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Friday, January 20, 2017

Friday Feature Book Review: Why we want YOU to be RICH by Donald J. Trump and Robert T. Kiyosaki あなたに金持ちになってほしい: ドナルド・ トランプ + ロバート・キヨサキ

This book was a positive surprise. I expected the typical Trump style saying how "Money is a Game, and I play to Win!" However, it was quite the opposite. It was subtle and well thought out. It was even understated. Not at all what I expected from our new US President. The main concept is that for many Americans, and others globally, very basic financial intelligence is often lacking. If the average person had better insight into how finance worked, and had a higher financial IQ, they would be able to invest with more confidence and benefit greatly. 

Donald Trump teamed up with Robert Kiyosaki best known for his own best seller "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" because of an overlap at a conference in Chicago. Both were speaking at a real estate conference there, trying to help the many there to learn how to better invest in real estate. Both were speakers and crossed paths. A spark started and as they got to know each other, a clear need to help more people learn was found to be in common. The book started from there, but continues into a lot of depth that is not expected at the beginning. It is a clear set of rules and guidelines on how to be rich by investing. A key point is to enjoy the process, and see it as a game that is fun to win.

What I could not believe was the clear style of flowing ideas about how any average person could learn to be a much better investor. It touched on how China was a huge economic story with plenty of opportunity. It also underlined India, and how the rise of both of these super economies will be worth knowing more about. Facts, clear facts were used that showed clear depth of understanding about both economies.


This book was written over 10 years ago, but certainly has a clear agenda on how the USA can be better managed politically in future. The presidential aspirations are included in many of the arguments presented. This is not another basic investing 101 course that any financial advisor could give. Things like "live below your means, save, and diversify into mutual funds etc". Not at all. It actually questions it. Why would you listen and take advice from a person who takes the subway, when you drive a Rolls Royce? How wrong is it to give great respect to a US financial advisor at the retail level, when it takes fewer hours of study than a massage therapist accreditation?

This is the mentality presented and it is a good one. Not everyone can be rich, but many with the desire do not have the right tools or concepts solid in their financial education. this is who the book is aimed at, and it does so very well. There are three types of investors: (1) non-investors with no money and no financial IQ, (2) savers with some money and limited financial IQ, and (3) investors with a lot of money and high financial IQ. This book is targeted at helping people in group 1 and 2, be a successful investor like number 3.


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

1) There is a lot to learn about how Donald J. Trump thinks about the world and his economic policies. His political campaigns have given only a superficial view. He has written many books and they include his policies. There is no single book with all of his policies, there are many, so read them all.

2) The economies of China and India are big and need to be better understood from every angle. The USA cannot expect to stay number one without knowing how rivals economies are working and taking advantage. Facts need to be learned. Differences need to be understood.

3) When becoming a successful rich investor, you have to put in the long hours, work hard and learn by experience. You cannot learn to swim from any text book. Only by doing deals and learning what works and what doesn't, can you really become rich and successful.

This was not what I expected to written in a style that I thought I would recognize. This is only one book, but certainly gives a clear indication of what the future president make be thinking about global economies. finance and the USA. That seems worth absorbing and keeping in mind when seeing what first moves come out of this new US president and his administration in 2017. This book reads like the revealing of a man's soul and true colors, the key to a unique and complex personality. A very surprising book, highly recommended!


Please visit us for our Friday Feature Review where TMJ Partners will review books, movies, and anything else with a financial theme.  Thank you for reading and learning more about how money is made in finance!

If you are interested in Sales & Trading focused roles in Asia or Japan then click here. Follow us on Twitter, over 28,000+ followers already have! click here! 

あなたアジアや日本の金融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Twitterでフォローしてください! 28,000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 or Sell-Side roles in Asia-Pacific, contact our TMJ Partners Japan & Asia Finance team in Tokyo.
                  
