jim rogers: I wish I had bought Bitcoin at $1, at $5: Jim Rogers


“If and when gold and silver go down I will buy more of both, probably more silver because silver is cheaper. I do not like saying this but the world is going to have serious problems sometime in the next decade. When we have problems, people will lose more and more confidence in money and in central banks and throughout history, silver and gold have been the things to protect you and I will buy more again,” says Jim Rogers, Author, Street Smarts: Adventures on the Road and in the Markets



You have been long, you have been bullish and you have been recommending to buy into commodities, buy sugar, rice, coffee. Do not drink coffee but buy coffee futures. What would you advise investors now?
Once there is peace in Ukraine, there can be a big rally; commodities would probably go down for a while and that is what I would buy when that rally starts because commodities before this is over, are going to be very strong because there are still gigantic amounts of money printing all over the world.

Why do you say there is a gigantic money printing because the US Fed and other central banks are saying that they would start normalising?
First of all one should not listen to these guys. They rarely tell the truth, not just because they are not very smart, they are not necessarily lying. The US Fed has more than doubled their balance sheet in the very short period of time and even if they cut back for a while, it is not going to be enough to make up for the gigantic money printing that has been going on and you know as well as I do that when the markets start getting weak, they panic. Remember these guys are just academics and bureaucrats, they want to save their job, they do not know what they are doing.

What are the chances that Fed and other central bankers got the assessment of inflation wrong? Earlier they called inflation transitory, now they are calling it public enemy number one, They may actually overshoot their target and may over tighten?
In India you had one of the best central bankers the world has seen in the last couple of decades. He is gone now. I wish he would go to Washington and run our central bank. There have only been two or three good central bankers in the last few decades. The US Fed always gets it wrong and they will probably get it wrong again. When there is peace, they will think everything is okay now, commodities will go down for a while and then they will start printing money again. They do not care about you and me. They care about their jobs.

When you say you would buy commodities when they correct, where are you leaning — hard commodities, precious metals, soft commodities?
Agriculture has still been the biggest disaster over the past few decades so I would continue to buy agriculture. Agriculture has done very well in the last year or two. When we have corrections, that is where I would focus. In the case of precious metals, if silver and gold go down, which I suspect they will, I would buy more silver. It just depends on how the markets react. Maybe energy but certainly agriculture, certainly silver.

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Right now China is quarantined, the Chinese economy is quarantined, the country is quarantined because of Covid restrictions. We do not know when that will open but when that opens, what will it do to the demand of commodities?
When the Chinese economy opens again, it will cause bigger demands in commodities. They have been working down their inventories because they have been closed and they cannot produce a lot. So, demand for everything will go up again, especially energy and agriculture. Metals will go up. Demand for everything will go up again. It is still the second largest or maybe the largest economy in the world.

World’s biggest retailer Walmart has spoken about a slowdown. If I look at US housing data, mortgage rates are at 5.5% and housing rates are coming down. Is there a case that the American consumer, is slowing down? That will have an impact on global demand – exporting countries like China, textiles and automobile exports from India?
Well the US economy had the longest expansion without a problem in history, starting in 2009 and has not had a big recession. That has never happened in American history. Once this peace comes, people will think everything is okay again, economy will start reviving again, central bankers will not be so tight anymore and we will have a big rally in the economy and in the markets.

But I suspect that is going to be the last big rally. This has been going on longer than anything in American history. Inflation will continue to come back, interest rates will go higher. I would like to be wrong but I do not see how it can change unless something else happens in the world which I do not see.

If interest rates are likely to stay high and go higher and if inflation is here to stay, does that mean that equities as an asset class should not be a preferred asset class because equities do well when there is drop in interest rates and uptick in demand?
Maybe the economy is going to go on forever, maybe the stock is going to go on forever, maybe it is different this time. I heard that many times in my life it has never been different and I do not like saying it, I am an American citizen but American is the largest debtor nation in the history of the world now. America has been pulling out all the stops, including the central bank. Maybe something has changed, maybe life is different, maybe history is different, maybe economics is different now. But I doubt it.

So are you still stacking up gold and silver under your mattress and always keeping some silver coins in your pocket?
I have my silver coins, I will find them somewhere…

Which side is the gold coin?
I have the gold, I will find it somewhere, I will show you a gold coin too…

Are you buying gold and silver?
I am not buying either right now. If and when they go down I will buy more of both, probably more silver because silver is cheaper. I do not like saying this but the world is going to have serious problems sometime in the next decade. When we have problems, people will lose more and more confidence in money and in central banks and throughout history, silver and gold have been the things to protect you and I will buy more again.

You carry a gold coin in your pocket, you carry a silver coin in your pocket. A Bitcoin cannot be carried in your pocket but do you own Bitcoin?
I do not own any crypto currency. I wish I had bought Bitcoin at $1, at $5. I do not have great confidence in the future of government crypto currencies that all the governments are working on putting money on the computer. It will be their money, it will not be money that you will compete with government money. So I have optimism about the future of crypto money but not government crypto money is not competing crypto money. Governments do not like competition; they like to keep their monopoly.

