Translate

Friday, January 12, 2018

Friday Feature Book Review: "The Ascent of Money" by Niall Ferguson マネーの進化史 : ニーアル ファーガソン

I love history and finance, and this was both. It was pure pleasure from page one. Niall Ferguson explains both very creatively and amusingly, a very complex journey of how money started out. You learn how it evolved as a means of exchange at first, to the current storage of wealth. We then learn more about its globalized spread as a critical need for use across borders. 

This book and in-depth research has been so popular it also became a BBC documentary series with wonderfully engaging episodes. There were a number of stories in financial history that I had never before encountered, and I liked that historic challenge. Was Forex market making really how the great families in Italy like the Medicis, made their fortunes for example? Our modern day view of banking does seem to have its origins from this point. 


The original word for bank, comes from banco or bench, where the original money changers worked from in Florence. If they went insolvent, they broke their bench, hence the term bankruptcy in English used today. There were so many similar amazing facts about how the world of money started, evolved and later developed. It was a treasure trove of fascinating historical facts like this.

Barter is how we all began, but both coins and currency, have had an amazing change in development over time. This is what the author Niall Ferguson, really helps you to better understand. Bitcoins are just the latest chapter. It is but one of a long list of new products and concepts that sometimes work, sometimes not, but always moves forward. You have to make mistakes in order to learn, and the world's economies are no different. There have been plenty of global mistakes to learn from.


No matter how much you think you know about, there is always something more to add to your knowledge and consider. The world of money is the history of the world's economy, and it is a story that is ultimately never ending. At 400+ pages this book is long and really enjoyable, in a full bodied multi-course dinner kind of way. 

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

1) Rome was the first large system on earth to use a common widely used money. Gold, silver and copper coins originated large distribution across borders from there.
2) Abuse of metal coins came soon after as late stage empire economics had a negative impact across the Roman world.
3) Paper currency may have originated in China, but finding common means of exchange has always been a challenge globally. This is true for many markets, even today with virtual currencies like Bitcoin.

History used to be boring and bland in the hands of many, but this author Niall Ferguson, is different. The author's style is so entertaining that I feared its ending as I ran out of pages left in the book. This is always a very good sign. This book is really focused on the twin subjects of finance & history, if these interest you, then 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 60,000+ 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60,000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, January 5, 2018

Friday Feature Book Review: Goldman Sachs: Culture of Success: Lisa Endlich ゴールドマン・サックス―世界最強の投資銀行 リサ エンドリック

There is always one firm at the top, and right now, it is Goldman Sachs. How do you get there? Is there a shortcut to success? Can a better competitor adapt and overtake it somehow or someway? If there is a way to dethrone the current king of investment banking, it will not be quick. Marcus Goldman, started the firm in 1869 and was joined by a relative Samuel Sachs, soon after in 1882. With more than 147+ years of experience behind them, it did not come quickly.

There is something different about Goldman bankers that is not shared with other firms. It is one of those things that is known, but never easy to explain. It is partly about a level of client connection, and determination. It is a rare combination that is rewarded more often or more clearly than any rival in the industry. Transactions of note include the IPO of Ford Motor Company in 1956, Richard Branson's Virgin Music, and Ralph Lauren's Polo, all firms that were helped with various dealings. As the client grows, so does the service provider. It is a virtuous circle of success.

The term "partner, as in a Goldman Sachs partner" is a rare thing today that is really the epitome of professional success. It is a badge of determination, dedication and wealth that no other investment bank in the world offers to as many as Goldman Sachs does today. In fact, it gives partnerships to any member in any branch anywhere in the world. It is not only for those who stay in New York City. The current list of partners often reflects where financial markets are growing strongest, by helping clients expand and reach new markets. The competition to become a partner is high, but so are the financial rewards. It is literally worth millions of dollars in compensation annually, but only for the few.

As an example of this new internationalism, top earners at a younger than expected age, were given partnership at overseas branches. Oki Matsumoto, worked for the Japan branch and was one of the very first partners to come the region. He represented what could happen to ambitious staffers in any branch on the globe. Back in 1998, when he was just 35, he made partner. The surprise is that he had joined the firm only 8 years before from Salomon Brothers Asia. The Japan bubble was followed by major steps in the UK and Europe, recently China as well. All have grown local Managing Directors who have become Goldman Sachs partners, the ultimate corporate peak.

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

1) Never be in a rush for success. You need to build a solid foundation, before you can grow far and wide. Corporate culture starts with key people. That is how you begin.
2) A great observation is how you can grow a firm based on the clients you serve. Ford Motor Company was small in the beginning, but with help from its investment bank, Goldman Sachs, it grew globally.
3) Winning and losing is very black and white. If you have the capital to take a risk early, do so. You can then learn from mistakes early, pivot and focus on where the true profits can be found. Success is never a straight line.

Since its early international expansion days, many partners from Asia & Japan, have stood out and succeeded.  Many other markets have grown outstanding talent, and have made it to becoming a partner. This firm pays like no other, and this book details so many of the people at its core. The key one who have the drive needed to make it to the very top of finance. If you are a history buff and like finance, this book is for you. highly recommended. 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 60,000+ 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60,000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 29, 2017

Friday Feature Film Review: American Psycho (Wall Street is Murder!) アメリカン・サイコ: ウォール街のダークコメディ

Wall Street is a tough career choice. In fact, it can be murder. Such is the story of Patrick Bateman, perfectly portrayed by Christian Bale (Batman Dark Knight fame). We find a new young generation of eager go getters in New York, who will to do whatever it takes to make a big bonus. It is a very narcissistic view of life and career, but was a true reflection of the times. Designer suits by Armani? Yes. The best tables at the best restaurants? Yes. Alpha male dominance seeking out model like girlfriends to be future possible trophy wives? Yes. Cash, youth and drive  combine for a turbo charged cocktail of ambition. 

