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Forbes® Best Business Mistakes: How Today's Top Business Leaders Turned Missteps into Success by Bob Sellers

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Chapter 6. JIM ROGERS

Co-founded the Quantum Fund

Visiting professor at Columbia University

Has traveled around the world—on a motorcycle!

Jim Rogers is somebody who makes good use of time. He's the only person who worked out in the gym even as I interviewed him. I'm not sure whether he was on the treadmill or the exercise bike, but when a guy is panting into my ear on the phone, I don't tend to ask a lot of questions. (Drive home safely, I'll be here all week.) The thing is, at the end of the interview Jim was probably in better shape than I was and already a whole lot richer. Maybe that's because he knows how to use his time.

As a successful fund manager, Jim hasn't wasted time. He has tended to position himself before others figure out what he already knows. "I don't usually invest in something that everybody else is investing in," he says.

I find something very cheap, where positive changes are taking place, and I buy it.

Like when he began a commodities fund in August of 1998. That fund began in an era when most investors were focused on finding the next dot-com stock. We all know what happened to those.

"For the first four or five months," he recalls, "the fund went down. There was the Asian crisis, and a few other things. But starting in January of 1999, the commodities bull market began. But even then it took several years before most people even knew commodities were going up, and very few people to this day have invested in commodities even though they've been the best part of ...

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