When Jim Rogers talks, investors listen. One of the world's most famous investors, Rogers is known for his no-nonsense style and investment wisdom. He is the author of several best-selling books, including his latest, "Street Smarts: Adventures on the Road and in the Markets." ETF.com recently spoke with Rogers for his take on the latest financial market developments.
ETF.com: I saw some headlines recently that you foresee an economic downturn on the horizon. Can you get into that?
Jim Rogers: The next time we have an economic problem in the U.S.—and therefore the world—it’s going to be the worst of our lifetime given what’s been going on.
The world has been printing a lot of money and the whole world has a lot of debt. In 2008, we had a problem caused by too much debt, but now the debt is much larger than it was in 2008, so the next time we have a problem, it’s going to be even bigger than 2008.
ETF.com: When do you forecast the downturn to take place?
Rogers: I would suspect it’s in the next year or two. Historically, we’ve had economic problems every four to eight years. As you know, it’s been over eight years since our last problem. It doesn’t mean we have to have problems, but it means we’re getting closer and closer.
ETF.com: What’s your take on the fixed-income markets?
Rogers: Given what's happening in the world and with central banks, I don't see any reason government bonds in the U.S. should go down. But I am short junk bonds—not that it’s doing me much good yet.
ETF.com: What are your latest views on oil and gold?
Rogers: My view on oil is that it’s in the process of making a complicated bottom. We’ll look back in a while and see that in 2015, 2016, 2017—and maybe 2018—that oil made its bottom. Worldwide reserves continue to decline except for U.S. fracking, and fracking isn’t doing great at these prices.
That doesn’t mean oil can’t go under $40 again. As I said, the bottoming process takes time.