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Friday, December 8, 2017

Friday Feature Book Review: More Money Than God! (Hedge Fund Kings) by Sebastian Mallaby ヘッジファンド ―投資家たちの野望と興亡: セバスチャン・マラビー

Global hedge funds pay big time bonuses. Bonus money big enough to become a billionaire. If you want to know the wealth & power around them, then this book is for you. Author Sebastian Mallaby, has amazing access to top-tier hedge fund players. He does some really incredible research into this exclusive"Titans of Finance" style of industry. The names and numbers really made sense and hooked me in. It is from a few years ago when the industry was near its peak, but it still ignites envious bonus envy for the majority of professionals who only dream of millions, not hundreds of millions come bonus day.

He did not waste my time or my money on this very rich in detail volume that really give you a full meal of satisfying insight. This was one of the most in depth books on hedge funds that I have ever come across. The direct quotes and input from the greatest managers of all-time make it work. Their views on many of the biggest trades the world has ever seen, was very educational in its remarkable detail. It is not one man's thoughts. It is one man's great collection of quotes from the traders who have made the big money. Those are the traders I want to hear it "direct from the gut" from anyway. The author stays out of the way, and allows you to absorb it all. 

You could feel that he not only developed excellent sources, but wished that you could have been there for the many of the conversations. For me, not a single page was drab. Every single line was worth my full attention. The wrap up on the industry in a big picture style worked for me too at the end. The author can really connect the dots perfectly. It many ways, he makes a good case that global investment banks were in fact, hedge fund partnerships themselves, but then got listed on various stock exchanges. A new wave of hedge funds will always come along to make money out of a never ending pattern of continuous market opportunities. Financial markets, like the sea itself, is never static. It is constantly moving in various directions.

The overall bigger picture is easy enough to understand, hedge funds evolve and adapt. The best ones grow and keep the kind of DNA that keeps on tinkering, like any inventor in a garage. They have to keep looking for the next new thing, new market, new strategy, new arbitrage, Bitcoin trade or whatever. Size matters, and institutional investors tend to look for asset size as a kind of comfort with hedge funds. Over time this can be flawed in many ways, but it is still an all too common practice. In a way, you get deja vu and hear that the old line, "nobody got fired for choosing IBM" , it works here too with large size hedge funds. 

On the surface, a very large and well established hedge fund with US$1BN or more in assets, seems safe as an investment. however, the financial size is not really a comfort in the end, as the performance can end quickly. It is the professionals, the real human capital, within any hedge fund that are the real assets being invested into. If the real IP, the brain power that these traders have, can figure out the next new thing in financial markets, then top tier performance follows for all investors. 

Ultimately, any hedge fund once successful, gets big. A few even get listed. and then make way for a newer wave of "Young Turks" to follow with the new new market sensation. Hedge funds really are about finding opportunities and the people behind them. That is where the big money is made, by seeing a new twist or tact, and creating profits by innovation around those new opportunities. These successes often come in waves and that reflect different strategies doing better or worse in different cycles.


The Top 3 Takeaways from this book that impact any reader are:

1) Never be between a central bank making a wrong move and a full conviction hedge fund. Take George Soros and the Bank of England, it did not end well for the UK pound or the BOE. Always best to get out of the way when the big boys bet in size! 
2) A great observation was the comparison of Goldman Sachs when seeing their client Long Term Capital Management failing. It was like " a hyena feeding on a trapped but living antelope"! You gotta love that image of your helpful prime brokerage "partner"!
3) Winning and losing is very black and white. When a dejected trader says " I just want to kill myself" Hedge Fund founder Michael Steinhardt just asks "can I watch?". Such is the overall sympathy from deep within the hedge fund beast. 

The author Sebastian Mallaby takes us on this journey in a very detailed fashion. It is full of the kind of glitz and bling from the big personalities that feel they certainly earned their big bonuses. It all keeps many of these things in a kind of fantasy land for the many others lower down in the financial income scale. At least it keeps your appetite always wanting a little bit more. This was a great read and a great insight in the hedge fund world. This book is Highly Recommended!