                              Mark  Pink                                             Shinichi Nagasawa
                      Tel + 81 3 3505 3891                                    Tel  +81 3 3505 3891
          Email pinkmark@tmjpartners.com                 Email nagasawa@tmjpartners.com

Friday, January 13, 2017

Friday Feature Movie Review: "The Wolf of Wall Street" Leonardo DiCaprio & Martin Scorsese "ウルフ・オブ・ウォールストリート":レオナルド・ディカプリオ&スコセッシ

"The Wolf of Wall Street" is a great movie, and it is all about excess, just like our new US president. It is perfect if you are single and living life to the limit. Alternatively, it is a train wreck of misbehavior if you have matured beyond that. It confirms what could go wrong if you go down the wrong path. It seems that the answer depends on your age and desires. If you are single, (or love the single life even while married), are in the 25-35 age range,(or wish you still were without responsibilities)​ then you will love this movie. It will be nostalgic for crazy times in your past before the Lehman Brothers fiasco.

How can you not enjoy it from that point of view? It is all about tremendous everything where "too much of everything money can buy" is still never enough. This is the target market. Director Martin Scorsese, does an amazing job of taking us back to the life and times of bucket shop "boiler rooms" where the phone line is the con man's way to gold. I cannot think of a more hedonistic life on any movie screen since seeing "Caligula" many years ago. 

Having a threesome or foursome is nothing to the main character Jordan Belfort, (played by Leonardo DiCaprio) why not go for a 100 some! I have never considered it possible to have a sex orgy on a commercial airplane with 250+ people. I now have seen it on screen and think differently. Throwing midgets for sport, stripper performances in the office all change your perspective on what is normal. What can happen in the office bathroom has also changed for me, perhaps permanently.

It is a kind of visual orgy, New Roman style, but set in Long Island, New York. That is the only kind of description that could work for this movie. You may think this is a really positive thing, or you may not, but it does seem to be a kind of benchmark. For good or bad, that is the attitude on screen, and it can be amazing to watch. Or not watch in the case of Dubai, where almost 45 minutes of the 3 hour movie were cut in the local version. That is a lot of film, a pretty major slimmed down version.

Why do you watch and why can you enjoy such a movie basking in excess? You come away with different reasons. It represents a fantasy of what could happen if the financial "perfect storm" takes place during your career. The big money comes in and you have to find ways to spend it. The trouble is, it all ends badly, very badly, with many involved all part of the collateral damage, some end up dead. 

Best moments? worse moments? Too many to really count although seeing a person take so many drugs that they cannot speak on the phone and be understood was certainly memorable. Not being able to stand up or have motor skills, and being forced to crawl down stairs was another. Driving a Lamborghini Countach in such a state or even opening the door was notable. 

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

1) There is a lot to learn about the many levels of finance within Wall Street. There is no single way to success, so be aware of every player in the financial game, bottom feeders do thrive.

2) The best rainmakers know how to make money and keep doing what they do best by maintaining their confidence. When this comes from drugs though, the end comes sooner than expected.

3) When becoming a successful rainmaker, your emotional strength from close friends or family at home, may help you perform at work. Every person has a personal life, so the more empty or fulfilling it is, the more you can succeed.

Sinking a yacht near Italy in a major storm, and seeing the rescue plane sent blow up as a sign from god or some other warning to wake up and change, all come to mind as key scenes. Stratton Oakmont, the chop shop firm in question, will be a very tough act to follow on screen or anywhere else. Perfect for your holiday weekend with a new US president who is all about excess! It is all realistic, and portrayed wonderfully by an excellent castAn amazing movie that is perfect for the holidays, highly recommended!


Please visit us for our Friday Feature Review where TMJ Partners will review books, movies, and anything else with a financial theme.  Thank you for reading and learning more about how money is made in finance!

If you are interested in Sales & Trading focused roles in Asia or Japan then click here. Follow us on Twitter, over 27,000+ followers already have! click here! 

あなたアジアや日本の金融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Twitterでフォローしてください! 27,000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 or Sell-Side roles in Asia-Pacific, contact our TMJ Partners Japan & Asia Finance team in Tokyo.
                  
