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Saturday, June 13, 2020

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)

In our Work From Home or Telework world, this book will make you rethink where modern technology is going. How it will change our future society "After Corona" society via technology. This is not what I expected. At first 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. It is a great list of notes on AI, Cryptocurrencies, the Internet of things IOT, or any other new technology we are seeing emerge, often driven by mobile phones.

The author Peter Thiel, is trying to enlighten the reader with what he has seen so far, and suspects is coming in the 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, a rare talent for original thinking, and it shows in many 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 even be expected. Just being of that high performance level is all that should be looked for, nothing more. I never considered this more realistic view of personal abilities. I guess I needed a reality check on any start up CEO's skill set.

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

1) There is a clear pattern of personality types working hard that keep being successful, it is never pure luck. Every CEO often has many, but often not all, of the same basic traits needed to succeed.


2) The people, the team or the management are what drives long term success never a single product. Products and features can come and go from a solid team and keeps moving forward.

3) Facebook had many non-believers before its IPO. The original concept was able to pivot into mobile and never looked back. This was due to the executive team. 

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, conferences and anything else with a financial theme. Follow us now for our free weekly updates, just click hereThank you for reading and learning more about how money is made in finance! 

If you are interested in Sales & Trading, Banking or FinTech focused roles in Asia or Japan then click here. Follow TMJ Partners on Linkedin Instagram or TwitterWe are the world's #1 recruiter on Twitter, with over 50,000+ followers globally! click here! 

あなたアジア日本セールストレーディング,
バンキング、フィンテックの役割に興味がある場合は、こちらをクリックしてくださいティエムジェィパートナーズLinkedin Instagram またはTwitterでフォローしてください 世界中のTwitter第1位リクルーター50,000以上のフォロワー既に持っています!クリックしてください

For more Buy-Side and Sell-Side roles in Asia-Pacific, contact our TMJ Partners Japan & Asia Finance team.

Tokyo                                          Tokyo

      Mark  Pink                               Shinichi Nagasawa
Direct + 81 3 3505 3891              Direct + 81 3 3505 3891

Friday, June 5, 2020

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 interns or financial at all, but ancient and classical slaves from the Roman era. The bigger surprise though was how many real management tips on these slaves back then, can be re-used today within banks or securities firms. 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 real 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 a 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 Roman citizens with debts often sold themselves into slavery (or a gladiatorial school) to escape heavy debts. This was by economic choice not circumstance.

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 during festivals. Slaves could verbally threaten their slave owners badly during the festival. They could get drunk and out of hand once a year in a time called the "Saturnalia" that lasted 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 in a drunken state, 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 these concepts still alive in modern organizations today. 

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

1) These rules on slave management from Roman Times are time tested for over 2000 years. They may also work to manage people in modern times.

2) Unlike more recently, many slaves bought their freedom in ancient Rome. They sometimes went on to great financial success within Rome. Some becoming even more wealthy than their previous owners due to business.

3) Many business owners since Roman times have had common issues with entrepreneurs today. The similar challenges and parallels are amazing to see.

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. How, only 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 or native toungue, but being a full citizen of the empire, 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, conferences and anything else with a financial theme. Follow us now for our free weekly updates, just click hereThank you for reading and learning more about how money is made in finance! 

If you are interested in Sales & Trading, Banking or FinTech focused roles in Asia or Japan then click here. Follow TMJ Partners on Linkedin Instagram or TwitterWe are the world's #1 recruiter on Twitter, with over 50,000+ followers globally! click here! 

あなたアジア日本セールストレーディング,
バンキング、フィンテックの役割に興味がある場合は、こちらをクリックしてくださいティエムジェィパートナーズLinkedin Instagram またはTwitterでフォローしてください 世界中のTwitter第1位リクルーター50,000以上のフォロワー既に持っています!クリックしてください

For more Buy-Side and Sell-Side roles in Asia-Pacific, contact our TMJ Partners Japan & Asia Finance team.

Tokyo                                          Tokyo

      Mark  Pink                               Shinichi Nagasawa
Direct + 81 3 3505 3891              Direct + 81 3 3505 3891

Friday, May 29, 2020

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 & financial influence, has grown fast in Asia. This book is about how so many global billionaire families today, have 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 been global class level 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.

