Marc Faber, the famed investor known for his gloomy take on the markets, bought beaten-down common shares in asset management firm Sprott Inc. this month, regulatory filings show.
Paul Stephens, chairman and partner of Stephens Investment Management LLC, a San Francisco-based hedge fund, has also been snapping up shares.
Both Mr. Faber - who is the author of The Gloom Boom & Doom Report - and Mr. Stephens are directors of Sprott.
Eric Sprott, who is CEO of Sprott Inc. and oversees its resource-themed investment arm Sprott Asset Management, is one of the world’s best known gold bugs. While his bets on gold made him famous during bullion’s runup, his hedge funds have fallen drastically in value as prices for the commodity tumbled over the past year. Sprott Inc. shares are down more than 30 per cent year to date.
Mr. Faber last week drew attention for predicting U.S. stocks could drop 20 per cent or more by the end of this year, drawing comparison to the powerful rally in 1987 that ended with a viscous selloff in the second half of the year. Then, as is the case now, earnings were no longer rising substantially and many stocks were making new 52-week lows at a time when the major indexes were hitting record highs.
But gold is one sector that he likes. “I think there’s one group of stocks that should appeal to people who say ’I want to buy low and sell high,’ and this is the gold mining sector,” Mr. Faber told CNBC. “In general, the gold mining sector is incredibly depressed.”
He mentioned Newmont Mining, Barrick Gold and Iamgold as stocks he would look at buying.
According to filings from the System for Electronic Disclosure by Insiders, which are tracked by INK Research, Mr. Faber purchased 20,000 common shares at $2.52 on Aug. 9. That would value the shares at $50,400.
This appears to be Mr. Faber’s first purchase of Sprott Inc. common shares, according to the regulatory filings, although he also owns some deferred share units.
Mr. Stephens bought 40,000 common shares at $2.53. He already owned common shares and deferred share units in the company.
Sprott shares are down 2.5 per cent in late morning trade at $2.67.
A spokesman for Sprott would not comment on the purchases. We’ve also reached out to Mr. Faber, but haven’t heard back.
Last week, we asked you for your questions for Eric Sprott. We expect to publish his answers to select questions later this week at Inside the Market.
(For more recent insider transactions at Sprott, click here.)