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Saturday, May 8, 2021

Friday Feature Book Review: "The Buy Side" : Turney Duff バイサイド : ターニー ダフ (ニューヨークヘッジファンドのインサイダーストーリー)

It is all about the money. This book is a buy side voyeur's guilty pleasure. The end game for many on Wall Street, is to end up "on the buy side". It is where the asset size is huge and the people running that big pile of cash, make a nice pile for themselves. That is the myth, the fantasy. Luckily, some have lived it, and seen it from the inside. This is one such story. 

All grass is greener on the other side of the fence, at least in theory. The reality is often less green or clean. Before Lehman Shock, "the white house" was known as a New York luxury apartment full of big money players with a lot of white cocaine. When buy side clients "ordered in", it often was for high end exotic escorts. This is a true life story about sex, drugs, stress and money, all pursued to spectacular excess. 

Sometimes you fly too close to the sun. You have waxed feathers, they melt and you fall. That is this book's core story. It is a modern twist on the famous Greek fable. Turney Duff starts off in Morgan Stanley, after intros from his only family relative in finance. "Uncle Tucker" opens the door for him, and he walks into Wall Street. The book works, because Turney was a journalism graduate. The book's writing is really excellent, perfectly fitting into documentary style, and that makes all the difference.

Uncle Tucker trades in his Corvette for a Mercedes Benz. He does so due to commissions he earns from a top client, Ivan Boesky, and calls it the "Boesky Benz". Boesky later goes to jail for insider trading. In fact, it was his unique personality that was used as the core base for Gordon Gekko. Also known as Mr "greed is good" made famous on the big screen in the Charlie Sheen movie Wall Street in 1987. Finance is about connecting with people, not always numbers. The female MD at Morgan Stanley that hired him, had a common interest in a US TV drama "Melrose Place", and sure enough, he got his first opening into finance. Ultimately finance is about relationships, very personal relationships.


Our hero has no MBA, no economic views of any sort, just soft skills and a hunger. This is a personality that works well in a world of professionals that wants more. We learn that Turney Duff, is not like his father, not the hard working man from Kennebunk, Maine, who shovels snow in fluid motion. 
His father is a man who thinks life is "not full of short cuts". Yet young Turney tries his own path, and finds every short cut possible while enjoying more sex, drugs and porn than the average rock star. 

He marries a model, wants to be on the cover of GQ magazine in a Prada suit with Dolce & Gabbana jewelry. In the end, he finds out that his search is really empty. Like driving by a car accident, you want to look away, but you can't. It is too compelling. It is too real. All of the Wall Street client patronage rumors that you heard about are explained or rather confessed to, in amazingly candid "too real for TV" detail to ignore.


Reading all of the examples of excess is like gorging on a giant bag of potato chips, and 2 liters of Coke. Not a good thing, but it's so good then, that you cannot stop. His personal life story does not end well, but that is not the point. What you want out of this book is clear confirmation of "how it really was" in the middle of a possible insider trading shop like the now infamous Galleon hedge fund, whose founder is now serving 11 years in prison. 


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

1) There is a lot to learn about how to be successful buy side trader. You have to learn about the key market players, and adapt to them constantly.

2) The best buy side traders know how to make money and keep doing what they do best where they have an edge, hopefully legal. You need to recognize patterns and be consistent and keep a constant ability to adapt to trends, markets and changes.

3) Becoming a successful buy side trader, a true long-term moneymaker is never fast or easy. Short cuts catch up with you, and can lead to your downfall. A market diary always helps. The more trading notes you take, the more profits you make. 

If you want to read in glorious detail what world got him there, and about what the peak was like from "an insider" then this book is for you. You will learn during the go-go New York pre-Lehman years of 2002-2007, what took place and get your belly full of over-excess satisfaction. It really did happen, and every story you ever heard about the wild night side of Wall Street is documented in this very honest with no self pity confession. Warning: not to be shared with your grandmother in any book exchange. 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 40,000+ 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40,000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, April 30, 2021

Friday Feature Book Review: Guns, Germs, and Steel : Author Jared Diamond 文庫 銃・病原菌・鉄: ジャレド・ダイアモンド

Wealth is health. Humans are not all equal across globe, so why is that? Why is there a segment of 1% across many populations around the globe? Is there a reason why the first world economies dominate third world economies? Is race, culture, technology, geography or any reason the key to the reason why? It is not easy to figure out, but can be done. The author succeeds. 

Why do people in the first world have more wealth than the rest of the world? Many races and societies have created great wealth over time, but then failed, is there any common pattern of success? This question was first asked by the author's helpers in New Guinea more than 30 years ago. It is very interesting to understand. He takes you on a historical journey. He explains a number of natural advantages that come down to geographic luck. 

The author's basic idea is that in Europe & Asia, especially near Mesopotamia, the fertile crescent, the best animals get domesticated. They no longer need to be hunted. Milk from these animals brings regular protein in rich diets. The people who live with animals get stronger in health and resist disease. Goats, sheep, pigs and cattle all help economic power. Animal power drives machines for improved production of food. Extra food can then be traded for storing extra wealth. Soon human health rises against disease and germs, it is the first economic advantage gained.

