Jim Rogers is a walking, talking, book-writing one-man encyclopedia of global investing wisdom. He was a co-founder of the groundbreaking international hedge fund, Quantum funds, has ridden through 116 countries in a record-breaking trek, and has written five books on his global journeys including "Investment Biker" in 2003 and "A Bull In China" in 2008.
In the attached clip Rogers shares his latest insights on China and reveals his surprisingly positive view towards Russia.
It doesn't make daily headlines the way Europe and our own problems do, but China continues to struggle to accomplish a rare economic soft landing. A poll released by Reuters Wednesday showed increased pessimism that China will be able to hit prior growth estimates for the current quarter and balance of the year.
Rogers is unconcerned. "The Chinese have announced for three years that they're slowing down so it shouldn't be a surprise to anybody who watches Yahoo that they're slowing things down," he says in the attached video.
He's too much of a gentleman to say it outright, but Rogers did, in fact, tell Breakout viewers to expect weakness in China this year when he appeared on the show last December. He remains a long-term bull on the story but is looking elsewhere for new money at the moment.
Historically speaking Russia is where invading armies and outside money go to die hideous deaths. If you think Napoleon's soldiers had it bad in 1812 or American traders had a rough go in 2008, consider the plight of investors who owned Russia's RTS when it lost over 80% of its value from May of 2008 to January 2009. Or the plight of former Yukos Oil king Mikhail Khodorkovsky who went from being the 16th richest man on earth to prison, apparently for offending President Vladimir Putin.
Rogers acknowledges that many people view Putin's past as being "a thug, a dictator and a crook." But he is seeing signs that the former member of the KGB may be the leader to finally bring Russia into the modern business world.
"For 40 years they talked the right game in Russia and the Soviet Union, but they never did the right things," Rogers explains, "(Putin) is starting to do the right things; that's what's catching my attention."
Russia caught his attention but has yet to get his money. Eschewing stocks or property, Rogers is thinking currency.
"The only time I was invested in Russia I was short the ruble and made a lot of money," he says with a grin. "Now I'm thinking about buying the ruble."
It's rare that a guy as successful as Jim Rogers tells you what he's thinking of buying before he does so. Given the history it's all but impossible to embrace the idea of putting money into Russia but given Rogers' own track record, you ignore him at your own expense.