Please visit us for our Friday Feature Review where TMJ Partners will review books, movies, services and anything else with a financial theme. Follow us now for our free weekly updates, just click hereThank you for reading and learning more about how money is made in finance!

If you are interested in Sales & Trading, Banking or FinTech focused roles in Asia or Japan then click here. Follow TMJ Partners on Twitter, the world's #1 recruiter on Twitter, over 50,000+ followers already have! click here! 

あなたアジア日本セールストレーディング,
バンキング、フィンテックの役割に興味がある場合は、こちらをクリックしてくださいティエムジェィパートナーズTwitterでフォローしてください 世界中のTwitter第1位の採用企業50,000以上のフォロワーが既に持っています!クリックしてください

For more Buy-Side and Sell-Side roles in Asia-Pacific, contact our TMJ Partners Japan & Asia Finance team.



    Tokyo                                                                Tokyo
             Mark  Pink                                                  Shinichi Nagasawa
      Direct + 81 3 3505 3891                                       Direct  +81 3 3505 3891
            Email pinkmark@tmjpartners.com                         Email nagasawa@tmjpartners.com

Friday, December 1, 2017

Friday Feature Book Review: The King of Capital: Blackstone' s Rise to Power ブラックストーンのストーリー : デビッド・キャリー ジョン・モリス & 土方奈美

Blackstone is a name that means money and success. They run over US$30 billion is assets today, and this book does not disappoint in explaining how it got to that peak of power. However, like the tip of an iceberg, the image on the surface masks a harsh reality. It did not come quickly or easily, and rarely does. Billionaires like its founder Steve Schwarzman, are self-made, know how to work hard and take risks. It is ultimately pure and simple. The full background story is what the book explains very well. You get an authentic sense of the hard struggles and hurdles any new firm needs to overcome. Blackstone was no exception and paid its hard fought dues like many others. Nobody got rich by just "showing up" at the right time with the right product. The early days clearly were not easy or silky smooth.

This is not just about one founder, or one firm. In many ways, it explains the full picture of how LBO deals, and the billions in profits made from them, have grown over the last 40 years. If you wondered how the whole industry started, this is a great place to begin. We find out that private equity guru Steve Schwarzman, did not even study finance at Yale, but an arts degree! He started at DLJ and found that despite a lack of financial background, he had talent and was a quick study. 

After 3 years, he went for an MBA at Harvard, and then he perfected this talent for finance at Lehman Brothers, before starting Blackstone. Being an entrepreneur is not all about having a "big idea" one day to start a firm either, there was a logical clear process. One thing you learn about the head of Blackstone, is that he always tries to minimize risks, and follows a process. He takes calculated risks, and never just "throws the dice". We learn there is nothing he hates more than losing money. The most interesting aspect about Steve though is his creative side for finance. 

To close the most difficult deals he often needed to come up with "outside the box" style solutions. What you learn the most is that standard operating procedures with various LBO and M&A deals, grew faster because of Steve's efforts. Do you want to sell more junk bonds to finance the debt? OK, then offer bondholders reset caps, in case the bonds fall in value to ease their sale. Do you want to figure out the true price of real buyers? OK, then set up a blind sealed bid auction for takeovers. These are just two of the many LBO industry innovations that Steve came up with, the market did not. The market has grown to make them now standard. Most are basic procedures now, but in Blackstone's early days, were often new and innovative at the time.

If you can see KKR founder Henry Kravis, as the Bill Gates of corporate finance, Steve seems more like a Steve Jobs. He seems nicer too, highly innovative and different in type. Both of these titans are driven and very successful, but for different reasons. Blackstone as a firm was built a certain way, and it was built properly with a lot of innovation. The drive needed to be very successful in the business takes a lot of time and total persistence. High energy, financial creativity over new product types, and a bit of luck are also key. 


