OFF INTO THE WILD WET YONDER How does this...
James Beeland Rogers, Jr. (or Jim Rogers) was born in Baltimore, Maryland (a damn fine place to hail from), in 1942, and raised in the deep South of the United States. He’s an American businessman, professional investor, commodities guru, author, and a two-wheel enthusiast. Basically, a man’s man. As well as an old-school gentleman. One could almost imagine that if born a few centuries earlier his name might very well have appeared on the U.S. Constitution.
He’s perhaps best known for his association with George Soros and the famous Quantum Fund, which he co-founded with Soros in 1973. But in the bigger picture, this is really just a blip on Rogers’ radar screen. Moreover, Soros is a subject he’s not very fond of discussing, which, in my opinion, may have more to do with differing economic viewpoints than anything else.
When it comes to Rogers’ views on business, markets, investing, and currency, they fall closest to the Austrian school of economics—basically, that the free market knows better than the government.
Another of his accomplishments, which several here at knowmadic news feel is his greatest thus far, was his motorcycle trip around the world. Although he made it into the Guinness Book of World Records for driving a car around the world, in our (clearly biased) minds, two wheels are better than four—and I’d bet even Rogers would agree. Nowadays, though, everyone seems to be biking “around the globe”… mini series and TV shows are dedicated to the subject, and seemingly every other person on YouTube and Vimeo are documenting every step of their “epic” travels on two wheels.
Nevertheless, when Jim Rogers set out at age 45 to analyze the world on two wheels, and to join only a few who had done so before him, people thought he was nuts. Here he was, just a “suit,” a Wall Street guy, and a graduate of both Yale and Oxford, wanting to cruise around the world on a “death trap.” Back then, there was really no such thing as “adventure travel,” at least not in comparison to today’s multi-billion dollar global business designed for even the most unadventurous types.
Admittedly, being a huge fan of the man, the myth, the legend, you can imagine how excited we were to find a video of the China leg of his famous motorcycle trip. Over the years, I’ve read (and re-read) Investment Biker a number of times, and yet I only recently discovered that any video footage existed. (The Internet—what a truly amazing resource when you let it be, i.e, once people step away from Facebook-ing selfies and looking at porn. Who knew?!)
The video is a must-see for every business and investment professional—even if just a wannabe. I couldn’t help being overcome with envy watching him inside the Shanghai Stock Exchange, and as he made his way across such a vast and diverse country on the precipice of change—real change, not the fabricated plastic kind we’re used to in the first world. He was literally there right on the edge of China’s melt upwards from the depths of communism to its newly found market economy. He was immersed and documenting a period of history which most of us will only remember through TV and maybe history books. Not even the new generations of Chinese will be able to completely comprehend such an experience.
The ride, the cultural experience, the smell of opportunity… all must have had a profound effect on him, as it would anyone with a head for this type of stuff. For me, just watching the video was enough to crave the road, the elements, and the hunt for new opportunities and experiences. Albeit, I’m not sure these original types of experiences even exist anymore, but the road certainly does and for me that will do…
Enjoy the video. Although a bit dated, it is still definitely worth the 50 minutes.