Renowned American investor Jim Rogers has attracted global attention with his prediction that gold prices will fall to $900 an ounce. His words carry weight not just because of his years in the industry, but because two years ago the retired hedge fund manager, who co-founded the Quantum Fund with George Soros, correctly said that gold – then hitting peak prices – would drop to $1,200 an ounce.
著名的美国投资者吉姆·罗杰斯(Jim Rogers)因其有关黄金价格将跌至每盎司900美元的预测吸引了全世界的注意力。他的讲话具有市场影响力不仅仅是由于他深厚的行业历练，还因为两年前这名退休的对冲基金经理（他曾与乔治·索罗斯(George Soros)共同创立量子基金(Quantum Fund)）成功地预测到了当时涨至峰值的黄金价格将跌至每盎司1200美元。
Gold, he repeatedly warns, is not a mystical commodity and its real bottom will not be reached until those investors who think it cannot fall have all left the market.
Mr Rogers is on a mission to convince the investment world to look seriously at agriculture. He explains to Elaine Moore why he thinks it will be a source of profit for years to come.
Why do you think gold prices are going to keep falling?
Gold has gone up 12 years in a row, which is terribly unusual for any asset, so it would be an anomaly if there was not a correction.
I am terrible at market timing but I expect gold to go down 50 per cent from its peak, which would take it to about $900. I’m not selling gold at the moment but if it falls or if it gets down there, then I hope I will be smart enough to buy more.
Why does gold attract so much attention?
I can’t tell you why, but I always have the same experience. When I speak at investment events there is always someone asking about gold. I’d rather talk about agriculture.
What do you want to say about agriculture?
I think there is more money to be made in agriculture. I don’t think we’ve had the final bottom in gold but we must be nearing it in sugar. Sugar is down 75 per cent from its all-time high – there’s not much in the world that’s down 75 per cent.
I think that farming is going to become one of the most exciting professions in the next 20 years. The average age of a farmer in the US is 58, in Korea it’s 65. It is an old profession and the people in it are dying out or retiring. In the US, more people study public relations than agriculture.
The world is facing a serious demographic and production problem. If something doesn’t change then we won’t have food at any price. Prices will have to go up a lot to attract labour and the Food and Agriculture Organisation has tried to get people to see this crisis. They see what I see. What more do you need to know?
目前全球面临着严峻的人口结构及粮食生产问题。如果不做出改变，那么无论支付怎样的高价，我们也买不到粮食。粮食价格必须大幅上涨才能吸引到进行生产所需的劳动力，联合国粮农组织(UN Food and Agriculture Organisation)为使人们认识到这场危机做出了努力。他们已经看到了我所看到的问题。你还需要再知道些什么呢？
People blame it on speculators but it isn’t about them – it’s about the fact that inventories are now at the lowest they’ve been in recorded history and even though we have had good crops in the past decade, production cannot keep up with demand. In the past if we had problems with the weather, then we had huge inventories. But now we don’t have inventories and we don’t have farmers.
Why isn’t there more interest in this sector?
We’ve had long cycles where the financial sector was in charge, followed by times when the people who make things were in charge. We’re at a midpoint now.
When I was at college [Mr Rogers was born in 1942] people used to talk about the City and Wall Street as backwaters. Now the kids at Oxford all want to start hedge funds. But the fundamentals have changed so much. There is so much competition in finance and banking in the rest of the world, we have gigantic leverage in the industry and now every government is coming down hard against financial types. I think finance is going to be a terrible place to be for the next 10, 20, 30 years.
You set up the RICI [Rogers International Commodity Index] in the late 1990s, how are you investing in agriculture?
问：你在二十世纪九十年代晚期创立了罗杰斯国际商品指数(Rogers International Commodity Index)，你在农业领域是如何进行投资的呢？
I mainly buy agricultural products – farms. I buy publicly traded farms in Australia and Indonesia and Africa. But you can invest in tractors and fertilisers and seeds – there are lots of ways into this.
What else are you currently investing in?
Well, apart from agriculture I’m looking at the US dollar because there will be more currency turmoil in the future and I think a lot of people are going to flee to the US dollar as a haven. The Chinese currency will also continue to be strong, and sugar, which I’ve mentioned. I’m also buying shares in airlines and I’m looking at Russia, which I’ve been pessimistic about since 1966, but which I’m now changing my views on.
What are your views on passive investment?
There are plenty of studies that show that index investing outperforms 80 per cent of active managers, so passive investing is the best way for most investors. If you are a good stock picker then, sure, do that, but the evidence is so strong that basically most people should use passive investments.