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5 Questions With Marc Faber

Contrarian investor and author Marc Faber answers five questions posed to him by CNBC on life, his investments and the lessons learnt from the Asian financial crisis.

Q: What's the best investment you've ever made?

A: Usually when faced with this question people will think of investments in monetary terms. However, in our lives, our best investments are probably the ones you cannot measure the way a portfolio manager will measure his "performance".

Dr. Marc Faber
Axel Griesch | ASFM | Getty Images
Dr. Marc Faber

These investments relate to education, culture, job satisfaction, eagerness to learn, and happiness through philosophy, religion, self-improvement, compassion, love, a harmonious family, friendships, readiness to do good deeds etc.

I do know some of the world's richest people. In monetary terms, they all performed very well. In terms of a fulfilling life, I am less sure.

When it comes to money, the best investments were probably the ones I did not make.

Q: How about the worst investment decision and how did it end up?

A: My worst investment decisions so far is to lend money to friends. So far, it has all came to zero.

Shorting the Nasdaq in 1998 was also a disaster, and it will remain, in my life as an investment advisor and fund manager, a very black spot. The damage was considerable.

Q. Do you think markets are becoming increasingly risky for individual investors?

A: No, but they are likely to remain extremely volatile for a long time and the key will be to preserve your capital given the people we have at the U.S. Federal Reserve, whose intention is to debase the value of paper money.

Q: What were some of the key lessons learnt during the Asian Financial Crisis?

A: Prior to the Asian Crisis, I was extremely bearish. But the severity of the crisis surprised even me.

Q: Who / what has been the biggest influence in your life?

A: The Austrian School of Economics, my history teacher, Buddha, and my best friend - Marc Faber.

Marc Faber is an international investor and publisher of the widely read newsletter 'The Gloom Boom & Doom Report'. He is well known for his contrarian approach to investing and has also made several great calls in his career - in 1987, he warned clients to cash out before Black Monday on Wall Street; reaped profits by forecasting the burst of the Japanese Bubble in 1990 and foresaw the 1997 Asian financial crisis. He is also author of several books, including the 2002 bestseller 'Tomorrow's Gold - Asia's Age of Discovery'.

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Watch Marc Faber's Past Interviews on CNBC:

  • Treasuries Bubble Trouble?
  • Price Levels to Push Higher in Asia: Faber
  • Printing Will Create 'Final Crisis': Faber