About Tommy Humphreys

Tommy Humphreys is a writer, consultant, investor and speaker focused on early stage mining, oil and gas, and technology companies. He founded the Pacific Website Co. in 2006 and CEO.CA in 2012.

Astonishing platinum results in exploration drilling at Ivanhoe’s Platreef project, Ga Madiba target

Ivanhoe Mines’ Platreef project in northern South Africa, one of the richest and largest platinum ore bodies every discovered, may be getting a lot bigger. Exploration drilling at the Ga-Madiba target, several kilometres to the South East of the Platreef Indicated Resource, turned up 48.6 meters of 4.63 grams per ton platinum, palladium and gold, plus .3% nickel and .13% copper, in the best of 15 holes drilled. Ivanhoe now plans to drill an additional 10 holes before preparing an initial inferred resource on the Ga-Madiba target.


This map shows the Platreef indicated resource, the inferred area, and the locations of recent drilling to the South East at Ga-Madiba (Photo: Ivanhoe)

“Significantly, the drilling has established continuity of our open-ended, Flatreef polymetallic discovery, extending its strike length to 6.5 kilometres,” commented Robert Friedland, Executive Chairman of the company.

After successful drilling at Ga Madiba and elsewhere at Platreef, Ivanhoe has increased the grade and volume of its potential exploration targets.

Factoring in today’s increases, GMP Securities suggested 141 million ounces of Platinum Group Metals at Platreef, which could potentially support a 40 year mine life with a throughput twice that of what is currently envisioned (12 million tons per annum).

GMP has a BUY rating and $2.85 price target on Ivanhoe’s shares, which closed at $1.59 Tuesday, and were hovering around $1.65 at press time Wednesday.

Back at Platreef, Ivanhoe has started construction of an 800 meter bulk sample shaft that is 7.25 meters in diameter. The bulk sample is expected in the first half of 2016.

A maiden Preliminary Economic Assessment for the Platreef project is also expected later this month. This presents the first opportunity for analysts to wrap their head around the potential economics of the project, which a Japanese consortium of investors has valued at $2.9 billion (meanwhile the market cap for Ivanhoe Mines, which holds 90% of Platreef, 95% of Kamoa, and 68% of Kipushi, is less than $1 billion).

The Platreef project is also waiting on its Mining Right which it applied for in June 2013 and expects to receive in the next couple of months. The Mining Right will permit the company to mine the area for 30 years, and may be extended upon application. In the aforementioned note, GMP suggested a looming election in South Africa could delay the Mining Right to Q4 2014.

An update on Ivanhoe’s D.R. Congo projects was not included in today’s news release.

The company’s first drill program at its historic Kipushi mine commenced earlier this month (news release), and is targeting the big zinc resource some 1200 meters underground.

At Ivanhoe’s Kamoa copper discovery, the company appears to be courting joint venture partners to help them finance the massive project (Bloomberg story).

We toured Ivanhoe’s three projects with Executive Chairman Robert Friedland in early February, 2014 (Full story).

While at Platreef Mr. Friedland was rather excited about the Ga-Madiba target. That excitement appears to be justified.

Read: Exploration drill hole intersects 48.6 metres of high-grade platinum-group metals at Ivanhoe Mines’ Ga-Madiba target

IVN Chart

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Disclosure: Author own shares in Ivanhoe Mines. This is an opinion piece and not investment or professional advice of any kind. All facts are to be verified by the reader. Always do your own due diligence. Thank you

The Saint Patrick’s Day I Made $100,000 In Calgary


I had nowhere to go but up in March of 2010.

Pac.Web.Co., our little web design company, was drowning in tax bills, salaries and office expenses.

I had just bought out my partner, Macully, and was having a heck of a time getting used to his end of the workload, which I had previously taken for granted. On top of everything, my girlfriend at the time dumped me for being a head case.

On Saint Patrick’s Day Eve, 2010, our top designer, Gary, and I were at the office late into the evening working on a big proposal I would deliver the next day in Calgary.

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Peter Munk: A mining magnate nears the end of his golden reign

Peter Munk

Peter Munk photo by Chris Young/Globe and Mail

Eric Reguly, Europe Business Correspondent for the Globe and Mail, has an excellent new profile out on 87 year old Barrick Gold Co-Chairman Peter Munk, who is expected to step down from the world’s largest gold miner he co-founded next month.

