When the Streets Get Too Bloody: Oliver Gross Dumps Gold Stocks

Precious Metals

Who is Oliver Gross and why did he liquidate his portfolio of gold stocks last week? Gold Investing News takes a look.

Last Friday, Gold Investing News (GIN) published an article on Continental Gold (TSX:CNL,OTCQX:CGOOF), whose share price had sunk 28 percent over the course of the week for no apparent reason. 

At the time, GIN concluded that as the company had not released any bad news and was not being hampered by any jurisdictional issues — such as those currently plaguing gold companies in Burkina Faso — the fall was likely a reaction to the gold’s big price drop on October 30 and 31.

However, since then it’s become clear that another factor was in play last week — and it could have contributed to Continental’s share price plunge.

That factor is German gold stock newsletter writer Oliver Gross, who on October 30 decided to sell everything in his portfolio. According to CEO.ca’s Tommy Humphreys, it’s uncertain what “everything” entails, but as of June 2014, Continental, Wildcat Silver (TSX:WS), Pilot Gold (TSX:PLG), Dalradian Resources (TSX:DNA), Red Eagle Mining (TSXV:RD), Timmins Gold (TSX:TMM,NYSEMKT:TGD), Columbus Gold (TSXV:CGT), Sandspring Resources (TSXV:SSP) and perhaps Pure Gold Mining (TSXV:PGM) were covered in his letter.

Most of those stocks fell over 20 percent last week.

What happened? 

As mentioned, gold took a steep drop at the end of last week, with blame being placed on a number of factors, including a high US dollar, the Fed’s decision to end its bond-buying program and the Bank of Japan’s surprise move to increase stimulus.

That downward movement no doubt scared a lot of investors out of the market. But why would it affect Gross? After all, he told The Gold Report just a few days before his sell off, “I like to invest when there is blood in the streets, and that is certainly what is happening with precious metal equities.”

Put simply, the situation got a little too bloody, even for him. In a statement to CEO.ca, he explains, “[t]he last days for precious metals miners have been just shocking. The most important gold and silver miner indices and ETFs broke their support lines and hit new multi-year lows.” He goes on to state, “I had to liquidate the whole portfolio today to protect my subscribers, which is my responsibility. The market letter is owned by the publishing house and they have special risk and money management rules. The losses during the last weeks were so big for many subscribers that I was forced to react, which lead to complete, temporary liquidation of all stocks in the market letter.”

He concludes, “I plan to buy gold miners again when the dust has settled and we see something like a bottom and a bottom-building process. At the moment, I have to deal with the potential for further blood baths as I can’t see lights in the end of the tunnel yet.”

What’s an investor to do?

In tough markets, investment gurus like to point to poor prices as an opportunity to buy good-quality companies at a bargain. Case in point: Rick Rule, chairman of Sprott US Holdings, told Mineweb just last week, “if we get a capitulation sell-off my suspicion is that … it will be for the real dross, the juniors, the best remaining buying opportunity of my career.”

However, that’s not particularly useful advice for investors who have gotten in at the top and are now losing money. So what’s an investor to do?

Interestingly, Gross provides a good suggestion in his Gold Report interview: “investors must stick to best-in-class stories and must demonstrate constancy and patience.” Though that’s certainly not what he did, it’s a strategy that might work for investors with a little more grit — or without newsletter subscribers to answer to.


Securities Disclosure: I, Charlotte McLeod, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article. 

Related reading: 

Continental Gold is Down 28 Percent — What Happened?

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