Exclusive Interviews

Brian Hicks on Investing Early and the Emerging NatGold™ Super Trend

Introduction: For nearly 30 years, Brian Hicks, a founding member of Angel Publishing, has distinguished himself as a visionary in recognizing and capitalizing on America’s dynamic economic shifts. He shocked Wall Street when he predicted the end of cheap, easy to get oil in 2004 that led to the boom of electric vehicles and renewable energy… and then just a few years later he shocked them again when he predicted the burgeoning markets of cryptocurrencies and cannabis. Nicknamed “the Prophet of Profit,” Hicks has adeptly predicted trends that have yielded significant investment opportunities. His acumen for identifying the next big thing has made him a regular feature on CNBC, Bloomberg, and Fox News, cementing his reputation as the “Bull on America.” With a keen eye on disruptive technologies, major market shifts and a solid background in Political Science, History and Philosophy from the University of Baltimore, Hicks has authored pivotal works, including “Profit from the Peak: The End of Oil and the Greatest Investment Event of the Century,” forecasting the decline of cheap oil that resulted in the major bull market in fracking companies drilling in legacy oilfields in the Bakken and Permian. His insights continue to guide investors through the complexities of the market as the managing investment director of The Wealth Advisory, R.I.C.H. Report and a weekly contributor to Wealth Daily, leveraging his vast network of influential contacts for insider perspectives on global economic trends.

INC: Welcome, Brian. It’s a pleasure to have you here, sharing your insights on the burgeoning NatGold industry. First, let’s start by learning more about Angel Publishing and your role within the organization.

Brian Hicks: Thank you for having me. Angel Publishing was founded in 2004 as an investment research firm that prides itself on identifying and capitalizing on the most lucrative trends in the market before they become mainstream. I like to tell our readers that we are herd leaders… that we typically get to the good grass first. We’ve built our reputation by navigating through sectors such as renewable energy, electric vehicles, and, of course, digital currencies. For instance, we were talking about Bitcoin as a game changer in the currency markets as early as 2010.

As a founding member of Angel Publishing, I’ve had the unique opportunity to lead our exploration into these emerging markets. My role involves not just identifying potential investment opportunities but also understanding the broader economic and technological shifts that underpin these trends. This allows us to offer our subscribers not just insights into where to invest but why certain sectors hold the promise for substantial returns.

My work, in essence, is about predicting the future of the market based on analysis, and leveraging the collective expertise of our team and maybe more importantly, understanding human nature and how investor emotions impact the markets.

With Angel Publishing, we aim to demystify complex investment landscapes for our readers, making it easier for them to see the potential where others may not. Our goal is to empower investors by providing them with the knowledge and tools they need to make informed decisions, and ultimately, to profit from the next big thing.

INC: Angel Publishing is recognized in the financial publishing sphere for its contrarian stance and firm belief in free market principles, leading you to be outspoken critics of fiat money and the Federal Reserve system. Could you elaborate on your perspective?

Brian Hicks: Of course. At Angel Publishing, we view fiat money, especially the US dollar as the global reserve currency, as being in a precarious position. The detachment of the US dollar from gold backing has allowed central bankers and politicians the unchecked freedom to print limitless amounts of money, supported only by the holder’s faith, devoid of any intrinsic value.

Many are unaware that the US dollar is essentially a debt note, not backed by any tangible assets. History has repeatedly shown that fiat currency systems eventually collapse. A stark illustration of this is the collapse of the German Mark in 1923, where the exchange rate soared to one trillion Marks for one US dollar, devastating one of the world’s leading industrial nations. This led to widespread social chaos and economic ruin. I fear that the US dollar is on the brink of a similar collapse, potentially leading to a disaster far surpassing the German experience.

To be honest, the precarious situation the US dollar finds itself in right now is the reason we are seeing this massive expansion of Bitcoin and other ancillary cryptocurrency platforms. Individuals and investors alike want an alternative to the US dollar.

INC: Given the historical context, what do you see as a potential trigger for a hyperinflationary event akin to what occurred in Germany?

