Jim Rogers
Jim Rogers
Jim Rogers is bullish on agricultural commodities and farmland, and his fascination with both brought him to Greater Des Moines last week to be the keynote speaker at Peoples Co.’s Land Expo. The expo is an annual extravaganza that draws bankers, farmers, developers, land brokers and investors. Rogers earned a reputation in the 1970s as an investment wizard. Now 70, and living in Singapore, he founded the Quantum Fund with partner George Soros in 1973 and watched its value increase 4,200 percent over the next 10 years. As a result, Rogers retired in 1980 at age 38. He stays busy as an author, frequent commentator on a variety of investment issues, and university lecturer. He also rode a motorcycle around the world on two occasions after retiring. His experiences during one trip were recounted in the book “Investment Biker.”

- By Kent Darr

What makes Iowa farmland an attractive investment?

All farmland is attractive since agriculture is now going to thrive for a couple of decades – partly because ag has been a disaster for 30 years.

What would reverse the appreciation in land values?

Land prices will have periods of consolidation, but they will be mainly in times of ag product price declines, which will be fewer and less deep in the future. Bad laws such as exchange controls and forbidding foreigners buying land in the United States will also hurt. These two could kill the markets in the United States when they come, but there is a lot of farmland outside the United States in nations more friendly to capital and capitalism.

What other investments, asset classes are drawing your attention?

Mainly all agriculture products. That is the place to be. Also looking for more investments in China, Russia, Myanmar and North Korea.