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Jim Rogers: Little Reason for Optimism in Anything but Agriculture

World markets may be riddled with uncertainty, but billionaire investor Jim Rogers anticipates gains in one sector for years to come.

Jim Rogers
MIKE CLARKE | AFP | Getty Images
Jim Rogers

“If I were buying anything I’d be buying agricultural commodities,” he says. “Going forward we’re going to have huge shortages of everything – including farmers – I think ag will be a great place for the next 10-20 years,” he says.

But don’t take that to mean that ag stocks are a buy – that’s not what he means.

“Yale did a study recently showing that investors made 300% more by putting money in commodities themselves rather than commodity stocks – that is unless you’re a great stock picker.”

In other words, he’d play his thesis with commodities futures or ETFs that track them.

And his thesis is based on massive research, part of which involves the performance of commodities in the 1970’s. “At the time economies did nothing and yet commodities went through the roof,” he explains.

Jim Rogers co-founded the Quantum Fund with George Soros in 1973. Although a native of Alabama, Rogers famously moved to Singapore due to his on-going belief that Asia is on the cusp of great prosperity.

“He’s an investor who eats his own cooking,” says Fast Money trader Stephen Weiss. In other words, he doesn’t just talk the talk, Rogers walks the walk.

And largely Rogers is short because he is notoptimistic about what’s going to happen in the world over the next two or three years.

“I’m short emerging markets, short American technology, short European stocks – I don’t see much reason to own equities,” he says.

In a nutshell, Rogers expects global economic problems to get much worse.

But whether that happens or not he still thinks a long position in commodities makes sense. That’s the one area of the market where he sees potential.

Here's why.

If his thesis doesn’t hold and the economies of the world improve, “I’ll make money in commodities because (increased demand will generate) shortages,” he says. “But if the world doesn’t get better, then governments print money and the way to protect against that is to own real assets.”

In other words, he thinks commodities are a win/win.

And in case you’re wondering about his thoughts on gold , Rogers says, “it would not surprise me to see gold go to $1200 – but if it goes that low I’d buy a lot more – gold has been up 11 years in a row it deserves a substantial correction.”



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Trader disclosure: On Dec. 28, 2011, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s "Fast Money" were owned by the "Fast Money" traders: Kelly is long KRE; Kelly is long IWM; Kelly is long US T-bonds; Kelly is short the Yen; Kelly is short the Swiss Franc; Kelly is short UBS; Kelly is short CS; Weiss is long QCOM; Weiss is long GM; Weiss is long WLP; Weiss is long AAPL calls; Karabell owns shares of APPLE (AAPL); Karabell owns shares of CATERPILLAR (CAT); Najarian is long AAPL; Najarian is long C; Najarian is long INTC; Najarian is long MOS; Najarian is long YHOO; Najarian is long WFC

Ron Insana
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Jim Rogers
Rogers owns gold
Rogers owns silver

Nick Pope
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