The transition to retirement could either save Munk’s life or kill him, Reguly writes. Apparently Munk doesn’t mind dying, he just doesn’t want Barrick to die.

Read: Peter Munk: A mining magnate nears the end of his golden reign

Why Mike Wekerle joining Dragons’ Den is great

Kevin O'Leary

Kevin O’Leary has gone global (CBC Photo).

Kevin O’Leary and Bruce Coxon are out as hosts of CBC’s Dragon’s Den TV program and Mike Wekerle and Vikram Vij are in (CBC story).

O’Leary has been hosting the show since it came to Canada in 2006.

With his double duty in America as a co-host on ABC’s Shark Tank, and almost daily appearances on CBC’s The Lang and O’Leary Exchange, O’Leary’s departure from The Den has only been a matter of time.

But O’Leary has also been the heart of the show since it first aired, and leaves some big shoes to fill, both on the personality front, and also in terms of his financial muscle.

Enter Mike Wekerle.

Mike Wek

Difference Capital CEO Mike Wekerle (BNN Photo)

I was practically floored when I woke up to the news this morning that Canadian trading legend Mike Wekerle would replace O’Leary on the reality TV / venture investing program.

Wekerle’s nearly three decades long career as a trader on Toronto’s Bay Street is unparalleled.

If you had a big block of stock in a hot company to sell during the late 80’s, 90’s, or 2000’s, Mike Wekerle was the guy you would call to find a buyer.

He took RIM, the Blackberry maker, public in 1997.

He convinced Rob McEwen to merge his Goldcorp with Ian Telfer and Frank Giustra’s Wheaton River Minerals in 2005, creating what is now the world’s second largest gold producer by market cap.

Giustra once told me there is no better man at getting institutional investors to make a move than Mike Wekerle. There was no better shareholder to have in a deal.

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Lowell Copper to take a pass at new New Mexico exploration project


J. David Lowell (Photo: Adam Humphreys)

Dave Lowell’s Lowell Copper announced an option to earn up to 70% in the TC property in the Hillsboro – Bisbee mineral trend in New Mexico from Rose Petroleum PLC and a subsidiary.

The deal appears to have been structured in a way that allows Lowell Copper to back out if results aren’t promising. The company can earn 25% by spending US $250,000 in exploration, an additional 26% by spending another US $2.5 million, and an additional 19% by spending another $3.5 million, for a total of 70% for $6.25 million.

Mr. Lowell, Chairman and CEO of Lowell Copper remarked, “The size of the covered area is such that one to two drill holes could very quickly reveal whether there is the potential for buried mineralization.”

Mr. Lowell is credited with the discovery of 18 ore bodies, including Escondida, the world’s largest copper mine. He was the subject of a January, 2013 CEO.CA video interview.

Read: Lowell Copper Enters Into Option Agreement, Related: Rose Petroleum PLC Joint venture agreement with Lowell Copper Ltd.

Disclosure: We own a few shares and warrants in Lowell Copper as a speculation. This is certainly not investment advice. Do your own due diligence.

The best mining and exploration panel of PDAC

Alex Letourneau of Kitco News interviews Brent Cook of Exploration Insights, Alex Davidson of Yamana Gold, Catherine McLeod-Seltzer of Bear Creek Mining and Lowell Copper, and Miles Thompson of Reservoir Minerals and Lara Exploration, at last week’s PDAC convention in Toronto.

This is an impressive gathering of credible exploration and mining industry figures.

McLeod Seltzer, the Bear Creek Chairman and Lowell Copper Director, seemed to give a nod to friends as she suggested that smart retail investors are seeing contrarian, long term potential in this sector. Mining cycles are quite simple, McLeod Seltzer believes: Sell when you can maximize value. That time will come over the next few years. Staying power is key for companies in the current environment, the accomplished executive said.

Miles Thompson, Chairman and CEO of Lara Exploration, impressed me. Thompson said higher grade, deeper mining projects with a smaller visual and physical footprint, could be the future of the industry. He complained that mining is a long term business, while financiers come and go on a daily basis; the trick for exploration companies is to build a sustainable business. Thompson said retail investors don’t trust the mining industry anymore, but good companies are finding finance institutionally. He thinks the recent rebound in junior mining equities will be sustained and “go up from here over the next few years.”

