“Markets are constantly in a state of uncertainty and flux and money is made by
discounting the obvious and betting on the unexpected”
George Soros (born György Schwartz 12th of August 1930) is a Hungarian-born American investor, author, philanthropist, and activist whose success as an investor made him one of the wealthiest men in the world. Soros was 13 years old in March 1944 when Nazi Germany occupied Hungary, in this time he aided his father in forging thousands of documents to help his compatriots flee Hungary. He survived the German occupation of Hungary and moved to the United Kingdom in 1947.
Soros enrolled in the London School of Economics in 1947, where he studied with Karl Popper, the famous philosopher who coined the term “open society,” which was the opposite of the dictatorships that Soros had lived through and loathed, this experience has influenced him on his own theories and liberal social thinking. Eventually he earned a Ph.D. in Philosophy from University of London.
Rogers advises to buy low and sell high, in other words: try to find something that is unbelievably cheap, where a positive change is taking place. He also states that he tries to do enough homework to make sure he is right. In addition, it also must be cheap so that if he is wrong, he does not lose much money. Jim Rogers gives an example: in the 1960s, General Motors was the world’s most successful company, but one day, a GM analyst went to the board of directors with the message: “The Japanese are coming.” They ignored him. However, investors who did their homework sold their GM stock – and bought Toyota instead.
According to the investor, one should invest only in things that they know something about. The mistake most people make is that they listen to hot tips, or act on something they read in magazines. They should just stick to what they know and buy an investment in that area. That is how one gets rich.
Jim Roger’s best investment was when he and George Soros started the company in 1970. He had only $600 in his pocket and within 10 years, the portfolio had gained 4,200 percent.
In 1970, when Jim Rogers was still new to the markets and the business, he invested all his money in puts in January, which people thought was nuts. Furthermore, he sold his puts the day the market hit bottom and tripled his money. Two months later, he sold short several companies, however, in the next two months, markets kept rallying. In result, he lost everything. This episode taught him that he didn’t know enough about markets and market timing.
Rogers believes that it is better to offer scholarships to students rather than schools, so he decided to give money to students and schools around the world. In his perspective it’s better to give scholarships to students rather than schools since students need the money more than administrators.
Therefore, in 2013 he created, alongside with his wife Beverly, the Rogers Foundation which is one of the largest privately funded charitable foundations in the State of Nevada. Its mission is to transform the lives of children and young adults through art and education. Until now the foundation has given more than $89 million dollars to children and programs that support them.
This article is in our December Newsletter
Andrés Damián Cerda, BSs in Economics
Pedro Mendes, BSs in Economics