67 of 78 people found the following review helpful
Should Be Two Books, and Both Would Be Stronger,
This review is from: Adventure Capitalist: The Ultimate Road Trip (Hardcover)
Jim Rogers has been smashingly successful in two different areas - international investing and international travel. He tries to tackle both successes in this book but unfortunately doesn't adequately cover either. His remarkable achievement covered here is his three-year drive (with his wife and some suspiciously anonymous assistants) around the world, knocking off 116 countries and 152,000 miles, along with all the life-threatening travails and crises that you would expect in so many hostile territories. He was also on constant lookout for international investing opportunities, and his most interesting assertion is that you learn most about the dynamics of any foreign economy by talking to real people at street level. That's opposed to know-it-all politicians and bureaucrats who make vast judgments on places they have never been and couldn't nearly understand.
The main problem here is that the journey was so extensive that Rogers doesn't have the space to relate an effective travelogue about all the places he visited. Entire nations are often described in a sentence or less. Meanwhile, yes/no pronouncements on the viability of investing in each location are tossed off quickly like afterthoughts. Rogers does impart some great investment advice here, like the contention that the next bull market will be in commodities (raw materials) rather than securities, most of the currencies in the world are collapsing, and that the surprise up-and-coming nations will be Angola and Bolivia. But otherwise, Rogers quickly dismisses most of the visited countries due to political strife. He also spends a lot of time on his soapbox, making vast pronouncements on how to solve the world's ills, most of which involve a simplistic belief in free trade (the phrase "the miracles of international trade" pops up once), and the predictable disdain for globalization's critics that we keep hearing from those with vested interests. Rogers fails to notice that much of the political strife he encountered around the world resulted from mismanaged globalization efforts.
Rogers should have written two books inspired by his remarkable journey. The first would be a travelogue and adventure story about the perils and rewards of death-defying travel. The second book would be a solid examination of worldwide investing opportunities and the futures of developing vs. declining nations and their economies. Both would be much stronger than this book that unsuccessfully tries to blend the two, but leaves both poorly covered.