                              Mark  Pink                                             Shinichi Nagasawa
                      Tel + 81 3 3505 3891                                    Tel  +81 3 3505 3891
          Email pinkmark@tmjpartners.com                 Email nagasawa@tmjpartners.com

Friday, January 6, 2017

Friday Feature CEO Interview: Jeremy Kloiser-Jones, the Founder and CEO of BC Finance Group

Today, we interview Jeremy Kloiser-Jones, the Founder and CEO of BC Finance Group, a firm focused on impact investments in financial services. In 2013, the group launched a Microfinance institution in Myanmar - and is the only institution of its kind with a national footprint. BC Finance is also working on some exciting Fintech applications of Blockchain technology. 

ジェレミー・クローイザー・ジョーンズ氏は、京都大学で法学を学んだ。彼は日本語と日本語の両方に堪能です。彼は日本とアジアで多くの仕事をしてきました。彼は現在、日本と国際投資家と直接取引をしています。彼はフィンテックで博士号を取得しており、よく知られているブロックチェーンの専門家です。




1)    When did you start BC Finance? What is your main business and current scale of operations?

We have been present in Myanmar, since 2012, prior to most foreign businesses and many embassies. We received our micro finance institution (MFI) licence in 2013, commencing business in October of that year, so we have been operating for more than three years now. We have around 100 staff serving clients through 19 branches in 8 states. The national roll out that we undertook in 2013/14 was unprecedented, and we are the only national commercial MFI in the country.

We lend to individuals, micro and small enterprises. As we lend for income generating activities, in an economy growing as fast as Myanmar is - the Asian Development Bank forecasts 8.4% GDP growth this year - credit performance is excellent. Since inception, we have had zero bad loans. Although microfinance as a sector generally has very low default rates, this performance surprises even us. Going forward, bad loans will not always be zero, but should be very low. A common misconception is that microfinance clients are poor credits. They are not.

2) Why did you choose to start your firm in Myanmar? What opportunity did you see?

Many people are not aware just how large Myanmar is. It has a population of 52 million and is the second largest country in ASEAN. Banks provide for the elite, and we provide for the average person, and there are many of them. The demand for microfinance in Myanmar is tremendous, at around USD 10 billion. This compares with current supply of only USD 300 million or so. In my career I have never been involved in a business with fundamentals as good as this. We can lend everything that we have, it is always repaid (to date), and yet we have tens of thousands of clients still waiting for loans. We simply need more inventory, which is capital. Hence we are currently doing a raising.

Given the above, it is obvious that returns to investors are extremely robust, but, in addition, providing formal financial services to those who did not have them before is of significant social value. Most of our clients are women, and they are able to better care for their children with the increased income that comes from growing their businesses. Financial services for the under banked is not just about lending. As a deposit-taking institution, we also provide our clients with savings accounts. This is an important offering for their financial security.

3) Where do you see the opportunity for your firm to grow? What key advantage do you have today in Myanmar?

As touched on above, for the immediate term, the growth opportunities are in Myanmar, and few other markets could provide a similarly attractive growth profile. Our aim is to build our loan portfolio to USD 150 million as quickly as is prudent. We are fortunate to have started early in Myanmar, and hence have a licence scope that is superior to virtually all other market participants. We can support deployment of significant amounts of capital. There is no shortage of profitable lending opportunities. Our national footprint also gives us the ability to offer remittance services in a meaningful way.

That said, there are other markets that can provide significant scale or other opportunities. These include ASEAN countries such Indonesia and Vietnam, although differing regulatory requirements dictate different approaches between markets. We are also looking at Sri Lanka, and have been shown interesting transactions in Cambodia, although that market requires a different approach to Myanmar, given that it is no longer “blue sky”. The Philippines also has much to offer.  

4) Tell us about your Fintech and Blockchain initiatives for mobile banking services in future.

