Seasonality is a real thing in the investment arena. Some annual market moves actually relate to the seasons, like natural gas prices rising in the heat of summer and freeze of winter as air conditioner and heater demand ramps up.
Other seasonal moves have nothing to do with the weather – but are just as reliable.
The one I want to point out: outsize gains over the next three months.
The chart below shows the Toronto Venture Index from mid-December to mid-March each year since the winter of 2001-2002.
Almost every line boasts a positive slope. Even more significant: most of these three-month gains represent a significant out-performance of the index over the rest of the year.
Of the 13 years covered:
Predicting how commodities, explorers and miners, the overall markets, and global economies will perform during 2015 is impossible. A multitude of intertwined forces are at play and it will take time to untangle them.
That doesn't mean profits are off the table! If history repeats itself – as it so often does – the beat-down resource sector will show some life between now and March.
And there is more than seasonality supporting the idea that we are looking at a three-month window of opportunity.
With the current bear market a few months shy of four years, it has officially claimed the title of longest small-cap mining correction in 30 years. Canaccord Genuity tabulated the numbers:
The rebounds that followed previous bear markets each included several periods of outsize returns – usually starting with the first few months.
The 1984-1997 bull run, the 2008-2011 bull market and the mother of all 1999-2007 bull market each started out with a bang, gaining sharply in their first three months. Only the 1991-1996 bull market was a bit slow to establish, and it still notched up a gain over its first three months.
Seasonality + Potential for an early rebound surge = A few good months ahead
Whether the surge will be sustainable I do not know. But that doesn't matter if your goal is to lock in some quick gains to start the year.
The plan: buy resource stocks now with the commitment to sell…
This isn't a concept I can claim as my own. Many successful investors play the December-to-March game every year – especially when the overall picture is unclear. The additional buying pressure from seasonal investors actually helps the market rise.
Of course, if it becomes clear before the middle of March that this is indeed the start of a real bull market the plan could change. I think that unlikely. I still believe gold bottomed on Nov. 5th, but just because we've hit bottom doesn't mean the ride back up is imminent.
I suspect a sideways summer is more likely, a calm that in hindsight will appear as the final chance to buy miners and explorers before the next commodity upswing.
For all those investors anxious for some positive numbers before then: play the season. For advice on the best stocks to play with, subscribe to Resource Maven: Turning Point.
Tis the season!
To learn how to turn resource knowledge into investment success: subscribe to Resource Maven: The Turning Point.
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In her letter, Resource Maven explains what she is buying and selling, and why. Maven has bought into several of the markets best - performing stocks well ahead of the curve. She regularly identifies exciting new exploration opportunities and manages the inherent risk by selling some into speculative gains. And the mine builder and operator stocks that form the basis of the portfolio give strong, ongoing leverage to the rising prices of gold and silver. She has your precious metal bases covered.
"Gwen - I just analyzed our returns for the past month. We had a 36.7% return on our portfolio in one month! Thank you so much for your excellent, thoughtful and timely guidance. 12 of the 18 stocks in my portfolio were recommended by you. 4 were recommended by other MIF letter writers and 1 each by Eric Sprott and Rick Rule. Yes it was a good month for precious metals - Gold was up $50 and Silver $3.90 - but “our" portfolio performance more than doubled the 16% of the GDXJ"
Great job Gwen... you are becoming the most credible in the world at this... Bravo