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Friday, December 16, 2016

Friday Feature Book Review: The Education of a Speculator by Victor Niederhoffer (ex George Soros Trader) ジョージ・ソロストレーダーの教育: ビクター ニーダホッファ

Any trader who is so good, he worked for George Soros, must have something special. Victor Niederhoffer, was that man, and he was certainly something, and still is. Not only did he go to Harvard and get his PhD at the University of Chicago, he was a 5 time US National squash champion, board game lover, horse racing enthusiast, and music fan. He is pretty complex due to his New York upbringing in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn. 

With a father who was a cop & squash player, and an uncle who liked to buy & sell stocks, a lot of influences came to make up Victor's personality. Why does a trader who takes risk for a living with USD100 million or more, not wear any shoes in his office? Why does he keep pictures of the Titanic in his trading room and reminders of great men having great failures? Why does George Soros nick-name him looser? There is another image of him at the beach with george. Victor is out in the waves and George is closer to shore in a safe zone. A large wave is about to come crashing down onto Victor. It represents 2 different views on when market waves are safe to trade in. You soon have more questions about him than the money he makes by trading for others.

This book was written during a shining highlight peak of his trading career, well before any Titanic sized trading loss that was to come later on. This book is a self written explanation of how could he have got to his trading role and risk taking success. It is not a simple system that he developed, or an edge that he uses against a market. It is an entire process of thought. He is a great speculator because he is great at cross pollination of his many influences.

In many ways, his education comes from observations made in one area, and then applying them into a very new totally different unrelated area. How can you combine championship squash play strategies to price reactions from a US Fed announcement on interest rates? How do you make clear correlations between how bookies size up horses at the race track, and also see stock prices move in a very similar way to a keen trained eye? You do so in a very unique way. The amazing thing you learn in this book is that a speculator can become great by using any combination of disciplines but only if all are well observed.

This is not a light read. In fact, I would call it intense reading, You need a few moments to fully absorb what you take in. It reminds me of sipping fine cognac. This book is not something you go through fast, just like how you do not guzzle down XO cognac. You take is small amounts, and savor them. That is how best to fully appreciate this well written explanation of a great trader's personal roots, trials and tribulations. This 414 page testament to a 360 overview of influence, was a National Best Seller, and deservedly so.

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 trader, and no one path will do. The more paths you can take, the better. There is no single way, there are many, so learn them all.

2) The best traders know how to make money and keep doing what they do best by observing trends and possible patterns. Squash or any other sport keeps the mind sharp when in competition.

3) When becoming a successful trader, other similar disciplines may be obvious to learn from. Horse racing tracks that "bet on the ponies" can be a great insight into how horse betting crowds react like investors in the markets.

The most sad reality of this book though, is that it came out in 1997, just before a great fall. Like the Titanic image kept to balance human hubris in his trading room, the fall in his risk taking did come and hit hard within 2 years. Going broke at such an age after such a high, is discouraging for anybody who admires & applauds, such amazing courage to win against the markets. Maybe the house does win in the end? Maybe George Soros was right, Victor was a loser in the end, or at least for a time, before he of course, started trading again. Like any Greek tragedy, the hero must suffer defeat, and hopefully rise again. This book reads like the revealing of a man's soul, the key to a unique and complex personality.
An amazing book, 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 45,000+ 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45,000以上のフォロワーが既に持っています!クリックしてください



For more Buy-Side or Sell-Side roles in Asia-Pacific, contact our TMJ Partners Japan & Asia Finance team in Tokyo.
                  
                              Mark  Pink                                             Shinichi Nagasawa
                      Tel + 81 3 3505 3891                                    Tel  +81 3 3505 3891
          Email pinkmark@tmjpartners.com                 Email nagasawa@tmjpartners.com

Friday, December 9, 2016

Friday Feature Book Review: RICHISTAN by Robert Frank (New Super Rich) グローバルのスーパーリッチ: ロバートフランク

The new global home of Ultra High Net Worth Individuals is now called Richistan, a curious new term. Many have done well in the post Lehman financial crisis. The 1% of wealthy citizens known as Richistanis, are living in Richistan places including Singapore, London or New York, and are all spreading. There were 3.7 million US millionaire households in 1995, 9 million in 2004, and more than 15 million as of 2014. The 1% varies is size depending on the state you reside in within the USA. In Connecticut, you need over US$620K of income, but in New Mexico, it is less than US$300K. This book explains how this new segment of society enjoys their lives. 

Author Robert Frank, takes us on a very vivid journey that paints a very clear picture. He gives a great account of how these new families start out, and upgrade to levels of daily consumption that have never been seen. Lower Richistan have families in the US$1-10M in wealth, with a primary residence of $810K. Middle Richistan has $10-100M in wealth and a primary residence of $3.8M. Upper Richistan is the $100M crowd with a residence of $16.2M. 

It seems there is always another level of wealth to aspire to, and services that the rich want that soon become a need. The great mind candy that I enjoyed most explained how a single mother developed a butler school aimed at these Richistani families, that grew well beyond her early expectations. You learn that beach homes in the Hamptons, or ski chalets in Aspen, need to be better served in Richistan. 

