mrjojangles since you asked:
# 1.) My take on ETF's is that they can even be more unstable than PAL and SWC. Palladium/Platinum are thinly traded and basically dominated by the Russians, particularly one Mikhail P. A few shipments in and or out of Switzerland, mining problems in South Africa, etc. can cause wide swings - and you never know what can pop up.
# 2.) PAL and SWC are in stable and safe North America. You don't have a lot of the goofy things that affect mines in Russia and South Africa like power problems, extreme heat/cold, water, labor/political unrest, etc.etc. They are known quantities.
# 3.) The above being said PAL has really deficient management. Example the Sleeping Midget Mine (former Sleeping Giant) that will never wake up. $50 MILLION they plowed into making a big hole in the ground. Even those idiot gold miners on the History Channels "Gold Rush" that are 91 and 17 - MAKE MONEY AT GOLD MINING!
# 4.) SWC versus PAL. This is an easy one. Except for this bizarre escapade into Chile copper mining; SWC is a long on-going business that recently has been throwing off gobs of cash - mainly from its recycling operations. Bear in mind, most of the cars and trucks on the road are very old and being replaced. Recycling of platinum/palladium isn't that easy compared to iron/steel and they do it very well and in large amounts. It is a lot more profitable than mining. So SWC is a gem I think and why it hasn't been bought out by Carl Inchon for $15 to $20 per a share is a mystery.
PAL is basically a bet on what they have in the ground ... somewhat like a ETF. The management has been pretty discounted. But unlike an ETF, or Sears, the palladium in the ground can always be profitably mined in the future BY THE RIGHT MANAGEMENT. That is what you are buying with PAL under $3 ... a kind of ETF that has some HOPE of upward appreciation.
PLM, polymet has been waiting for EPA permits
to mine palladium in Minnesota for about 7 years.
This is a typical wait.
Hope, which isn't a good reason to own stock.,
we will have 3 companies in North America to
Palladium Shortage Looms on Low Sales
26 January 2012
Russia, the world's largest palladium producer, may sell the smallest amount of the metal from state stockpiles in at least eight years, creating shortages at a time of record demand from carmakers.
An 80 percent plunge in Russian inventory sales to 150,000 ounces will mean a deficit of 275,000 ounces in 2012, Barclays Capital estimates. Demand will exceed supply until at least 2015, Credit Suisse Group predicts. The price of palladium, used in autocatalysts, may climb as much as 27 percent to $882.50 an ounce this year, the highest since February 2001, according to the median of 28 analyst estimates.
The metal already rallied 29 percent from a one-year low in October on signs that economies may skirt recession. Autocatalysts are fitted to 95 percent of new cars and PricewaterhouseCoopers estimates that global light-vehicle production will reach a record for a third consecutive year. Carmakers will use 6.22 million ounces in 2012, twice the amount a decade ago, as supply drops for the first time since 2009, Barclays estimates.
Read more: http://www.themoscowtimes.com/business/article/palladium-shortage-looms-on-low-sales/451790.html#ixzz1kmrDfi4N
The Moscow Times