“We in the US had two or three-months notice that the virus was out there and it was spreading. And yet we did very little about it,” he said. “Now we have the highest fatalities; we have the highest infection rates.”
He continued: “So far, other countries have done a much, much better job than the US — and that disappoints me a great deal.”
Although Rogers is clearly displeased with the US’ response to COVID-19, he’s used to adapting to any set of circumstances thrown his way.
In fact, Rogers’ uncanny ability to thrive and overcome varied market environments led The Quantum Fund, a hedge fund he cofounded with billionaire investor George Soros, to a 4,200% return within 10 years during the 1970s.
Today, Rogers is trying to make the best of the situation.
“Yeah, there are opportunities out there — and some places better than others,” he said. “Right now, as I look around the world —and I assure you I do it everyday — I’m looking at all asset classes and all countries, and commodities seem to be the cheapest asset class in the world right now.”
Rogers’ take on commodities echos that of billionaire bond king, Jeffrey Gundlach. Back in January, Gundlach said: “This is a really huge buy signal — on a valuation basis — for commodities,” adding “maybe it will be a 2021 event. But certainly, valuation is on your side.”
Here’s the chart Gundlach provided to explain his thinking. It compares the performance of commodities (measured by Goldman Sachs and Goehring & Rozencwajg) to the Dow Jones Industrial Average, and shows they have cheapened to “radically undervalued” levels.
Under that umbrella of thought, Rogers has been scooping up gold and silver. Although the former is the best-performing major asset year-to-date with a 14% gain, Rogers sees more upside due to the uncertainty that still clouds the pandemic.
“I’m buying gold and silver again,” he said. “Throughout history, when you have people lose confidence in governments or money, they buy gold and silver.”
In addition to these purchases, Rogers says he’s also bought “Russian shares” and “Chinese shares” recently.
Although Rogers didn’t relay specific companies he had added to his portfolio, investors looking for broad Russian and Chinese equity exposure might consider the VanEck Vectors Russia exchange-traded fund (RSX) and the iShares MSCI China ETF (MCHI).
Against the backdrop of his conviction in these countries, Rogers’ doesn’t think his pickups are for everyone — especially those who aren’t educated in the space.
“Wait until you know something about what you’re doing — and then act,” he said. “That’s the most important message for everybody: Only invest in what you, yourself, know a lot about. Don’t listen to some guy on the internet.”