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Saturday, July 30, 2016

Friday Feature Book Review: "Lords of the Rim" by Sterling Seagrave スターリングシーグレーブ "宋家王朝" 中国の富と権力を支配した一族の物語

This is about "how to be a billionaire". It is a hybrid of Chinese history, business entrepreneurship, and financial market evolutions.  The focus is about how many Chinese adventurers left China, for lands far away, and built the most successful international business network that Asia has ever seen, if not the world. All three are things that I love, and this was reflected by the author as well. This is a densely packed book, full of deep drill down research covering thousands of years. There are no shortcuts here, just quality writing, professionally researched and well explained.

I have heard of only a few of these key Chinese figures like Sun Tzu, who created the Art of War. He is often considered the inspiration for Machiavelli's "The Prince". His famous 13 chapters are now basic reading for many Japanese executives within major Keiretsu groups like Mitsubishi. The discipline needed for business has come from war. In Japan, business is today's modern war. 

Also described is San Bao, the Chinese sailor who discovered Africa, Europe and even America in 1421, well before Christopher Columbus. He is considered the actual figure from which "Sinbad the Sailor" was modeled after. The world's seven seas have been sailed by the Chinese sailors for a long time. He took huge ships as long as modern football fields in massive groups. His flotilla of Vast Red Ships sailed to Africa, Australia, Europe and even North & South America! His trips were documented in stone tablets left in all of these locations that were later authenticated. 

There are limited gold deposits within India, but there is plenty of gold within India today. This is mainly because of a long history involving Chinese trade. This gold story is well explained, one of many that makes your head shake in amazement from the author's clear description of events. When many visitors see theater they notice the make of the actors and can see the direct influence that originally came from Chinese opera in classical Indian live performances today. Trades brings people and cultures together is many amazing ways.

Sterling Seagraves, knows his subject well, perhaps too well. Some of the pages almost seem like text books crammed full of information you feel almost guilty about not fully absorbing right away. His ability to bring a complex observation and explain it so simply is a real skill. I did not know how Chinese dialects came about as so different to the ear, yet similar in a written form. His ability to explain this and connect it to the creation of the "Great Wall" was fascinating. 

I did not understand the kind of hometown connections that connect certain kinds of Overseas Chinese dominated businesses had. I did not know how politics compliment them, in one market after another, no matter what the country or region. So much, from this master storyteller was well explained. The most recent 60+ years since Mao, had less of an impact, as it was subject matter that was more modern and familiar. 


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

1) There is a very long history in China and the rest of Asia that has no comparison in Europe.

2) Business in Asia has been at the core of shipping and trade for much of the region that is connected by water.

3) Just like Europe, food and culture across Asia has widely spread all over and continued in the business attitudes used today.


No matter what level of Chinese history you may know or understand, this book will upgrade you. The traditions of Overseas Chinese and the businesses that they built are complex and very successful. It is not a smooth history, one full of challenges, and this book explains them well. You wish the book continued despite its more than 400+ pages. Very much worth a read, a nice pleasurable long one. 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 45,000+ 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45,000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, July 22, 2016

Friday Feature Book Review: "Capital in the 21st Century" by Thomas Piketty トマ・ピケティによる "21世紀の首都"

This book is the new bible for economics globally. This is not one man's opinion, but the thoughts of a large team of 30 economists. They explain results from a huge pool of data that is presented with patterns gathered from over 15 years of research. The data is from more than 20 countries covering over 200 years of income tax. The most attractive point to this effort, is the clear data seen in new ways so clearly in a pattern. To suspect a theory is one thing, but to see it proven, with hard data, is another. This enlightenment is its genius.

There are 4 parts to this very major volume. The first 3 sections explain the historical evidence of wealth distribution. Recently media call them the 1%, but former US president Franklin Delano Roosevelt, called them "economic royalists". Concentrated power at the top of society. There are many names for the same people at the top. This is not only about the US today, but many rich and successful countries. 

Over 100 years ago, in France, during the "Belle Epoque" the comparison is clear. It was a society that valued equality among its citizens, but in fact was really run by wealthy families, mostly inherited fortunes. What a society says it values, but then supports differently in society or economically, is what this great project explains so well.


At the core, wealthy families can grow their assets at roughly twice the growth of the local economy. If a country rises by 2-3% in economic growth, then its rich families should be able to expect 4-6% growth in income. Not all multi-generational rich families succeed, but most do, and the data proves this with a lot of clear evidence. The rise of Family Offices globally as a part of Private Banking is interesting food for thought.

His conclusions in part 4 are more difficult to accept for some. However, when it comes to choosing what is best for any society, how do you value the trade off? Ultimately, is it better for a small amount of tax from the top 1% be used to help the bottom 20% of the same society? The impact on this bottom would have a huge impact on the quality of life for all levels of the same society. 

If this more balanced redistribution has benefitted the quality of life in Europe, where the bottom poor benefit greatly from government programs, especially health care. Can the US and other countries see the full value to follow this path themselves? By having a more comfortable poor strata of society, then the middle class and rich society benefit as well. Could this be the best way to really live in a "win win" world?

What I wonder most is has this often been the case over time? Is this the norm until recently for human societies over the last 5,000+ years since Mesopotamia? It is too bad that such data would be impossible to find, I would now love to read it. At over 700+ pages of text, there is too much to discuss in a short book review. This is a huge intellectual tasty meal of data to gorge on should you have the time and desire. Highly recommended without hesitation!