Are we not going through a serious problem already? Inflation is at a 40-year high. Central bankers are admitting that they have gone wrong, equity markets are collapsing, the consumer is feeling the pain. The last two or three years of equity investments have given zero returns. Isn’t there enough problems in the world already?
Jim Rogers: Remember when the Ukraine situation calms down, many people will think everything will be okay now, wheat prices and oil prices will go down because Russia and Ukraine produce a lot of wheat and oil. People will think everything will be okay for a while, but in my view they will not be okay for a while, it will be a temporary thing. At that point, I would buy more commodities, more gold, more silver and I would be getting ready to sell and sell short stocks.

Twelve, thirteen months ago you said it is not the best trade in the world but I am actually long US dollar and US dollar barring last night’s hiccup actually made a new high. Is there more strength left in long dollar trade?
Well I still own US dollar and I have not sold any US dollar, people in turmoil think the safe haven is the US dollar. I will continue to own my US dollars but you are entitled because I expect when the next big rally comes, the US dollar will certainly go up some more, but it is getting close to the end for the US dollar. The US dollar has been on top for over 50-60 years. I do not like saying it but the US is the largest debtor nation in world history and the world is looking for something to replace it or compete with the dollar.

You saw what happened with the Russians recently. America just blocked all of their assets and that makes many people worry and they must find something to compete with the dollar because America just took the Russian’s money away. Well, people do not like that and so many countries in the world, including India, are looking for something to compete with the US dollar. The US can do anything they want and if they take your dollars, you need to have an alternative.

What is your understanding on the geopolitical front? I am not requesting you to give me a verdict on when the war will end but purely what exactly are financial markets betting on?
Right now the financial markets are very worried and that is why they have been going down, they are worried about war, they are worried about inflation, they are worried about many things but a huge amount of pessimism has risen as you know. If you look at the western markets, there is a lot of pessimism and that usually leads to a big rally nearly always when everybody is pessimistic. I expect that rally to come before long and it may become because of peace in Ukraine.

I do not know why it will come, you never know but when everybody is pessimistic it leads to people having a big rally. And if peace comes with all this huge pessimism we will have a big rally in financial markets but that will probably be the last rally– I mean it can last for several weeks, even a few months but it will probably be the last rally.

You have the experience of investing when there is strong asset inflation and when there is strong underlying commodity inflation, I think the setup is pointing to that strong commodity/asset price inflation at least for the next three years. So apart from owning commodities, what else one can do to Teflon coat their assets or their investments?
Well firstly, you should only invest in what you know a lot about. I see more inflation coming, it has been a long time since we have had inflation, I see more inflation coming and that normally means you should own real assets whether it is sugar or silver or whatever. That is how I am playing the world in the the next two or three years. We have not had a problem in American economy since 2009, it is time though I would not be terrible optimistic about the stocks at least after the next rally and maybe I will even have to sell my US dollars but at the moment, I own US dollars and I own stocks and commodities and I am looking in the big rally to sell my stocks and buy more commodities.

The experience for global investors who have invested in China in the last three-four years has been terrible. What implications do you think that will have on global emerging market flows?
India has been fabulous. It has been a great country in many ways and the stock market had been good recently. But the Chinese market has not been very good recently. When we have the change coming, I would probably then buy Chinese shares if they continue to go down because by then it will be one of the cheaper markets in the world. It has not done well this year and I would like to buy things that are depressed. I do not like to buy things that are making new highs. I like to buy low.

Is buying debt or investing into bonds for the next 2-4 four years – be it Indian bonds or global bonds or US 10-year or a two year treasury – a bad idea?
I think buying bonds one of the worst ideas anybody could have now unless you are a good trader and you buy interest rates at a lowest in recorded history all over the world because there has been so much money printing and so much issuing of currency and we have never and again I am going to use the US, we are little more neutral.

The interest rates have never been this low in the entire history of the United States and in most countries in the world that is not normal. Interest rates have been going down for over 41 years that is going to change. Inflation is back, I cannot see any case for buying bonds unless they are special situation bonds for turning around a company. Otherwise, I see no reason to buy bonds anywhere in the world except for a trading rally.

Which is your favourite ETF right now?
I would invest in commodity ETFs on the New York Stock Exchange, ETA for agriculture, ETI for commodities, ETN, ETZ, these are all commodity indices thus they have outperformed other indices so that is if I were buying any ETF now I would probably those agricultural ETFs may be not Japan not China no that is what I would buy.

Would you be tempted to look at an India dedicated stock market ETF which invests in the Nifty or the Sensex?
Yes, sure sure so I have owned Indian ETFs in my investing history. Yes if it goes down a lot of course.



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