Once in 1980, when oil had been booming for a decade, I came to the conclusion the bull market was over, and I shorted oil. And that weekend Iran and Iraq went to war. Needless to say, I had to scramble in panic, and I covered like every other amateur.
One could say that was bad luck. But no, no. Somebody knew that was coming. You don't move a lot of armies and start a war without some preparation. I just hadn't done enough homework. Nearly all the mistakes I've made have been from not doing enough homework. Whenever I get sloppy I nearly always lose.
Jim Rogers is a smart investor who co-founded the Quantum Fund with George Soros in 1973. By 1983 the fund gained more than 4000 percent.