MUSCAT, 22 January 2013 – Bank Muscat, the flagship financial services provider in the Sultanate, is hosting renowned investment expert Jim Rogers, who will share his insights on the state of 'World Economy' at the Treasury & Capital Markets conference on 30 January. High profile dignitaries from the government, senior private sector officials and top clients will attend the conference while Rogers will also meet with select young Omanis.
American investor and author, currently based in Singapore, Rogers is the Chairman of Rogers Holdings and Beeland Interests Inc. He is the co-founder of Quantum Fund with George Soros and creator of the Rogers International Commodities Index (RICI).
Rogers believes Asian markets present now a ground-breaking time for investment potential. However, he is not fully bullish on all Asian nations. In 2005, Rogers wrote Hot Commodities: How Anyone Can Invest Profitably in the World's Best Market.
From 1990 to 1992, he traveled around the world, on motorcycle, over 100,000 miles (160,000 km) across six continents, which was picked up in the Guinness Book of World Records. He narrates his adventures and worldwide investments in Investment Biker, a bestselling investment book.
Between 1 January 1999 and 5 January 2002, Rogers did another Guinness World Record journey through 116 countries, covering 245,000 kilometers with his wife, Paige Parker, in a custom-made Mercedes. He wrote Adventure Capitalist following this around-the-world adventure. It is currently his bestselling book.
In a wide-ranging interview, Rogers shares his insights on investment prospects around the world.
Where does an investor put his money in the current uncertain times?
Times have always been uncertain except when people look back, so these times are no different in that regard. First, everyone should invest only in things which he understands himself. Do not look for hot tips.
I have my money invested mainly in natural resources and currencies. I do own a few shares around the world which I have owned for years. I also have Japanese shares I bought mainly during the tsunami and in the fall of 2012 when it became clear they were going to drive down the yen. I am also short long-term government bonds in the US as well as a few stocks.
2008 – 2009 was the sub-prime crisis, it was followed by the sovereign debt crisis, followed by the Euro-zone crisis. What is to follow or are we seeing the light at the end of the tunnel?
I am of the view that things may get worse probably by the end of 2013 and 2014, especially more turmoil in the currency markets as well as more financial difficulties in the sovereign markets.
Around the world, liquidity is viewed as the problem / solution to all our woes. Do you believe in that?
Printing money will lead to more currency turmoil as well as more inflation and higher interest rates. This is going to end very badly.
We are seeing a shift in economic power between the developing world and the developed world. What further changes would be required in the developing nations to complete the shift in power?
Avoid going into debt.
With equity indices world-wide touching multi-year highs, but economic growth still low at sub-2% in the developed world what is causing the divergence and will this disparity converge.
Massive money printing is the only cause and will lead to problems. I hope I am protecting myself by owning real assets.
What is your view on the Middle Eastern economies in general and GCC in particular?
They have mainly done a good job. I am optimistic about energy prices so they will have the wind on their sails for a while.
What are your views on prospects of real estate market in GCC?
I expect interest rates to rise worldwide so am worried about real estate. There will be properties to buy in careful areas, but one must be careful.
What inspired you to take the road trips around the world.
I have wanted to see the world since I was a kid. I have always wanted adventure.
What were your experiences and take-aways?
I have written few books on my experiences and take-aways. They are endless. I did learn we are all alike in nearly every way. We would all be better off if we were exposed to each other more. I also learned all mankind has and always have a spiritual need.
You are visiting Oman soon. Please share some details about your trip?
I have not been in Oman since 2000, so I am very excited to be returning. I am arriving in Muscat next week at the invitation of Bank Muscat to speak on the state of 'World Economy' at its Treasury & Capital Markets conference. As part of the program, I will be meeting some high profile dignitaries in Oman and also look forward to be part of an interactive session with select young Omanis.