Jim Rogers, who first made a name for himself as co-founder of the Quantum Fund in the 1970s, is more recently known for taking extreme and controversial positions. Sometimes, these stances are spot on, like when he predicted in 2002 that Greenspan was creating a real estate bubble that would come back to bite the U.S. economy. But sometimes it seems like he is just being contrarian, case in point being a recent BBC interview, reported by Karen Friar for The Wall Street Journal’s MarketWatch, where he advises people to make money investing in countries with abysmal human rights records or cleaning up the pollution that haunts China.

Jim Rogers

Jim Rogers names countries to go to

“You should get on the next plane you can and head to Myanmar or North Korea — maybe Angola,” said Jim Rogers, naming three countries normally grouped together for human rights abuses.

Jim Rogers moved to Singapore a few years ago, and he has consistently told young, ambitious people that they should follow suit, leaving London and New York City behind. He’s been impressed with the dynamism and work ethic he sees in Asia, but now that India is facing serious problems he is looking to put his money elsewhere.

“In 1980, India was much, much more successful than China,” he says. “Since then, China’s run circles around there… [They’re] full of bureaucracy, full of crazy regulations and controls. Their currency’s not convertible — it’s a mess.”

Jim Rogers on investments in China and living

He also thinks there’s a lot of money to be made in China, but he’s not willing to live there himself because of the extremely high levels of pollution.

“Somebody’s going to make a lot of money cleaning it up, now the Chinese government and the Chinese citizens know that it’s terribly filthy,” says Jim Rogers ”For the next 20 or 30 years, huge amounts of money are going to be spent, and therefore, profits made.”

He’s probably right about China, the Communist Party has been putting more emphasis on clean energy and green policies, and countries like North Korea have nowhere to go but up, but it still seems like such controversial statements are meant to build his brand as much as give people sound investment advice.