Brian Hicks: The pivotal factor could be a swift erosion of confidence in the currency itself. In today’s digital era, people are interconnected as never before, engaging in millions of conversations across blogs, social media, and various online platforms. Information is instant. Unlike the era before the internet, these dialogues largely escape centralized control. However, there’s a growing movement towards regulating these spaces, as political forces aim to curb the free exchange of ideas that challenge centralized systems, including the framework of central banking and the U.S. dollar itself.

Having said that, the critique against fiat currency is gaining momentum, paralleled by a swell of dissatisfaction as individuals grapple with understanding why their cost of living is escalating and their dollar’s purchasing power is diminishing. Upon uncovering the truth, they recognize that the fiat system, particularly the U.S. dollar, rests solely on collective belief. It’s a system that remains viable only as long as this belief is maintained. This revelation bears a striking resemblance to the mechanics of a Ponzi scheme, doesn’t it?

INC: Gold has been a reliable store of value and a cornerstone of human economic progress for over 6,000 years, serving as the naturally selected medium of exchange. What led to its decline as a monetary asset?

Brian Hicks: That’s an insightful question. The shift away from gold as a monetary standard can be traced back to the hardships of the Great Depression.

With the American public suffering, the economy at a standstill, and hope fading fast, there was a clamor for the government to take action. This environment paved the way for critics of gold-backed currency, like the British economist John Maynard Keynes, to advocate for severing the link between gold and the US dollar.

Their argument was that gold’s inelasticity restricted the Federal Reserve’s ability to expand the money supply to stimulate economic growth. They were correct to a degree; increasing gold production to match monetary expansion needs is a slow process, which conflicts with the desires of politicians and central bankers to rapidly inflate the money supply.

Advocates for gold-backed currency warned that moving away from a gold standard would detach the dollar from its intrinsic value, leading to its devaluation and harming those who relied on it as a store of wealth through eroding purchasing power.

The Keynesian perspective eventually prevailed, leading to significant policy changes. One pivotal moment was on April 5, 1933, when President Franklin Roosevelt required citizens to exchange gold coins and certificates for paper currency, under the threat of severe penalties. This was part of the Emergency Banking Act, which set the stage for a diminished role of gold in the monetary system.

However, the full separation of gold from monetary policy came with President Richard Nixon’s decision on August 15, 1971, to end the dollar’s convertibility into gold, effectively rendering the dollar a fiat currency. This move allowed for unchecked inflation of the dollar by political and banking interests, leading to a continuous decline in its purchasing power.

It’s no surprise that, half a century later, we are observing a growing loss of confidence in the global fiat money system and the decline of the US dollar.

But I have to tell you: When push comes to shove and the world is facing down the barrel of a full-blown financial crisis, gold is always the safe-haven asset everyone wants. We saw it after the dot.com crash in 2000, the terrorist attacks on 9/11, and the housing boom and bust that led to a global meltdown in the credit markets through 2005 to 2009. During that period of uncertainty and chaos, gold rose over 600%. And it’s happening again. And the canary in the coal mine, if you will, is the behavior of central banks. And I’m not talking about them printing money. I’m talking about how central banks around the globe are buying and hoarding gold in record-setting amounts.

Just last year in 2023, the Chinese central bank purchased another record amount of gold, nearly increasing their total reserves by almost 50%. That’s huge. And that’s telling.

INC: We argue that gold is the natural choice to back a digital asset and serve as a medium of exchange. However, we do not see physically extracted gold serving that monetary role in this evolving ESG-conscious era. Would you agree?

Brian Hicks: The question is indeed a good one, and I must say, being a long-time crusader in favor of gold, it took me some time to realize that the production of gold is truly the knife in its monetary back (to borrow from one of your writings). It’s a reality that people are no longer willing to turn a blind eye to the negative environmental and social impacts associated with the extraction of gold.

Clearly, the available places where one can obtain a production permit are shrinking as the voices of opposition to its extraction have been rising. All one has to do is look at what happened recently in Panama, where the country was literally shut down for months as the public protested against the issuance of mining permits. The government capitulated and issued a moratorium against the issuance of any new mining permits, literally stopping the extraction of any further gold resources in its tracks.

