I was extremely pleased to get another chance to meet Jim Rogers, though this time only at a brief speech ~ not really any time to chat. This was the first time I’ve seen Jim speak in public and I thought he did an excellent job! There are a few speaking notes that I think anyone can take away:
Humanize it – Turn it into a story. If we were looking for only the cold, dry facts, we could scan through the 10Ks ourselves, but few financial reports are truly memorable – we remember stories!
Repeat It – Jim would say the same thing over and over and over. He would say it 10 different ways. He might have 1000 other peals of wisdom that quickly get thrown out, and a few will appeal to different sections of the audience, but the core of what you are trying to persuade MUST BE REPEATED – use the same words, and then use different words, but repeat it.
Slowly. Speaking, like art is not a race. The whitespace in an Ad, the open space in a courtyard, and the silent pauses while you are speaking are all equally important. Do not talk to fast!
Additionally, there were 3 questions that I was particularly interested in, and Jim was able to answer them for me quite quickly.
1. Doesn’t the fact that the US Federal Debit is denominated in US Dollars make the actual $9 Trillion dollar figure much less important that it appears to be?
Not to quote Jim response, but basically, there will come a time when other countries are no longer willing to continue financing the US debit. As that happens, interest rates in the USA will rise – potentially quite high.
Jim did not mention this, but I would expect that one day we’ll see other nations demanding that US treasuries are denominated in a basket of currencies, rather than dollar debt backed by yet more dollars…
2. The British Pound once served as the global reserve currency. How did this change and what was the process like?
There was a long period of recession in the UK, making it a miserable place to live. This period was not short, and caused extensive changes throughout the UK economy. Again, I’m just paraphrasing an answer, but this topic is now the single economic topic that I’m most interested in… What happened to the Pound Sterling?
3. Do you worry about China’s centrally (mis)-managed investment in Gas Stations where there are no cars stopping for Gas (every 1km in Xinjiang, every station empty), empty airports in Zhuhai (16 terminals, but 2 FLIGHTS DAILY – TOTAL) and empty high rises all over the country?
Jim partially answered by saying that he would NOT be in China’s real-estate market, particularly in any of the “Tier-1 Cities” – Prices are all hyper-inflated and due for a large correction. Shanghai is probably number one in that group… As for the empty capacity – well, at least it’s better than just the excess consumption in the USA – at least they do have a gas station to show for it, rather than just another empty Starbucks cup in a landfill…
My good friend Wu Yi (who I met the day I first met Jim Rogers in Shanghai) also came with me Saturday morning for Jim’s speech 🙂
(BTW: Pic came out badly…. But was in a hurry and I’m not a suit guy to begin with…)