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4.2 out of 5 stars
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We are accustomed to reading headlines like the above in The Wall Street Journal and in the business sections of other publications. If you are like most people, you use the information to get a general sense of what future inflation might be . . . and go back to buying and selling stocks and bonds.
Jim Rogers has a different suggestion for you. Learn enough about the commodity markets so that you can consider whether they offer an appropriate alternative for investing some of your funds. His book, Hot Commodities, is designed to help you achieve that goal.
I found Hot Commodities to be an easy-to-understand introduction to the subject that will appeal most to those who know nothing. If you were alive during the commodity-driven inflation of the 1970s and 1980s, you will find this book to be a little too simple for you. But you will probably enjoy the book, nevertheless. Mr. Rogers has a straightforward, humble approach to his writing that will appeal to most.
Some may avoid this book because they don't want to use the tremendous margin that is available with commodities. That's a mistake. Mr. Rogers is suggesting a plain vanilla index-fund approach to owning a portfolio of commodities over the long term with no trading and no financial leverage. His point: During a commodity up-cycle, many commodities will rise by ten-fold. Hitting most of the rise over a 10-18 year period will provide returns that exceed what bonds and stocks usually provide.
In addition, he shows that commodities tend to be countercyclical to stock and bond returns so commodities can be a useful diversification for part of a portfolio. Interestingly, commodities have also been less volatile than stocks in the last 25 years or so.
Mr. Rogers also gives you basic information in case you want to consider more adventuresome versions of what he recommends (don't do it!).
The most interesting parts of the book are the ones where he explores the pivotal role that China and Brazil play in creating a commodities boom. He looks at economic growth in developing countries, oil, gold, lead, sugar and coffee in a little detail to give you a flavor of how to analyze supply and demand fundamentals for a given commodity.
Personally, I would have found the book to be a lot more valuable if it had had more detailed analysis in it . . . and suggestions for how to do your own homework.
But that's okay. I still learned from the book, and intend to consider doing some commodity index fund investing.
I recommend this book to anyone who wants to use index fund investing to beat the pros.
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We are accustomed to reading headlines like the above in The Wall Street Journal and in the business sections of other publications. If you are like most people, you use the information to get a general sense of what future inflation might be . . . and go back to buying and selling stocks and bonds.
Jim Rogers has a different suggestion for you. Learn enough about the commodity markets so that you can consider whether they offer an appropriate alternative for investing some of your funds. His book, Hot Commodities, is designed to help you achieve that goal.
I found Hot Commodities to be an easy-to-understand introduction to the subject that will appeal most to those who know nothing. If you were alive during the commodity-driven inflation of the 1970s and 1980s, you will find this book to be a little too simple for you. But you will probably enjoy the book, nevertheless. Mr. Rogers has a straightforward, humble approach to his writing that will appeal to most.
Some may avoid this book because they don't want to use the tremendous margin that is available with commodities. That's a mistake. Mr. Rogers is suggesting a plain vanilla index-fund approach to owning a portfolio of commodities over the long term with no trading and no financial leverage. His point: During a commodity up-cycle, many commodities will rise by ten-fold. Hitting most of the rise over a 10-18 year period will provide returns that exceed what bonds and stocks usually provide.
In addition, he shows that commodities tend to be countercyclical to stock and bond returns so commodities can be a useful diversification for part of a portfolio. Interestingly, commodities have also been less volatile than stocks in the last 25 years or so.
Mr. Rogers also gives you basic information in case you want to consider more adventuresome versions of what he recommends (don't do it!).
The most interesting parts of the book are the ones where he explores the pivotal role that China and Brazil play in creating a commodities boom. He looks at economic growth in developing countries, oil, gold, lead, sugar and coffee in a little detail to give you a flavor of how to analyze supply and demand fundamentals for a given commodity.
Personally, I would have found the book to be a lot more valuable if it had had more detailed analysis in it . . . and suggestions for how to do your own homework.
But that's okay. I still learned from the book, and intend to consider doing some commodity index fund investing.
I recommend this book to anyone who wants to use index fund investing to beat the pros.
0Comment| 15 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
TOP 500 REVIEWERon 19 August 2005
Jim Rogers' book is surprisingly similar in tone to those breathless radio ads inviting you to "invest now" in petroleum futures because bad weather in the northeast is sure to cause a shortage of heating oil. But, Rogers backs up his enthusiasm - dare one say exuberance? - with facts. His record as co-founder of the Quantum Fund speaks for itself. Of course, it doesn't take an advanced degree to figure out that as China continues its inevitable lumbering jog toward economic hegemony, its appetite for commodities will become insatiable. Hearing it from someone with Rogers' track record, however, gives it immediacy. Rogers seems to be talking to the general investing public, which may explain the awkward chapters that detour through commodity investment basics, but he heads for more advanced territory soon enough. As the founder of the "The Rogers Raw Materials Index Fund," he would probably relish a run on commodities. That said, Rogers makes a convincing case, and we strongly recommend his book to those looking to diversify into commodities.
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VINE VOICEon 10 September 2009
I've just finished a Masters in Finance and Commodities. I think Asia is the future of economic growth in the next 20 years. So I thought I'd get on well with Jim Rogers.

After reading about 1/3 of his book, which was intended to be light reading on a 14 hour flight, I gave up and read a deep mathematical textbook instead for light relief.

His style is like one of those stock selection web pages : "If I told you a secret that could make you lots of money, would you believe me? ... Many others laughed at me, but now I am a millionnaire ... I foresaw a coming boom that would multiply my money tenfold in ten years ....". These are not quotes, but you get the idea.