And Panama is far from alone. Countries worldwide, especially in Latin America, are closing the mine permitting window as the power of ESG activists globally rises. This obviously further exacerbates gold’s production inelasticity, one of the chief arguments utilized against it historically. And while I’m not necessarily in agreement with a lot of the environmental arguments, I can see the reality on the ground for what it is, and rising ESG consciousness is here to stay, and with it, more and more certified gold deposits will remain stranded.

In summary, I do not see physical gold regaining its position as a monetary unit.

INC: Here at the International NatGold Council, we are championing NatGold™ as the natural evolution of gold to serve as a reliable store of value and resurrect its historical monetary role. Are you familiar with the concept?

Brian Hicks: I sure am. Initially, I was quite skeptical when I first heard about the idea. However, the more I delved into the concept of digitally mining gold while leaving it securely in the earth, the more intrigued I became.

The pivotal moment for me was grasping the real significance of National Instrument 43-101 (NI 43-101) certified gold resources. Once I understood that the entire financial world relies on these independently audited geological reports to decide the economic viability of extracting this or that gold deposit, the lights came on. These reports measure the existence of gold; they are the gold standard on which all mine financing decisions are based. I like to say they are as good as gold because they are.

They are the anchor of trust the whole world depends upon. In fact, an NI 43-101 technical report is the most widely accepted mineral resource reporting standard accepted by the world’s major stock exchanges. While others exist, the NI 43-101 is the only one automatically accepted by NASDAQ and the NYSE.

Given that the world is quickly shutting its doors to permitting new mines, this digital mining concept is like a lifeline to a drowning industry. I’ve personally observed as gold exploration companies have suffered from an ever-decreasing amount of financial investment interest. This is also detrimental to the gold producers who rely on the junior gold explorers to make new discoveries, which they then acquire and bring into production. However, the entire industry is in decline from one end to the other.

So, not only do I understand the value capture model of digitally mining NI 43-101 certified gold resources, but I also see it as an industry-saving, ESG-friendly model.

Furthermore, the supply elasticity NatGold introduces effectively counters one of the primary monetary criticisms historically leveraged by Keynesians against gold. This elasticity is also a stark contrast to Bitcoin’s inelastic supply, which limits its expansion capabilities. NatGold addresses this challenge by incorporating supply-side control mechanisms into the tokenization process, adjusting the supply to precisely match market demand. Given the vast quantity of certified, yet non-producing, gold resources, the supply for NatGold is virtually limitless.

This unique approach not only ensures an environmentally responsible solution but also guarantees a stable and secure supply chain for NatGold, aligning perfectly with modern market demands and sustainability goals.

INC: To the best of our knowledge, your group is the first major financial intelligence publisher to fully support the concept of NatGold and its investment potential. Could you share some of your insights from an investment perspective? How big of a financial opportunity do you see NatGold?

Brian Hicks: I see three major investment trends converging into one big investment trend. We’ve written a fair amount about this convergence of gold, ESG, and digital assets into a super trend in our Wealth Daily publication.

First, is the emergence of a new gold bull market. The yellow metal has recently broken above some key resistance levels, most notably the $2,000 level. Based on my technical analysis — and this is based on the historical moves gold has made in previous bull markets like the one we saw in 2001 to 2011 — I see gold comfortably above $9,000. But truthfully, I see gold going well above the $10,000 an ounce.

Some of our analysts — namely our investment expert Jason Williams who used to work on Wall Street before coming to Angel Publishing — sees gold trading above $15,000 for reasons I’m about to explain. But let me be upfront: Gold won’t hit these levels anytime soon. At Angel we see the gold bull market playing out for years to come. It’s going to be one of those generational, wealth-building opportunities when you can back up the truck, so to speak.

The second major investment trend we see converging is this continued bull market in cryptocurrencies. I have to tell you, and I’m kicking myself in the butt for this, but when we first started covering Bitcoin as an investment opportunity back in 2010 and 2011 when it was trading for less than $100, we never dreamt it would be trading where it is today, at $70,000. But the fact that Bitcoin is trading for $70,000 should tell you that 1) there’s a huge appetite for alternative assets versus the US dollar; 2) crypto is being adopted as a form of commerce — people can buy and sell things with it and 3) This bull market still has a long way to run.

