First and Last Word on Metals and Mining

User Instructions & FAQs

If you have a question you don’t see answered here please contact us.

The Metal Augmentor is based on a blog format that makes it easy to catch up with new content, discuss topics, ask questions and search the past archives of our Metal Augmentor commentaries. Our goal is to deliver world-class investment analysis to subscribers.

We have many exciting features and research tools planned and expect to release them over time. Some examples include:

  • The Basis for gold and silver charted in near-real time.
  • Fully integrated Company Index pages for hundreds of mining companies.
  • A Financing Calendar that helps investors take advantage of supply/demand imbalances
    For example, consider selling on strength before millions of in-the-money shares become free-trading.
  • A larger collection of interactive Data Visuals after we fully convert our valuation database.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is a Peerless Company?

    Peerless companies have an important advantage –whether management or project — over the others in their peer group, thereby improving the odds of success while providing a greater margin of safety for investors.

    For example, let’s assume there are ten generic juniors exploring for gold in Peru and none of them have made a major discovery or have defined a resource. How would we pick a Peerless company, if any, from this group? Well, one way would be to consider management strength — especially prior experience in Peruvian gold exploration. Another could be a project that lies on strike to a major gold deposit and appears to have a similar geology. The “Peerless” factors would be different for each peer group but would still be based on objective considerations.

    Depending on what the Peerless considerations are, a particular Peerless company may interest one type of investor but not necessarily another. For example, one investor might be looking for near-term buyout candidates just entering production whereas another is willing to take on the risk of a long-term holding associated with an early stage development story. Our Peerless company universe will ideally contain companies that would satisfy all but the most exotic investor demands. It is in this adaptability where the true advantage of the Peerless approach lies compared to having a “model portfolio” or “basket” of stocks … of which we do have several for Metal Augmentor subscribers.

    Please note that Peerless status is not eternal, and Metal Augmentor will not be the final arbiter of the Peerless universe. Therefore we will be encouraging subscribers to provide us with feedback on our selections as well as submit their own Peerless candidates for consideration.

    It’s also important to understand that we will not own every Peerless company — or even most of them — in our model portfolios or personal accounts. Peerless is not equivalent to favorite, undervalued or “most likely to double in a year”: it is an attempt to pick and stay focused on a subset of the resource company universe on the basis of quality (however that is defined). Although tempting, nobody can own every company that has something interesting or prospective in the offing — that would still be a majority of the companies and their performance over the long term would not look very different from the index.

    One particular problem we face at Metal Augmentor is to easily trade in and out of positions as opportunities emerge or fade since this usually involves a detailed explanation of our investment or trading thesis. This can be time-consuming and counterproductive. There’s also the unfortunate fact that selling a stock is interpreted as no longer liking the company. These issues will largely go away when we concentrate our efforts and trading primarily on the Peerless companies — our thinking and observations will already be documented in advance and that means we can get down to the business of making money buying, holding or selling the stock.
  2. Joining Collective2 to Receive Real-Time Trading Alerts

    Collective2 is an independent, third party trading verification service.

    Investors who buy gold and silver in its various trading forms such as physical bullion, ETFs, futures and equities purely for price appreciation will find volumes of useful and exclusive content here. The Metal Augmentor maintains several model portfolios that provide timing and allocation ideas along with instant trading signals. The purpose of our portfolios is to demonstrate proper money management, entry/exit timing and allocation methods as well as to highlight the opportunities that we believe offer some of the absolutely best balance of risk and reward.

    Right now we have three model portfolios: Gold and Silver Metal Miners, Diversified Metal Miners and Diversified Rare Earths Basket. The cost of these portfolios is minimal ($25/quarter) considering that a single instant trading signal can easily pay for the cost several times over. Moreover, if we don't beat the benchmark for each portfolio then subscribers receive a reduced rate ($5/quarter) on these portfolios for the following calendar quarter.

    The benchmark for Gold and Silver Metal Miners is a 50/50 allocation to gold and silver as measured by the GLD and SLV proxies (as long as these ETFs trade near par to net asset value), the benchmark for Diversified Metal Miners is the S&P/TSX Venture Composite Index and the benchmark for the Diversified Rare Earths basket is the Market Vectors Rare Earth/Strategic Metals ETF. Sure, there are plenty of track records that purport to beat either or both of these benchmarks, but we are not talking about newsletter picks here with their fuzzy entry and exit prices. We all know that most newsletters mark the entry price before their subscribers flock to the shares likes moths to fire and drive the price up. And they also conveniently mark the exit right before the hoard is told to sell. By contrast, our model portfolios are run under actual trading conditions as imposed by the third party Collective2 system. You can see every trade and also follow it real time if you subscribe to a portfolio.

    For those interested in real-time alerts about what we're buying and selling we would strongly recommend subscribing to one or more of our Collective2 portfolios.

    To subscribe to one or more of our portfolios at Collective2 is a simple 2-step process:

    1. Create a free account at (this is completely separate from your Metal Augmentor account)

    2. While logged in to Collective2 navigate to one of our portfolios and click "Subscribe". We currently manage three model portfolios on Collective2:

    After joining you will start receiving real-time trade alerts and full access to our trading history.

    IMPORTANT:Metal Augmentor Founding Members will receive free access to any Collective2 portfolio they join. You will still have to provide your credit card information to Collective2 since they are a separate service and have no way of knowing that you are a Founding Member, but once we see you join we will manually change your Collective2 subscription price to $0. You will receive confirmation of this adjustment.

