Rogers Holdings Chair Jim Rogers has been predicting that the U.S. is in for the “worst crash in my lifetime” for some time now, and he’s not backing down from that prediction he made nearly two years ago in an interview with Business Insider.
He also doesn’t blame people who scoff at his prediction — largely because stocks have soared to record highs in those two years — while he himself is preparing for the crash.
“I’ve been wildly bullish on many things many times, but often it’s things that people don’t understand,” he said in another recent interview with Business Insider. “That’s how you get rich: You buy things that other people don’t care about.”
Rogers is paying close attention to the ballooning debt levels around the world, which he considers the impetus for his crash forecast.
“Nobody’s reduced their debt since 2008,” he said, referring specifically to the mounting deficits in both the U.S. and China. “There’s (also) a bubble in college education in the U.S., but I don’t know any way to short Princeton.”
Rogers also pointed to the ongoing trade war between China and the U.S. as a major factor that could crash the global economy.
“He thinks he’s smarter than history,” Rogers said of U.S. President Donald Trump. “History would indicate that he’s not correct in that nobody ever won a trade war, and trade wars are not good for anybody.”
When asked what investors should do, Rogers said he’s particularly into telling other people how to manage their money before a crash because “everybody has to invest in what they know about.”
But what is Rogers himself doing?
One, he doesn’t own a single U.S. stock and hasn’t in a “year or two.”
Sure, the record bull market has continued to run, but Rogers isn’t sweating it — because he thinks the whole thing is nothing but a big, over-inflated bubble, and he’s particularly wary of wildly popular stocks like Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google parent Alphabet (the FANG stocks) which are “definitely overvalued.”
So what’s he bullish on? Russian agriculture.
“I hope it’s the best of all worlds: Agriculture is depressed and Russia is depressed,” said Rogers, who owns shares of PhosAgro and Far East Shipping Co. “The currency is depressed. If I get it right, I’m going to make some money.”
And he’s not completely down on the U.S. because he’s buying the dollar. He thinks of it’s going to crash, too, but not before a big melt-up.
“I expect people to be fleeing to what they think is a safe haven,” Rogers said. “My plan is, the U.S. dollar is going to get overpriced. It could even turn into a bubble depending on how bad the turmoil is. And hopefully, I’ll be smart enough to sell.”