02 December 2005

Book Review: Adventure Capitalist, by Jim Rogers, *****

Jim and wife Paige at the end of their tour in 2002.

The bestselling author of Investment Biker is back from the ultimate road trip: a three–year drive around the world that would ultimately set the Guinness record for the longest continuous car journey. In Adventure Capitalist, legendary investor Jim Rogers, dubbed "the Indiana Jones of finance" by Time magazine, proves that the best way to profit from the global situation is to see the world mile by mile. "While I have never patronized a prostitute," he writes, "I know that one can learn more about a country from speaking to the madam of a brothel or a black marketeer than from meeting a foreign minister."

Behind the wheel of a sunburst–yellow, custom–built convertible Mercedes, Rogers and his fiancée, Paige Parker, began their "Millennium Adventure" on January 1, 1999, from Iceland. They traveled through 116 countries, including many where most have rarely ventured, such as Saudi Arabia, Myanmar, Angola, Sudan, Congo, Colombia, and East Timor. They drove through war zones, deserts, jungles, epidemics, and blizzards. They had many narrow escapes.

They camped with nomads and camels in the western Sahara. They ate silkworms, iguanas, snakes, termites, guinea pigs, porcupines, crocodiles, and grasshoppers.

Best of all, they saw the real world from the ground up – the only vantage point from which it can be truly understood – economically, politically, and socially.


This is his second world tour adventure travel book, following Investment Biker. This time he travels with Paige, his then girlfriend who is now his wife (they decided to marry during this trip) in a modified Mercedes SLK. The same spirit of inquisitiveness and curiosity that transpired in his first book is also evident here. He does provide insights and interesting analysis about what he sees, even if one may, naturally, disagree with some of his conclusions. I happen to agree with most of what he writes but that is not the point. This is an exciting account of an incredible trips that took the Rogers across the most impervious places of the planet. I also admire the fact that he decided to carry on even if his father was dying back home, because he knew his father wanted him to do so!

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