  3. Posting Comments and Asking Questions

    Only registered subscribers are permitted to comment. The email address entered in the comment box must be the same as used to register as a Founding Member. Otherwise, the comment will be deleted. When making a comment for the first time, the system will automatically hold it for review and moderation to make sure it is from a Founding Member and not spam. After the first comment is approved, future comments should appear immediately. If they do not, please email us because our system may need to be adjusted to work with your browser settings.

    As far as is possible comments are to be used to discuss topics germane to the entry. We have discussed thousands of topics and we would encourage using the search box to see where your comment might be best suited. In other words try to put your comments under a particular entry that is the most related to your question. We are willing to consider questions of almost any nature including questions about companies and why we might or might not like them. Please do not abuse this feature as we are human beings and there are only 24 hours in a day. If the questions get overwhelming, we reserve the right to pick and choose the ones we answer. If your question is not answered, you can ask again in a few days when hopefully we will have more time.

    Please do not use the eForum comment section to ask questions or make observations about things of an administrative nature such as accessing your account, trouble logging in, etc. Such questions or concerns should instead be directed to us by email where they will receive top priority.

  4. Staying Connected with Metal Augmentor

    Subscribers will automatically be added to an email list that sends real-time alerts whenever premium content is posted including a weekly summary analysis.


    For daily (or weekly) updates whenever new free content is posted to the site (i.e. featured analysis, market and mining news reviews) all you need to do is join our free mailing list:


    Lots of options:
    All Analysis and News
    All Analysis
    Premium Analysis
    Featured Analysis
    Market News
    Mining News
    Market Reviews
    Mining Reviews
    All Comments

    If you are familiar with RSS feeds, you can of course design your own custom feed to be alerted based on criteria you select such as only entries tagged with a specific company name or symbol or only entries under a specific category. The RSS feed graphic is located at the bottom of each page. Later on we will have a tutorial for how to do this.


    Follow us on twitter.


    Follow us on Facebook.

  5. Track Record and Portfolio Positioning

    Currently we publish a monthly track record post which you can view here. We include all our trades as comments within each month's track record post, an inelegant solution that we are working on improving.

    Meanwhile, our Current Portfolio Focus page includes thoughts on our current portfolio positioning strategy. We are in the process of integrating our portfolio positioning, trading history and track record into one page to more effectively and efficiently display this information.

    For those interested in real-time alerts about what we're buying and selling we recommend subscribing to our Collective2 portfolios (see relevant FAQ).

  6. Managing Your Account

    Viewing premium analysis and posting comments both require an active Metal Augmentor subscription. Please click here to subscribe with the renewal term that is most convenient for you.

    Only click the submit button on the registration page once. Multiple clicks will void the transaction to prevent duplicate credit card charges and will require that we manually activate your account. If you suspect you might have accidentally clicked the submit button on the registration page multiple times, please e-mail us so that we can activate your account.

    After successful registration, you will receive an email confirming the username and password.

    Subscriber account details including password and other account details can be accessed by clicking on the Members link located on the far right side of main navigation bar.

    You can easily change your password and other account details from the Member's area. For example, the My Payment Methods tab is where you would update your credit card information at the time of subscription renewal in case of an expired card.

  7. Different Types of Content

    Metal Augmentor currently has two main types of content, Analysis and Reviews, which have been further divided into the following four categories:

    Premium Analysis (only available to subscribers)
    The bread and butter of Metal Augmentor, including detailed research on our favorite companies, what we're buying and selling, technical analysis, broader market analysis, weekly summaries, etc.

    Featured Analysis (free)
    Similar to our premium analysis section except that we generally don't specific trading ideas and they also tend to be less frequent.

    Market News Reviews (free)
    Commentary on broader market news having to do with gold, silver, commodities, mining, economics, investing, etc.

    Mining News Reviews (free)
    Commentary on mining company press releases.

  8. Logging In and Out

    A subscriber can log in and out in the top right corner of the website.

    If not logged in, commentaries intended for Members Only will contain a link to log in and view the full entry. You will be automatically redirected to the right page after you have entered your user name and password. If instead you are sent to another page such as the Account Management page, please email us because that might indicate we need to tweak our system to work with your browser settings.

    You will be automatically logged out after a period of inactivity. If you wish to remain logged in throughout the day, you should periodically click on a link to reset the session clock.

    You should log out when you leave your computer for a long period of time, when using a public computer such as at a library, or when you would like to access Metal Augmentor member content from a different computer such as at work. If you do not log out, not only are you potentially compromising your personal information (such as login credentials and email/home address — credit card details will remain secure) but you will need to wait until the system automatically logs you out from your active session before you can log in from the second location. A log out button is located near the top right of the screen on each page.

  9. Reading Comments

    Comments on a particular entry can be viewed by scrolling to the bottom of that entry.

    Comments can also be accessed by clicking on the comment links located at the top of the entry below the title or by clicking on Comments in the right side bar.

    The most recent comments appear in the side bar and typically represent a few hours to a day’s worth.

    Comments under an entry appear in chronological order with the most recent at the bottom. The exception to this rule is for all replies to a comment which appear stacked beneath that particular comment. In the future we would like to build in a toggle feature which would allow readers to switch between the full chronological and stacked formats.

Tutorial Videos

  • Navigating the new website, posted August 22, 2011:


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