Investment Biker: A Book Review

Investment Biker: On the Road with Jim Rogers was published in 1994, before his Adventure Capitalist book. In this book Jim Rogers travels around the world in 22 months on a motorcycle in the early 1990’s. He traveled over 100,000 miles around the world and became a Guiness Book fo World Records holder for his extensive travels on his motorcycle. Him and Tabitha Estabrook drove over 65,000 miles on their motorcycles.

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Who Is Jim Rogers?

If you invest, you have likely heard of Jim Rogers. Like Warren Buffett, he got interested in money at a young age. Jim Rogers started selling peanuts at age 5 during baseball games, growing up in small town Alabama. He was 6 years old when he got a $100 from his father to buy a peanut parcher. When he was 11 years old, he paid off his loan and had $100 in net profits. Then he used that to go into the countryside to “flip” calves.

He is an American investor who currently lives in Singapore. He co-founded the Quantum Fund with George Soros and this portfolio gained more than 4000% while the S&P500 increased by less than 50% over 10 years.

He retired early at age 37 (is he one of the earliest “Financial Independence Retire Early” folk out there you think?) and did an around the world motorcycle trip in the 1990’s (this one) and later on did a round the world car trip in 1999. He retired early and traveled the world, what a dream, right!

His net worth at least a few hundred million dollars and he’s famous for being bullish on commodities and bearish on the US stock market and FAANG stocks.

Investment BIker Book Review

Jim Rogers traveled around the world with his then 23 year old girlfriend Tabitha Estabrook. He was in his 40’s at the time I believe. Kinda creepy (lol) because he was already twice divorced at that time, but she sounded like a determined and mature 23 year old. They even met up with her mother in Europe. She became the first female to travel around the world on a motorcycle. She was the mechanic of the duo and studied up on how to repair the bikes for their trip.

Mr Rogers and Tabitha began his journey in Ireland, he then crossed Europe and rode through various Central Asia. He crossed the Taklamakan desert to enter China and reach Beijing. Then they flew to Tokyo and drove through Siberia from east to west Russia. Riding through Siberia sounded very difficult, it sounded like they were basically riding through gravel or rocks.

In the next part of the journey, they drive through the Sahara desert and crossed Africa to reach South Africa. They then rode through Australia and also visited New Zealand. His description of Ayers Rock REALLY makes me want to see Ayers rock, haha.

Finally, they started down in South and rode up to Central America. They even went to Easter Island and the Galapagos Islands. They drove through Peru where there was civil unrest and even had an encounter with men from The Shining Path, a guerrilla rebel terrorist group. Luckily, Tabitha managed to outsmart them with her charm.

What I Liked about Investment Biker

Going around the world on a motorcycle is no small feat. I had a motorcycle once with a 400cc engine and I could barely lift it up when I dropped it (I think I dropped it twice). Battling the unpredictable weather (being exposed to cold weather and hot weather) and avoiding big trucks and staying balanced on uneven or sketchy terrain is difficult. I liked reading about the issues they had with their bikes and how they tried to fix it.

Tabitha almost decided to quit in the middle of the journey but she persisted on. She sounded like a very strong woman, that’s for sure. I am curious as to what happened after their trip, and their relationship (well, they never got married).

Also, I liked that each chapter was short and sweet, but at the same time the book was a page turner. I wanted to find out what happened in Xi’an or what happened on the Galapagos.

Finally, in the Investment Biker Appendix he shares what they packed for their 22 month trip. Talk about minimalism, for clothes, he only packed:

  • 5 shirts (2 business)
  • 3 pairs of underwear
  • 3 pairs of socks
  • 2 bow ties
  • 1 running shirt
  • 1 pair of running shorts
  • 1 jogger’s watch
  • 3 pairs of jeans
  • 3 wool sweaters
  • running shoes and motorcycle boot
  • silk long underwear and silk ski mask
  • leather motorcycle jacket and chaps
  • Goggles and motorcycle gloves

Very admirable, isn’t it.

What I Didn’t Like About Investment Biker

I didn’t like that there was not as much financial commentary or insight as I would have liked. As mentioned, it was more of a travelogue than a book about finances. Mr. Rogers did seem to talk about markets as investing in certain markets but certainly not as much as Adventure Capitalist.

Other than that, this book was very interesting indeed!

Genymoney.ca’s Verdict

I enjoyed reading Investment Biker but I found that this book didn’t have as much economical and financial information in it. A lot of it was focused on travel and motorcycle mechanics. I thought Adventure Capitalist was better but this book is still very interesting especially when you are looking at his opinions predictions on world economics to see whether they came into fruition (it was written in the 1990’s, there are 30 years for his predictions to be tested.

Still a great book if you want to quench your wanderlust thirst and understand how culture and politics influence world finances.

If you love traveling you will like this book.

If you’re interested in seeing Jim Rogers talk about his adventures and trip from the 1990’s, here’s a clip on Charlie Rose of Jim Rogers and Tabitha Estabrook’s adventure around the world.

What is your Investment Biker book review?

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