Jim Rogers' Picks and Pans - Barron's Interview

Includes: BA, C, CNY, FNMA, IAI, JJN, LEN
by: SA Eli Hoffmann

Barron's interviews investing guru Jim Rogers, who's gung-ho on China:

China is going to be the next great country. The 19th century was the century of the U.K. The 20th century was the century of the U.S. The 21st century is going to be the century of China.

He recently moved his family to Singapore so that his young daughter would learn the language.

Rogers doesn't tout any U.S.-traded Chinese firms, but says the best ways to play a China boom are:

  1. The currency (renminbi), which will go up against the dollar "for the next several decades." (Ed: Market Vectors - Chinese Renminbi/USD ETN (NYSEARCA:CNY).)
  2. Commodities, specifically nickel (Ed: iPath DJ-AIG Nickel Total Return Sub-Index (NYSEARCA:JJN)) and water.

Domestically, Rogers likes Boeing (NYSE:BA), noting you can't get a new plane for the next 5-7 years (or more if Boeing extends its 787 Dreamliner deadline again).

He's short Citigroup (NYSE:C) and Fannie Mae (FNM), along with the Amex Securities Broker/Dealer Index (Ed: iShares Dow Jones U.S. Broker-Dealers Index Fund (NYSEARCA:IAI)). He's also short U.S. homebuilders including Lennar (NYSE:LEN).

He fails to understand the bearish case on commodities:

Nobody has brought on any new supply of anything in the past 25 or 30 years. The last gigantic oil field was discovered in the 1960s. The number of acres devoted to wheat farming has been declining for more than 30 years. Food inventories are the lowest they've been in 60 years... in 2018, or whenever this bubble finally starts to peak, if I'm lucky you will call me up and I'll say it's time to sell commodities.

But Rogers has exited most of his emerging market investments, but says he'd buy back in if and when there's a big correction.