During 2016, we were involved in testing blockchain technology against our core banking system. Although we were the first MFI in Myanmar, to introduce a core banking system, and are satisfied with what we have, we need to seek continual improvements. Confirming that private distributed ledger (blockchain) technology could smoothly and accurately record all of our clients borrowing and saving transactions, was an important proof of concept step. We did this in connection with Japanese partners. It could form the basis for development of a next generation MIS. Personally, I see that blockchain likely has more utility in applications that are client facing and we are working on some of these. Cryptocurrency as a basis for remittance transactions, and identity or credit data verified via blockchain could offer significant benefits not just for our business, but more broadly throughout Myanmar.

We are currently developing a P2P platform for emerging markets that will further enable those who wish to borrow and those who wish lend, to connect. This platform will leverage off the network of any financial institution with clients in excess of their capacity. I can't disclose more than this for now.

5) Have lending opportunities in Myanmar changed in any way due to government actions or new technologies like Blockchain?

Myanmar actually has a fairly good core legal regime for microfinance, but there is still room for improvement. As financial inclusion is important for the average person to participate in the economic growth that the country is now experiencing - a point of concern for the new government under Nobel Peace Prize winner, Aung San Suu Kyi - we expect continual improvements in the regulatory environment over the coming year. We actually had some significant deregulation a few months ago, but we expect to see even more.

Like many other countries, how regulation evolves in Myanmar, to deal with the emergence of new technologies such as blockchain, will be an important area to watch. This is of particular interest to me. In my downtime I am currently pursuing a PhD on the regulation of blockchain with an emphasis on applications in emerging markets and smart contracts.

6) Are there gaps in Myanmar lending that overseas investors do not fully understand that BC Finance try and fill?

Many misunderstand what microfinance is. The easiest way to explain it is to say that microfinance in an emerging economy such as Myanmar, fills the role of a retail bank in a more developed economy. We are the financial institution for our customers. They will have an account with us, they will have a mobile money account with us or linked to us, but they will likely never have a bank account. The opportunity is significant.

Generally, we also find that investors do not understand the high credit performance of microfinance. Commercial microfinance globally, has default rates in the low single digits. In Myanmar, defaults rates are even lower. After more than three years of operations, BC Finance is yet to experience even one bad loan - although we will, of course, experience them over time. As long as loan decisions are appropriately managed, microfinance customers are a better credit risk than the average developed market credit card holder. Like any market, there are different segments within microfinance. The provision of microcredit in a post-conflict zone in the Middle East by an NGO, is a charitable activity and would likely experience well in excess of 50% bad loans. While extremely important, this is not our business.

From a macro perspective, because credit provision in Myanmar is coming from a very low base, there is not yet a credit cycle and certainly not a credit bubble. It is a robust environment to be lending into. The opportunity for BCF is in how quickly we can supply the market. The more we can supply, the more businesses we can support, and the greater returns we will make. There are no unknowns in our business model. Myanmar is a country of wonderful people and we are proud to be building our business there, contributing as the country builds its future.

7) Where do you see your firm growing the most in the next 2-3 years? Will this continue within the mobile Fintech space? Are you seeking investors for new projects or service offerings?

Most of our growth over the next few years will come from meeting the incredible demand for credit we are seeing in Myanmar. This will be achieved by expansion of our direct balance sheet (traditional) lending, as well as via our P2P (Fintech) platform. Over that time, mobile phones will certainly become established as a primary transactional tool, in our view. Within this, we will be rolling out new products and technologies at the appropriate pace – to be neither to early nor too late to provide the right mix for the market.

As for your last point, we are seeking investors for BCF and are currently in discussions on an equity round of up to USD 7.5 million to close during the 1st quarter of 2017. We are also raising USD 15 to 20 million of debt. Aside from this, we are always open to partnering with firms who bring something to the table we do not possess and are willing to invest alongside us.


Please visit us for our Friday Feature Review where TMJ Partners will review books, movies, and anything else with a financial theme.  Thank you for reading and learning more about how money is made in finance!

