Casey Energy Opportunities: Review
I was a subscriber to Doug Casey's International Speculator from 2004 to 2006, and I consider his research into the junior mining sector the best I've come across, although his libertarian political views are usually at odds with my own.
Last month, Casey Research invited AltEnergyStocks.com to join their affiliate program, meaning that we would earn referral fees if our readers subscribed to their newsletters using the links on our site. Like most people, I like getting paid, but my integrity is also important to me, so I wasn't comfortable writing an article simply hyping their products. Instead, I hit on the idea of writing a review, much like I reviewed the International Speculator in 2007 (for no compensation at the time.)
With a focus on energy stocks, Casey Energy Opportunities seemed most likely to interest our readers.
Casey Energy Opportunities (CEO)
The CEO format was familiar from my days as a Speculator subscriber. It begins with an in-depth look at a sector, such as Energy Income Trusts in the February issue. Charles took a look at Clean Energy Income Trusts, while I highlighted the Algonquin Power Income Fund (AGQNF.PK) in January. While we bring you short articles focusing only on clean energy, CEO goes into much more depth, comparing the available funds based on a number of important factors related to the companies financial strength and upside potential. Using these factors, they ferret out two stocks to recommend, one low and one high risk, and then take a detailed look at each, using Doug's signature Eight P's framework for evaluating resource stocks.
Of particular interest to AltEnergyStocks readers will be their recent looks at hydropower stocks (they found two run-of-river hydropower companies I didn't know about,) as well as a look at Geothermal stocks. Investors concerned about Peak Oil will find even more opportunities, all demonstrating the depth of research necessary when looking at risky resource companies.
These in-depth looks are accompanied by excellent background articles explaining how the technology and companies operate in a sector. The geothermal issue, for instance, not only looked at geothermal power production, but also the emerging technology of enhanced geothermal systems (EGS), (a technology I consider comparable to and much more promising than "Clean Coal") and Geothermal heat pumps, as well as describing the difference between dry steam, flash steam, and binary cycle geothermal generation.
CEO also publishes a quarterly update on all the stocks they've covered. In the current market, this will be particularly interesting to new subscribers, since many of CEO's old picks will have fallen (and hence have more upside potential) since they were first recommended.
At $49 a quarter, or $179 a year, CEO potential subscribers should consider how much the access to Casey Research can benefit them. Although CEO does highlight relatively safe plays in their in-depth looks at particular sectors, these picks won't come much of a surprise to people who spend a couple hours researching those sectors on their own.
On the other hand, I feel CEO is very valuable for picking small, off-the-beaten path junior resource stocks. It's not uncommon for these stocks to triple in a year, but many of them also go nowhere or fall rapidly as well, and declines in commodity prices or the availability of financing will hurt these companies worse than the market as a whole. I would only invest in such stocks with a relatively small slice of my portfolio. If you are ready to commit $10,000 or more to such stocks, a year's subscription should easily pay for itself. If you don't have $10,000 ready to invest, you can take advantage of the 3 month free trial by canceling your subscription within 90 days.
Tom Konrad, Ph.D.
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