The Top 3 Takeaways from this book that really impact any reader are:

1) Surprisingly, there is never a best time to start a business. No matter when you start, the beginning can take time before gaining any traction, even years.
2) Motivation seems to be a very strong motivator for many entrepreneurial actions to achieve wealth goals. The higher the motivation, the longer the time possible needed to achieve any ambitious goals.
3) Boot strapping startups with your own funds is fine, but success is not instant. When you pitch to borrow funds from financial institutions, it is never quick. Even for Blackstone, the early days of capital raising was long and difficult.

This is no overnight success story. There are no signs of champagne on day one. In the beginning, it was hand to mouth for 2 years and a difficult early road. Like many who spin out on their own, there is comfort in size and a reputation that clients prefer. Personal loyalty can be forgotten when a deal needs to be signed with a new firm. Major clients prefer an established name. When Blackstone started out, there was no welcome with open arms. New entrepreneurs learn this reality the hard way, and Steve was no different. He survived, built the firm into an industry legend, and lived long enough to enjoy the rewards. This book is Highly Recommended!

Please visit us for our Friday Feature Review where TMJ Partners will review books, movies, services and anything else with a financial theme. Follow us now for our free weekly updates, just click hereThank you for reading and learning more about how money is made in finance!

If you are interested in Sales & Trading, Banking or FinTech focused roles in Asia or Japan then click here. Follow TMJ Partners on Twitter, the world's #1 recruiter on Twitter, over 50,000+ followers already have! click here! 

あなたアジア日本セールストレーディング,
バンキング、フィンテックの役割に興味がある場合は、こちらをクリックしてくださいティエムジェィパートナーズTwitterでフォローしてください 世界中のTwitter第1位の採用企業50,000以上のフォロワーが既に持っています!クリックしてください

For more Buy-Side and Sell-Side roles in Asia-Pacific, contact our TMJ Partners Japan & Asia Finance team.



    Tokyo                                                                Tokyo
             Mark  Pink                                                  Shinichi Nagasawa
      Direct + 81 3 3505 3891                                       Direct  +81 3 3505 3891
            Email pinkmark@tmjpartners.com                         Email nagasawa@tmjpartners.com

Friday, November 24, 2017

Friday Feature Movie Review: Wall Street: Michael Douglas: An Oliver Stone Film 1987 ウォール街: マイケル・ダグラス: オリバーストーンフィルム

 Greed is Good! This classic phrase has lived on to represent finance for decades since this Oliver Stone film was released in 1987. Some 30 years later, the movie still holds its own. Gordon Gekko, the main villain of this movie became the new anti-hero for a new generation within finance. He is played perfectly by Michael Douglas in arguably his best iconic role on film. Bud Fox, played by Charlie Sheen, gets to play every financial professional's dream.  To start out in the trenches and rise up to become a real "player" like "GG" (aka Gordon Gekko). At the time, that took around US$50-100 million dollars in cash. A large sum for sure, but the most important aspect being "liquid" with that fortune. Today I would assume that a billionaire would have to be the next new benchmark of financial success. The million dollar condo in Manhattan at the time was still seen as unattainable for many. Today a more expensive US$10-20 million dollar condo overlooking Central Park, like the One57 the billionaire building, may work best. Such would be the new address for the same sort of lifestyle choice allowed only for the exclusive few. The 1% at the top of the financial mountain.

The director's casting is also interesting as Martin Sheen, plays Carl Fox, Charlie Sheen & Bud Fox's father in the movie, not just in real life. On a side note, Martin is shown in hospital after the heart attack. In real life, that scene was shot right after Martin actually had a real heart attack. The tears for Charlie Sheen were said to be easy to muster as the memory was so recent. It was also the first scene shot with Martin Sheen, hence a limited amount of dialogue from a hospital bed. This may be one of Oliver Stone's best casting choices ever. Rarely does a father son presence on screen hit its mark so solidly with audiences.

