Thursday, February 9, 2017
The World's Greatest Investors - Jim Rogers
Had you been standing on the banks of the River Thames in nineteen sixty six watching the annual university boat race, you wouldn’t have noticed anything out of the ordinary. There was a group of athletic young men all who you could imagine taking their rowing careers forward and having a shot at a gold medal in the next Olympics. But there was one small figure among them that had more than a passing interest in gold. His name was Jim Rogers. Fifty years later, the Oxford University cox from the nineteen sixty six boat race is someone that makes a point of carrying a piece of gold with him everywhere he goes. He’s quietly set the world of investment on fire for nearly half a century and, following the dot com bubble of the late nineties and the financial implosion of two thousand and eight, he believes that gold is one of the few things that has any type of intrinsic value anymore.
An American by birth, Rogers was drafted for military service in nineteen sixty eight to fight America’s controversial war in Vietnam. On his return he landed a job at the investment bank, Arnhold and Bleichroder. This was a big step up for the young Jim, who had learned all about stocks and shares working for a smaller broker a few years earlier. It was at this investment back that he met George Soros, another world-class investor who we featured earlier on in this mini-series. Together they formed the hugely successful company Soros Fund Management. In an outstanding eleven year run, Rogers and Soros saw their fund make four thousand two hundred percent versus the S & P index which advanced just forty seven percent in the same period. It was then, in nineteen eighty, at the age of just thirty seven, that Rogers decided to retire.
It was almost two decades before he formally came back into fund management and he was a changed man. Disillusioned by the way governments and central banks had got high on debt and currency deflation, he looked for value in new areas and turned to agricultural investments. No matter what the state of the world. Whether it was at war or peace, in good economic times or bad, people still needed to eat. He recognised that, as the population of the world grows, the agricultural land supply diminishes yet the demand for food still increases. Its a perfect storm which means the price of land used for rearing animals and growing crops is virtually guaranteed to continue on an upward trend for decades to come.
Jim Rogers is a big picture investor. He doesn’t know or care about how one company is performing against another in its sector. He believes the market is nearly always wrong. He believes everything is interconnected, once famously stating “I don't see how you can invest in American steel without understanding what is going on in Malaysian palm oil.” For Rogers, everything has to be factored in before making an investment decision. From government deficits and policy to inflation figures and even the climate. No stone is left unturned before Rogers makes his decision to open his investing wallet. He also takes his own medicine. So concerned is he about America’s future that he’s moved his family lock, stock and barrel to Singapore.
So what lessons can we learn from an investor like Rogers? Perhaps the biggest one is that inactivity is just as useful as activity. What I mean by that is that if there’s no good trades out there, don’t make one for the sake of it. Have patience and wait for the next one to come along. He was exactly right in calling the boom in commodities in the nineties but waited for the right time to invest. He saw the US housing collapse coming for years but waited for the right time to short Fannie Mae as its share price fell from sixty dollars to just a few cents. As he says “I just wait until there is money lying in the corner, and all I have to do is go over there and pick it up.” In the meantime, he doesn’t spend a dime.
Another lesson we can take from Rogers is not to be emotional about your investments. When you uncouple your emotion and rely on cold hard facts and logic, you’ll be amazed at how much your judgement improves. Lastly, never ever expect to time all your trades perfectly. As long as you don’t lose money, you’re ahead of the crowd. And speaking of crowds, don’t follow them. Jim Rogers made his name and his fortune by often doing the very opposite to the majority of seasoned investors around him.
If you want to follow Jim’s advice, now might be the time. Both he and George Soros think the world economy, and particularly heavily indebted Europe, Japan and North America, are about to go through a “trillion dollar biblical crash”. But as with any investment, make sure you do your research before making that all important decision. Both Rogers and Soros have deep pockets and can afford to take a hit so if you think you can win big by following their investment strategy, be very careful out there.
Jim Rogers started trading the stock market with $600 in 1968.In 1973 he formed the Quantum Fund with the legendary investor George Soros before retiring, a multi millionaire at the age of 37. Rogers and Soros helped steer the fund to a miraculous 4,200% return over the 10 year span of the fund while the S&P 500 returned just 47%.
Who is Jim Rogers ?
James "Jim" Rogers was born in Oct. 19, 1942 and grew up in Demopolis, Alabama .Jim Rogers started trading the stock market with $600 in 1968.In 1973 he formed the Quantum Fund with the legendry investor George Soros before retiring, a multi millionaire at the age of 37. Rogers and Soros helped steer the fund to a miraculous 4,200% return over the 10 year span of the fund while the S&P 500 returned just 47%. They ran what is considered to be one of the first truly global macro hedge funds. . In 1964 he got his first job on Wall Street at Dominick & Dominick in the summer between high school and Yale University, that's how he got his first experience with stocks and bonds. He immediately fell in love with the job. After Oxford, he returned to the U.S. and joined the army in 1970 he returned to Wall Street, working again with Dominick & Dominick. That same year he joined Arnold S. Bleichroeder, where he met George Soros, and together founded the Quantum Fund. This has opened a new era of global macrotrading and inspired numerous imitations and spin-offs. In the book "Money Masters of Our Time," Jim Rogers writes about that time "the most important thing in my life was work. I did not do anything until I had completed my work." To emphasize this professional ethic , it is good to remember that he did not made any holiday for ten years. In 1980, Jim Rogers has decided to "retire" at 37 years. Since then he has spent much of his time traveling and supporting the causes of philanthropic and taking on many high profile roles in the media. However, he continues to be an active investor and media commentator