Jim Rogers Experience
Story No. 2
Discovering more of Jim Rogers. 1987-1993
by a Jim Rogers Fan
After I discovered Jim Rogers, through an incredible night lecture, while a
student at Columbia University, I never expected to bump in to this guy again. I
graduated in 1987, and began working as an architect in NY. My interest in the
stock market was there, but I had very little training, little money, and
nothing to go on, other than a few dull books, watching NPR, and an occasional
effort to get my hands on some Value Lines. And I had the memory of Roger's
lecture, where he gave a lot of basic tips and advice, not all unlike the kinds
of simple tips I would read about in Peter Lynch's first book.
One day, probably around 1989 or 1990, as I walked past a newstand in the Union
Square subway, I happened to look down at a stack of Barrons', and I saw the
words "Barrons Round Table" and "with Jim Rogers." After a doubletake, I jumped
on that copy. My buddy Rogers has showed up in my life again. And so began my
worship of the Barrons Round Table. Not only was Jim Rogers there, but a few
other names I had begun to get acquainted with over the years. . including Peter
Lynch, John Neff and others. This was great for me - an education in the stock
market by watching these guys predict the year. I had never heard of the Barrons
Round Table before. Had I not seen Roger's name, I might never had noticed it.
From that day on, my own investment strategy worked like this. I read the
Barron's Round Table, every January, during it's 3 weeks of publication, to
determine how the year would go. Then I would pick my favorite 3 or 4 ideas from
the group, and invest. I was too busy with other things in my life to worry with
stock analysis every day, or every month. And since I invested long term, this
was good enough for me. To this very day, I wait patiently for the third week of
January to roll around, so I can read what the famous group has to say about the
coming year. It's become a ritual that I can't stop doing. I love it. And I've
learned a lot just listening to these guys, observing how they think, and
checking their results the following year.
And of course, I have to go with what fits my own senses. I never like the whole
group. Not every idea appeals to me personally. Not every idea I can understand.
Since my attitude is very black sheep, I quite naturally cozy up to the black
sheep like Rogers. To Lynch's credit, who is less black, his ideas often paid me
well. I still remember his recommendation on British Steel. Good one. And
Rogers' ideas were often so weird, or foriegn, I had no way to buy what he was
recommending. I could not buy Botswana's stock market. I couldn't buy apple
farms in New Zealand. But once I did buy a CD's from a New Zealand bank and a
Danish bank, indirectly following his advice on the currency -- paid back nicely
after 6 months. Roger's pick on silver back then did not do me well at all. Big
loser. One of my worst buys of all time. As he readily admits, he ain't perfect.
Couer D Alene Mines - what a haunting story that stock has been over the past 15
years. Of course, if you us this technique of annual buying, you are on your own
in terms of figuring out when to sell.
This was all before Rogers showed up on cable TV. Before his books came out.
Eventually, he disappeared from the Round Table for a while so he could travel
the world on a motorcycle. But upon hearing that, it did force me to recall his
words from back in 1987 at Columbia. He told the audience, which was 99% MBA
students, that the biggest waste of time and money was getting an MBA. They all
laughed, of course, since they were paying a fortune to be there, and Rogers was
being paid to teach them. He said if they wanted to be successful, they would be
better off traveling the world, working abroad, and getting to know another
country. When I heard Rogers was circling the globe on a motorcycle, I figured
he was practicing what he preached.
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