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Showing 1-10 of 53 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 122 reviews
on December 21, 2016
I have been impressed for the last 20+ years by Jim's financial and economic analysis which has appeared on tv, the net and in various publications. However, this is the first of his books I have read and I was overwhelmed by his knowledge of the world and local economies which he interjected numerous times throughout the book as he discussed his challenging world wide motorcycle ride. I found his insights and future economic and political forecasts for various countries quite applicable to the current day experiences including many that have surfaced over the last 10+ years in the US and in the recent national elections. His view of how the world and the US will change going forward and the opportunities that will most likely be squandered are quite sobering. It is amazing that the book is over 20 years old.
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on January 3, 2014
Jim Rogers' recounting of his around the world motorcycle trip with his girlfriend "Tabitha" (I use quotation marks because I'm guessing that is not her actual name) is a great read. The author tells about most of the countries through which they traveled. His focus is on these key items:
- Road conditions and interesting sites along the way (e.g., Great Wall, Sahara Desert, Trans-Siberian Railroad, Red Square, Congo River, Victoria Falls, etc.);
- Investment climate in most countries;
- World history and politics (his bachelor's degrees in these subjects - Yale and Oxford - are quite apparent and his tales are enlightening);
- Motorcycle maintenance issues he and "Tabitha" encounter
- A very healthy dose of his philosophy of economics: his distaste for socialist or communist (statist) governments and affection for market-based economies;
- Many tales of the challenges of crossing international borders, especially in Asia, Africa, and South America;
- Small amounts of insight into his relationship with "Tabitha." It is pretty clear to me that their relationship is sexual, but it is totally unclear to me if she is Paige Parker to whom he is currently married and who travels with him on a later, more extensive trip around the world (1999-2002);
- The black market for all sorts of purposes, chiefly for currency exchange, but also for gasoline and other expendables.

If you are catching my drift, I felt he tried to cover too much material. Clearly, he is a man of superior intellect, and I suspect he has a great deal to share and he doesn't feel inclined to hold back. The problem for me was just when I was focused on the road conditions in Siberia (or lack of roads), this theme does not carry forward. When you're biking around the world, road conditions would seem to be an imperative topic anywhere that they are problematic. But suddenly, he doesn't mention the roads for quite some time (distance) and you are learning about historic sites, war zones, "Tabitha's" pondering if she should continue the trip, or many other topics.

I do recommend the book (purchased through Amazon--paperback), because I learned so much about so many varied topics. It is also a credit to Rogers that his economic predictions are often spot-on, even viewed with benefit of hindsight some twenty years after he wrote the book.
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on May 15, 2016
I know this is an older book, and Rogers' life has gone in a different direction from when he wrote it, but the insight and observations are instructional and entertaining. I know nothing from the world of finance and investment, so I have people who help me, but I do know motorcycles and when I was loaned this book by a friend who does know the aforementioned, I read it and bought my own....along with one for me financially savvy son, who rides as well. An excellent read, even for those of us ignorant of the world of high stakes investment.
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on April 16, 2014
This book is amazing. Jim Rogers can really tell a story in an entertaining and informative way. On the surface, it's a millionaire's journey around the world on a BMW bike with his girlfriend, but the REAL significance of this tale is world history, the drama (and trauma) of African border crossings, fall of Soviet Union, and finding investment opportunities in third-world nations. This trip took place in early-90s, but he writes "Adventure Capitalist" in 2003 when he takes a similar trip in a souped-up one-off Mercedes, with equally great shenanigans. Then he writes "Street Smarts" in 2013 after he's settled in China with his family. Jim Rogers is my new favorite author.

The book itself is in brand new condition. Paperback published in 1993, and given as a gift to someone in 2006 (who wrote his name on title page) but evidently never read it because the spine isn't broken and there are no dogeared pages. And I got it for 70 cents. Jim Roger's book "Hot Commodities" cost me only a penny. Amazon rocks!
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on March 26, 2012
Jim Rogers rides his BMW motorcycle around the world with a hot babe, who also straddles hers, and lives to tell the tale.

While Rogers is clearly an expert on stock buying, he has a lot to learn when it comes to geography. He goes out on a limb when he suggests that the Galapagos Islands were populated by a seismic sea wave, caused by a large earthquake in South America, that carried people out there in boats. If he knew anything about seismic sea waves he would know that they are undetectable to the average human, until, that is, they reach land. He tells us that Tihuanaco, the ruins of a pre-Columbian civilization in modern day Bolivia, is both "on top of the altiplano" and "covered in thick jungle." Which, Mr. Rogers. You can only choose one, for never the twain shall meet.

