Independent in All Things, Neutral in Nothing

Review: Investment Biker

with 2 comments

A few years ago, I read Adventure Capitalist by Jim Rogers. That book so intrigued me that I wanted to read his first book, Investment Biker, about his 1990 to 1992 travel across the globe. Other books intervened, and I only just finished reading this book. Even though it relates events from two decades ago, I found it enlightening, punchy and fascinating.

Mr. Rogers set off to travel across the world with his companion Tabitha on two BMW motorcycles. In two and a half years, they traveled more than 65,000 miles. In every country, Mr. Rogers paid attention to a variety of historical, cultural and economic forces. He continually comes across as a perceptive and shrewd observer on all.

On the 21st century: “There are two major forces at work as the world moves into the twenty-first century, globalism and tribal control. How these opposing forces resolve their contradictions will be one of the new century’s great historical dramas.”

On the basics of investing: “The trick in investing is not to lose money….The losses will kill you. They ruin your compounding rate, and compounding is the magic of investing.”

On black markets: “I find such markets, capitalism in the raw, fascinating, because if there’s one quick and sure way to find out what’s going on in a country, this is it.”

On currency controls: “Governments think exchange controls keep money in a country, but they keep it out.

On the dollar: “I don’t see much hope for the dollar.”

On government and statism: “It’s just that after a century of experiments we can now see clearly that governments are terrible at engendering prosperity and wealth.”

On central banks: “In all my years in investing, there’s one rule I’ve prized beyond every other: Always bet against central banks.”

Indeed, while I did not always agree with Mr. Rogers’ observations and some of them did not turn out to be correct, I found his viewpoint learned, incisive and often wise. Twenty years ago, he turned bearish on the United States and many of his predictions have come to pass. So little good does he see in the States that Mr. Rogers and his family have moved to Singapore, a country he praises in the book. A heretical thought, we may think. No less a titan that Warren Buffett has assured the country that he believes America’s greatest days lie ahead. But, Mr. Rogers prods us from our comfort zone to ponder ‘what if he is right?’


Written by Russell S.

January 17, 2010 at 11:35 pm

2 Responses

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  1. Excellent post, this might sound weird but you have encouraged me to get my finances in order.

    National lottery syndicate

    January 20, 2010 at 12:14 pm

  2. Review: Investment Biker Capitolism is an interesting name for a blog, keep up the good work, thanks, from Camden Leblanc

    Camden Leblanc

    December 2, 2010 at 4:38 am

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