The third investment trend that we see cementing this convergence was the recent announcement by the huge Hong Kong-based bank HSBC’s recent announcement that it had launched a gold-back token.

For years, I’ve been asking Bitcoin experts and investors “what is Bitcoin worth? Is it worth $50? $500? Or $500,000?” What’s backing Bitcoin? Nobody can give me an answer that satisfies me. This can lead to some seriously, stomach-turning swings in its price. As you may remember, the price of Bitcoin went from $65,000 in late 2021 to all of the way down to below $16,000 by late 2022. It was a mind-blowing decline of 75% in just twelve months.

Many cryptocurrency investors and companies went bankrupt. And of course, we had the FTX scandal and its founder Sam Bankman Fried sits in a prison cell right now.

What we need is a cryptocurrency that’s pegged to a real-world asset, like the price of gold.

And that’s why I’m so excited by the creation of NatGold. NatGold, for me, is the realization of a time-honored asset that everyone on this planet knows, uses, and invests in, coupled with a modern-day asset platform in cryptocurrency and blockchain.

It’s literally the best of both worlds.

And true to Angel Publishing’s reputation of getting into trends well before the mainstream and Wall Street, we are getting our members into NatGold well before the herd.

Do you remember what I said earlier in this interview? I told you that Angel Publishing is a herd leader, we get to the good grass first. Well, NatGold is a massive pasture of some of the best grazing grass of this decade!

INC: What do you see as the biggest risk to NatGold gaining mainstream traction?

Brian Hicks: The fact that for the NatGold industry to truly work, it requires legislative policy support. While I see this as a challenge, initially, I don’t view it as a significant risk.

Politicians aim for reelection, and the best way to achieve that is by finding innovative ways to boost state revenues and create jobs. Doing both in an ESG-friendly manner is even more appealing.

Examining the benefits of establishing NatGold-friendly legislative policies, as highlighted by your team, it’s clear there are no losers in this equation. It’s a rare scenario where everyone wins. I’ll leave it to the readers to explore the benefits of NatGold detailed on your website, as this interview is becoming quite lengthy.

INC: Before we wrap up, could you tell us how our listeners can keep up with your insights on the NatGold industry and related investment opportunities?

Brian Hicks: I would start by reading our 2 free daily letters, Wealth Daily and Energy and CapitalWealth Daily is our broad based investment communique where we talk about all of the macro trends impacting the markets… and from there we distill it down into actionable advice for individual investors. Again, I should preface that the investment ideas we talk about are rather “ahead of the curve.” You can read our analysis at www.WealthDaily.com. There you can sign up to our daily email newsletter. It’s completely free. No strings attached. You can also read our sister publication Energy and Capital, where talk about all things energy, from EVs and renewable energy to all of the materials that make that market run like lithium and copper. And as you know, cryptocurrency mining and artificial intelligence computing are energy hogs. In fact, crypto mining and AI consumes as much energy as small nations. So we even talk about these markets and how to profit from it on the energy side. You can find us at www.EnergyandCapital.com. And again you can sign up to our free newsletter exactly the same way as Wealth Daily at www.WealthDaily.com.

INC: Thanks Brian, it’s been a pleasure to speak with you and hear your views.

Brian Hicks: The pleasure’s been all mine.

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What is the NatGold Digital Vault?2024-04-21T19:41:01+00:00

The NatGold Digital Vault, operated by OroEx Corp., is a crucial component of the NatGold ecosystem, specifically engineered to tokenize, securely manage, and store NatGold Coins before their distribution, storage, and trading on the NatGold Multichain. These coins result from the tokenization of mining titles containing NI 43-101 certified gold resources. The vault utilizes ledger-based technology that incorporates some blockchain principles, such as ledgering and digital signatures. However, it remains a closed system to ensure controlled access and enhanced security, distinguishing it from public blockchains, which are accessible by the general public.

This Digital Vault is designed with a robust security architecture to safeguard sensitive information. It operates on a closed ledger system, which allows for stringent control over all transactions related to the creation and distribution of NatGold Coins. To maintain data integrity and prevent tampering, each transaction is securely hashed using advanced cryptographic algorithms. Additionally, comprehensive audit trails capture detailed logs of all operations, enhancing the vault’s compliance and auditability.

