In 1998, This Investor Made the Best Decision of His Life

September 28 2015

Everyone told him that he was nuts. As stock prices went through the roof, everybody was talking about the "New Economy". Tech companies were making headlines every day. The "digital revolution" would lead to ever-increasing stock prices. Even the local shoe shiner  was giving stock tips.

The Most Hated Investment

While all major banks were shutting down their commodity trading desks, he saw a perfect opportunity. Commodities prices hadn’t been this low since the Great Depression in the 1930s. While everyone was calling him crazy, he invested in precious metals.

But what was about to happen, was inevitable.

The stock market crashed, but he avoided the crash. Everyone told him: "You’re so lucky!" And that’s apparently how it works: first you're "crazy," then you are "fortunate." Luckily, he wasn’t looking for acknowledgement. He simply wanted to secure his retirement; to protect and increase his wealth.

But avoiding the stock crash wasn’t the only thing he achieved: five years later, nearing the end of 2003, he had earned a total return of +129%. He more than doubled his initial investment.

The investor I am talking about is Jim Rogers. He retired at 37 years of age after running his successful 'Quantum Fund,' which he managed together with the Hungarian George Soros. Later, he would set two world records with his bike and car trips around the world.

You Could Make The Best Decision of Your Life, Too

We’re reliving 1998 in the gold market. The current sentiment is just as bad as it was back then. Fortunately, that means you have the chance to make the best decision of your life.

Let’s compare the situation today to the situation back in 1998:

  • Gold is currently the most hated investment
  • Gold exploration is being shut down everywhere
  • Gold investors are being labeled as  'suckers'
  • We are being bombarded with unbelievable price targets (example: ABN Amro, $700/oz)
  • Interest rates are even lower than they were then, and the current unprecedented levels of indebtedness preclude higher interest rates (because higher rates make these debts unbearable)

I know what you’re thinking right now: why is an interest rate hike impossible?

The answer is simple: if, and when, central banks raise the interest rates, governments will get into major financial trouble.

The Wisdom Behind Contrarian Investing

The wisdom behind contrarian investing is simple: we can find the highest prices wherever the herd is currently investing. Investments that receive little attention are often the cheapest ones. But these price differences aren’t set in stone. At some point, the tide (the sentiment) will turn. A majority loses money, while those earlier called "foolish" will earn a handsome return.

Investing is a game that requires patience. Buying gold now, and putting it away for five years, could be a life-changing decision.

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