Thanks for your response, rgb, and touche! You're right I should be contributing to the board not just lurking or complaining. The first obvious way I see to do that is to share my approach to the PM market and what I own, all FWIW and what you pay for it on a slow weekend.
I'm from the Traderjacks TA school in that I will rarely buy or sell a PM stock without consulting its chart first, and I tend to swing trade the more liquid producers or near-producers which are listed on major exchanges between zero and full positions for blow off tops vs major pullbacks. In that category, I presently own modest positions in AG, AXU, ASM, CDE, HL, LODE, NG and SILV, waiting to see when the current correction will end. I have about 40% cash to put to work on the next leg up. I've owned Fidelity's gold fund, FSAGX, in size for many years and never trade it. I also own the SILJ ETF.
I have trouble sorting the wheat from the chaff in the explorer/developer category and use two newsletter writers to help me, Jordan Roy-Byrne (The Daily Gold) and David Erfle (Junior Miner Junky) and find both helpful. I generally don't try to trade these names due to large B/A spreads and lower liquidity and I try to weight more to the silver side than gold. I like to own more names in relatively "safe" regions like Canada and the U.S. and fewer in say Argentina or Mexico. I do worry about Mexico becoming a failed state eventually, especially with AMLO in charge.
Currently I own the following, mostly in roughly half-position sizes: ABBRF, AAGFF, USGDF, AUNFF, BBBXF, DSVMF, DOLLF, ELYGF (a royalty company), FIOGF, FSXLF, GAYMF, ISVLF, ITRG, KOOYF, LOMLF MGDPF, MXROF, MAIFF, ORZCF, NKORF, LRTNF, RSNVF, RIOFF, SPAZF, SMTTF, TDRRF, WHGOF.
I suppose some would say having such a large basket guarantees mediocre performance but my experience is rising gold and silver prices tend to float all boats higher and I'm hoping there are at least a few bigger winners in that list.
Finally, I try to follow the dollar as an important influence on the PMs, and at what seem to be blow off tops (e.g. early August) I will buy hedges in the form of DUST and ZSL. I would like to own some AGQ but its high volatility has made me cautious with it.
I hope this is somehow helpful to someone reading this board. And I very much appreciate the contributors here who provide useful information about the PM stocks, including their approaches and what they own. GLTA, S2