Brent Cook, Editor of Exploration Insights, said good quality discoveries are very hard to come by. He thinks a real increase in metals prices will be needed to justify the next cycle of mining projects, especially in the gold sector, if current production levels are to be sustained.

Alex Davidson, a veteran explorationist with Barrick Gold and later Yamana Gold, said he hasn’t got a clue if the bear market in mining and exploration stocks is over. He was however optimistic the industry will find potential in new areas.

“The term peak discovery is silly,” Davidson said.

Jack Dorsey: The 3 Keys to Twitter’s Success

Fred Wilson of AVC.com shared this four year old Jack Dorsey speech yesterday.


Dorsey’s original Twitter sketch, circa 2000.

In it Dorsey says the first step to creating a new product or business is to draw your ideas down on paper and share them with others. The ideas for both Twitter and Square started on paper. In the case of Twitter, the sketch sat on the shelf for several years as technology caught up with the concept.

He also reveals that many of Twitter’s core features, such as Retweets (RT), Hashtags (#), @ Usernames (@Jack), came from the product’s users, rather than its management team. The lesson here is to listen.

Finally, Dorsey says iteration, or continuous improvement, was key to Twitter’s success. The question the company asks users started out as “What’s your status?” but evolved to the much broader, “What’s happening?” and engagement grew.

Dorsey said draw your ideas down, listen to your users, and iterate four years ago. The message is just as strong today.

New projects, Drilling, and a nod from Brent Cook – Riverside Resources week in review


Riverside Corporate Presentation

John-Mark Staude’s Riverside Resources (TSXV:RRI) has one of the best business models in the mineral exploration business. His firm generates ideas and gets partners to pay for them. And unlike the dozens of groups that say they are in this line of business, Riverside actually does deals and moves the company forward on a regular basis.

At the start of this week Riverside announced that they had staked the Compuerta Copper Project in the NW Mexico Laramide Copper Belt as part of their alliance with Antofagasta. Early rock chip sample results returned up to 0.7% copper from outcrops at surface. The project is located 6km south of the Washington Cu-Mo deposit and 75km SW of the La Caridad Cu-Mo mine. Antofagasta can earn into 65% of the project by spending $5 million in exploration over the next four years.

Read: Riverside Resources Stakes the Compuerta Copper Project in Sonora, Mexico

Then yesterday Riverside announced that they had commenced a 3000 meter drill program on the Penoles Project in Durango, Mexico, to follow up on the high grade gold and silver results generated in last year’s 5 hole program. Partner Morro Bay Resources is committed to spend $750,000 in exploration work during the first part of 2014. Morro Bay can earn 51% of the project by paying US $1.35 million in cash to Riverside and paying USD $1.5 million worth of Morro Bay shares (or cash) by June 30, 2014.

Riverside’s President and CEO, John-Mark Staude stated, “Riverside is pleased to see partner-funded drilling begin at the Peñoles project and looks forward to further results from the historic Jesus Maria silver mine area, the San Rafael vein system, and further drilling on the Capitan Hill zone. Field evaluation exploration work is also being completed on a number of additional targets on the property and Riverside continues to evaluate the big scale potential as the Peñoles Project is advanced.”

Read: Partner-funded Drilling has Commenced at Riverside’s Penoles Project in Durango, Mexico

Brent Cook MiningLast but not least, earlier this week Mr. Brent Cook, one of the better respected geologists and exploration investment newsletter writers out there, who runs the Exploration Insights service ($2k/year), complimented Riverside on an interview with BNN Television, Canada’s Business News Network.

“They’ve done a fantastic job not only bringing in partners but getting the partners to fund most of their G&A costs through charges on top of their work. I think it’s a great stock and I think it’s probably reasonably priced right now and it’s certainly one that I own.”

Watch: Brent Cook on BNN’s Market Call Tonight (Riverside comments start at 4:25)

RRI Chart

RRI data by YCharts

Dislcaimer: Riverside is an advertiser. Please read their Cautionary Note Regarding Forward Looking Statements. This is not investment advice. Do your own due diligence.

Petroamerica Oil farms out El Porton to Parex, misses at La Guira 2 well

Jeff, Boyce, PTA

Jeff Boyce, founding CEO of Vermillion Energy (VET), and Executive Chairman at Petroamerica Oil Corp., pictured in Calgary (Jeff Boyce photo).

One of the most undervalued junior oil companies announced an update with mostly good news this morning, and a little bad.

