This week’s mailbag kicks off with a question about the electric vehicle (EV) revolution.
As regular readers know, one of the ways we recommend you play it is through “battery metals”…
These metals – which include lithium, nickel, and cobalt – are essential ingredients in the rechargeable batteries that power Teslas and every other EV on the road.
This play has worked out well…
Take the Global X Lithium & Battery Tech ETF (LIT).
It’s up 166% since I first put it on your radar in these pages in the October 2, 2018, dispatch.
But one reader wants to know if another clean fuel source will one day kill the “E” in EV.
Standing by with an answer is Silicon Valley insider Jeff Brown.
Jeff has been bullish on EVs since he joined Legacy as our tech investing expert in 2015.
And as I showed you last Wednesday, he just closed out a 340% gain on EV chipmaker Ambarella (AMBA) in the model portfolio at our Exponential Tech Investor.
So he’s been keeping a close eye on this megatrend…
Reader question: Hi, Jeff. I have been trying to understand where the EV market is going.
We seem to be stuck on using lithium-ion batteries for power. These have such limits on distance and charge time I question their viability.
Then there is hydrogen. Other than buses and some trucks, I have not seen much about it as an alternative source of power lately. And now I’m hearing a lot about ammonia as the next fuel. Hydrogen and ammonia (and to some extent electricity) lack robust resupply infrastructure.
I’d like to hear your thoughts on this subject. My investments are having trouble keeping up in this area.
– Jim G.
Jeff’s response: Hi, Jim. Thanks for being a thoughtful reader. You’re not alone in wondering what the next breakthrough will be as the EV revolution I’ve been forecasting unfolds.
As you noted, lithium-ion batteries are the standard for EVs right now. They’re established in the industry. And they continue to improve their energy density incrementally year after year. They’ve continued to fall in price as well. Those are headwinds any replacement will have to overcome.
Hydrogen is one contender. Some favor it for its lack of emissions. We can get more energy per unit of hydrogen than we can from an equivalent unit of energy in lithium-ion batteries.
But it has yet to gain much traction for a few reasons.
For one, hydrogen-powered vehicles aren’t very economical. And as you mentioned, there’s limited infrastructure in place for refueling. The U.S. Department of Energy’s Alternative Fuels Data Center figures show there are fewer than 50 public hydrogen stations nationwide. Nearly all of them are in California.
A bigger problem is that hydrogen fuel is extremely expensive to make. It costs roughly $4.50 to make a kilogram of hydrogen.
That means we would see fuel prices well above $5 a kilogram of hydrogen. Compare that with an average of $2.17 per gallon of gas in 2020.
And although hydrogen fuel doesn’t release emissions… we use fossil fuels to make it. That negates its value as clean energy for now.
But if we can find a way to cheaply make hydrogen fuel without using fossil fuels, investment in this space will grow rapidly.
As for ammonia, this alternative fuel has also been gaining attention as companies aim for low-carbon strategies, especially for boats and other marine vehicles.
Ammonia faces many of the same challenges to adoption as hydrogen. Creating “green” ammonia would cost two to four times what creating regular ammonia does. And some of the technologies involved are still in the experimental stages.
Internal combustion engines can use ammonia with some modifications. But this typically requires more fuel storage and a dual-fuel injection system – using diesel or hydrogen – to help with the compression ratio.
Ammonia can also emit nitric oxide unless engines are carefully designed to limit that factor. This gas is responsible for smog and contributes to acid rain.
So hydrogen and ammonia need more work before they’ll be able to gain significant market shares as fueling options.
Next up, we turn to renowned speculator Dave Forest.
He heads up our International Speculator advisory, which focuses on profiting from the commodities bull market by targeting junior mining stocks. And he’s been hitting it out of the park there…
The top open recommendations in the model portfolio right now are up 332%… 566%… and 844%.
Dave is also an expert prospector.
He uses a combination of satellite images… his training in geology… and historical sleuthing to find ore deposits.
Then he treks to the parcel of land he thinks contains mineral wealth… and stakes it out to claim it as his. (We don’t call Dave the Indiana Jones of Legacy for nothing!)