There are also lots of tips on how to take motorcycles across international borders, in case you ever come to that stage, or how to scope out a country for "investment potential," before it even has so much as a stock market. He gives lots of tax advice, favoring taxing consumption over investments and savings. My favorite quote: "Someday the world will come to its senses and legalize drugs." He rails againts the Catholic church and how it slaughtered millions of indiginous Americans in the name of "Christ. And he correctly points out that the conquistadors of South America were not the heroes portrayed in history books, but better yet, "thugs." Mere human beings might even be a better term, capable of all that is great, and horrible, in Man.

He also decries government subsidies, especially agricultural ones such as the US sugar subsidy. He again and again points out that the greatest economies--Japan, Germany, Singapore to name a few--"don't tax savings."

The great capitalist that he is, Rogers spends a lot of time anylyzing Russia, and the former Soviet sphere, where he decries the lack of consumer choice in places such as Moscow, where there were perhaps "3 or 4 places where one could actually sit down and have a cup of coffee." Later, he mentions that people in Siberia had never ever "seen a flyswatter" and speculates on how much money could be made introducing them.

But while Rogers is clearly always looking to develop, looking to make a buck, including bringing lots and lots of "tourists" to Antarctica, he also devotes several pages to wildlife viewing. He fails to address the issue of how he can reconcile his love of wild places, while promoting development of those same "wild places" at the same time.

While Rogers is clearly a freemarket kind of guy, one could call him a neo-libertarian as he professes his faith in mankind and the free market (he marvels at engineering projects such as Itaipu dam on Brazil/Paraguay border and goes on about the "universal genious of man"), at the same time, and fortuantely so, he decries the heavy handed approach the USA has historically diplomatically wielded, and understands why many Latinos in the Southwest still consider themselves as living in parts of Mexico, and not Texas, New Mexico, Arizona or California.

Favorite quotes on America: "We sue at the first glitch," and "Our doctors are drowning in paperwork."

Deranged Frenchmen wielding knives, Sahara panoramas, corrupt African officials, shady currency traders, the wide open vistas of Siberia, pounding surf of the Pacific, the seething jungles of equatorial Africa, snowcapped Andes, lamas, and much, much more.

There are even a couple of appendices, one for the equipment they brought along, another for the places they stayed along the way.

Four stars. Rick says chack it out.
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on March 20, 2017
Fantastic book. Rogers does an admirable job of blending his obvious smarts about finance, economics and history with a book that mostly reads like a travel diary. I was in awe and humbled by the sheer intellect reflect in his insights and appreciative of his willingness to share them with this readers. Never a dull moment and an incredible opportunity to delve into the mind of one of finance's brightest.
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on October 14, 2014
This is a great read, and interesting to review after 20+ years of history to determine whether Jim gets it right or wrong with some of his conclusions and recommendations. As an Australian, I found it interesting that he rode straight past (without mention) the world's largest iron ore province, I suppose because the price at the time barely covered extraction costs and China wasn't yet booming.
His descriptions of many of his adventures don't make you wish you had been there with him, but all in all it is an informative and well narrated adventure story.
I was fortunate enough to be able to launch straight into the sequel, Adventure Capitalist, for his updates on the experiences in this book. Generally, Jim writes easily and freely and at no point was there cause to nod off mid-page, and editing is excellent.
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on February 15, 2017
This is an old book so it's really historical. The surprising thing is how wrong he was about so many things. This is a brilliant guy who understands the world better than most of us. Thoughout the book he makes a great number of predictions about emerging nations. Most are wrong.

The one prediction he totally nailed though was the decline of the United States. Everything he predicted that would happen in the United States has, and it, happening.
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on April 26, 2017
I really like how Jim describes his trip and analyze the economic situation in each place he visited. Things have changed a lot but still give great insights
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on August 24, 2008
Despite many comments in other reviews, this book is much, much, more than a is essential reading for all long term investors...moreover, it ought to be essential reading for all government officials who want to keep America great. After traveling around and seeing all these countries, it is hard to see how another human being could have acquired the scope of knowledge that Rogers now his wisdom counts! Major lesson from this book include:

1)the major focus of government should be (besides defense, police, fire, etc.) to get out of the way and unleash the desire of the population to chase high return opportunities...but not to protect the population from competition

2)eliminate protectionism and subsides for all industries within the economy...allowing one's industries to take its lumps in the world wide competitive market...otherwise, those industries will not innovate to the degree needed to stay competitive on the world market

3)nothing in society is permanent...the most successful societies adapt to and embrace change and competition...the least successful ones--the ones that end up dying--reach a point of success...then get fat and happy and try to preserve their status at all costs

4)do NOT leave your finances in the hands of others...even Jim Rogers did this...and he had his money stolen out from under him!!

5)stable, long term relationships are invaluable...poor Jim travels around with this "young leggy blonde" (who my mom referred to as a "tart")...who he obviously loves...but who appears to have "hit the road" after the trip...too bad...
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