Jim Rogers, a native of Demopolis, Alabama, is an author, financial commentator and successful international investor.  He was educated at Yale and Oxford.  Along with George Soros, he co-founded the Quantum Fund, a global-investment partnership in 1973. During the next 10 years, the portfolio gained 4,200%, while the S&P rose less than 50%. Rogers then decided to retire – at age 37.

Dan Richards interviewed Rogers at the CFA annual investment conference in Scotland on May 11.

A video of this interview is available here.

One of the topics of the day is the future of currencies generally, and the US dollar in particular.  What is your US dollar position in your portfolio?

I actually own the dollar at the moment, although I am terribly, terribly pessimistic on the dollar over any extended period of time.  The reason I own it is because everybody's bearish on it including me.  It has gotten pounded down.  I'm a bad market-timer, but when I saw everybody pounding it down and everybody bearish I stepped in to buy.  Now, if it doesn't rally, I will have to sell and take a loss, but if it rallies I will sell and take my profits.  Long-term, though, the dollar is a mess.

Are you optimistic on any currencies?

I'm much more optimistic on the Canadian dollar, the Australian dollar, and I own the yen. The renminbi is probably the best currency buy you can make.  It's not that easy, but you can buy the renminbi legally at times. 

What is your stance on gold today?

I own gold and silver, because paper money all over the world is being debased.  In a few years we will probably all have our money in physical assets, because nearly all paper money is being debased at a rapid rate by politicians who have learned how to buy votes.  It is the wrong thing to do, but they don't care.  They're worried about the next election.

James Grant, who spoke earlier at this conference, advocated a return to the fixed gold standard.  Do you see that on the horizon?

I don't think that would happen, although throughout history there've been times when people have grabbed for gold.  If we had a major crisis tomorrow, we would probably grab for the euro.  When the euro breaks up people may grab for gold.  I own gold, but I don't think that is going to happen, not anytime soon.  Now in the next thousand years I'm sure there will be times when people will grab for gold again.  They have many times.