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Friday, August 26, 2016

Friday Feature Book Review: Benjamin Franklin's The Way To Wealth by Steve Shipside ベンジャミン・フランクリンは、富への道です: スティーブサイドシープ

American history's late great Benjamin Franklin, died a very rich man. He was an inventor, scientist, inventor, diplomat, statesman, and was a highly educated man of his age. He knew the value and pleasure of Bordeaux Wines, fine food and the true value of money. He was talented in many ways, and this book explains many of his favorite principals he felt were needed to be successful. It highlights his 52 best ideas that can help any modern man build a modern fortune. 

Despite his connection to electricity, this is not a list of technology ideas to be the next Tesla innovation. It is more a great guide to know how to focus on what is important and build towards solid profits no matter where you live and work. There are many well known words of wisdom here, that have lasted for over 250 years. One of his favorite maxims was "early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise". 

In fact, the phrase "No Pain No Gain" is a direct quote from Benjamin Franklin. He fully understood the impact of exercise and the health of any person, but within business as well. Many journalists used trade union pressure help to resist the "pain of having to use" a new PC years ago. What was not understood was that once learned, the PC helped make the same work easier in time. That is a classic business style application of the "no pain, no gain" principle. The pain of learning at first, will help later on after using this newly gained knowledge.

This book goes on to give not only a US version of work & life balance but with a wider international twist as well. How the US is compared to Europe and Asia is refreshing. With the phrase "be the driver, not the drone". The concept of making sure "you drive the business and not have the business drive you", was known long ago. It is not a modern problem of the last 30 years due to technology. It is a surprise to learn how many of these modern guides are actually very old and proven rules to success.

The list is long and the modern interpretations of them are very well explained. It all helps a modern reader fully understand what a current wealth builder needs to consider today. There are more than fifty of these great ways to wealth, and all are worth absorbing and building into any daily modern routine. Do not be fooled by the years of time. These deep insights help you to make money in your career today, and find a life balance that is worth a fortune in effort. Very 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

あなたは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

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, August 19, 2016

Friday Feature Book Review: Zero to One by Peter Thiel (Billionaire) ピーター・ティール : ゼロ・トゥ・ワン― (億万長者)

This book will make you rethink where modern technology is going, and how it will change any future society. This is not what I expected. More of interest to any reader is how we the people, will change in a more positive way via technology. Maybe I thought this would be a simple one way message by a billionaire. I was wrong. It is a deep reflexion of observations from various startups. A great list of notes,

The author Peter Thiel, is trying to enlighten the reader with what he has seen so far, and suspects is coming later in future as well. He is not making a more expected case of "this is what I know, listen to me, because I know the way forward". It is not a rich guy talking about himself and his world views.

For some reason, I opened this book with some prejudice, and was surprised by the neutral opinions that may help many trying to know what could happen in the future. The author is a special person, and it shows in some of his observations. He knows that out of the box thinking is a rare thing. He understands that great ideas are not easy to come by. Personal drive and ambition vary with every individual. There is no formula for easy success. Not much can easily be repeated.

One of the most interesting points in the book is that skill sets need to match. A very talented person who can come up with a great idea, is often not the best person to grow it to its full potential. This should not be seen as negative. The founder of Groupon, who no longer runs the firm he founded, is a good example. To have conceived of a concept and brought it to market, is a great accomplishment. 

Taking it to IPO or any other market dominance is only secondary. Great managers can manage and grow businesses. However, those same managers cannot usually come up with the original idea in the first place. It is a different skill set. It would not be reasonable to think that all CEO startup creators can do everything A-Z. That just does not happen often and should not be expected. Just being of that high performance level is all that should be looked for, nothing more.

The best thing about this unique set of observations, is that they are building blocks that can help all businesses. It can help anybody figure out where technology may be going, and the business chances that will result. It also gives a lot of insight into how to really take on any new business, define its goals, and complete a mission that counts. Being realistic in life and business, is what you get a true sense of from Peter Thiel, the co-founder of PayPal. Originality is appreciated for its rarity. The title Zero to One explains this well. 

Coming up with a real innovation changes the economic game with concrete value. You go from nothing (zero), to something (one). A second imitator, never comes close to bringing the same impact to the same economy a second time. At best, they can seem to be 1.1 in full impact. You could say that Google represents this. Many people around the world now have better access to information from Google, the world's economy is better today and has improved from Zero to One. Bing and many other search engines, have not had the same life changing impact, only a fraction more at best. A true "game changer" is significant, an incremental improvement is not. This is just one of many examples that I learned from in this book. It turned out to be a great surprise. 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

あなたは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

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, August 12, 2016

Friday Feature Book Review: How to Manage Your Slaves by Marcus Sidonius Falx with Jerry Toner 奴隷のしつけ方: ジェリー・トナー マルクス・シドニウス・ファルクス

When I first read the book title, I said to myself, "that must be about investment banking!" I picked it up, and soon realized the slaves were not modern or financial at all, but ancient and classical slaves from the Roman era. The bigger surprise though was how much any real management tips of these slaves back then, can be re-used within banks or securities firms today. Oddly, the approach remains unchanged by time. it worked then, and it can work today.

