It’s been quite an education these past 3 years…..I’m a long way from a know-it-all and hope to remain teachable; As for mining stocks….thinking I’m going to just be a simple stacker and ‘mine’ articles and especially the comments in places like Silver Doctors!

  2. I hope 2014 is a good year for silver…I need to get shot of it, been sitting in my vault way to long now…need to convert it to gold…
    It is rather shiny though. Been eyeing up some of those new 2014 Mapppppleess! with the new security features. They look cool.

  3. I am a long time lurker and first time poster.I’m looking for some thoughts.For 8 years I have stacked, mostly silver.My stacking includes the junk silver,then heavy(for me)Eagles,then Maples and some wildlifes as well.Brother John turned me onto Kookaburra Privys 2013 and 2014.Since mintage is only 50,000 for each,and since previous mintages seem to have appreciated(if even available) rather markedly.Why would it not be a prudent play to jump on the 2014 Kook Privys which sell for less than an Eagle at present?Thoughts anyone?

  4. Damn @Marchas45,
    It’s hard keeping up with the jones’s when you’re around.  Anyway, I have a gold valcambi combi-bar, 10 brit sovereigns, 100USD face value mercury dimes and 100 silver phiharmonics on its way in the mail.  Oh, and the 20 pegasus rounds I’m still waiting on that I bought trying to keep up with you.  I want the Maple Leafs too, I need a 100 to fill a moster box.  But I think I am done for this year.  Let’s see what the new year brings.

    • Wow.
      So you know that warm feeling you get from displaying your PM’s, from doing an inventory of it, from staring at it a few minutes at a time? That sort of adrenaline rush and fuzzy happiness? You know how you just have that inner… mmmm… yeaa… just a little more of these coins and that’s it, I’m hunkered down. The Bible says something about this:
      I Timothy 6:8-11:
      But having food and clothing, we will be content. But they who will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts which plunge men into destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all evils, of which some having lusted after, they were seduced from the faith and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But you, O man of God, flee these things and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, and meekness.

      Notice this doesn’t say that the love of currency is a root of all evil, but money (ag/au being Bible money).
      Matthew 6:19-21:
      Do not lay up treasures on earth for yourselves, where moth and rust corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal.
      But lay up treasures in Heaven for yourselves, where neither moth nor rust corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

      I’m all for a little wise diversifying into sound money to avoid a crash, but I’m sad to see so many grown up men committing idolatry over their earthly treasures.

    • hromano1030 – You posted a picture of your stack a few months back which also included a picture of your Thai Baht fiat. I asked at the time [presuming you must be living in the Land of Smiles] how you were getting hold of your silver in Thailand, particularly the coins but didn’t receive a reply. I’m working in the Middle East but my wife is Thai and living in the Chon Buri area. If you have any info that can lead me to a reliable and honest buyer/seller of Silver coins in Siam I would be grateful.
      By the way. I for one appreciate your photographic idolatry of earthly treasures……especially if your baht image leads me to a good supplier of silver phyzz in Thailand. If you hadn’t posted the picture how would I have known to ask ;-)
      Cheers ZZ

    • @Zilver Zeta, @Zilver Zeta
      I did respond, but I believe I ended up responding to you on a different thread, sorry. I am also working in the middle east, Afghanistan, and my Thai wife and I live in Bangkok. We have property in Chon Buri though, as well. I buy all my silver and much of my gold from American websites, such as APMEX, Provident, Midas Rescources, Gold&Silver and SDBullion and more. I have it mailed to an APO address of an American Forward Operating Base in Afghanistan, then I carry it on a Charter Plane to Dubai. When I arrive in Dubai, the alarm bells go off, but that is why I primarily deal in Government minted legal tender coins. I show them the denomination on the coins and they leave me alone. Thailand is a different matter though. You may be aware that most Thai’s don’t understand or desire silver. Probably due to the fact that the government wants a 30% VAT on imported silver. Luckily the customs on arrival to Bangkok is very porous, LOL, to say the least. Funny, because my wife scratches her head every time I arrive home with a back pack full of silver.

      You probably have Googled silver and Thailand and not come up with much. I did the same. I have called numerous Bullion dealers and none of them deal with silver. I have heard that Khao San Road might me a place to look for vendors and silver though. Additionally, I just found this website and have been contacted by the owner on his personal email,

      My Brother in Law also works for a company that uses industrial silver in large quantities. It would be great to somehow break into the business as a silver supplier.
      Anyway, I am excited to find another silver bug from Thailand. I will be home in BKK on 16 Jan till the end of Jan. It would be great to get together sometime for a drink or dinner. We could get our wives together as well. You know the girls love to get together and talk about their Farangs, lol.
      As for @proverbs1616 and his asinine posts, I don’t pay him much mind and do not respond to him anymore. He pretends to be a Christian, but advocates the murder of innocent women and children and assumes to know the hearts of other men, very judgmental and can spot an idolater a mile away. You know the kind, you will know them by the fruits.
      Anyway, I will send you my private email on a private message. Again, I hope we can meet and break bread together.

    • hromano1030  Great thanks for getting back to me so quickly. Yes agree, sourcing Silver is a real problem in Thailand so I’m not too surprised at your response. I’ll second your experience with your other half too. Mine totally understands Gold but just doesn’t get Silver at all. Oh well half the battle won at least ;-)

      Hey nuff said about certain religious types….my experiences tells me many are the most intolerant and judgemental souls on the planet when it comes down to it. Not all of course…..just a good percentage. They are what they are I suppose. Even though I’m not religious at all I am spiritual. Don’t need to follow any book to know the difference between right and wrong, good and evil.