By spreading East and West along the same latitude in Europe and Asia, the extra food turned into wealth, could then be invested for artists, specialists and soldiers. The military benefit from germs was an extra weapon. This is best explained by smallpox when the Spanish first landed in North or South America. Over 95% of the native Indian populations died of small pox, those who survived then faced follow up diseases. Without this ability to work crops, the extra wealth created could not be stored. Once in place, then fire first used for clay pots, would lead to bronze and later steel weapons. 

Many have been critical of the theory as too simple, and does not value enough cultural influences. Many cannot accept that the land itself, the geography, determine local culture at its base. Farming allows storage for surplus wealth. Extra income from this surplus is then invested in technology, leading to better guns or steel. This all makes wealth easier to protect & transport via rail, and increase even more wealth. 

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

1) There is a lot to learn about how to be economically successful in society. You have to learn about key market factors, and adapt to them constantly. Germs attack the weak more than the strong.

2) The best economies know how to make money and keep doing what they do best where they have an edge, usually technology. You need to maximize the power of military guns or similar technology over all enemies.

3) Becoming a successful economy, for a true long-term length of success is never fast or easy. Short cuts catch up with you, and can lead to losses. The more you invest in higher levels of technology or other benefits to your society, the better you will triumphs over competitors. The steel industry is a good example, as few can enter it due to high capital entry costs.

The book is full of many details that cannot be covered in this review, but the theory itself is really eye opening in many ways. The land makes the people survive, not the other way around. As a Pulitzer prize winning project of 30 years, it has certainly made one man's career shine. I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes to seek out answers in history that explain why economic wealth & power spread on a global scale.


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 40,000+ 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40,000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, April 16, 2021

Friday Feature Book Review: "Inside the House of Money" (Hedge Fund Manager Interviews) by Steven Drobny 市場成功者たちの内幕物語 :スティーブン ドロブニー (ヘッジファンドのインタビュー )

If you could have in-depth interviews with top hedge fund "masters of the universe" types, what would you ask? I suspect it would be the very same questions that Steven Drobny, the author, asks in this book. I love the format and the direct answers. They are always clear, concise and to the point. This book was an instant knowledge widener for many of the best hedge fund fundamentals needed for any overview. It served the right purpose for me at the right time. It certainly reminds me of the "Market Wizards" series in its style and format. In a similar way, it has high quality insight with every single chapter.

It is a series of one on one interviews. Each gives a great wrap up of which strategies have been able to take the best advantage of world markets at different times, and most importantly, why. I am a big Steven Drobny, fan as he is able to deeply research a subject matter, and explain it in a very smooth and logical rhythm that matches my mental intake pattern almost perfectly. Like a well tailored suit, this writing style fits me perfectly, and feels like a second skin, very natural.

The in-depth chapters and subject matters are wide ranging from "how family offices see the world". They then contrast totally with Yra Harris, floor trader. The dialogue with Christian Siva-Jothy, from Goldman prop (later SemperMacro) differs a lot from Dwight Anderson, who founded Ospraie within commodities. Each was a rare combination of feedback sources for me. It was presented really well, and I felt that I received my full money's worth when I finished this fine collection of conversations. I would described it as intellectual gold.

I get a sense that these are the kind of people who all have an edge. Partly unique talent, but always worked at continually. Further sharpened by long hours of hard work and dedication. There is no easy path to success. It is an insight that many investors or Managing Directors are always looking for in financial markets.

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

1) There is a lot to learn about how to be a successful hedge fund trader. You have to learn how and when markets may move in your favor, and adapt constantly.

2) The best traders know how to make money and keep doing what they do best, and focus on where they have an edge. You need to recognize patterns and be consistent, keep a constant ability to adapt to trends, and follow niche markets & changes.

3) Becoming a successful trader, a true long-term moneymaker, is never fast or easy. Losses are a part of profits, and cannot be avoided. However, by noting them, you seek to minimize them in future. The more trading notes you take, then the more profits you make. Write things down. That seems key.

At 356 pages this book is dense quality and no fluff - just great, high quality interviews asking the same kind of questions to legends in the hedge fund world. They are the kinds of questions I would have asked myself, maybe even over drinks in a New York bar, to get the full color. This book is a keeper and is 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 40,000+ 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40,000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, April 9, 2021

Friday Feature Book Review: My Billion Dollar Education by Toshihide Iguchi 告白 (大和10億ドルの損失) : 井口 俊英

This is a true tell all "Rogue Trader" confession story, with no detail left out. In the beginning, I expected another trader story where things go well, a wild lifestyle is had, a mistake is made, and then it snow balls. I was only half right. Things never went well, a simple US$70,000 mistake was made early, back when the trader was making only US$45,000 a year in salary. He worried about keeping his job, and pushed the limits to cover it up at first. It proved to be a very slippery slope, with nowhere to go but down, not just for one career, but for a whole bank.