Access to the NatGold Digital Vault is tightly regulated through sophisticated authentication mechanisms, ensuring that only authorized personnel can interact with or access the system. This is further supported by role-based access control, which assigns different levels of permissions based on the specific roles of the participants. The physical and network security measures in place, including encryption of sensitive data and regular security audits, ensure that the vault remains not only compliant but also resilient against unauthorized access and data breaches. This combination of privacy, security, and transparency makes the NatGold Digital Vault a pivotal element in maintaining the integrity and trustworthiness of the NatGold ecosystem.

What is the primary mission of the International NatGold Council?2024-04-20T23:27:01+00:00

The International NatGold Council’s primary mission is to develop legislative policies and set integrity standards for the NatGold industry, focusing on the comprehensive tokenization and monetization ecosystem. This mission is vital for cultivating a robust NatGold industry characterized by the utmost monetary integrity for NatGold coins.

In addition to its policy-making activities, the Council is committed to globally promoting the NatGold marketplace. Through strategic marketing and targeted media campaigns, it seeks to inform the worldwide community about the exceptional advantages of NatGold, establishing it as the leading asset-backed digital currency.

What is NatGold?2024-05-03T15:18:49+00:00

NatGold, sometimes referred to as “green gold,” represents the concept of monetizing natural gold—gold that is left unextracted and remains in the ground. The distinctiveness of NatGold lies in the method of capturing its value, making it a superior choice for monetary purposes compared to its above-ground counterpart, which serves better for industrial, jewelry, and luxury uses.

The value of NatGold is realized through the tokenization of NI 43-101 certified gold resources, which are fundamental to all investment decisions related to gold mine financing for extraction purposes. By being digitally mined and kept in its natural state, NatGold provides a plentiful supply to meet flexible monetary demands without the need for the security, storage, transportation, and insurance required for physical gold.

Moreover, NatGold is ESG-friendly (Environmental, Social, and Governance), positioning NatGold as a positive force for sustainable finance, in stark contrast to the significant environmental and social impacts associated with above-ground gold extraction and processing.

What is the NatGold Integrity Trust?2024-04-21T19:39:58+00:00

The NatGold Integrity Trust, established by the International NatGold Council and incorporated in Delaware, plays a critical role in the NatGold ecosystem. As the pivotal entity overseeing the tokenization of NatGold mining titles into NatGold coins, the Trust also holds custody of these titles, ensuring the integrity and transparency of the process.

The Trust’s operation involves a meticulous approval process for tokenizing NatGold mining titles, managed by three independent trustees appointed by the International NatGold Council. These trustees, experts in securities law and NI 43-101 resource reporting, conduct their roles without direct financial interests in the industry participants, underscoring the Trust’s commitment to unbiased and ethical governance.

Upon approval, the NatGold Integrity Trust deposits the mining titles, corresponding NI 43-101 Technical Reports, and accompanying due diligence materials into the NatGold Digital Vault. Here, the certified gold resources are digitally tokenized into NatGold coins based on standardized ratios set by the International NatGold Council. This ensures that every NatGold coin is backed by verified gold resources, maintaining the system’s integrity and offering a transparent digital asset backed by tangible value.

Why Must NatGold Legislation Ensure Perpetual-Like Protection for Titles?2024-04-20T23:28:00+00:00

Perpetual or perpetual-like title protection in NatGold legislation is vital to ensure that NatGold coins, which are backed by certified green gold resources, remain a reliable store of value. Traditional mining titles are generally issued by governments for fixed periods, such as 20 or 30 years, allowing companies to explore and exploit subsurface mineral rights. However, for a monetary asset like NatGold coins, the backing asset—certified gold resources—must not expire. Money, unlike perishable goods, should not have a shelf life.

Perpetual title protection ensures that the value represented by NatGold coins is enduring and stable, thereby upholding the monetary integrity of NatGold as a dependable and long-lasting store of value. This approach aligns with the foundational principles of sustainable and ethical finance, ensuring that NatGold remains a viable and attractive option for investors and stakeholders in the long term.