      I’m actually in Saudi, so we are both in the thick of the action so to speak.  I think your location has the upper hand on the action front at the moment, but hey things are moving fast and Saudi always has the potential of catching up…especially if you listen to Jim Willie LOL.  Unfortunately I have to hold all my silver in private vaults [outside the banking system of course] so can’t “worship” it as much as I’d like to. I’ve found being an Expat has it’s downside when it comes to holding your own Silver. My house in the UK is rented out, I’m in company accommodation in SA and presently I’m only renting in Thailand. This leaves me with very few options for stacking close at hand. Gold isn’t a problem due to its high value to size, but Silver is when you are talking thousands of ounces.
      Would love to meet up one of these days when our vacation dates match up. Unfortunately my next visit is scheduled for around March. Do occasionally visit BK but mostly I stay in the Jomtien/Pattaya area. After saying that going down to Samui for a week on the next one and the Full Moon Party in Koh Phangan LOL Bit too old for it these days but still love the beach rave scene and electronic dance music.
      Oh Man Thai woman….what can I say. LOL yes they do love talking about their farangs. Will get around to sending you a private mail in a day or so. All the best ZZ

    • With brilliant moves like this, allow me to be among those predicting that France will soon contain NO millionaires.  Both people and capital are mobile these days and will go where they are best treated.  They will not have their fortunes redistributed by political incompetents who think that millionaires exist solely to fatten the coffers of the state.

  5. “But if silver’s fortunes change in 2014, as they ought to, then right now could be one of the best buying opportunities of this entire secular bull market.”
    Oh, for Heaven’s sake!  How long have we been hearing this as silver and gold stocks continue to get ever cheaper?  Anyone who has been following this advice has been financially blued, screwed, and tattooed over the past 2+ years.  Yes, silver and gold mining stocks WILL have their day at some point and those who own them will make lots of money… IF the mining company does not go bust or get nationalized first.  I like stocks and invest in them but I MUCH prefer to own physical gold and silver than any mining company shares. The odds of physical gold and silver going to zero value are remote at best.  But mining shares can, have, and will go to zero from time to time… and probably within days of me buying them.  :-O

  6. That was a promise of F Holland during his campaign. Now he is stuck with it. Anyway the idea is rather popular with the 99,9% of people that have normal salary. Many wealthy people complain, so many loophole have been created to avoid this tax (smoothing for exceptional year income, ex sporting champions etc…). But it’s a truly stupid socialist ideologic fix idea.

  7. ZZ and Hromano1030   Thanks for being so open in your dialogue and sharing pictures.
      It’s very interesting to see how others live, deal with the customs of their respective countries and manage the acquisition of precious metals in other venues. Cheers to both of you and your wives.

    • AGXIIK – Thanks for the good wishes. Well what you see is what you get with me. After saying that I understand there are potential dangers linked to saying too much in cyberspace these days, so even though I’m open I’m still thoughtful of what I write. [in all forms of electronic communication actually] It’s not quite the Forth Reich out there YET!!! But unfortunately it’s also not that far off.
      I don’t post anything I’d either be embarrassed about or ashamed of in a face to face meeting. Really looking forward to meeting up with Hromano one of these days as it seems we have a lot in common i.e. Women, Wealth and Work LOL Will be good to meet up with a fellow stacker, as so far I’m the only one I know [in the flesh that is]
      Have a great New Years Eve tomorrow and have an extra shot for me. It’ll be a dry night over here in the Land of Lawrence. Lets hope 2014 goes some way to breaking the grip TPTB have over our PMs. We’re right so sit tight.

  8. Zilver Zeta Cheers to you  Too bad the House of Saud is dry.  I best the Princes are drinking the finest 25 yr old scotch and champagne.
    I’ll drink a dram of 18 year old Glenfiddich in your honor.
    With the Chechens blowing up the train station and trolley near the Olympic site, Putin will being  looking for payback. 
      Who knows what form that will take. Stay safe.
    Those same salutations are extended to hromano1030
    Happy New Year.

    • Cheers AGX – That should have read Fourth Reich not Forth….I’ll type 4th in future LOL
      Yes I’ve been keeping up to date with the ZH articles on the Bandar Bush relations with Putin. Putin is no fool and will not be impressed with intimidation. I don’t think he will consider anything directly, he’s smarter than that. Maybe he will accelerate the demise of the PetroDollar….I imagine that may cause a few problems if the Saudi’s don’t yet have all their ducks lined up just yet. As you are probably aware the Saudi Riyal has a fixed exchange rate to the dollar at 3.75.
      This is becoming interesting as clearly the House of Saud isn’t impressed with the USA right now and seems to be moving east with their trade settlement plans [as per the Hat Trick Letter] While at the same time potentially making an enemy of Putin? You know what happened to the last dude that fought a war on two fronts :-)
      Happy New Year to you and yours too my friend. ZZ

  9. ZZ  I can  see some word play too.  Our Fourth Reich is coming forth on March 4th.  Saudis will see friends in high places but I wonder how China will respond to Bandar and clan  after Volgograd.  Putin and Jinping are getting pretty tight.  Offend one and the Saudi’s might have offended the other.   Maybe the Chechens weren’t under such as tight a control as Bandar thought.  Not that it would make a difference to Putin.  He is a bit unforgiving.  The ME is going to get really interesting if any more bombs go off near the Olympics.  I hate to see innocent people hurt when the big boys are kicking up the sand box.

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