After the defeat of Japan in the second world war, and the nationwide destruction across Japan, entrepreneurs finally emerged. 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.


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


1) There is always one founder who begins every major future conglomerate. A major driver who can start with one single shop.


2) Perfect timing from the economy often helps build a new company during the company's early growth phase.


3) If you are not already in business, you cannot often take advantage of the opportunities all around you. You never know when the best time to start is. In fact, there is no best time, only a chance to start now. 


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, conferences and anything else with a financial theme. Follow us now for our free weekly updates, just click hereThank you for reading and learning more about how money is made in finance! 

If you are interested in Sales & Trading, Banking or FinTech focused roles in Asia or Japan then click here. Follow TMJ Partners on Linkedin Instagram or TwitterWe are the world's #1 recruiter on Twitter, with over 50,000+ followers globally! click here! 

あなたアジア日本セールストレーディング,
バンキング、フィンテックの役割に興味がある場合は、こちらをクリックしてくださいティエムジェィパートナーズLinkedin Instagram またはTwitterでフォローしてください 世界中のTwitter第1位リクルーター50,000以上のフォロワー既に持っています!クリックしてください

For more Buy-Side and Sell-Side roles in Asia-Pacific, contact our TMJ Partners Japan & Asia Finance team.

Tokyo                                          Tokyo

      Mark  Pink                               Shinichi Nagasawa
Direct + 81 3 3505 3891              Direct + 81 3 3505 3891

Friday, May 15, 2020

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"

In these Covid-19 times, 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 about 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 of any economy. This is not only about the US today, but many rich and successful countries in modern economic history. 

Over 100 years ago, in France, during the "Belle Epoque" the comparison was 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 or economically, is what this great project explains so well. This is not one man's opinion or vision. It is an explanation of large patterns from large amounts of people over recent history. A kind of mirror to society, of what economic trends have taken place, and their impact.


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, is a good reflection of this trend. It is a high growth part of Private Banking, and is interesting food for thought economically from several angles.

The 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. Universal income was a nice idea before, but with Coronavirus now impacting many nations, stimulus checks are now here. As many G-20 governments send cash to citizens, a test experiment is being done right now. Will it need to continue due to the depression we are now entering? Maybe, but more time is needed.

If this more balanced redistribution has benefitted the quality of life in Europe, should other regions follow? The bottom poor segments of any society can benefit greatly from government programs, especially health care. As they are a really "working class", being healthy doing these tough jobs means better economics for all. 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?


The Top 4 Takeaways from this book that impact any reader are:

1) The data seems to show that rich families can benefit from higher income at twice the rate of any economy. 
2) Rich families often create a family office to grow their wealth long term. This trend is a strong one, and can often grow at twice the rate of the local economy. 
3) By having a healthy rich class that is kept strong economically by a family office, more charity support and medical research can be funded to help all levels of the society.
4) The 1% are not just a US concept. All successful societies are dominated by the few at the top. The challenge is redistributing wealth more widely for all.

What I wonder most is has this often been the case over very long periods of time? Is it just modern history, or all human history that this can impact? Is this the real best norm for all human societies over the last 5,000+ years since Mesopotamia? We only have 200 years so far. It is too bad that such data longer sets 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 fully 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, conferences and anything else with a financial theme. Follow us now for our free weekly updates, just click hereThank you for reading and learning more about how money is made in finance! 

If you are interested in Sales & Trading, Banking or FinTech focused roles in Asia or Japan then click here. Follow TMJ Partners on Linkedin Instagram or TwitterWe are the world's #1 recruiter on Twitter, with over 50,000+ followers globally! click here! 

あなたアジア日本セールストレーディング,
バンキング、フィンテックの役割に興味がある場合は、こちらをクリックしてくださいティエムジェィパートナーズLinkedin Instagram またはTwitterでフォローしてください 世界中のTwitter第1位リクルーター50,000以上のフォロワー既に持っています!クリックしてください

For more Buy-Side and Sell-Side roles in Asia-Pacific, contact our TMJ Partners Japan & Asia Finance team.

