Slope of Hope Blog Posts

Slope initially began as a blog, so this is where most of the website’s content resides. Here we have tens of thousands of posts dating back over a decade. These are listed in reverse chronological order. Click on any category icon below to see posts tagged with that particular subject, or click on a word in the category cloud on the right side of the screen for more specific choices.

Rare Earth – A Long Term Investment

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Rare earths are a group of at least 15 elements within the Lanthanide series (see Wikipedia for a good overview:   These elements are relatively abundant in the earth's soil but are found in higher concentrations in certain locations.  For those of you who like chemistry – I’ve highlighted them in yellow:

Rare earth periodic table 

Demand.  The use of rare earth elements in modern technology has increased dramatically over the past years.  Rare earth elements are now incorporated into environmentally-friendly technologies (e.g. compact fluorescent lighting, hybrid cars, etc.), new digital devices (iPods, iPads, disk drives, etc.) and various military/industrial applications.


Supply.  China controls 95% of the global rare earths market, with 45% of the global supply coming from China’s Baiyun Obo mine in Inner Mongolia.  In recent years, the Chinese government has shuttered a number of other rare earth mining operations and imposed a range of export restrictions on rare earths, with the aim of ensuring domestic supply is sufficient to meet expected domestic demand (or for monopolistic control- you decide).

Given the tightness of supply and the belief that new demand has recently strained that supply, there is growing concern that the world may soon face a shortage of the rare earths.

Bubble?  The Investopedia article (linked below) notes that “although rare earth prices could stay high for a while (mines do not open overnight), new digging and new alternatives are likely to put an expiration date on this bull market.” 

My current favorite stock on this space is Lynas Corporation (see the ZH article, below)- I believe them to be significantly undervalued medium-to-long term.  Lynas trades under the symbols (LYSCF) for the common, and (LYSDY) for the depository receipts. 


July to October this year looks a little too exponential for my taste, so I’ll be waiting for a significant pullback. 

In addition, I’m also watching a rare earth ETF that began trading today: (REMX) from  I like the weighting:


I might go with my eggs in the same basket philosophy and consider REMX when that time comes.

Further reading:

Charts on QCOM & MSFT (by Mike Paulenoff)

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Qualcomm (QCOM) is up about 2.5% today and after nearly a month of sideways digestion off of its Sep 30 high at 45.75 into Tuesday's low at 43.21 appears to have finally resumed its underlying uptrend from the July low at 31.51.

If such a scenario continues to unfold, then QCOM should be in the early portion of a new upleg that projects to the 48.00 area next. At this juncture, only a decline that breaks the Oct 26 low at 43.21 will invalidate the bullish scenario.

We also revisit our Microsoft (MSFT) analysis from yesterday. Based purely on the multi-month developing base-like chart pattern heading into yesterday's earnings report, we noted the price reaction should propel MSFT towards a test of a key resistance plateau at 26.25/40 extending up to 27.00, with the measured optimal targets projecting to 27.00 and then in the vicinity of 28.25.

MSFT results beat estimates, and the stock climbed from yesterday's close of 26.28 to a high of 27.20 this morning.

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