Blue Star airlines where Carl Fox works in charge of the maintenance men, becomes important. It becomes a key stock target as the overfunded pension fund is too attractive a pot of gold to be left alone by GG. Another key scene is how to tip off the press by calling a key journalist. "Blue horse shoe loves Blue Star Airlines". Making such a risky call from a corporate desk on a recorded line seems odd today. Why not use a pay phone? At least it was not in an email.

The key point of the film is how information is the ultimate currency and path to riches. Sun Tzu and the "Art of War" is also introduced as a new Wall Street bible to learn strategy and insight from. What is legal, what is not, and what is in the grey zone of profitability. Legal viewpoints versus bendable rules that are "just a guide" is what the moral of the storyline tries to explain. Machiavelli does not get the last laugh. In this movie, "the end does not justify the means" it just gets a person in jail. The pursuit of money has a cost, nobody is above the law. That lesson rings very true to the viewer. Hedge Funds have been recent villains, and some founders who crossed those lines have gone to prison or paid big fines. There is now a big price to pay for bending any rules.


The Top 3 Takeaways from this movie that really impact any reader are:

1) Surprisingly, little has changed in the world of finance over 30 years. The young & hungry still have drive and ambition like before. The internal politics of any dealing room remain the same. Perhaps only testosterone may have come down a bit 3 decades later, not much of course but some, as quant geeks now rule the trading floor.
2) Technology may change over time, but new technology and its adoption is part of finance even today. New ways of communicating are constantly evolving without end.
3) The competitive nature of mind games and risk swagger have changed very little over 30 years. What cars or purchases may have different brands today, but the raw and burning drive to make it to financial independence has not changed at all over time. That drive to succeed it seems, is timeless.

Despite its age, only the electronic technology is dated. The people, their actions, and how they speak, all seem as contemporary today and it was in original release now 30 years ago. It was no lucky accident that this was the case. Oliver Stone's father was a career stockbroker and authentic tremendous care was taken in making sure that the script was very realistic. Not a single line seems out of place. Every attitude and snicker fits together perfectly like a bespoke suit. It still stands well against the test of time. Highly Recommended!

Please visit us for our Friday Feature Review where TMJ Partners will review books, movies, services and anything else with a financial theme. Follow us now for our free weekly updates, just click hereThank you for reading and learning more about how money is made in finance!

If you are interested in Sales & Trading, Banking or FinTech focused roles in Asia or Japan then click here. Follow TMJ Partners on Twitter, the world's #1 recruiter on Twitter, over 50,000+ followers already have! click here! 

あなたアジア日本セールストレーディング,
バンキング、フィンテックの役割に興味がある場合は、こちらをクリックしてくださいティエムジェィパートナーズTwitterでフォローしてください 世界中のTwitter第1位の採用企業50,000以上のフォロワーが既に持っています!クリックしてください

For more Buy-Side and Sell-Side roles in Asia-Pacific, contact our TMJ Partners Japan & Asia Finance team.



    Tokyo                                                                Tokyo
             Mark  Pink                                                  Shinichi Nagasawa
      Direct + 81 3 3505 3891                                       Direct  +81 3 3505 3891
            Email pinkmark@tmjpartners.com                         Email nagasawa@tmjpartners.com

Friday, November 17, 2017

Friday Feature Book Review: The 100 Rules of Money : by Richard Templar - できる人のお金の増やし方: (100のお金のルール) リチャード・テンプラー

This great international best seller is focused on "how to have a millionaire mindset". Imagine if George Soros or Richard Branson gave you financial advice as a personal mentor. Would they know patterns or behaviours that could help teach you to grow wealthy? My guess is yes, most likely. Happily, this is just one of over 8 books in the "Rule series" of international best selling books by the author.

The author Richard Templar, does a very splendid job of explaining his 100 rules for making more money and building personal wealth. It will help any person to be in the right mental mindset. It will help you see clear income opportunities, understand them, and finally benefit from them financially. It is indeed a process. It may be unsaid, but it is clearly there.  