Petroamerica Oil Corp. (TSXV:PTA), which trades at less than 1.4x cash flow, produced an average of 6497 barrels of oil per day for the month of February, and 6,453 barrels of oil per day for January. More than 95% of this production is coming from the Las Maracas Field in Colombia’s Llanos Basin. This is strongly above the company’s 2014 production guidance of 5000-5500 barrels per day.

The company has farmed out a 50% working interest in the exploration area of its El Porton block to Parex Resources, in exchange for Parex covering 80% of the dry hole costs for the Crypto-1 exploration well, which will be drilled in the second quarter of 2014. Al Knowles, who covers the company for Haywood Securities in Calgary, says that Crypto-1 has the potential to add materially to the company’s production and cash flow in the event of a successful well there.

As a result of the farm out, PTA’s planned capital expenditures for 2014 have been reduced from $70 million to $53 million.

The company has more than $95 million on hand as of March 1, 2014 and says it is looking at business development opportunities to strengthen and diversify its asset base.

Unfortunately the company’s sole risk La Guira 2 well has been suspended for not flowing commercial rates during the test period. This was the disappointing part of the news release as PTA needs to continue to grow through the drill bit and for now investors will have to wait for the Crypto-1 well in Q2, followed by Malavar 1 and Los-Occoros-X-1 in Q3.

The Rumi-1 long term test facility (40% PTA working interest) is expected to be on stream before the end of Q2. The Curiara-1 long term test facility (25% PTA working interest) is more than 70% complete and should be on stream during the month of April. Haywood expects these two wells could add 250-400 barrels of oil per day to production.

Haywood reduced their target on PTA from $0.45 to $0.40 following this morning’s announcement.

GMP Securities maintained their $0.55 target and Buy rating on PTA, summing up today’s release as follows:

“Production levels, the farm-out and cash position are all positive, while the company’s latest well result is disappointing. Our thesis is unchanged in that PTA continues to be among the cheapest stocks in our universe, and with a growing cash position it will look to diversify its portfolio to get away from the single field risk that it is currently exposed to.”

Read: Petroamerica Announces Farm Out of El Porton Block and Provides an Operations Update for its Activities in Colombia

Click here for the company’s corporate presentation. 

Readers interested in PTA should check out our recent interview with Calgary energy banker Sonny Mottahed, which discusses the Colombian oil producer, and other international energy names.

Disclaimer: We own Petroamerica stock and are biased. This article is not investment advice. Always do your own due diligence. Thank you.

Major overhang removed for Petromanas, increasing target: Haywood Securities

Petromanas Energy

A photo I took of the Shpirag-2 well in Albania from helictopter, Oct 2012

It can be very hard for a stock to go up when there is a big seller.

The market knows this has been the case for Petromanas Energy (TSXV:PMI), a high potential oil and gas explorer partnered with Royal Dutch Shell to look for oil in deep tanks on shore in Albania.

Petromanas acquired its Albanian assets from DWM Petroleum, a subsidiary of Manas Petroleum, in February 2010 for C $11.5m cash plus 200 million shares of Petromanas and 50 million performance shares subject to certain milestones.

DWM has been unloading its position ever since to raise cash for its overhead and central Asian oil and gas assets.

In August 2012 DWM sold 90 million shares at $0.115 per share to a group of investors led by Frank Giustra, a well known natural resources financier who is also a director of Petromanas.

In November 2013, the very same day Petromanas announced successful results at its first well, Shpirag-2, DWM unloaded approx 46 million shares into the market, crushing the positive momentum of PMI’s best news to date.

The market has known that DWM could unload its remaining 50 million share position at any time.

haywoodHowever yesterday morning, the institutional team at Haywood Securities in Vancouver facilitated the purchase of 40 million of DWM’s remaining shares at $0.20 per share.

Frank Giustra bought 10 million shares as part of the transaction, insider filings show.

DWM advised Petromanas that they still hold a more palatable 8.5 million shares.

Haywood upgraded their target on Petromanas from $0.25 to $0.35 this morning following the overhang eliminating trade yesterday, with analyst Darrell Bishop advising clients to “Do their homework on PMI in 2014.”

Haywood expects Petromanas to publish a drilling update for their Molisht-1 well, a follow up well 18km south of  Shpirag-2, any day. This should not be a material news release.

