October 19th, 2009
05:11 AM GMT
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Sometimes I think if you want to be a serious investor, you shouldn't become a business journalist. Sure, you learn a lot about various industries and get insightful advice from experts at the top of their game. On the other hand, you know all too well how everything can go terribly awry.

Jim Rogers, the famed commodities investor and author of new book "A Gift to My Children: A Father's Lessons for Life and Investing," admitted to me that he is a horrible short-term investor.  However, he says you don't need to be a good trader to make money.

Here are his tips for anyone looking to invest in the current economic crisis:

1) Buy what you know. "You should only buy things that you yourself know a lot about - whether it's cars, sports, hairdressing, fashion, or whatever it is," he told me.  "Do some research, do some homework, and if you see something really dramatic changing that is cheap, buy it.  You are going to know about it long before I am, long before a broker on Wall Street is, and that is how you are going to make a lot of money. "

2) Don't be cocky. "Being overactive is usually a mistake," Rogers mused.  "It always leads to problems.  People don't like it.  They want to jump around all the time.  That's not the way to succeed as an investor."

3) Buy low, sell high. "It's as simple as that," he said.  "Nobody likes to hear it.  Now that is so simple and so easy, but you cannot believe how difficult it is to buy low and sell high.  That is the hard part."

So what is Rogers doing with his money?

He wouldn't buy stocks today - not even in emerging markets.  He is selling the U.S. dollar because "it's a flawed currency."  Today, he would put new investments into commodities or what he thinks are "sound" currencies such as the Canadian dollar and the Japanese yen.  And one of his favorites - farmland.  With food prices rising, he believes farmland "may be one of the best investments a person can make in 2010."  But get to know the farmer and the industry first, he reminded me.

In other words, be sure to do your homework.

soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. A.M. Deist, Fort Walton Beach FL

    Jim is right-on. The U.S. markets have been going up because the TARP money that was given to investment banks went into the market instead of to borrowers. Too bad we didn't let those investment banks go belly up and take the TARP money directly from the treasury and put it into the market. Instead of giving taxpayers a huge bill, we could have given them a christmas bonus. The U.S. economy is far from being out of trouble, and when the bubble bursts, a lot of people are going to wonder what happened.

    October 21, 2009 at 10:42 pm |
  2. Shan Saeed

    I have the privilege of meeting with Jim Rogers in singapore and have benefited a lot from his knowledge..I am well connected to him thru email now. According to Jim Rogers

    1. Buy Commodities
    2. Buy Canadian /Aussie Dollar
    3. Bullish on China\
    4. Learn Mandarin
    5. Learn fast and quick in order to make killing with your investment

    Great human being and wonderful gentleman. Former Columbia Business School Professor and Ex-Soros Fund employee. He is a guru in commodities and global economy

    Shan Saeed
    Graduated w/Honor's Roll
    Uni. of Chicago

    October 31, 2009 at 8:49 pm |
  3. Olatunji Abiodun

    Wil like u 2 me more on resouces of job creativity in d world.

    November 29, 2009 at 8:38 am |

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