Late Wednesday, noted investor Jim Rogers announced that he is taking a job as an advisor with Russian state-owned banking group, VTB Bank. Rogers will advise an agriculture fund run by VTB Capital. For Rogers, this move indicates a major shift in his outlook on Russia. While it should be noted that Rogers has, more recently, expressed a more positive view on Russia, Rogers had, prior to this, avoided Russia. Investors who have read either Investment Biker or Adventure Capitalist or who have followed Rogers' comments about Russia know that the investment legend has been bearish about the country's investment prospects for a very long time. For those who are unfamiliar with Rogers' past view on Russia, I would highly recommend reading this famous email exchange between Rogers and Harvard Business School Student Dmitry Alimov.
Market Vectors Russia ETF (RSX)
One way to bet on Russia is through the RSX. The RSX hold 47 Russian stocks and is a good way to gain broad exposure to the Russian stock market. As shown by the chart below, the Russian market has lagged well behind both the Emerging Market ETF (EEM) and S&P 500 ETF (SPY).
RSX data by YCharts
Power Shares DB Agriculture Trust (DBA)
With a market cap of more than $2 billion, DBA is widely considered one of the best ways to gain exposure to agriculture commodities. The five largest holdings of DBA are Sugar futures, Live Cattle futures, Corn futures, Soybean futures, and Cocoa futures. Jim Rogers has been bullish on agriculture for a long time, but it should be noted that Rogers's move into Russia is coming in a capacity related agriculture. The decision to enter Russia through an agriculture role further reinforces Rogers's bullish stance on the sector.
Market Vectors Agribusiness Index ETF (MOO)
Another way express a bullish thesis on agriculture commodities is through buying companies in the agriculture business. MOO, an ETF with a market cap of more than $5 billion, invests in companies in different areas of the agriculture business. The five largest holdings of MOO are Monsanto (MON), Potash Corporation (POT), Syngenta (SYT), Deere & Co (DE), and Mosaic (MOS). If Rogers is correct with his bullish views on agriculture commodities, then MOO should be poised to benefit.
Simply put, investors who have listened to Jim Rogers in the past have done quite well. Rogers was among the first investors to call for a bull market in commodities. If Rogers end up being successful in his new job with VTB, thus correct on Russia and agriculture, ETFs RSX, DBA, and MOO should all do well.