They think PMI will publish an updated resource estimate in early Q2 which could see the potential resource grow based on newly acquired seismic data and a thicker than expected pay column at Shpirag 2.

Molisht-1 results are expected in late Q2 or early Q3.

Game changers for the company, according to Haywood, would be if the Molisht-1 well flows at rates comparable to those seen at the analog Val d’Agri field in Italy. Additionally, both the Molisht-1 and Shpirag 2 targets could prove to be one massive field rather than two independent structures.

Haywood’s bottom line: “We continue to see Petromanas as potentially being a big winner for investors in 2014.”

Here’s the weekly chart:

PMI, Petromanas

CEO Technician: For a confirmed breakout on the weekly chart we are looking for a weekly close at or above $0.25 and that would target $0.40. (Stockcharts.com)

Disclosure: We have a long position in Petromanas Energy which makes us very biased. This is not investment or professional advice. Always do your own due diligence. Thank you.

LX-Ventures CEO Mike Edwards Determined To Move Share Price, Limit Dilution

Mike, Edwards, VC, LXV

Mike Edwards (LXV)

In an exclusive interview to CEO.CA, LX-Ventures (LXV) CEO Mike Edwards asks investors for patience and defends his company’s execution in light of its recent 60% share price fall. Edwards says LXV has no plans for future acquisitions or financings until a “business model validating event’ occurs whereby one of LXV’s portfolio companies is sold or receives third party funding. Edwards is hopeful that can happen inside of 18 months.

LX-Ventures is naked.

This from Brent Holliday, CEO of Garibaldi Capital, B.C.’s leading technology investment banking firm.

Brent is referring to how everything LXV does is under the intense scrutiny of the public markets, whereas in private early stage technology venture capital, companies only leak information when it is to their benefit.

This provides a slight challenge to LXV, a publicly traded firm founded in 2012 which aims to acquire, accelerate and exit early stage technology companies. The company is led by CEO Mike Edwards, an experienced technology venture capitalist.

For a quick primer on LXV, the company has bought into four startups to date (Correction: the company has invested in 10 startups since inception however only four are talked about now).

The one that has caused the most stir is Mobio, a platform for connecting celebrities, brands and fans.

LXV press releases, which are frequent, often tout the latest celebrity to join Mobio, such as Kim Kardashian or Cristiano Ronaldo.

What the company neglects to say in the news releases is how much celebrities are paid to join the platform.

On the other hand, Mobio has had phenomenal growth since it launched three months ago. It had hoped to sign ten celebs and reach a million page views. By the 7th week over 30 celebrities were using the services and over 13 million page views were generated.

LXV also acquired Strutta, a contest platform, in November 2013. Strutta brings relationships to 12000 brands, revenues of $1M per year, and a development team to LXV.

Strutta, which monetizes traffic, and Mobio, which generates it, have obvious synergies, although the two companies will continue to operate independently, LXV CEO Mike Edwards told CEO.CA in a Skype interview Friday.

The third asset in the LXV portfolio is Copper.io, a business analytics software as a service company.

The fourth is Sosido, a healthcare portal.

LXV does not plan to make more acquisitions in the near term, Edwards said, unless the opportunity to acquire talent or a business is too good to pass up.

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Silver Bull stands out at the 2014 PDAC

Silver Bull Resources Stock

CEO Technician: Like a lot of other charts in the sector… 14 month plus basing process and the last three weeks have demonstrated signs of accumulation as it has risen from $.31 to $.39 on decent volume. We really want to see above $.45 to give confirmation that we’ve printed a double bottom. (Chart: Stockcharts.com)

Silver miners have failed to replace reserves over the past three years.

Tim Barry

Tim Barry

This from Tim Barry, President and CEO of Silver Bull Resources (TSX:SVB, NYSE:SVBL).

Barry and I met at his Vancouver office Friday, before the New Zealand born geologist, 37, flew to Toronto to present at this week’s PDAC, where 25,000+ are set to gather for the world’s largest annual mining show.

Tim told us his key messages for this year’s PDAC conference.

“Our Sierra Mojada project continues to move forward. We are well funded and we are de-risking the project through securing the permits required to proceed with mine construction, if warranted. The market is starting to understand that Mexico is still the best silver mining jurisdiction, despite recent tax changes.”

Silver Bull’s Sierra Mojada is a large project with 163 million ounces of silver and 2.1 billion pounds of zinc in the indicated category.

