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Stock market investing advice, book recommendations from Jim Rogers

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  • Jim Rogers, the chairman of Rogers Holdings, made a name for himself in the 1970s and the 1980s through the huge success of a hedge fund he cofounded with George Soros.
  • In an exclusive interview with Business Insider, Rogers reflected on his career and shared three investing books that he recommends to every investor who also wants to be successful.
  • Click here for more BI Prime stories

There aren’t many investors who can boast a quadruple-digit return for their portfolios over any length of time. 

But Jim Rogers is someone who can.

The Quantum Fund he cofounded with billionaire investor George Soros was considered one of the most successful hedge funds in its heyday. The portfolio used a good amount of leverage to invest in risky stock-index and currency futures that could have generated huge losses. Instead of getting wiped out, the duo earned a 4,200% return over 10 years through 1980.

In a recent exclusive interview with Business Insider, Rogers said they succeeded because they ventured to find undervalued assets that other investors would not touch.

But this investing prowess was not born out of sheer luck. We asked Rogers to share the books that shaped his career and contributed to his success. He provided three recommendations — excluding the half a dozen or so he has authored

1. ‘Security Analysis’ by Benjamin Graham and David Dodd

This book is frequently cited as a must-read for anyone who wants to become a better investor. 

Originally published in 1934, it teaches how to research a company thoroughly enough to unearth its value and figure out whether the market is missing something.

A sixth edition of the book was published in 2008 with contributions from investing legends including Warren Buffett, Seth Klarman, and Howard Marks. If it’s good enough for these titans, it should be good enough for any investor.

2. ‘The Intelligent Investor’ by Benjamin Graham

Graham is considered the father of value investing. Even Buffett is a diligent disciple of his principles for long-term investing. 

The Berkshire Hathaway CEO wrote in a remembrance letter for Graham, “In an area where much looks foolish within weeks or months after publication, Ben’s principles have remained sound — their value often enhanced and better understood in the wake of financial storms that demolished flimsier intellectual structures.” 

It’s little wonder, then, that Rogers still recommends two of Graham’s books to this day.  

“Those are the two I read that made a huge impression on me and that I continue to suggest,” he said.

3. ‘Famous Financial Fiascos’ by John Train

Rogers described it as a short and fun book.

The title says it all. Published in 1984, the book runs through several of the most legendary market failures in history, from the Dutch Tulip bubble to the original scheme by Charles Ponzi.

For Rogers, the book proves that financial history will repeat itself. 

“I happen to have a view that we’re going to have many financial crises in my lifetime and especially in your lifetime — you’re younger than me,” Rogers said. 

He added, “You should learn about collapses and frauds and over-extension because it’s a very important part of markets. People get overextended all the time. People make mistakes all the time, and you need to understand that if you’re going to be a successful investor.

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