It is all hedonistic of course and sadly lacking in personal values. Such is the world of our hero (anti-hero) Patrick Bateman. The son of another financier who plans on inheriting the family firm, Patrick is a trust fund child of privilege. An entitled prima donna type who has so much, he wonders what he really represent inside. An authentic product of top schools and the ivy league, they all seem to want to avoid that "Yale thing". What is that you ask, "being a closet homosexual doing a lot of cocaine, Oh that Yale thing!"


This is a dark comedy ultimately, (horrifically black) laughing at the shallow unimportant tiny details that could represent any real value in life or career. A business card is a great test of this alpha male crowd. "What do you think?" when presenting one's business card, is not really a question. It is a hoped for response of total envy, when presenting your refined & highly stylish business card. Bone and Silian Grail? so passe, Eggshell with Romalian Type, now that is the card to impress. Any audience member is surprised and partly revolted at the fierce rivalry over nothing of substance. However, for those involved, it is everything and not to be taken lightly. It could even be deadly.

Financial markets are black and white, driven by hard numbers. This leads to stress for those who do not lead or the ability to catch up. Intense deadly stress. This needs a release, and for our hero/anti-hero Patrick Bateman, this means murder, literally. It starts out with a homeless man and his dog in a back alley. What triggers this new stress release and who does it begin? you are shocked at the first killing but get used to the pattern soon after. You come to understand that the environment of New York financial markets, is toxic for young people with too much money taken on too quickly. This early high pressure to perform would kill you without some kind of release. The emptiness of those times crosses many activities like pornography, cocaine abuse, sexual amusement, tribe leadership, and endless trend setting culture. The goal of the story is to find comedy in the ridiculous nature of these lifestyle choices.

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

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

2) The best financial leaders know how to make money, and keep doing what they do best, by observing key decision makers or possible patterns they often use. Knowing what buttons to press to close a deal or when to change with any new trend, is key to long term success.

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

New York in the 1980s was an era that came and ended in the US along with the USSR cold war. Much of course depends on your personal definition of financial success, and the drive or core reason to pursue 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 holiday season when you have a bit of time to reflect on what is important. Highly recommended for all of the typical staff at an investment bank portrayed wonderfully by an excellent cast. So again, highly recommended! Happy New Year in 2018!


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 22, 2017

Friday Feature Film Review: The Family Man (Christmas Special!) : Nicholas Cage 天使のくれた時間 (クリスマススペシャル!) : 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, may wonder if they 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 pursue 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,  and deservedly so. Made back in 2000, is holds up well, and is still 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, 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 15, 2017

Friday Feature Book Review: Empire : How Britain Made The Modern World: by Niall Ferguson 英国は近代的な世界を作った方法: ニーアル・ファーガソン

How did Britain, a small island nation come to run a global empire with 25% of the world under its control? How could this happen with a small population? It did so by adapting to various opportunities. It was a focused mind set. This is another well researched effort by Niall Ferguson, that brings together great sequences of financial history and global trade. The tale of how this all happened, is well described. It all fits together perfectly like a bespoke suit.

We learn that in the beginning, the UK was little more than a pirate nation attacking Spain. After taking over the island of Jamaica, they grew sugar, the new white gold needed in consumer markets. From this point on, the government coffers began to fill. Luckily, instead of spending, they reinvested much of the profits, and tried to expand well beyond the borders of Europe.

This is a wonderful collection of detail on how the British economy grew. For example, it looked at Holland, and its central and stock exchange, and then merged financial systems under William of Orange. This allowed the government to pay for a navy with private low cost bonds from the public. This even included Nathan Rothschild one of as its key investors. This growth pattern is also how the UK took over India. Despite its 400 million+ population, and a large standing Indian army that defeated the French for world trade domination, the UK prevailed. The author makes clear that business and trade decisions need to be financed. If you don't have that financing, you can't get those deals done. They are 2 sides of the same Empire's coin.

In contrast, if you only follow a king like France, a king that reneges on his debts from time to time, you pay higher interest rates. Higher rates that impact trade decisions France cannot afford. A nation's power is connected to its finances. Cecil Rhodes, famous for his Rhodes scholarship, uses cheap capital from the UK to build railroads in Southern Africa. In many ways, he can be seen as a private mercenary for the UK.  He had no small ego, and was a kind of land pirate if you will, wanting to take over the entire continent of Africa. By bringing the best weapons that money can pay for, and grabbing all real estate possible via military means for private investors, it worked. Much of Africa was taken over as colonies. He even created his own country named after himself, Rhodesia. 


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

1) Never be late with your state finances. The interest rate of a nation allows a country to grow and expand with trade. A high interest rate limits future growth.
2) A great observation by the UK on many new concepts was often followed up with quick action. Dutch financial innovation was quickly observed and emulated.
3) Winning and losing is very black and white. If you have the cash to pay for power, then use it. Much of English speaking Africa was due to this power play by the UK and its banking strength. Cash ultimately pays for the bullets.

There are many amazing stories like this across the history of the UK and its trade. They tie together well, and form a very interesting pattern. It shows why the world trades in the way it does, across many borders, especially using the English language. It all started by the UK, and recently extended by the USA. If Global Macro concepts interest you as much as myself, this will delight your mind. Given its color and clear approach to finance and history, 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