The entire list of lessons vary in importance, but many are outstanding, and really stand out. These 100 rules act as a wealth coach for anybody wanting to become more financially independent. Personal favorites include the ones that focus on how to control your emotions and personal spending habits as income grows. Wealth is not often helpful if not properly prepared for. If you fail to plan for higher wealth, your wealth once in place may cause you to fail. 

Wealth should be a friend not an enemy (rule 8) explains how unexpected large money decisions can be stressful without answers or action at the ready. Understanding the true relationship between money and happiness (rule 14) is not an easy one. Neither is the related wisdom on how money, if only is seen as a solution, can often become the problem (rule 11).

The most difficult lessons involve discipline. It is harder to manage yourself than to manage your money (rule 18). Knowing where you are and having a clear plan (rule 19 & 20) and deciding your risk appetite (rule 24) are not easy decisions. In fact, your risk appetite can change over time along with your life cycle circumstances. You have to work hard early in order to make enough wealth to not work hard later (rule 29). 

The most basic rule is spend less than you earn (rule 36). The many get rich quick schemes are also to be avoided (rule 60) while borrowing money from friends (rule 86) gives a lot of insight into how to deal with such situations. With children, allowing kids to know about poverty as a motivator (rule 95), does have a productive benefit. It is not really best to shelter them from it always. Having direct participation with volunteering experiences and meeting the homeless or poor who are directly helped by these volunteering efforts can help change for the better, the kids who help when they are young and able to best understand the full impact of their actions in any community service.


The Top 3 Takeaways from this book that really impact any reader are:

1) Surprisingly, these very time tested lessons are not difficult to understand, they are just difficult to follow long term for most who read them.
2) Motivation seems to be a very strong motivator for many actions needed long term to achieve wealth goals. The higher the motivation, the longer the time possible to achieve any goals.
3) Boot strapping startups with your own funds is fine, but when you also borrow funds from friends & family it can be negative. Too often, those same friends and family need to be paid back earlier than possible and then there is permanent friction with those relationships long term,

No matter what your income level, business owner or new employee, these 100 rules of money are all worth reviewing. It all helps in trying to build any future career and wealth plan. All of these rules are reasonable and need to be answered by each person individually. This is important in order to build a solid foundation for any person's financial wealth plan, no matter what the starting size. Highly Recommended!

Please visit us for our Friday Feature Review where TMJ Partners will review books, movies, services and anything else with a financial theme. Follow us now for our free weekly updates, just click hereThank you for reading and learning more about how money is made in finance!

If you are interested in Sales & Trading, Banking or FinTech focused roles in Asia or Japan then click here. Follow TMJ Partners on Twitter, the world's #1 recruiter on Twitter, over 50,000+ followers already have! click here! 

あなたアジア日本セールストレーディング,
バンキング、フィンテックの役割に興味がある場合は、こちらをクリックしてくださいティエムジェィパートナーズTwitterでフォローしてください 世界中のTwitter第1位の採用企業50,000以上のフォロワーが既に持っています!クリックしてください

For more Buy-Side and Sell-Side roles in Asia-Pacific, contact our TMJ Partners Japan & Asia Finance team.



    Tokyo                                                                Tokyo
             Mark  Pink                                                  Shinichi Nagasawa
      Direct + 81 3 3505 3891                                       Direct  +81 3 3505 3891
            Email pinkmark@tmjpartners.com                         Email nagasawa@tmjpartners.com

Friday, November 10, 2017

Friday Feature Book Review: Laughing at Wall Street (with 2800% stock returns!) by Chris Camillo ウォール街で笑います (2800%の株式リターン!) クリスカミッロ

The world of finance can be scary for some, and this book tries to erase that impression. The author Chris Camillo shows in his online trading statement between September 2007 and April 2010, He proves that professionals are not always needed. He turned his US$83,752 trading account into US$2,388,311 in under 3 years. That is a 28 fold increase on his capital! Every investor's dreamed about bottom line. Clearly, Bitcoin like dream results can exist with simple stocks too.

