Jim Rogers is an American business magnate, investor, adventurer, author, and visionary. Known throughout the business world as a brilliant investor, he is chairman of Singapore-based Rogers Holdings and Breeland Interests, Inc. He’s also written several books and been on television more times than you count. And for years, he has has been a guest lecturer at Columbia University.
Jim Rogers, a Baltimore native, spent his childhood in rural Alabama. Even as a young boy, Jim was interested in work and following the beat of his own drummer. When he was 5, he started his own business selling peanuts. After graduating from high school, Rogers went to Yale, where he graduated in 1964 with a degree in history. He was such a studious, curious young man that he attended Balliol College at Oxford University to get another bachelor’s degree, which he received in 1966 in economics, philosophy, and politics.
A Fortuitous London Meeting
Before going to Oxford, Jim Rogers began learning the stocks and bonds trade on Wall St. for Dominick & Dominick. After Oxford, he began working at London investment bank Arnhold and S. Bleichroder in 1970, where both he and George Soros had the good fortune to meet one another.
After three years at Arnhold, they both left to found the Quantum Fund, a hedge fund in a time when they were rare. The fund was highly successful and the two men prospered. Through Rogers’s hard work, Quantum Fund became international, which only added to its success. Rogers retired from the fund in 1980, still in his 30s, to pursue other avenues of fulfillment. During his time at the Quantum Fund, the fund earned a return of over 4000% (the S&P returned only 47%), so Rogers had accumulated a fortune several times over. After he left Quantum, he managed his own money and invested in stocks and commodities worldwide.
Red China and Agricultural Rebirth
After a period of time traveling and teaching, among other endeavors, Jim Rogers founded the Rogers International Commodity Index (RICI) in 1998. After several more years of traveling, he returned to New York and continued his work.
In 2007, Rogers uprooted not only his family but also the Index and relocated to Singapore to take advantage of Asia and its bounty of emerging markets. He saw, and still sees, better trade potential as well as untapped agriculture potential. He began getting interested in agriculture and, in 2011, founded The Rogers Global Resources Equity Index, which targets the world’s top agriculture, mining, metals, and energy companies. These investments also reflect his growing focus on natural resources.
He also believes that the 21st Century belongs to China. With so many untapped assets in Asia and all the debt in America and Europe, it’s inevitable. In interviews and with his students at Columbia, he continuously urges people to understand that the world is changing and that power is beginning to shift from those in finance to those who produce real goods. In fact, he predicts that America will change toward farming in the coming decades; stockbrokers will be forced to work in sanitation while farmers will live in the mega-mansions and occupy the 1%.
A Most Interesting Man of the World
Known for wandering spirit, Jim Rogers has traveled the world many times. He’s not done it just for rest and relaxation, either; he’s always inquisitive about how the economy and markets work in other countries. He would talk to people and do his own reading on his travels. His investment successes and acquired knowledge about how other countries functioned helped build his credibility as an economist, which served him well as a moderator or guest on several financial TV shows.
With all of Rogers’s business and personal experiences, it shouldn’t be surprising to learn that he’s written several bestsellers. One is called Investment Biker, a book about his motorcycle travels around the world from 1990-92. He wrote a second one called Adventure Capitalist, a bestseller based on his three years of traveling the world again, this time in a custom-made Mercedes from 1999-2002. Not only did Rogers get these two books out of his trips, but he also made the Guinness Book of World Records because of both trips.
With Rogers’s interest in much of the world and its idiosyncrasies, you can bet that he still has a few tricks up his sleeve that he’s not yet revealed to the world.