Jim Rogers clearly knows his stuff. His books are actually full of facts and his insight. But the writing style surrounding those facts is so annoying, and there's so much repetition of the same ideas over and over again, that I really can't be bothered to read any more. I bought another of his books at the same time and will be selling it unread.
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on 27 July 2008
In his book `Hot Commodities", Jim Rogers gives us an account why he thinks investors should stop ignoring commodities as these potentially offer a better rate of return than running after stocks, bonds, real estate, some currencies or timber (that's an interesting one).

The first four chapters of the book give you the nuts and bolts of investing in commodities accompanied by plenty of anecdotes from Rogers' own investment activities. Of this first half of the book, chapter 4 is by far the most important. You need to know this information inside out, otherwise there is little point in investing in the futures market.

In the second part of the book - chapters five to the end - Rogers explains why China is likely to drive commodity prices in future largely based on where it is going economy-wise and even though there are certain long-term risks with regards to China's political stability, this is unlikely to dent much the country's demand for raw resources. Rogers follows this up with looking at five commodities, namely, oil, gold, lead, sugar and coffee. Some of his thoughts are quite convincing, but at the end of the day you will have to make up your own mind. In fact Rogers mentions on more than one occasion that every investor must do his own research before committing his money.
In his conclusion, Rogers again urges the investor to look `deeply' into commodities if only that it should make any investor a better investor even if he only ever invests in stocks and bonds.

I also urge you to read the appendix. You will find the information given here quite useful.

This book was published in December 2004 but this does not make it history as many of the underlying fundamentals of commodities are little changed.
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on 5 March 2006
THIS BOOK PUTS FORWARD A STRONG CASE FOR DIVERSIFICATION AWAY FROM STOCKS AND INTO COMMODITIES. GIVEN THE CHANGES IN THE SUPPLY AND DEMAND DYNAMIC DUE TO UNDERINVESTMENT AND THE RISE OF CHINA AND TO A LESSER EXTENT INDIA, WE ARE IN THE MIDST OF A COMMODITIES BULL RUN WHICH COULD CARRY ON WELL INTO THE NEXT DECADE. THE AUTHOR ALSO POINTS OUT THAT IN THE PAST, THE COMMODITIES MARKET HAS HAD AN INVERSE RELATIONSHIP WITH THE STOCKMARKET. RECOMMENDED.
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on 20 March 2009
I had never purchased any of Jim Rogers books before, but I am very glad that I purchased this one. It is very easy to read. And even if you were unaware of his track record, it soon becomes clear that he knows what he is talking about.

He is able to pass on his whealth of knowledge on this subject to the reader. Not only do you have a greater understanding of commodities, you feel that you will be able to trade them.

You have an insight to the world of commodities now and in the future. Even if you are not an investor this is a must read book.
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on 27 November 2011
Highly readable and entertaining. It isn't necessarily going to benefit those who are already very knowledgeable about commodities, nor does this book tell you how to trade commodities. It isn't a practical guide but rather Jim suggests what you should look at when constructing your world view.

In Hot Commodities, Jim presents a strong case for why you should invest in commodities if you are going to invest at all. He doesn't recommend short-term punts or the use of leverage, he admits that if you are capable of trading then that's your prerogative. However, most people who wish to invest are just not suitable for leveraged trading. Infact he advocates simply buying a broad index of commodities rather than trying to pick the best. This corroborates with the findings of Bogle: index investing is best.

His arguments rely upon historical events and examples from his earlier days as analyst, he relates previous examples of the 70s and 80s to the situation we have now. While many people (politicians?) might have blamed speculators for high commodity prices in the 70s, Jim points out that speculation or market manipulation is hard to achieve over a sustained period of time. The cause of inflation, as Jim presents it, is due to something. One part of the high commodities' prices in the 70s was due to the natural cycle of commodities versus stocks (a theory that is fairly unique to Rogers), and the other part is due to the killing of the gold standard plus other monetary / fiscal policies. In the current climate Rogers believes we back in a commodity bull (upward trend) while stocks are bearish (lack of a strong upwards trend). This commodity bull cycle will likely come to an end in 10 - 20 years and then we'll likely be back to a bullish stock market. These long term trends are secular bull and bear markets, Rogers proposes the theory that stocks and commodities are bullish in the counter periods to each other.

Why is the author trustworthy? Anyone that regularly watches Jim on tv will know that he is consistent with his recommendations and analysis. He never claims to be right 100% of the time nor that investing is easy. Rogers comes across as honest and humble. Jim has never compromised his analysis because others dislike what he says. He presents the facts as he sees it and is unapologetic about it. Unlike other contemporary investors such as Soros, Roubini, Buffett whom seem far too willing to bend to the views of a particular government.
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on 13 November 2011
Jim Rogers demystifies the widely held belief that commodities are an extremely risky and volatile investment and puts forward valid arguments as to why they are such an important investment vehicle. Whilst cheap commodities were partly responsible for the equities boom in the 90s, a major turnaround has been underway for some time. The continued phenomenal growth in China and other Asian economies, the quest for an alternative to dependence on oil and the increasing scarcity of metals and even smelters are just some of the factors outlined that are contributing towards increased demand.

This book is well written, concise and a very easy read. Various investment options are explained in layman's terms.
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on 12 December 2010
Well, I am a fan of Jim Rogers - tells it as it is, as far as I am concerned. His track record is second to none, and I always watch him on CNBC. This book was reasonably entertaining, but already a little out-dated, so 3 stars. The principles set out in the book still hold true, but there is not too much new if you are already invested in the commodity markets. I felt he could have gone a little deeper into causes and effects regarding weather, season, political upheavals, and other market movements (stocks and bonds are competitors for your cash) on the price movements in various commodities. If anyone knows, it's him. If you read this Jim, please let me know first if you bring out a book covering the aforesaid!
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