Results matter, and readers find out what basic observation methods he uses to make such amazing trading returns. This is not a highly skilled day trader with a cutting edge algo program. This is just an amature investor who pays attention to the consumer trends around him, and connects the dots to make big money returns. 

It all seems so simple, but the genius is in learning to recognize the patterns. We learn that he tried the usual route of following analysts on CNBC, Bloomberg or other media. He followed buy and sell reports of various analysts, but then changed. He learned to follow his own advice on insights to see the big trade early, before the analysts had it on any radar.

To be clear, the author is not usual, he is sharp and his personality is always on a hunt for market value. We learn that he enjoyed recycle markets, yards sales, tag sales, garage sales or whatever term you may use. He would get up early, and often notice that women were often in charge of pricing various items. Dolls, clothes and home items were often well priced, but male themed items often had a wider price range, an opportunity for a better price! 

So how does a man going off to yard sales make real money in markets? One single style, observation of the world around you. He often liked to drink ice tea, and Snapple was his favorite brand. At the time the brand was everywhere, and easy to find. One day he noticed that the shelf space at his local convenience store was no longer as wide in selection for his favorite beverage. In fact, it was only 20% of what it was before the change in shelf space. 

Could this be a sign of a peak in the Snapple brand's popularity? The stock price was still high, so he checked at various stores, all the same.  Less shelf space meant less sales, so earnings would disappoint, so he put on a short. That is the process on how he discovered his trades and made a killing. Always use information that you discover before the market. That simple action as a clear early mover is often an advantage. When you go to any store regularly, ask yourself "what has changed in selection?" Does this mean there could be an opportunity in a single stock?

The Top 3 Takeaways from this book that really impact any reader are:


1) Surprisingly, there is a process that any individual can learn that will give an investor a personal edge. It comes down to observation not luck or insider information.

2) Like the Matrix movie series, you can see the world as it hopes, and rely on experts to pay financial fees to forever. Alternatively, you can see for yourself, and avoid paying fees forever after.

3) Social Media, Shopping Malls, local neighborhoods all contain the core basics of human behaviour. When you learn how to see, you can see market opportunities all around you everyday.

We learn about various other trades with a similar theme. Keep your eyes open and notice what people buy and sell, or throw away. Check out what is in your neighbour's garbage. It could give real market insight into what is popular now or is no longer. That informational mindset is what the author does a great job at explaining. Very well explained, and very easy to replicate with any product or service today or tomorrow. This is not a stock picking strategy that will be obsolete in a short time. You learn how to open your eyes and really see trading opportunities all around you. It can be a very profitable way of life. It can work long term, so it is Highly Recommended!

Please visit us for our Friday Feature Review where TMJ Partners will review books, movies, services and anything else with a financial theme. Follow us now for our free weekly updates, just click hereThank you for reading and learning more about how money is made in finance!

If you are interested in Sales & Trading, Banking or FinTech focused roles in Asia or Japan then click here. Follow TMJ Partners on Twitter, the world's #1 recruiter on Twitter, over 50,000+ followers already have! click here! 

あなたアジア日本セールストレーディング,
バンキング、フィンテックの役割に興味がある場合は、こちらをクリックしてくださいティエムジェィパートナーズTwitterでフォローしてください 世界中のTwitter第1位の採用企業50,000以上のフォロワーが既に持っています!クリックしてください

For more Buy-Side and Sell-Side roles in Asia-Pacific, contact our TMJ Partners Japan & Asia Finance team.



    Tokyo                                                                Tokyo
             Mark  Pink                                                  Shinichi Nagasawa
      Direct + 81 3 3505 3891                                       Direct  +81 3 3505 3891
            Email pinkmark@tmjpartners.com                         Email nagasawa@tmjpartners.com