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Friday, February 16, 2018

Friday Feature Book Review: Street Smarts: Jim Rogers 冒険投資家ジム・ロジャーズのストリート・スマート

Jim Rogers likes to travel and observe economics in action. He can do so now globally, mainly due to great wealth created as a top trader for George Soros. He sees the world with a very rare pair of economic & investment themed pair of eyes. I like his way of seeing the world. As a child in rural Alabama, he remembered a curious story about a friend telling him that if he dug a hole deep enough, he would end up in China! Luckily, he got to fly there as an adult instead, and has returned many times. Every time he visits China or other parts of Asia, he sees new opportunities. There is nothing like being somewhere right on the ground. Seeing is believing for travelers in many interesting ways.

He often sees good bets before the mass market generally. He has often been 2-3 years ahead of most trends, and that is what made him a wealthy money manager at Soros. It still serves him well today. He does not just talk, he also acts in his own personal life. He has moved to Singapore, and his 2 daughters speak fluent Mandarin. This is on purpose, it is planned, and he hopes more western parents will follow him down that road. Some of the most interesting "Street Smarts" from his Asian observations include how Japan, now has more pets than children. This is hardly a great indicator of growth or spending of its people. 

In his view, the US is declining economically at about the same rate as Asia-Pacific is rising. He sees the US as a great nation that has peaked economically, and will be replaced by a new rising star like many others before it. The next wave of investment opportunity is clearly in Asia. This may be it basic dairy manufacturers in Mongolia or nursing homes in Japan. The demographic statistics are clearly in favor of this area's success. It is the region to follow and learn from. Investment ideas are everywhere, if you have the right mindset and a keen pair of eyes. 

He does seem a bit sad at the state of US healthcare and education. He makes a good case that twice as much is spent per person in the US, than any other nation, but with poor results overall. He finds the overall level of education in Singapore to be very high, in fact higher than the overall USA. However, all city states tend to have a much better level of education than any mixed larger scale urban & rural nations. 

Borders are now open, but may start to close again in many places. Trade wars and import duties may return ending our current world of free trade. He remarks that Marco Polo had no passport and was able to travel freely into China. Great nations remain open, and grow more strong from economic influence, not less. The strong have little to fear from outside influence. The US may be close to shutting its doors even more, given the recent Donald Trump popularity of his wall. Unfortunately, this may not be good for the pace of continued innovation. 


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

1) The shrinking demographic realities of Western nations may have some lessons to learn from Asia where the multi-generation family is the norm.
2) Healthcare in the US may be very much overpriced considering its impact. Preventive medicine and related procedures have evolved greatly in Asia, and could be a good guide for US citizens.
3) Education is not only found in books. Respect for teachers is found in any great society. This core value may be best relearned if the US is going to catch up with Asia and revive public education in future.

This is the kind of book that you want to debate over beers with friends, and reflect travels past and in the future. It helps to open a person's eyes to what really can happen in the short term versus the longer view. It is a great collection of observations of investment tips that can help any portfolio, if you like to keep your eyes open to investment worldwide. 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 Linkedin or on TwitterWe are the world's #1 recruiter on Twitter, with over 60,000+ followers globally! 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LinkedinまたはTwitterでフォローしてください 世界中のTwitter第1位リクルーター60,000以上のフォロワー既に持っています!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

Friday, February 9, 2018

Friday Feature Book Review: "A Hedge Fund Tale" by Barton Biggs バートン・ビッグス: ウォール街のイカロス─小説ヘッジファンド

This is about going 100% for the hedge fund dream. It is about total self-driven dedication to a clear career goal in New York City. All of this and much more, is critical for being successful in "Hedgistan" also known as Greenwich, Connecticut nearby. It is a hedge fund trader's personal story, and his inner drive without compromise. He is both winning and losing along the way. It shows a clear window into how New York grows top hedge fund traders who come from all parts of the US, and indeed the world. It is a city that is a magnet for world's financial talent as the rewards are unrivalled and unequalled.

This is a great read that represents a very common story of how determined people who stand out in any way, can succeed via hard work. If some hedge fund entrepreneur has fierce dedication & discipline, then a chance is always there. Outstanding competitive individuals with a background in sports or the military, can often make this transition. It is a career move into the most competitive areas of finance today, meaning of course hedge funds. 

The main character starts out as a high school athlete. He is from the rural countryside of the USA, and is lucky enough to find a mentor in a local HNWI(High Net Worth Individual). He works for him part-time as a teen, and builds a hunger for finance. This takes him to the highest levels of New York City and then Greenwich, the ultimate home beacon of "Hedgistan", the great land of the best hedge funds. 