This is an amazingly well-researched book. It is a set of guidelines by a slave owner on how other slave owners should manage their slaves. We must remember the context at the time. Owning slaves was a basic benefit of the war for spoils economy in Rome at the time. Writing down such a set of guidelines would be similar to a person today writing down a similar guide to better gardening today. 


It should be understood that slave owners at the time rarely had one or two slaves to manage. Machines did not exist, so labour in the farms was typically human or animal. How to keep a farm and any passive income flowing in the Roman economy was linked directly to how well you managed any resource, including the slave property on your farm. It may be disagreeable today but it is still fascinating reading. 

There are 11 chapters in this book including "How to buy a slave, Getting the best from your slaves, Sex and slaves, What makes a good slave, and even The punishment of slaves". I was not sure how to feel when reading these parts but I learned a lot more than I expected. The most positive thing, was that many slaves worked to buy their own freedom over years. In large cities, former citizens with debts often sold themselves into slavery(or a gladiatorial school) to escape heavy debts. 

Ultimately, this is a common economic system during the Roman Empire that worked well, and did so for many generations. Nothing lasts forever, but there was a balance in life back then as well. There were festivals where the tables could turn. Slaves could verbally treat their slave owners badly during the festival, get drunk and out of hand once a year in a time called the "Saturnalia" over several days starting December 17. Many of these concepts have sometimes been kept within modern management.

I had no idea of this detail and it reminded me of Japanese team building after work drinks. Sometimes called today "nomunication" or drinking(nomu) while communicating. It is a drinking & bonding time at work where even if you complain about the boss perhaps even to his or her face, all is forgiven by the morning after. It is a kind of stress release for a complex system. there were many other similar re-uses of the concepts still alive in modern organizations today. 

Later chapters explain how slaves could be freed and live the Roman dream. They could sometimes rise in society and become slave owners themselves via economic success. It seems that there was a lot of fluidity in Roman Society if you could learn the language, customs and adapt your duties into a way of making money. As being a Roman was not linked to nationality but being a full citizen, there seemed to be a lot of class movement for the bright and entrepreneurial. 

This was not expected from the book and it really opened my eyes. The financial incentives for good management are made very clear. Many management principles are learned in this book and are well explained with constant examples of how things can go well or badly if you do not follow the guidelines. This was one of the biggest book surprises I have ever come across. 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

あなたは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

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, August 5, 2016

Friday Feature Review: "The Miracle" Asia's Quest for Wealth by Michael Schuman マイケル・シューマンによって奇跡"アジアのウェルス

Family Wealth, with its own Family Office investment teams and financial influence, has grown up fast in Asia. This book is about how so many global billionaire families today, often started in the Asian region. China, Japan, India & Korea, are just some of the many countries in Asia that are featured in this book, in great fascinating detail. All of these wealthy families in the region, have had global class entrepreneurs. 

These are the countries who then created "Miracle" like economies of both size and scale. The author Michael Schuman, does a great job of giving a lot of context across many countries in Asia, as to why this all happened. His description really lays out a clear plan of wealth creation. His documentary style is flavored with a number of fascinating tidbits on how many global names began from pirates to graft or corruption. No stone is left unturned. I liked the balance of the "warts and all" style very much.

Akio Morita started Sony in a bombed out department store soon after WWII with a partial roof. The staff needed to use umbrellas in the office when it rained. It is from these humble beginnings that the global icon grew more than 60 years ago. The whole book was full of what I consider "tasty mind candy" for similar history lovers of Asia's brand of capitalism. 

I learned a lot about the business history of India, Indonesia and Taiwan. They are all key players now, but the amount of firms that have grown from the region, was a true surprise that I had not expected. It all gives me a lot more comfort at seeing how many Asian companies and industries today have taken root, and may have a further edge in the future. 

I always judge a book by two main questions. Did I learn a lot about finance & business? Was there enough knowledge in the book that made me feel it was time well spent? Well, the answer is "Yes, absolutely" to both. 
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

あなたは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

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

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, 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". 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. There are no 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.

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. I did not know how Chinese dialects came about as so different to the ear, yet similar in a written form. 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. 

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, 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

あなたは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

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