There are many other entrepreneurs featured like Tim Blixseth who started Yellowstone Club, a gated private community resort in the rocky mountains of Montana. Ed Bazinet made more than $250 million from the sale of his ceramic mini-village items, and now tries to focus on how to spend his cash on a new Gulfstream jet and modern art collection. Small hobby experiments can grow into very big businesses when the market timing is perfect. Any person can make money from any idea when the timing presents itself. Who these entrepreneurs are, and how much money they make is a guilty addiction and deep fascination for myself. 

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

1) There is a lot to learn about how to be rich and successful in any society. You have to learn about the key market factors, and adapt to them constantly. Small ideas can grow into big businesses fast.

2) The best entrepreneurs know how to make money and keep doing what they do best. It is in their DNA and never turns off. You need to maximize the power of your ideas or inspirations with all business opportunities.

3) Becoming a successful entrepreneur, follows no pattern. It is the personal drive that is the common pattern, but the business itself. The determination needs to be at the core. 

The most encouraging pattern though is that there often is none. Money can be made from almost any business by a very driven entrepreneur. Once there, the goal is to find the right residence in Richistan, and try and settle down. It does not come naturally for them, and they often find themselves starting a new business opportunity. Settling down is not in their DNA. That may be the most common thing among these Richistanis. This is a great luxury read that is inspirational, and well worth a weekend!  


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 45,000+ 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45,000以上のフォロワーが既に持っています!クリックしてください



For more Buy-Side or Sell-Side roles in Asia-Pacific, contact our TMJ Partners Japan & Asia Finance team in Tokyo.
                  
                              Mark  Pink                                             Shinichi Nagasawa
                      Tel + 81 3 3505 3891                                    Tel  +81 3 3505 3891
          Email pinkmark@tmjpartners.com                 Email nagasawa@tmjpartners.com

Friday, December 2, 2016

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

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, specialist and soldiers. The military benefit from germs as an extra weapon. This is best explained by smallpox when the Spanish first landed in North or South America. Over 95% of the native indians 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 stores surplus wealth. Extra income from this surplus is then invested in technology, leading to better guns or steel, making wealth easier to protect & transport via rail, and increase more wealth. 


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

1) There is a lot to learn about how to be economically successful in any society. You have to learn about the 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. As a Pulitzer prize winning project of 30 years, it has certainly made one man's career shine. I highly recommend this book to any who like 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, 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 45,000+ 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45,000以上のフォロワーが既に持っています!クリックしてください



For more Buy-Side or Sell-Side roles in Asia-Pacific, contact our TMJ Partners Japan & Asia Finance team in Tokyo.
                  
                              Mark  Pink                                             Shinichi Nagasawa
                      Tel + 81 3 3505 3891                                    Tel  +81 3 3505 3891
          Email pinkmark@tmjpartners.com                 Email nagasawa@tmjpartners.com

Friday, November 25, 2016

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)

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, but 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, 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 45,000+ 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45,000以上のフォロワーが既に持っています!クリックしてください



For more Buy-Side or Sell-Side roles in Asia-Pacific, contact our TMJ Partners Japan & Asia Finance team in Tokyo.
                  
                              Mark  Pink                                             Shinichi Nagasawa
                      Tel + 81 3 3505 3891                                    Tel  +81 3 3505 3891
          Email pinkmark@tmjpartners.com                 Email nagasawa@tmjpartners.com

Friday, November 18, 2016

Friday Feature Book Review: "Inside the House of Money" 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 (ヘッジファンドインタビュー )

If you could have in-depth interviews with top hedge fund "masters of the universe" 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, that are always clear and concise. This book was an instant knowledge widener for many of the best hedge fund fundamentals needed as an 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 chapter.

It is a series of one on one interviews that 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 on how family offices see the world, in total contrast to Yra Harris, floor trader, Christian Siva-Jothy, from Goldman prop (later SemperMacro) or Dwight Anderson, from Ospraie on 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 get a sense that these are the kind of people who have an edge. Partly unique talent but always worked at and sharpened by long hours and 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 really impact any reader are:

1) There is a lot to learn about how to be 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 where they have an edge. You need to recognize patterns and be consistent and keep a constant ability to adapt to trends, markets and 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, by noted them, you seek to minimize them in future. The more trading notes you take, the more profits you make. 

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, 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 45,000+ 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45,000以上のフォロワーが既に持っています!クリックしてください



For more Buy-Side or Sell-Side roles in Asia-Pacific, contact our TMJ Partners Japan & Asia Finance team in Tokyo.
                  
                              Mark  Pink                                             Shinichi Nagasawa
                      Tel + 81 3 3505 3891                                    Tel  +81 3 3505 3891
          Email pinkmark@tmjpartners.com                 Email nagasawa@tmjpartners.com

Friday, November 11, 2016

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 life is had, a mistake is made, and then 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, 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 45,000+ 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45,000以上のフォロワーが既に持っています!クリックしてください


For more Buy-Side or Sell-Side roles in Asia-Pacific, contact our TMJ Partners Japan & Asia Finance team in Tokyo.
                  
                              Mark  Pink                                             Shinichi Nagasawa
                      Tel + 81 3 3505 3891                                    Tel  +81 3 3505 3891
          Email pinkmark@tmjpartners.com                 Email nagasawa@tmjpartners.com