The Google Tool for Resource Company Investors

Written By: William Cate

The Google Tool for Resource Company Investors By William Cate

If you are an investor in a resource company, ask the company for the longitude and latitude of the mine, mineral prospect, oil well, timberlands, farm, ranch or whatever resource the company claims to be developing. Then, download “Google Earth.” The basic software is free. The upgrades cost money. The upgrades are justified, if you have a major investment in any resource company or prefer investing in resource stocks. Using the company supplied longitude and latitude; you can get a satellite view of the company’s resource property. It takes a few seconds, but there is the company property. Study the satellite image carefully. When the company announces drilling programs or any time of surface activity, use Google Earth to revisit the company’s property. The satellite image should show the reported activity. If it doesn’t, you have a serious problem!

If your resource company’s project is within a military installation, the system doesn’t work. However, on most of the planet, the system works well. If you buy the $400 version of their software, you can see cars and people on the surface, details that should be more than adequate to determine if the work is being done as the news release or other report claims. Even the free software allows you to compare post satellite images with the current photo.

The rule of thumb in resource investing is that five cents of every dollar raised goes into the ground. The remaining ninety-five cents goes to promoting the company’s stock or into the pockets of the company’s officers, directors and insiders. If investors would start monitoring their investments with Google Earth, there is a very good chance that this equation would be reversed or at least modified in favor of the investors.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) should require all public resource companies to publish, within any news release, the longitude and latitude of the project within that news release. The company should be required to state the longitude and latitude of all their projects in all their filings. And hypsters should be required to give the longitude and latitude of the project in 12-point type. In fact, the SEC should require that these folks publish their disclaimer in 12-point or larger type.

If you are a resource investor, get the company’s longitude and latitude for their projects before you buy their shares. If you are an accredited investor being asked for a bundle of money for a resource company, a Google Earth search should be part of your Due Diligence effort.

There are weaknesses in the Google Earth software. Photo image resolution outside the US is poor. The software only works with a PC. However, Google says they are working on a Mac version. Google can supply angle photos of city buildings and should soon have front views of these buildings. You can expect the technology to spread to rural areas and to non-U.S. satellite photos over the next 18 months or so.

The SEC, State Securities Regulators and their Canadian counterparts should be doing everything possible to encourage the growth of Google Earth. It’s a new tool that will inhibit the sale of mining scams, oil well ripoffs and stock swindles. It’s a grassroots tool that the public can easily use to protect themselves from the horde of swindlers always seeking the unwary who want to invest in a nonexistent gold mine.
About the Author

He has been the Managing Director of Beowulf Investments [http://home.earthlink.net/~beowulfinvestments/] since 1981 and is the Executive Director of the Global Village Investment Club [http://home.earthlink.net/~beowulfinvestments/globalvillageinvestmentclubwelcome/] You can email Mr. Cate at: Beowulfinvestments@Earthlink.net

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