There are no excesses in his life style, no glitz and no glamour. When things go wrong, it really does so in size. A loss in the end, of over US$1billion is the biggest single little snowball that I have ever come across. It was not overnight, and did take 12 years to grow. It was a slow motion train wreck, not any crisis that popped up over a few days. In many ways it is just a classic style tragedy, with no happy ending or savior event near the end. There is no "feel good factor" after the first few chapters. It reads more as a kind of personal documentary recall of events.

In many ways, you could say that the main character is a wonderful multi-cultural ideal. The Japanese kid who goes to the US at a young age. He learns English, stays to study at university, marries a college sweetheart, and all starts off well. He becomes a father, moves to the big city, and lands a job with Daiwa, a Japanese bank in New York. He begins his financial career there, but it is not long after before reality hits.  Financial markets like life, go up and down.

You realize several things while reading this tale. Culturally, the trader does not know what cultural value systems to choose daily. He finds it difficult to balance the two, and his private life suffers. The second is that with double cultural wiring, he had a lot more ways to look at a problem, and gets creative. Sadly, this creativity is about how to cover up a mistake and hide a huge loss. In many ways, you wish he could have used his talent for a much better use within the bank. 

What do you learn from this book? You certainly learn many aspects of Japanese banking and jail life in New York City. These are things you really are glad to learn second hand. The politics around finding a big target like Daiwa bank, and bringing it down has some very unfortunate casualties. The bank is now known as Resona Bank, and is independent.


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

1) There is a lot to learn about how to be successful within any bank. You have to learn how management think.

2) The best traders know how to make money and keep doing what they do best. You need to be consistent and keep a constant ability to adapt to trends and changes.

3) Becoming a successful trader, a true long-term moneymaker is never fast or easy, but can sometimes appear to be to outsiders. Mistakes are made, and you have to fix them fast.

As somebody who has worked with Japanese, all of the personality types ring very true. There are patterns of behavior within a Japanese corporate that seem very realistic. Sadly, with so many millions gone. You almost wish he stored a little for himself, as a hedge. He clearly had talent, but not enough to see the bigger picture that he was in. You certainly gain a worthwhile perspective.  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 40,000+ 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40,000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, February 12, 2021

Friday Feature Book Review: "Gods of Greenwich" : Norb Vonnegut (Hedge Fund Mystery!) トップ・プロデューサー ウォール街の殺人 (ヘッジファンドのミステリー!) ノーブ ヴォネガット

Money & murder work well together in this hedge fund mix. I am always looking for a good fast-paced financial thriller and this was it. When possible,  I also prefer to read about finance, but rarely expect direct exposure to the hedge fund world or its High Net Worth lifestyle trappings. There is plenty of luxury eye candy woven into this story. I get the feeling that Norb, is able to bring to finance, what John Grisham, has brought to many lawyers and the legal profession.


America's hedge fund center "Hedgistan" is the main location in Greenwich, Connecticut. It is just outside New York, and this book did not disappoint. It is fiction, but reads like a very realistic documentary. You very much get a sense that Wall Street can be seen in two very complimentary locations, Manhattan and Greenwich. You can even see them as 2 sides of the same coin. One buy side and one sell side perhaps. Every detail rings true, and nothing seems fake.

Cy Leeser, the hedge fund manager with the "secret sauce" has everything including Bianca Santiago, the beautiful Brazilian trophy wife. Picasso paintings, and a vast sprawling Greenwich estate. It is so large in size that I would not want to clean it. The plot is based around hero Jimmy Cusack, the hero and underdog taking on the buy side's big time players. 

He is caught in a post-Lehman & pre-Iceland crisis, that many can relate to. Coming from the Boston area, not New York, he still made it into Goldman Sachs. No easy task as it was the pinnacle of investment banking at that time, and then moves on to his own hedge fund, sweet. However, every good deed does not go unpunished, as we learn in this book, such is life in finance.

Jimmy is somebody who has one financial strike against him and brothers in the military who did not share his financial career path. There were so many bells and whistles that were spot on, I lost count. In fact, it was the details that the author Norb Vonnegut (yes related to Kurt), uses that click everything in place. Everything seems believable are very realistic when I think of similar hedge fund types I know in the area.

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


1) There is a lot to learn about how to succeed within a hedge fund. At the very core though, it is about making money. Those who figure out the "secret sauce" survive long term or die trying.

2) The more of this book you read, the more you wonder how much the world of finance can cover. Where does it end? and how much wider does it cover in ways you do not see today.

3) Becoming successful in a hedge fund is never easy, but can sometimes appear to be to outsiders. There is often a reason, and that reason is often a key rare talent that is hard to replicate.

Norb does have a Harvard MBA, and did work at top investment banks. This is key to what makes this story work, because it feels so real. These insights are used so well, in the right amount, that he kept me engaged for much longer than I should have ever been. Annuities are about people's lives, but only for their lifetime. There is a blood thirsty innovation on this theme that I certainly have never seen. I could not put it down and that is always a good sign. If you like money, art and "killer sex", you will be changed with this read. 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 Linkedin Instagram or TwitterWe are the world's #1 recruiter on Twitter, with over 40,000+ 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40,000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