The project is capable of producing an average of 5.5 million ounces of silver per year with an 18 year mine life, according to a recently filed PEA. This is significant in that Coeur Mining, the largest silver miner in the U.S. by market, produces 17 million ounces per year.

“This is a project that clearly moves the needle for any of the twelve large silver miners and any of the intermediates as well.”

Sierra Mojada will cost $297 million to build with a 23% rate of return after taxes at $23.50 silver and $.95 zinc, the PEA states.

Recently the project received its water permits which provides 3.5 million cubic meters of water per annum and will be more than enough to meet the proposed mine’s needs.

Tim tells me surface rights acquisitions are expected in the near term.

Based on market conditions, Silver Bull will look to proceed with a Pre-Feasibility Study on the Sierra Mojada project in late 2014 or early 2015.

The Pre-Feasibility Study may envision a higher grade, lower capex, smaller mine scenario compared to last year’s PEA.

Roughly 5000 people live in the surrounding region to Sierra Mojada, a mining district in Northern Mexico for well over 100 years.

There will be roughly 800 jobs created during construction, and 250 ongoing after the mine is in production, Barry said.

“This will be the largest employer in the area by far.”

Barry thanked the local communities for welcoming Silver Bull and contributing their expertise to its development. For example, the company used local talent and inherited equipment to drill exploration core for $50 per meter, versus $120 per meter had Silver Bull brought in outside drillers to do the job (note the company’s consultants are still brought in to review the work in short bursts).

In addition to community support, Sierra Mojada has infrastructure advantages, with paved roads, rail, power and water right to site. The power grid will require minor upgrades, however.

The main criticism to Sierra Mojada has always been metallurgy. The deposit is in oxides, which can be more difficult to process, however Barry says the proposed SART solution is sound and that the company has had successful test results to date. The next step is to conduct a bench scale SART test under a continuous flow.

Silver Bull has approximately $4 million in the bank and could see an additional $1.5 million from the sale of a non-core African asset. This will be enough capital to last well into 2015, Barry said.

In 2013 the company was recognized for the prudent management of its treasury in a report by Visual Capitalist.

Barry says he is looking forward to a more optimistic tone at this year’s PDAC.

“This is a time to be very productive with meetings. The market is starting to show signs of life and this is when companies like Silver Bull stand out from the crowd.”

“Silver Bull is very cheap. I think the viable jurisdiction, size of the deposit, infrastructure, and very strong community support makes it a very rare scenario in today’s day and age.”

Silver Bull has a $65.2 million market cap with 159.1 million shares outstanding at press time.

Sign up for updates from Silver Bull Resources.

Silver Bull Presentation

Click for Corporate Presentation

Disclaimer: Silver Bull is an advertiser and we own shares in the company. Please read Silver Bull Resources Inc.’s Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements carefully. Continue reading

The power of family and service to community

Sometimes we get so wrapped up in our own hopes and dreams we have to be reminded that others have them too. And no matter what they are, they can be just as fierce about achieving them.

This was brought home to me last week, when I was invited to give a speech to a group of at risk teenage boys in North Vancouver.

The Boys Club Network‘s mission is to help young men become good men by providing Hope, Opportunity, Positive Mentorship and Education.

It was founded by two amazing friends, Walter Mustapich, vice principal at Windsor Secondary School in North Vancouver, and Jim Crescenzo, drama teacher at Vancouver’s Templeton High. Walter and Jimmy are lifelong friends and looked out for each other growing up in East Vancouver during the 1970s.


BC Province spread celebrates the Boys Club Network

I remember back when I was in high school one of the most powerful experiences I had was Mr. Flynn’s Entrepreneurship class in Grade 11. To pass the course each student had to find an entrepreneur from the community to come in and give a guest lecture. Here I got to cajole with older people (an age group I felt more at home with than the kids my own age, who mostly thought I was a nerd) and learn business from some very impressive wealth creators. There is no question Flynn’s class contributed to what CEO.CA is becoming.

Back to the Boys Club Network: Walter invited me to give a speech and I told my story about starting an Egyptian-outsourced financial web design business with absolutely no experience, and then stumbling into a career that I am super passionate about.

I told them that over time ambitious goals are not only possible, they will happen if you remain focused on your visions and keep a positive attitude.

I kept believing that interviews with unbelievable entrepreneurs like Frank Giustra, Dave Lowell, or Robert Friedland could happen, and they did.

