Jim Rogers is a famous investor, co-founder of the Quantum
Fund with George Soros in the 1970's.
During that decade Rogers
made enough money to retire in his 30's and to become a world traveler, author,
and respected financial commentator. Rogers has written two books about his world travels (from
an investing mindset), and also about longer-term investing themes, such as
commodities investing and investing in China. He is a popular financial commentator on
financial networks such as CNBC. He is an American who currently resides with
his family in Singapore.
latest book, A Gift to My Children, is a bit different than his previous
works. It is a very short, very
accessible read. This is a book about
life lessons, not obscure investment theory.
The reader will find much of what Rogers
offers to be common sense. Yet, he offers
his insights in a way that makes you realize just how scarce common sense can
be. For example, Rogers
emphasizes how important it is not to blindly follow the herd, and to become an
expert in the areas in which you invest.
Also, I think that Rogers is adept
at succinctly arguing the case for studying history â human nature has not changed,
and studying the past often opens a window into likely future outcomes and
events, which can be understood to make more profitable and sound investments. Mark Twain is often quoted as having said
"History does not repeat itself, but it rhymes." Jim Rogers' investing philosophy certainly
encompasses that idea.
I would offer that the only major drawback to this book is
mostly offers his conclusions and lessons, and not the underlying bases for how
he learned those lessons. Therefore, a
reader who is unfamiliar with the Jim Rogers story is less likely to appreciate
his conclusions than are those readers who have already followed him around the
world twice, or who have seen Rogers's
often lively and unfiltered commentary in the financial press.
Some readers may be disappointed that, nonetheless, this
book is a short read. Ultimately,
however, A Gift to My Children is
still worth the relatively quick read.
However, it should be the second or third book you read from Rogers. Pick up Investment Biker, Adventure Capitalist, or Rogers's more thematic investing books on China or commodities. If he sells you on his
ideas after reading those books â as he did me â then A Gift to My Children will be more convincing and enjoyable.