INTERNATIONAL. Legendary global investor Jim Rogers has spent a career being one step ahead of mainstream investment thinking. Amongst his many accomplishments, Jim was co-founder with George Soros of Quantum Fund. During his ten years with the fund, the portfolio gained more than 4,000%, while the S&P rose less than 50%.
Rogers is extremely bullish on Western Canada and on Western Canadian agriculture in particular. At the recent annual CFA awards dinner in Toronto he told the assembled crowd of fund managers and investment bankers to, "sell your houses, move to Saskatchewan, buy a tractor and some farmland, and start farming".
His belief in the Western Canadian agriculture story is so strong that he recently joined the advisory board of a Calgary-based farmland investment fund Agcapita Farmland Investment Partnership. Stephen Johnston, a partner at Agcapita, said: "Jim has an extraordinary track record in the financial markets. He is a clear and insightful think and has a broad perspective on commodities, monetary policy and emerging economy demand. We are very excited to have someone of his stature join the team."
Speaking on CNBC on Wednesday Rogers said that the fundamentals for commodities were not affected by government policies that are propagating inflation.
"I bought more agriculture this week," Rogers told Squawk Box Europe. "What's happening is that there will be less supply of everything if we ever come out of [the credit crunch]. Nobody can get a loan for a zinc mine or, long term, increase crop production."
Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke should resign for keeping alive "zombie banks" that should be allowed to fail, he said
The Japanese government refused to let financial institutions fail in the 1990s, Rogers said.
"It's 18 years later and their stock market is 75% or 80% below what it was 18 years ago," he added.
"I know we are going to get aggressive rate cuts everywhere, that's why I'm long short-term government bonds in the US, but shorting long-term government bonds because it's not going to help, it's going to add to inflation," he said.
Rogers retired from Quantum in 1980 and became a guest professor of finance at Columbia University Graduate School of Business and in 1989 and 1990, the moderator of The Dreyfus Roundtable and The Profit Motive with Jim Rogers. In 2002, Rogers became a regular guest on Fox News' Cavuto on Business. In 2004, Rogers wrote Hot Commodities.
In 1998, he founded the Rogers International Commodity Index and in 2007, the index and its three sub-indices were linked to exchange-traded notes under the banner ELEMENTS. The notes track the total return of the indices as an accessible way to invest in the index. In 2008, Jim co-founded the Rogers-Van Eck Hard Assets Producers Index, an equity index focusing on pure play commodity producers.