The private golf & country club memberships, multi-million dollar mansions, and luxury cars are all part of the lifestyle. Where does lifestyle end? When do wants become needs? This is a question many ask themselves, along with all of the private school fees, and other high-end lifestyle costs. I have seen many true similar stories here in Tokyo, Hong Kong & Singapore. All are similar to this fictional tale in many ways that reminded me of various real hedge fund careers I have come to know in more detail where beach homes or ski chalets in Niseko, Shimoda or Phuket compare well to St Barths, Gstaad or Vail. 

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

1) The first thing we learn is that the basic core skill set can be grown and be honed. Athletes know how to perform, and hedge fund traders share this trait.
2) The location of a top performer can start from anywhere, but the destination is usually only where the money is, a financial capital.
3) No matter how much money you make, it is more a lens that reflects than who you already are. Money does not make you into something, it only reflects what you are on a bigger wider scale.

If you are a financial information junky like me, and have the same kind of never satisfied need for lifestyle voyeur escapes, you will not be disappointed. There is plenty to marvel over. The spending and glamour are very much highlighted. There is indeed plenty of bling at the high end of the scale. Ultimately, this is very satisfying for those looking for this kind of escape! Sadly, this was the last novel by the late great Barton Biggs, the author. He was a Wall Street legend for many decades, and left this great gift for a new generation of financial young turks to read and learn from for later inspiration. Finance by its nature is ever changing, and constantly evolving. This is was a great piece of work and a wonderful read, 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 Linkedin or on TwitterWe are the world's #1 recruiter on Twitter, with over 60,000+ followers globally! 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LinkedinまたはTwitterでフォローしてください 世界中のTwitter第1位リクルーター60,000以上のフォロワー既に持っています!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

Friday, February 2, 2018

Friday Feature Book Review: Falling Short (in retirement) by Charles D. Ellis チャールズD.エリス: 老後資金がショートする

More than 30 years ago, a major change to the US retirement system began. At that time, 401(k) programs began. This has changed how many US citizens view retirement, but the recent reasons for retirement are now impacting this change. How did this all begin, and how can we find our way out of this unclear future?

This book clearly explains how the future of US citizens will need to adjust to only "possible" future retirement plans. Many similar economies in Europe, Africa, Brazil, Japan, Canada and China are all looking at similar economic trends with pension allocations. Assumptions need to change soon, and action needs to be taken today, in order to provide for tomorrow.

Today, the average US citizen retires at age 64 for men, and age 62 for women. However, the average retired citizen will continue to live on for around 21 years for men, and 23 years for women, so age 85. The average citizen will live for a much longer period than any pension planning is now expecting. Any cashflow is a hard reality, and now need a rethink. Any change will not be popular with the current population.

If the average US citizen has only US$111,000 saved within retirement savings. That is just $400 a month spread over 23 years, and that number does not bode well for the future. Inflation and medical care will make that figure seem lacking. The biggest change the author tries to suggest is raising the new retirement age from 65 to 70. A nice first step, but it is hardly a final guide for long term senior living prosperity. Working at least part-time after age 60, may be a financial reality for many future retirees going forward.

How did pensions get it so wrong for so many? Almost 200+ years ago, the world's first pensions began in Europe, and were started by Napoleon Bonaparte. He started a military veterans pension for his soldiers. At that time, the average French citizen lived until age 55, so by starting any pension age at age 65, it built a 10 year cushion, and was very sustainable. Soon other parts of the government offered similar pensions to other citizens. The military & veteran origins of these government pensions were soon forgotten.

Later, the private sector followed suit and the whole concept of a military or veteran connection was lost completely. The quality of life was able to rise in France, and the rest of Europe, but the retirement age was never touched. This inability to adjust the retirement age has created a difficult to sustain system today.


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

1) The first pension in Europe, was offered at start at age 65, when the average lifetime was only 55 years of age. This built a 10 year cushion, or margin of safety for the system overall.
2) The very first pension was in fact a military veteran disability pension, and the went into wider adoption.
3) New changes will have to reflect the life cycle of a longer life until age 85. A delayed start or partial start may need to be put in place.

This is a focused book, that really tries to bring ideas to a system in need of change. If thinking about bigger picture solutions turns you on, then this is a very inspiring starting point for a worldwide challenge for all citizens. Given where worker skills need to change with a future full of AI and many other possible changes to retirement lifestyles. It provides some solutions but is only a starting point. Many more ideas need to be reviewed and considered for the pension aged members of many societies. It is an economic puzzle that needs to be fixed. The sooner the better for us all. 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 Linkedin or on TwitterWe are the world's #1 recruiter on Twitter, with over 60,000+ followers globally! 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LinkedinまたはTwitterでフォローしてください 世界中のTwitter第1位リクルーター60,000以上のフォロワー既に持っています!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