Tokyo                                          Tokyo

      Mark  Pink                               Shinichi Nagasawa
Direct + 81 3 3505 3891              Direct + 81 3 3505 3891

Friday, May 8, 2020

Friday Feature Book Review: The Richest of the Rich by Philip Beresford (Sunday Times) "英国の裕福な" : フィリップ・ベレスフォード

How many millionaires and billionaires in the UK come from inherited wealth? How many are self made? How many are foreign born? This is a great book by the Sunday Times that gathers the richest 250 wealthy people in the UK since 1066. The author Philip Beresford, is the same editor for "The Rich List" popular within the Sunday Times. Make no mistake, this is a list of very large fortunes, in fact billionaire level. Some are in fact much larger than many living billionaires in the UK today. Oddly many at the top of this list benefited greatly from the 1066 battles and the Norman conquests of those times. In fact, 6 names are directly connected, and therefore highly rewarded, as a result of winning the "Battle of Hastings". To the victors in battle, go the spoils of war, clearly. The rewards are not gold, but mainly real estate as they were often granted large holdings of land.

Many of this class have inherited their wealth. In fact 146 of the 250 listed came from family money. At least 76 on the list are from very "old money" that often peaked in the middle ages 500+ years ago. We are talking about billions of pounds, not mere millions. The size and the scope of wealth amassed is enormous. The author works with an academic William Rubenstein who find a great way of comparing the wealth of owners over 1000+ years ago. They develop a conversion of the Net National Income and compare it to today. By dominating a large percentage of the national economy, a figure can be found. 

Some of my favorite profiles include Edward III, known as the "Black Prince". I did not know he was actually real, and assumed he was a myth from the knights of old. He lived around 1330-1376 and had a NNI wealth of 3.14% of the UK economy, some 2.7Million pounds worth or 34 Billion pounds in today's value. He distinguished himself as a warrior at age 16 during the hundred years war. It seems a shame he died an invalid at age 46. Others include Alan Rufus, who took in 7.3% of NNI or 81 Billion pounds in today's value. It helps to back a winner, and he was there on the battlefield in 1066, with William the Conqueror. 


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

1) The UK has a wealth class that certainly began from the year 1066. If you were on the winning side of that battle, your family often became very rich indeed.
2) This largely real estate based system of wealth first generated income from farming and then later on rental income. Income tax became a difficult hurdle for many families to overcome. Many lost their wealth as a result.
3) The inherited wealth from this land owning class still exists today. Various noble families still charge rent within many areas of the UK included top rents within London.

Sir Richard Branson, is one of the few more modern self made men in the list. He is worth over 3.1 Billion pounds, and seems to me one of the few bright spots in the 21 century. His transport and media empire are now taking on a more environmentally friendly tone, and new businesses with that theme are expected in the years to come. However, travel will have some dark days ahead. Virgin Airlines is now bankrupt. I hope he can turn around his empire in a post Coronavirus future. Foreign born billionaires, in fact 17 of them, make the list in the more modern era. Roman Abramovich, 10 Billion pounds, Simon Halabi, 3 Billion pounds, and Lakshmi Mittal,19 Billion pounds. They all certainly shine brightly on this UK list. There were too many other great characters to mention here, but safe to say, all had great backgrounds to read about. They were all quite interesting and very entertaining reading. Highly Recommended!

Please visit us for our Friday Feature Review where TMJ Partners will review books, movies, conferences and anything else with a financial theme. Follow us now for our free weekly updates, just click hereThank you for reading and learning more about how money is made in finance! 

If you are interested in Sales & Trading, Banking or FinTech focused roles in Asia or Japan then click here. Follow TMJ Partners on Linkedin Instagram or TwitterWe are the world's #1 recruiter on Twitter, with over 50,000+ followers globally! click here! 

あなたアジア日本セールストレーディング,
バンキング、フィンテックの役割に興味がある場合は、こちらをクリックしてくださいティエムジェィパートナーズLinkedin Instagram またはTwitterでフォローしてください 世界中のTwitter第1位リクルーター50,000以上のフォロワー既に持っています!クリックしてください

For more Buy-Side and Sell-Side roles in Asia-Pacific, contact our TMJ Partners Japan & Asia Finance team.

Tokyo                                          Tokyo



      Mark  Pink                               Shinichi Nagasawa
Direct + 81 3 3505 3891              Direct + 81 3 3505 3891