If you are interested in Sales & Trading focused roles in Asia or Japan then click here. Follow us on Twitter, over 26,000+ followers already have! click here! 

あなたアジアや日本の金融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Twitterでフォローしてください! 26,000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 or Sell-Side roles in Asia-Pacific, contact our TMJ Partners Japan & Asia Finance team in Tokyo.
                  
                              Mark  Pink                                             Shinichi Nagasawa
                      Tel + 81 3 3505 3891                                    Tel  +81 3 3505 3891
          Email pinkmark@tmjpartners.com                 Email nagasawa@tmjpartners.com

Friday, December 30, 2016

Friday Feature Movie Review: Arbitrage: Richard Gere (Hedge Fund Thriller) キング・オブ・マンハッタン : リチャード・ギア

Money, Sex and Power are all here. Our hero is a hedge fund manager wanting to sell his business. Nothing wrong with that, but he has to sell. That is never an easy place to be. Life is good at the top, but when a mistress ends up dead, and the police start asking questions, life even at the top of finance, gets complicated.

Richard Gere plays the patriarch of a family owned investment firm. It is large and well established like the Gabelli Funds, but without the brightness of a younger generation. We first see the public face on CNBC and other channels, but his life behind the scenes is not for public viewing. Manhattan is full of flash and affluence, but the people serving the rich, are also part of the same world. Good people you need to rely on. Loyalty from long-term staff can never be overestimated. It can even be life saving.

There seems to be a hole in the balance sheet, not a stolen money hole like Madoff, but more a funding hole caused by Russian markets. It is a big gap that needs to be filled by a Ultra HNWI loan. Help that gets frustrated when the 2 week period takes longer longer than expected to repay. When trying to pass a final audit, that kind of loan is the type that is best not found.

How can you sell after an audit investigation when the accounting books are questionable? Drama and tension continue all through this story, and never seems to let up much. It may look wonderful from the outside, but the life of this hedge fund manager, at the center of the story, is far from comfortable, and never easy.

Susan Sarandon plays the wife, poor in the early days like her equally hungry husband, but monetary success came ultimately. She was tolerant of affairs as the money came, but everything has a limit. When cash flow trouble over a medical charity donation gets delayed, a backup plan begins. 

It is every money manager's worst nightmare, a divorce lawyer, with no pre-nup, enters the story. That is true fear when you are over 60, a founder trying to sell, looking at a retirement exit, and not getting much room to maneuver. Major markets can be scary when you need to make money, not just desire to do so. Emerging markets can also be the most scary due to unexpected events. Every experienced market player knows those risks, and often has the scars to prove it.

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

1) There is a lot to learn about how to be a long-term successful rainmaker, and no single profit stream with last forever.There is no single way to success, so keep open to every new trading opportunity.

2) The best rainmakers know how to make money and keep doing what they do best by observing key decision makers and possible patterns. Knowing what buttons to press to close a deal at the best price is the EQ magic that many lack, not IQ, that only gets you to the table.

3) When becoming a successful rainmaker, your emotional strength from family at home, may help you perform on deals at work. Every person has a personal life, so the more empty or fulfilling it is, the more that can creep into personal performance. It cannot be denied.

The police detective played by Tim Roth, is spot on. He brings the most raw and tasty character to this big screen movie. There are many curious moments in this New York financial story when he is on camera. The old style face to face sale of the firm and how it goes down, is classic and very much old school. If you get a chance to watch it, it is worthwhile viewing. Highly recommended for all staff at an investment bank, hedge fund or asset manager. It is all realistic, and portrayed wonderfully by an excellent castAn amazing movie that is perfect for the holidays, highly recommended!


Please visit us for our Friday Feature Review where TMJ Partners will review books, movies, and anything else with a financial theme.  Thank you for reading and learning more about how money is made in finance!

If you are interested in Sales & Trading focused roles in Asia or Japan then click here. Follow us on Twitter, over 26,000+ followers already have! click here! 

