Jim Rogers Explains Why He's Still Bullish on Oil
Oilprice.com: You’ve owned gold for 11 years now and the price is currently correcting. Do you see this as a buying opportunity or would you wait a little longer?
Jim Rogers: I've actually owned gold for longer than 11 years. I'm not buying now. Gold went up 11 years in a row, which is extremely unusual for any asset. I don't know of any asset in history that's gone up 11 years in a row without a correction.
Corrections are normal and are the way things should work, the way things do work. Having said that, I don't know when the correction will stop. It's normal in my experience for corrections to go down 30 or 40 percent. It's just the way markets work.
Gold has not gone down that much. It's only gone down that much once in the past 11 years, and even then it ended the year up. I'm not buying gold at the moment. If it goes down a lot, I hope I'm smart enough to buy a lot more. I'm certainly not selling my gold, because I suspect gold will be much, much, much higher over the next decade.
Oilprice.com: You've mentioned in the past that you're bullish on Asia. Where do you see the best opportunities for investors in this region at present?
Jim Rogers: Probably the best investment opportunity in the world right now is Myanmar. In 1962, Myanmar was the richest country in Asia. They closed off in 1962, and now it's the poorest country in Asia. I see enormous opportunities there because they're now opening up. It's like when China opened up in 1978. There were unbelievable opportunities going forward. The same is true in Myanmar now in my view. North Korea, I expect to see the same sorts of developments.
Oilprice.com: You’ve mentioned previously that the 21st century belongs to China. But China has some serious internal problems as its political stability depends heavily on rapid economic growth. We are also seeing increasing tensions between the wealthy coastal regions and the poor interior. My question is do you think the internal forces building up in China can be managed as China is held together by money not ideology?
Jim Rogers: What you just said about China's true of every country in the world, more so in places like America and Europe than in China. China does have internal problems. But their economy's much stronger than the Western economies. You had riots in the streets in the U.K., what, last summer. Terrible instability, and there's going to be much more in the west. Greece, Spain, Portugal, these countries have staggering instability.
In America in the 1930s we certainly had all sorts of political problems and yet survived, partly because America was a very large credit nation and had the assets to see us through. America came out of that and became the most successful country in the 20th century. China's going to have plenty of problems. Plenty. I'd still rather invest in China than in other places.
Oilprice.com: You mentioned that with Spain and Greece we should just let them go bankrupt—what do you really see the implications of this being. Will it be as bad as we have been led to believe?
Jim Rogers: Might be worse. The good news is we'll get their problems behind us. The way the system is supposed to work is when people fail, they fail. Then you come in, you reorganize. Competent people come in, reorganize, and start over with a sound base. This has been going on for thousands of years.
It's a little bit like a forest fire. When you have a forest fire, it's terrible, terrible, but it cleans out the underbrush, cleans out the dead wood. The forest, when it's all over, is much stronger and has much better growth. Same with financial problems and bankruptcies. You start over and things are better.
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Oilprice.com: Now, moving away from the markets, I was hoping you could tell us a little bit about your book, "A Gift to my Children," the inspiration behind writing it and what you hope it achieves.
Jim Rogers: Well, I came into parenthood late and I never wanted to have children. I thought children were a terrible waste of time and money and energy. I felt sorry for friends who had children. Then I had some.
I've had some failures in my life, I've had a few triumphs. I started writing down the things I learned. I wanted to make sure my children knew all of these things. That turned into a magazine article, and the next thing you know it turned into a little book.
Grownups get a lot more out of it than children do because it's really a book for grownups.
Oilprice.com: What are lessons within the book? Why would I go out and buy the book? What am I going to learn?
Jim Rogers: I hope you'll learn to be famous, happy, rich and successful. Being happy, that's the main thing I'm trying to help with. If you're happy, not much else matters in life, at least in my experience. There's various ways to be happy, of course. I'm trying to tell people the things that I have learned. I'm trying to teach them to be curious, independent. It's very hard to think independently, as you probably know. Extremely hard. Most people are not very curious, If they see it on TV, that's what they accept instead of thinking, what's really going on here? I'm teaching readers to be curious, skeptical, independent thinkers.
—This story originally appeared on Oilprice.com.