Saturday, November 21, 2009

Jim Rogers: The Secret of My Success

FT interviews Jim Rogers:

When you realised that you had made your first million were you tempted to slow down?

I can remember the exact day of my first million dollars’ net worth. It was in November 1977. I was 35. I knew I needed more than that to do what I wanted when I was 37 – the age I decided to stop working to seek adventure.

What is the secret of your success?

As I was not smarter than most people, I was willing to work harder than most. I was prepared to examine conventional wisdom. If everyone thinks one way, it is likely to be wrong. If you can figure out that it is wrong, you are likely to make a lot of money.

What is your basic investment strategy?

Buy low and sell high. I try to find something that is very cheap, where a positive change is taking place. Then I do enough homework to make sure I am right. It has got to be cheap so that, if I am wrong, I don’t lose much money. Every time I make a mistake, it is usually because I did not do enough homework.

Do not underestimate the value of due diligence. In the 1960s, General Motors was the world’s most successful company. One day, a GM analyst went to the board of directors with the message: “The Japanese are coming.” They ignored him. Investors who did their homework sold their GM stock – and bought Toyota instead.

I’m not buying any stocks at the moment. If anything is undervalued now it is commodities and some currencies.

What has been your most spectacular gain?

The Quantum Fund. When we started the company in 1970, I had $600 in my pocket. Within 10 years, the portfolio had gained 4,200 per cent...

Have you made any pension provision?

I don’t have a pension because I hope I don’t need one. I have accumulated assets and that is what I live on..

Where should people put their money in the recession?

Invest only in things you know something about. The mistake most people make is that they listen to hot tips, or act on something they read in magazines.

Most people know a lot about something, so they should just stick to what they know and buy an investment in that area. That is how you get rich.

You don’t get rich investing in things you know nothing about.

Read the entire interview here.

1 comment:

  1. Robert - thanks for highlighting this great interview, Rogers is a great success with enduring advice: work hard; buy low, sell high; invest in what you know.