“What the mind can conceive, it can achieve,” Napoleon Hill wrote.

“So choose your thoughts wisely,” I told the teenagers.

I was nervous but excited as I drove to my Boys Club Network gig; I did not know what to expect.

The motley crew of 40+ teenage boys, ranging from 13-18, some short and scrawny, others big and goofy, most with a little bit of acne, and a couple with questionable moustaches, each shook my hand and introduced themselves at the beginning and end of the afternoon.

One boy asked me for coffee to discuss starting a business. I said, “Sure, where abouts do you live?”

The young man replied in a soft but proud voice that he was homeless.


Charity is first a gift to yourself.

I felt ten feet tall meeting those kids who hopefully learned something from some of my mistakes.

In the days since I have made Boys Club Network a few introductions to possible speakers and even one firm that helps charities scale.

I want to see Boys Club Networks in every school district (Contact Jim, Walter, Laura or me if you can help, we would really appreciate it).

Giving back, seriously, is the spice of life.


The second insanely powerful thing I did recently also involved teenage boys.

On Saturday I watched my 15 year old step brother Josh Pinton’s West Vancouver Highlanders Grade 10 Basketball Team win the BC Provincial Championships out in Langley.

John Pinton

That’s Josh in the middle, the darker haired boy on one knee hanging on to the trophy

My pregnant sister Jillian and her husband Brian joined me and we took our seats in a crowded bleacher full of friends, families, and players from the various teams already eliminated from the tournament.

I was shocked to see the row of teenage boys in front of me nearly fight to the death for stuffed animals being thrown into the stands courtesy of Telus, the event’s sponsor (I do appreciate Telus for sponsoring the tournament and give them props as a company for supporting youth and sport like this).

Tensions escalated when McDonald’s free french fry gift certificates became the next give-away.

The game was extremely tight as both teams fought hard amid chaos and plenty of screaming in the stands.

I am hugely proud of my younger brother Josh.

When I visit him I always think about how big he’s getting, but on the court with the other top grade 10 players, he was undersized.

That did not stop the young point guard, Josh Pinton, #3, from continuously defending against an aggressive opponent, while setting up some sweet plays and scoring a couple of key points.

This is why we have such a difficult time beating Josh on the court outside of our father’s house, pointed out our brother-in-law, Brian.

It was inspiring to see Josh as such a sportsman.

He even helped a player from the other team get up after falling to the ground.

When my older brother Adam and I were playing sports, it was a competition to score penalty minutes; we would channel our teenage angst by being the biggest shit heads we could.

“F— you, Ref!”

Back in our seats at the game on Saturday, my pregnant sister Jillian lamented over a bad call.

“No it wasn’t,” an oversized woman sitting behind us snooted, clearly rooting for the other team.

Jillian, ever the Humphreys, turned around and said, “Actually it was,” sternly.

I laughed as I watched her for the next few minutes, clearly boiling..

Why do we get so worked up over stuff? (I love you, Jill!)

In the final minutes of the game my bro fought through an impressive defense and got off a shot just as he had been checked. Fatefully, it landed in the net and was enough to win the game!

West Van picked up their first provincial basketball championship since something like 1972, the days when my dad was balling around West Van gym courts.

Josh Pinton cuts the net after scoring the game winner at the 2013-2014 BC Grade 10 Provincial Basketball Championships

Josh Pinton takes a piece of net home after scoring the game winner in the BC Boys Grade 10 Basketball Provincial Championship game, Mar 1, 2014

“Josh has restored glory to our family,” commented Adam Humphreys, my older brother, who watched the game via live stream from his apartment in New York City.

These are little things, but they have big importance. They give us a glimpse into the human condition.

Despite being homeless – I can’t even imagine what that is like – the kid from Boys Club Network still had hopes and dreams. He wants to better his situation.

My brother scoring a basket at the buzzer was an achievement of a hope and dream of another kind: Is there a kid playing any sport who doesn’t silently see himself scoring that goal in a Stanley Cup final, powering a touchdown in a Super Bowl game, or shooting the winning basket in a tight, hard-fought game? Is there an entrepreneur who hasn’t dreamed of earning billions with his or her business?

I think we’ve all been there. But we often forget. So I’m extremely grateful to the Boys Club Network and to my family for reminding me of what’s important and why we’re doing what we do.