Here are some investment rules to help you through the recent stock market turmoil. The first two rules are obvious and apply with force to investing in mining companies:

Investment Rule No. 1: Don't lose money.

Investment Rule No. 2: Don't forget Rule No. 1.

After that it gets more complicated:

Investment Rule No. 3: If there is a news report about the mine's waste rock dump, tailings impoundment, or heap leach pad, sell immediately, and ask questions later.

Investment Rule No. 4: Do not buy shares in a mining venture until the politicians have stopped grandstanding, even if they support the mine when waving their hands and trumpets.

Investment Rule No 5: Sell your shares, or at least avoid buying more, when the mine is the subject of an independent panel review.

Investment Rule No 6: Do not buy shares in an ore deposit so low ingold/copper/etc. that there is only one possible economic mining approach.

Investment Rule No 7: Be wary of open pit mines inareas of excess rainfall and acid generating rocks. Rather invest in a property in Nevada.

Investment Rule No 8: If the scenery inspires religious thoughts, better find a mine in an ugly desert instead.

Investment Rule No 9: Study history before investing in a person, company, or country.

Investment Rule No. 10: Before buying into mining ventures in a traditional mining area, make sure the company has budgeted to clean up all proximate abandoned mines.

Investment Rule No 11: Be careful about investing in proposed mines that may impact beautiful bodies of water potentially considered sacred by both the religious and the secular humanist.

Investment Rule No 12: Do not buy share in a company that is developing a big mine, but that is not undertaking a big community relations program.

Investment Rule No 13: Properties near fields that produce drugs may not become mines.

Investment Rule 14: Buy shares in mining companies whose press releases establish strong focus on activities conducive to mining not stock dancing.