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Rare earth play I discovered early

Michael S. (Mickey) Fulp
0 Comments| November 4, 2009

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The semi-annual Chicago Resource Expo is a special venue for me and I am forever indebted to its founder and host, Rich Radez. This is a boutique show for investors in junior resource companies and is now in its 32nd year. It is the second longest running conference in the business next to Brien Lundin’s New Orleans Investment Conference at 35 years. I was recently a speaker in New Orleans and will be again this week in Chicago.

There’s good reason I’m so dedicated to a twice yearly appearance in Chicago. It certainly isn’t because of my hatred for those so-called “lovable losers” and, in fitting with that team’s colors, their fans that are forever blue but always seem willing to wait until next year. It’s now 101 years and counting. Buena suerte muchachos!

Rich Radez offered me my first opportunity to speak at an investment conference exactly two years ago.

Let me give you some history:

In late 2006, my gig as Chief Geologist for a Vancouver junior was going nowhere because the company was in debt and way out of the money. I was ready for the once every 4-6 years re-invention of myself as an economic geologist that has characterized my +30 year career.

At the San Francisco gold show that November, I approached new friend Al Korelin of the Korelin Economics Report and some of his Bay Area fund manager and broker buddies to see if they had need for company and project evaluations by an independent analyst. Well they did but had no money or perhaps no desire to pay me so we left it at that.

But I had put a bug in Big Al’s ear that I wanted to change career directions and to be on the look-out for anyone or any entity looking for a part-time or per piece paid analyst. Note that I have done analyst-type work, (i.e., property evaluations, company analysis, acquisitions, business development, and financing due diligence) throughout my consulting career but without ever calling myself an “analyst.”

In early 2007, Al called and said long-established newsletter writer Jay Taylor of J Taylor’s Gold, Energy, and Technology Stocks was looking for a professional economic geologist to analyze some companies for him. Jay and I met for an interview at the PDAC in March 2007, hit it off, and immediately entered into a contractual business relationship. I spent the last day and a half of the conference walking the exhibit hall with Jay as we visited with CEO’s of companies that he covered.

Jay retained me to examine about 25 companies in his newsletter’s recommended portfolio and give him an opinion on their share structure, people, projects, positives and negatives, and current valuations. You know, typical analyst stuff.

I also brought companies to his attention that in my opinion had merit and were undervalued. He subsequently recommended some of those to his subscribers. I wrote for his newsletter and did a few field tours and due diligence evaluations on his behalf for a total of four months.

Two months into it, Jay predicted that I would have my own newsletter within a year. Eleven months after his prediction, I launched and the Mercenary Musings newsletter.

In mid-May 2007, Jay introduced me to Rich Radez, an ex-broker from Indianapolis. Rich and I exchanged emails, talked briefly over the phone, quickly made a deal, and two days later, a check arrived in the mail. In early June, I met him and his crew in Kenora, Ontario. We examined two companies exploring in the area, did a little fishing, and had an overall rousing time. I developed lasting friendships with Rich, his sons Eric and Ryan, investor Bill Darnell, website writer Bob Moriarty, and former employee George Messoroch on this trip:

Click to enlarge
Analyst tour, Kenora Ontario, June 2007. Seated: Messoroch, Rich Radez, Moriarty; Standing: Darnell, Fulp, Eric Radez. Shadow taking photo: Ryan Radez.

One of the companies we looked at was Avalon Rare Metals (TSX: T.AVL, Stock Forum). In one busy day we received a Power Point presentation from CEO Don Bubar and Chief Geologist Chris Pedersen, a tour of the Separation Rapids lithium property, and a guided walleye trip on Lake of the Woods. My product was a private report on Avalon for Rich and Jay that emphasized the significant potential of their Thor Lake heavy rare earth element deposit. I have covered Avalon since that date in June 2007, visited Thor Lake twice, and written two musings on the company (September 1, 2008; next one pending, stay tuned). AVL is a sponsor of my website and I am a biased shareholder of the company.

Upon conclusion of our trip to Kenora, Rich invited me to speak at his Chicago Resource Expo in the fall of 2007. I enthusiastically agreed.

On the evening of October 5, 2007, I was sitting at the speaker’s table in the ballroom of the Holiday Inn, Rolling Meadows, Illinois. Rich Radez was the moderator of a panel discussion on macroeconomics, geopolitics, commodities, junior resource stocks, and investing.

He asked me to introduce myself.

So I said the following: “Hi, my name is Mickey Fulp; I’m a Mercenary Geologist and an analyst specializing in the junior resource sector.”

About half of the audience of 200 chuckled, some laughed, a few guffawed, but they all smiled. I knew right then and there that I had found my handle; a new career was born.

My sincere appreciation goes out to these three kind gentlemen who kick started my seventh career change as The Mercenary Geologist: Al Korelin, Jay Taylor, and Rich Radez.

All four of us will be in Chicago for the Chicago Resource Expo on Friday-Saturday, November 6 and 7, 2009. I open the show at 2:30 pm on Friday presenting another chapter from my upcoming book: “The Mercenary Geologist’s Guide to Junior Resource Stocks: A Primer for the Lay Investor”.

There are company CEO presentations, two panel discussions with newsletter writers and analysts including yours truly, a keynote address, lots of free food and drink, and a special camaraderie between writers and high-net worth investors that can only be found at one of Rich’s shows.

I hope to see my many friends and subscribers in the Chicago area and meet new readers and investors at this special show.

Here’s the kicker: It’s all gratis to the investing public; now how can you beat that?


Disclaimer: I am a shareholder of Avalon Rare Metals Inc. and it is a sponsor of my website. I am not a certified financial analyst, broker, or professional qualified to offer investment advice. Nothing in a report, commentary, this website, interview, and other content constitutes or can be construed as investment advice or an offer or solicitation to buy or sell stock. Information is obtained from research of public documents and content available on the company’s website, regulatory filings, various stock exchange websites, and stock information services, through discussions with company representatives, agents, other professionals and investors, and field visits. While the information is believed to be accurate and reliable, it is not guaranteed or implied to be so. The information may not be complete or correct; it is provided in good faith but without any legal responsibility or obligation to provide future updates. I accept no responsibility, or assume any liability, whatsoever, for any direct, indirect or consequential loss arising from the use of the information. The information contained in a report, commentary, this website, interview, and other content is subject to change without notice, may become outdated, and will not be updated. A report, commentary, this website, interview, and other content reflect my personal opinions and views and nothing more. All content of this website is subject to international copyright protection and no part or portion of this website, report, commentary, interview, and other content may be altered, reproduced, copied, emailed, faxed, or distributed in any form without the express written consent of Michael S. (Mickey) Fulp, Mercenary Geologist.

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