This week on the Zimtu Blog we posed a few questions to Stephan Bogner, the founder of Rockstone Research, which seeks “to provide a contribution to the continuing education of private, professional and institutional stock market investors with focus on exploration and mining.”
Q: How did you become interested in capital markets, especially those associated with natural resources and commodities? Please tell us more about your background.
In 1998, when I started university in Dortmund, Germany, I enjoyed Professor Dr. Hans-Jürgen Bocker’s course Production & Operations Management. He not only lectured about exploration and mining but also about macroeconomics, inflation, and precious metals. Frankly, I was fascinated but couldn’t believe what he was saying, so I dedicated my diploma thesis on the topic “gold in a macroeconomic context under special consideration of the price formation process” – to dig deeper and find out if it was true what he was saying. When I completed my 170-page long paper in 2002, I turned into a gold-bug, totally convinced that only precious metals can protect from what was coming.
In my diploma thesis I quoted a lot from Ferdinand Lips’ bestseller “Gold Wars”, so I contacted him with my work and he like it so much that he wanted me to translate and revise his book into German. We then published and marketed it in Europe, and it became a great success. During university, I also worked for a Belgian investment and trading company, where I co-authored their newsletter.
After university, I went to Dubai for five years as the country was just evolving into a global gold hub. I started my own company specialized in physical commodities trading and consultation for exploration and mining companies. For example, in 2006 I organized the first-ever exhibition in Dubai and Abu Dhabi with 15 exploration and mining companies. I also did roadshows for companies such as First Majestic Silver and Silvercorp, introducing them to investors in the Middle East. At the same time, I was writing newsletters focused precious metals as well as exploration and mining companies.
In 2010, I left Dubai, moved to Luxembourg and thereafter to Zurich, where I started Rockstone Research. Although it has been a rough ride, as gold started its correction in 2011/2012, I believe a new and long-term upward-trend has begun in 2018 and we are still in the early phases of a secular gold bull market, which I don’t see ending, albeit heavy fluctuations to increase.
Stephan Bogner from Rockstone Research.
Q: Tell us how you came to know and collaborate with Dave Hodge, Zimtu’s President
We met at a mining exhibition in New York, I believe it was in 2007. It wasn’t until 2013, when we started to work together as I liked a number of the companies under the Zimtu umbrella and wanted to find out more details which then led to Rockstone starting coverage on these.
Q: What is your favourite aspect of running Rockstone Research?
With Rockstone, I dig much deeper into a company and its projects than I would do only as a private investor. Rockstone gives me the opportunity to analyze many aspects of the companies and its projects in great detail, do interviews with management, go on site-visits, and continue my life-long study on geology, exploration, mining and industrial markets, along with new technologies shaping our future.
Q: What advice can you offer younger people who might be considering a foray into investing in commodities and natural resources?
My advice to everybody is to do their own research. All reports from Rockstone or any other outlet must only be used as an inspiration to conduct further due diligence on the company.
My advice to younger people is that investing in commodities offers much more than just finding the next bet to make money. Digging deeper into this sector reveals, at least to me, that the world is on the verge of dramatic changes economically, politically, and socially. Understanding the role of commodities in this big picture may assist greatly in one’s investment strategy.
Want to meet Stephan Bogner from Rockstone? Join us for our next ‘Zoom with Zimtu’ investor presentation which will feature Stephan discussing the current state of the gold market!