Speaker Preview: The Indiana Jones of Finance Puts His Money Where His Mouth Is

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By Peter M.J. Gross

Jim RogersJim Rogers isn’t your typical global investor. Not only has he taught at the Columbia University Graduate School of Business and moderated television programs on two different networks, but he has also set three Guinness world records for a series of globe-spanning journeys in a custom Mercedes off-roadster, earning the moniker “The Indiana Jones of finance” from Time magazine.

A widely followed financial commentator, Rogers co-founded the Quantum Fund with George Soros — an investment partnership that went on to “break” the bank of England. Rogers’ statements are so highly regarded that even quotes mistakenly attributed to him can make international headlines, such as when he was misidentified as the source for a prediction early last year that the British pound could collapse.

These days, Rogers is putting his money where his mouth is: In a well-timed move in December 2007, he sold his home in New York City to move to Asia, and currently resides in Singapore. “If you were smart in 1807 you moved to London,” Rogers told a television interviewer at the time of his relocation, “if you were smart in 1907 you moved to New York City, and if you are smart in 2007 you move to Asia.”

At the 64th CFA Institute Annual Conference, Rogers will take a look at China’s future and examine the country’s long-term competitiveness against the short-term valuation risks for investors. Rogers will also tackle the prospects for gold, silver, rare earth metals, and other commodities and assess the future of the U.S. dollar as the world’s reserve currency.

Rogers has written several critically acclaimed books on investing and global markets, including A Bull in China, which the New York Sun said offered “the smartest ways to invest in the world’s fastest-growing economy.” He is no doubt the only Annual Conference speaker to earn an endorsement from Nicholas Sparks, the bestselling author of The Notebook and A Walk to Remember, who said that Rogers’ 2009 work, A Gift to My Children: A Father’s Lessons for Life and Investing, was “not only a wonderful, meaningful thing to do, but it was filled with exactly the kind of advice all fathers should give.”

When it comes to the particulars of global finance, though, Rogers isn’t one to mince his words. In an April interview with Forbes.com about the long-term profitability of the agriculture sector, he predicted that it would be one of the “most exciting professions” over the next 10 to 20 years. “It’s going to be the farmers driving the Lamborghinis going forward,” Rogers said, “not the stock brokers.”

And when asked a few weeks later about the International Monetary Fund in an interview with India’s The Economic Times, Rogers said: “They have gone wrong [sic] about everything in the past 60 years. We would be better off without them.”

You can keep up with Rogers’ many media appearances on his blog. The global investor will address CFA Institute Annual Conference delegates in the closing session on 11 May.

Watch Jim Rogers critique U.S. Federal Reserve policy in a recent interview with Thomson Reuters:

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