あなたアジアや日本の金融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Twitterでフォローしてください! 26,000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 or Sell-Side roles in Asia-Pacific, contact our TMJ Partners Japan & Asia Finance team in Tokyo.
                  
                              Mark  Pink                                             Shinichi Nagasawa
                      Tel + 81 3 3505 3891                                    Tel  +81 3 3505 3891
          Email pinkmark@tmjpartners.com                 Email nagasawa@tmjpartners.com

Friday, December 23, 2016

Friday Feature Film Review: The Family Man : Nicholas Cage (Christmas Special) 天使のくれた時間 : ニコラス・ケイジ

It is Christmas eve, and the M&A transaction must still get done, a deal close meeting is set on Christmas day, but the staff are not happy. Nicholas Cage plays Jack Campbell, a Wall Street Rainmaker with everything that money can buy, except love from a family of his own. If only he made a different choice, his life may be different. A former girlfriend calls his office out of the blue, and a new twist in his normal life begins.

He soon wakes up in suburban New Jersey, not New York City. He is in bed with Tea Leoni, his former flame and current wife with screaming children running around. How is that possible? A parallel universe shows him what could have been. He cannot believe he is now married with 2 kids and working as a tire salesman, but that is the life he now has. 

This is really a movie that questions the morality challenge of money & career vs family fulfillment. It is a fun film that tries to bring a mirror to the materialism that keeps many within finance happy in their possessions, despite the emptiness of a surrounding growing family and the ties that bind. Is this attraction to things just a temporary part of any human's emotional evolution? It is a timeless question with no clear answer.

For many early in their financial career, yet to marry and yet to start a family, you will find the story basic. Those more senior than 30 or even 40, with the internal need to breed, will see this story in a very different light. It may make one uncomfortable with the lack of depth that money can bring in a career. You question what wealth is worth without the family love and bonding that grounds many in the world today. It may be a movie to avoid for those not quite sure on their life choice. Those who wonder if they have sacrificed personal relationships for careers of cash, and still have made the best choice. 

The opening of this movie is around the Christmas holiday and the work vs life balance around deals at this time. All members may want the deal to happen, but not all have as much to lose at home. The emotional price that each member pays to work on that day varies enormously. The younger the member, the lower that price when single. Time is money shows itself to have another price tag for those with families at home. It can be a very high price.


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

1) There is a lot to learn about how to be a long-term successful rainmaker, and no one answer will do. The more motivations you can find to close deals, the better. There is no single way to success, there are many, so learn them all.

2) The best rainmakers know how to make money and keep doing what they do best by observing key decision makers and possible patterns. Knowing what buttons to press to get a decision is the EQ magic that many lack, not IQ, that only gets you to the table.

3) When becoming a successful rainmaker, your emotional strength from family at home, may help you perform on deals at work. Every person has a personal life, so the more empty or fulfilling it is, the more that can creep into personal performance. It cannot be denied.

Much of course depends on your personal definition of financial success, and the drive or core reason to pursuit it in the first place. Beware to all those who may look at a financial career with less interest and more longing for the basics of life. Be warned of what you could really be feeling! A perfect movie choice for the Christmas holiday season. Highly recommended for all of the typical staff at an investment bank portrayed wonderfully by an excellent cast.deservedly so. An amazing movie that is perfect for the holidays, highly recommended!


Please visit us for our Friday Feature Review where TMJ Partners will review books, movies, and anything else with a financial theme.  Thank you for reading and learning more about how money is made in finance!

If you are interested in Sales & Trading focused roles in Asia or Japan then click here. Follow us on Twitter, over 26,000+ followers already have! click here! 

あなたアジアや日本の金融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Twitterでフォローしてください! 26,000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 or Sell-Side roles in Asia-Pacific, contact our TMJ Partners Japan & Asia Finance team in Tokyo.
                  
                              Mark  Pink                                             Shinichi Nagasawa
                      Tel + 81 3 3505 3891                                    Tel  +81 3 3505 3891
          Email pinkmark@tmjpartners.com                 Email nagasawa@tmjpartners.com