Preparation Meets Opportunity

Photo: Preparation Meets Opportunity

“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity."

- Roman philosopher Seneca.

Last weekend was the best VRIC since 2010.

It was validation.

Validation for the industry - and a polarizing example of preparation meeting opportunity.

The crowd was big, the energy was electric and the content was amazing.

The validation comes after a seven year journey.

In the last seven years we have doubled down on our video and stage production - ensuring our show experience trumps anybody in our sector.

We built out our Deal Room, providing our issuers pre scheduled meetings with qualified buyers, and assembled our Pangea Club - our high net worth investment club to amplify the net worth at our conferences.

We expanded into new industries, and brought the lessons back to our junior mining shows.

We redeveloped our marketing approach, abandoning paid media for a personalized brand story.

We partnered with the best personalities in the business, leveraging their network to expand our reach, and sourced keynotes that transcend small cap, bringing the eyes and ears of mainstream media to our industry.

Every player in our sector has gone through their version of this over the last seven years in order to survive.

In a bear market - this hardly makes a dent.

But eventually, opportunity will strike - and you are either ready, or you aren’t.

My business partner Marin calls this, The Way of the Alligator.

I caught Rick Rule backstage in the Green Room before his keynote.

“This is a really great conference”, he said.

“Yeah, it looks like we have caught a market.”

“Well you can’t control the market. But you are controlling what you can control, and if the market catches...”

Preparation meets opportunity.

I had more fun at the VRIC 2020 than I have had in months.

I want to extend a heartfelt thank you, to all delegates who attended, exhibited, sponsored, and spoke. This is your show, I am honoured to facilitate.

I want to share a few highlights from this years event:

Is Canada a Leaky Ship? - No
Chairing a conversation on economic policy between Lord Conrad Black, Canaccord Genuity Founder Peter Brown and Fraser Institute President Niels Velhuis was my personal highlight. Sharing the stage with these titans was an absolute career milestone.

I studied for about for 18 hours for this one, plus another 18 to read Lord Black's most recent book.

I'd been warned that Peter Brown can be a very tough interview. He is incredibly shrewd, and likes to throw people off balance. In reality, he was the highlight of the panel, and called me the next day to say how much he enjoyed it.

Although this panel started off painting a bleak picture of increased Canadian debt and decreased foreign investment, consensus was bold optimism for the future of this Country.

A key takeaway from Lord Black: “We should be reducing income tax and increasing sales tax on non essential items. It’s the closest we’d get to a voluntary tax.”

Ross Beaty: Building Value
Ross Beaty was flying to the World Economic Forum in Davos on Sunday morning - we convinced him to stop on his way to the airport to chat with Marin Katusa about beating the market.

Ross was a crowd favourite, and opened up the show to a standing-room-only crowd.

"Find great people and considerable value and give time for the company to execute.”

Peter Schiff and Brent Johnson: Double or Nothing

Peter Schiff alway gives me a hard time about coming to Vancouver. Flying from Puerto Rico is not convenient, as he reminds me every year.

He pretends he’s not going to do it - he waffles, then declines.

That’s his game.

He’s no dummy. He knows he draws a crowd for me, and he’s angling to get some incentives. But I know he does a lot of business at my show, and loves being on stage.

So eventually he’ll come back with whatever it is.

This year - the ask was specific. At last years VRIC, Marin talked Peter into betting Brent Johnson a gold ounce on whether interest rates would rise or fall.

Peter was hesitant, but took the bet - he ended up winning the ounce of gold.

Peter’s condition was simple - "I'll come, but Brent needs to be there, and pay me the gold coin live on stage."

Marin coordinated the hand-off - but wouldn’t let either off the hook for 2020. Before the session was over they had agreed to go double or nothing on the DXY (dollar index). If lower in one year - Schiff is taking home more ounces from Brent.

Promising Junior Equities

Last weekend was not the largest VRIC since 2010 - but it was the most valuable.

2011 was bigger. As was 2012. But if you loaded up on junior mining stocks in 2011, you likely had a very painful 2012 - 2015.

VRIC 2020 had half as many companies as 2011. What does that mean? 50% of the risk has been removed.

If I am being honest about it - I loved the bear market. It's too hard to make a living for any free loaders to stick around. All that's left is quality.

At VRIC 2020, Frank Holmes sat on Kitco's Ultimate Gold Panel on Monday morning and shared his perspective:

"Right now the difference between gold and gold stocks is due to historically reckless spending by the gold mining companies. If the industry can prove to investors that they will not waste capital, things will improve very quickly."

I had the opportunity to interview some of the youngest entrepreneurs at the show. Above is Max Sali, Barrian Mining and Andrew Pollard, Blackrock Gold. They are highly competitive, and far more concerned about who is working the longest hours, then who drives the nice car.

These guys are high energy, and I love it.

Rick Rule: Resource Hall of Fame Induction
This was a true showing of how much Rick has meant to my generation. It was intended to be a roast - roasting Rick is usually something Marin has no trouble with, but on Sunday it was all respect and gratitude. We shared stories about his influence and impact on our careers. Rick has always been a class act, it was an absolute honour to present him with this award.

My favourite Rick quote from VRIC 2020: “There is no excuse for anybody in this audience not making an amazing amount of money in the next five years.”

Ringing the Bell, live from the VRIC Floor
The TMX was on site to celebrate the biggest mining IPO of 2019 - Uranium Royalty Corp. Complete with the mobile TMX bell, we loaded up the stage with URC Shareholders and closed the markets on Monday afternoon.
There is so much more to cover from the VRIC 2020 - our speaker hall and workshop videos are being uploaded as we speak.

All keynotes, panel discussions and debates will be available soon, for subscribers of our Youtube Channel.

Click HERE to subscribe now.