In a recent seminar, prominent investing figure and commodities bull Jim Rogers, delivered his take on current world economic affairs and the role of commodities in our economic growth. Read on to find out what he said and how you can play it with exchange traded funds (ETFs).

Investment sage Jim Rogers has exhibited his perspicacious judgment in the marketplace and identified three prominent secular trends: America’s diminishing economic prowess, emerging Chinese power and increased emerging market demand for commodities, writes John Curran for Time Magazine.

Rogers believes that the current bullish commodity cycle started 11 years ago and says that commodity bull markets usually last 18 to 20 years. He is currently more interested in the potential of gold and particularly silver. (Go here for the rundown on  commodity ETFs).

  • SPDR Gold Shares (NYSEArca: GLD): up 20.4% year-to-date
  • iShares Silver Trust (NYSEArca: SLV): up 56.8% year-to-date

Heather Bell for IndexUniverse offers some noteworthy tidbits from Jim Rogers’ recent speech at ETF Securities‘ mini-conference and Q&A.

China. The Chinese want to live like us and they are eager to work for it. They save more and the U.S. owes them a lot of money. According to Rogers, the Chinese are “among the best capitalists in the world.” The only foreseeable problem is with the country’s water supply, which China is actively correcting. (Read more stories on China here).

  • iShares FTSE/Xinhua China 25 Index (NYSEArca: FXI): up 48.3% year-to-date

Ben Bernanke? Rogers is appalled by current governmental policies and holds the Federal Reserve chairman accountable for the devaluing of the dollar. In the mid- or long-term, the United States will be suffering from the effects of the wanton monetary policy.

U.S. dollar. People are selling the dollar and a possibly unsustainable bubble will occur, and we all know what happens to bubbles. (How to play a weak dollar).

  • PowerShares DB Dollar Bearish (NYSEArca: UDN): up 7.7% year-to-date

Commodities. An increasing population is using up a finite amount of available commodities. Basic supply and demand should dictate the obvious. Rogers goes on to point out that war can result in an attempt to compete for diminishing resources, although war tends to drive up commodities prices.

  • iShares S&P GSCI Commodity-Indexed Trust (NYSEArca: GSG): up 8.6% for the year

U.S. government bonds. Rogers deems short-term bonds “okay,” but advises long-term bonds as unsound. (The issues of bond ETFs).

  • iShares Lehman 7-10 Yr Treasury Bond Fund (NYSEArca: IEF): down 3.9% year-to-date; yields 3.7%

Max Chen contributed to this article.

For full disclosure, Tom Lydon’s clients own shares of GLD and SLV.

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.