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, July 15, 2016

Friday Feature Book Review: Freakonomics by Steven Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner ヤバい経済学 スティーヴン・D・レヴィット/スティーヴン・J・ダブナー

Can you make "economics" a usually dull subject more exciting? Yes, you certainly can! The most constant phrases I kept on hearing in my head, while reading this book was simple wow, cool, how amazing, what a great angle, I had no idea. I was really impressed by a style of writing that I had never read before. I could not put the book down.

The two totally "hands on" authors look at the "real but hidden economy" that real people use money for. They are not afraid of looking at where people spend cash even in illegal ways. They make very innovative observations on what is really happening in the total economy everyday as a result. 

Everybody knows about official economic numbers from the news, but this book brings more. This includes an insider view of "guilty pleasure" with many curious paid for items often hidden within the US economy. How much does a drug dealer really make a week? Why does he live with his Mom? Is his net income not high enough to move out? Getting the scoop on how much he really makes is really riveting. You just cannot find such info anywhere else. It is unique.


Many topics just jump out at you needing a good read. How can you resist finding out how the Klu Klux Klan is like a group of real estate agents. How can any July 4th weekend be the best sales days for prostitutes in every major US city. How did being a criminal change widely in its income levels over the last few decades. 

If you want to know about this "hidden angle" of the economy you already live in, this is for you. The attitudes of these authors is of curious misfit scientists and is well reflected all throughout the book. It is wonderful stuff. Perfect for a plane journey as it comes in great chunky chapters. 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, July 8, 2016

Friday Feature Book Review: Civilisation by Niall Ferguson 文明: 西洋が覇権をとれた6つの真因のナイルのファーガソン

This book is a great application of history to global economics. The author Niall Ferguson, tries to figure out how China lost the plot of world economic domination, back in the 1400s. At that time, China dominated world trade, had sailing ships trading with Asia, Australia, Africa and beyond. It had cities of more than 1 million people like Nanjing, the capital at the time. This was where public health and sewage were already being organised by well trained bureaucrats. If so, then how did things change so much and why? How did Western Europe and the USA later come to dominate the world with Western ways?

To compare back then, London had only 40,000 people after the black plague killed much of the population. It had poor general services and limited government bureaucracy then, so how did Western civilisation come to dominate the world economy for 500+ years afterwards? This becomes an economic mystery to find out how the West could come to overtake the East. The follow question though is will the West hold on to this advantage or will the East now take over again in future? 

To explain how this all took place, he has come up with 6 "killer apps" or economic principles, that Western Society has developed that have helped drive them ahead of other societies and economic models.
1) Competition, as in the huge amount of decentralized city states and small countries that all fought for economic advantage and trade across Europe and beyond. This forced innovation and progress much faster than the centralized Chinese empire at the time.
2) Science, the amount of scientific technology of clocks, weapons, industrial factories and energy inventions like the steam engine, helped spread this economic expansion far and wide.
3) Property, unlike in South America where plunder of gold and silver with all land remaining in the hands of the king of Spain lead to elites. North America was settled by immigrants who got to own land and vote as part of the bargain.
4) Medicine, disease has stopped many parts of the world from growing but Western medicine, especially the French, brought new ways to fight disease in Africa that allowed many to survive well past their first 30 years and really prosper longer term.
5) Consumerism, the clothes of the West via pop music and movies have spread so far around the globe that the T-shirt and jeans is now a global uniform. This is a never before seen trend that has united tastes in retail fashion.
6) Work Ethic, the protestant work ethic seems to have been another key driver, but why does Europe differ now in lower Church habits compared to the US where worship remains high? Again competition of separate churches competing attracts followers versus centralized European churches with shrinking appeal. 

It is all amazing food for thought, but in the conclusion it is also clear that China, Korea & Japan have all learned the very same lessons and have made them part of their own economic miracle. If these lessons, these 6 killer apps, can be learned, will the East regain its place again in the world economy? Due to the savings rates needed, that may be a key reason for longer term success and another major change in how the world works economically. Really fascinating reading. 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, July 1, 2016

Friday Feature Book Review: Hedge Fund Market Wizards: Jack D. Schwager 続マーケットの魔術師 (ウィザードブックシリーズ) ジャック・D・シュワッガー

This is the author's 4th "Market Wizards Series" book, and the best by far. Luckily, it is a series of 15 direct and revealing interviews, so every compelling chapter ends while another begins every 30+ pages. Each hedge fund legend, known or unknown to the financial public, brings much to learn. 

At the end, the author Jack Schwager, gathers a great set of patterns and conclusions that can even help the simple small scale investor. All readers can therefore learn from the interviews with high level hedge fund managers active in the market.

I could not put this book down most days once started. The interview with Michael Platt, the founder of BlueCrest, a US$35BN+ AUM debt focused hedge fund firm, was the most enlightening. He fleshes out a crystal clear style of risk control and trading understanding, that many other hedge funds or internal prop teams, will try to follow more often over time. 

To my surprise, Michael explained that he started out trading his grandmother's account in equities around age 17. He did well until the 1987 crash. He then was mentally scarred for life, and never forgot. He then decided that risk control and downside drawdowns were at the core of overall trading success, not the upside of potential winning trades. It is not how much you can win, it is more about how much more you may lose.

Other big hedge fund superstars include Ray Dalio, founder of BridgeWater, a US$120BN in AUM with 1400 staff in the firm. The honesty of Ray with his staff within a culture of open criticism on mistakes, is still difficult for me to access and understand. The method and the secret internal written rules that have been assembled would be a goldmine to read. 

Another great profile is Joel Greenblatt, founder of Gotham Capital, author of a well-known market bible, "You Can Be A Stock Market Genius". He has continued to share his market insight with "The Little Book That Beats The Market", followed by "The Big Secret for the Small Investor". All of them like this great book, are filled with great views with amazing insights that keep you reading. 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