So a reader wrote Dave recently with a question about unlocking the mineral potential of his own land in Wyoming…
Reader question: I have mineral rights to a property in Wyoming. How would a person go about finding out if there are profitable minerals there?
– Scot S.
Dave’s answer: Hi, Scot. Exciting stuff! Prospecting like this is one of the most fun parts of the mining business.
I can’t speak to the specifics of your situation. But I can tell you what I’ve done on my own properties.
I have one gold project in Saskatchewan, Canada. The secret to that find was a bit of historical detective work. I used data from old oil wells. Oil drillers there had taken assays from the well and found a good gold zone. It got buried in old records, which I dug up. Geologic agencies at the state or federal level often keep these treasure troves.
Surface work can be valuable, too. I have a new gold project in Nevada. Major gold miner Kinross (KGC) recently staked all the land around us. It’s shaping up into a hot play. And I found it all by walking around in the desert.
It turned out there were several old mines on the property – likely from the 1950s. While investigating those, I found evidence of gold. I also took rock and soil samples from the site and had them assayed for gold and indicator elements, such as mercury and arsenic, at a local lab.
I also use new, high-tech tools such as my NASA GOLD satellite system. This gives me a lot of information without needing to set foot on the project. There are also consultants who gather and interpret such data. I use those often, too.
I hope your treasure hunting goes equally well!
We’ll wrap up today with messages from readers who took colleague Teeka Tiwari’s advice and rode the crypto megatrend to massive profits…
But first, if you want to get in on Teeka’s next big opportunity, remember to sign up for his “Final Halving” crypto event here.
Next Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET, he’ll blow the lid off a supply shock that’s about to rock the bitcoin market… and act as a slingshot for a handful of tiny altcoins.
Now, over to those thankful Teeka readers…
Reader comment: Teeka, I want to express my gratitude for the expertise you pour into Palm Beach Confidential and your other services. Our portfolio has grown to almost $1 million. It is a very surreal time for us. My wife and I recently got a Yorkshire terrier. We named it Teeka in honor of you and how you changed our lives.
– Adam P.
Reader comment: Hey, Teeka. I want to let you know how much you have helped me. I am 60 years old and have been a carpenter all my life. I had zero knowledge of investing, and I have never known anyone who invests.
I signed up for your service around two years ago. I put a few hundred dollars into some of the altcoins you suggested. All told, I have more than $8,000 today.
I just want readers to know you can start with any amount you can afford. Even if it’s just 50 bucks. Thanks again, Teeka. I’m well on my way now!
– Roger T.
Reader comment: Before I joined Palm Beach Confidential, I was terrified of retirement. My investments had never done well enough to support me in my old age.
Now, thanks to your advice, I’m earning nearly $1,000 per week in interest on my crypto holdings. I no longer need to fear that I’ll have to work ’til my dying day.
– Dale A.
Reader comment: I’ve been struggling to remain solvent since being placed on the disabled list in 1989. I’ve been homeless more than once, 23 months the longest stretch. Scraping the funds together to become a Palm Beach Infinity member has been the BEST investment of my life!
My relatively meager beginnings have now reached nearly $500,000… more greenbacks than I ever dreamed possible. Teeka, thank you for all you and your staff do.
– James M.
Reader comment: I just want to add my two cents to all the accolades directed Teeka’s way. My portfolio has topped the million-dollar mark, and it’s heading higher.
I love all the drama that comes with the action. As Teeka always says, “Let the game come to you!” And I do.
– Kirk M.
Reader comment: I was totally overwhelmed by all the ideas, methods, and promises in the many newsletters to which I kept subscribing.
Out of the confusion, your voice kept outlining simple methods to help keep me solvent, and even thrive, in retirement!
Thank you, Teeka and team, for putting me on a much happier path. It’s a whole new world for me.
– Anne W.
Reader comment: Your sage advice helps us hold on through crypto volatility. Someday I’d love to meet you, shake your hand, and say, “Thank you, Big T. You made a huge difference in my life.” I’ll never forget you, and what you helped me achieve for my family.
– Robert R.
That’s all for this week’s mailbag.
Remember, if you have a question for anyone on the Legacy team, be sure to send it to [email protected].
Have a great weekend.
December 3, 2021