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Friday, March 31, 2017

Friday Feature Book Review: The Absent Superpower (Shale Revolution) by Peter Zeihan「存在しない超大国」シェール市場 ピーター・ゼイハン著

This book is excellent, and really stretches your economic, political, and trading imagination in profitable new ways. I have never been this interested in any new style view on economics in a very long time. Peter Zeihan uses a fascinating mix of Demographics, Geography, and Energy Data to create a very plausible Economic world full of long and short trading ideas. 

I get a Matrix movie like feeling when reading this book, similar to the Red Pill or Blue Pill choice. If you really want to know what the full impact of Oil, the Shale Revolution and what it will do for various markets and global politics, then perfect. Take the Red pill right away, this book is for you. 

If however, you want to just keep reacting to what OPEC says in the media, to influence publicly any prices, then take the Blue Pill. I cannot look at Energy News the same way again. The US shale industry has evolved way beyond its first stage wave, and many market investors do not realize how much it has adapted to lower prices via new technology. Time has been a big help due to new uses of technology. My eyes have been opened, and I cannot go back. I am now feeling enlightened. It is a very confident way to looking at the world anew. It is a world of geopolitics and energy markets that suddenly makes much more sense. I recommend this helicopter like view, so read the book, and get that same feeling.

I love facts, and so does the author, Peter Zeihan loves maps, and everything about them. The geographic cases he makes for why nations or markets will go in a certain direction all make very logical sense. There is no clear time table, but the many eye opening scenarios that I would not have made such a good case for. Time is connected to demographics and Russia's large army today is a prime example. It is a very large standing army today, but will retire soon with a few short years. 

The more you realize how important this "use it now or lose it forever after" mentality is, the more it actions make sense. Sochi was an Olympic success, so why the invasion of Crimea, why the aggression in Syria, why not then another possible move into Poland soon? If this was just a recent concept, fine, but this observation goes back several years. Many of the specifics are not actually happening on the world stage. Economically, Peter Zeihan, the author, may have a way of looking at the world of energy and politics, on par with "back to the future" how can you NOT want to read more?

There were many times when I kept saying to myself, I must write this down and figure out obvious trades on the long or short side that seem so worthwhile. If you know what trade could happen, you just need to know the timing.

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

1) There is a lot to learn about energy investment globally, its geopolitical impact in the middle east, and how lower US military policy by it navy in particular, will end the current globalization wave. Many places import food, without it the recent Arab spring will seem like a nice tea party by comparison.

2) The impact of Russian military aggression in Europe has a "use or lose by date" after which the soldiers in uniform today, will retire en masse within a few short years. We could see a Russian army half its current strength within 5 years or less. Putin will not be waiting.

3) The amount of disconnect of the US market made possible by plenty of shale oil with the rest of the world will be wide. Many markets will be suffering from high oil prices from Iran, Saudi Arabian or other conflicts within a few short years. 

This is not a book to read once but many times after more events unfold. You feel as if it is to be absorbed to better understand why oil keeps the industrial world turning. It needs frequent reviews to make sure that you do incorporate all of the key points into any financial, political or energy investment impact view. The maps, charts and solid numbers are well written, smoothly edited, and a wonderful read for anyone in finance or not. Good solid big picture advice on how the world may look in future, and how to anticipate it with winning trades. 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, March 24, 2017

Friday Feature Book Review: The Oracle Speaks: Warren Buffett in his Own Words by David Andrews ウォーレン・バフェット: 億万長者の助言の言葉

This book is a great insight into the man, and to the point. Unlike SnowballWarren Buffett's authorized biography published in 2008, this is a set of highlights. This book is just core hard facts, thoughts and observations by the great investor himself. It comes across not so much as a book, but a collection of important financial notes or guides from the world's richest man. They just serve as a great reminder to stick to the core basics, and maintain your investment principles no matter how much markets change in front of you.

I really enjoyed the very simple text, and it's very easy to read writing style. In fact, I liked it almost as much as the pearls of wisdom shared on each page. In many ways, it is a collection of "the best of Buffett" quotes or observations. If you respect the "Oracle of Omaha", also known as the "Sage of Omaha" or the "Wizard of Omaha", then this is for you. You may also wonder if his personal code of conduct is also a core element to his investment success and proven time intensive process. 

He often seems to be judged by the masses on what he has said in public. Many of the quotes read like a list of insights into how to be a better investor. You wonder if without the great Oracle's frame of mind, perhaps the same trade would not be seen, or recognized, or valued in the same way by non-Oracles like him. He was born on August 30, 1930, and will turn 87 this summer. He was a newspaper delivery boy and started investing when he was 11, in 1941. Think about that date and what it means for the kind of mindset he grew up with. 

He started investing after seeing the great depression all around him, and just when the military spending of World War Two kicked in. He is known for his frugality, and ability to deeply read all about the kinds of companies that he invests in. He has been able to see, via investments, the entire post war economic recovery of the US in global markets. He has also been able to pick winners around these developments and make a very comfortable living. Many other people in theory "could" have done the same, but few took the chance to do so at an early age. Time can be a solid friend with long term investments, and the older Warren gets, the more impressive his results do seem.

There are too many quotes to pass on, but one of the most enduring is not easy to figure out. It is so contrarian, and almost unnatural in Wall Street, where herd mentality rule. Keeping your head focused when others are swept up with market momentum is no easy task. His insight, "be greedy when others are fearful, and fearful when others are greedy" is quite profound. It is not the observation of a teenager, nor a day trading investor. It is the fully matured view of a long term player who has seen many cycles, will see many more, and profit from many of them. 

Thoughts in this book are not just on investment or markets, but about life itself. This may be why the more quotes you read, the more you suspect that it is this rare grounded mindset that is what it takes to make winning investments. 


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

1) There is a lot to learn about investment and there are no short cuts that will bring any investor returns long term quickly or easily.

2) The impact of Benjamin Graham, his first financial teacher and influencer, was deep and very long lasting. It makes you want to read about the original inspiration for value investing as a result.

3) The amount of deep research constantly needed to make a profitable investment decision cannot be overlooked. It is not that Warren Buffet is brilliantly quick, and can see opportunities faster than others. It is more that once he reads all there is, it is more clear to him what should be invested in.

This is not a book to read once. You feel as if it is to be absorbed, not just read. It needs frequent reviews to make sure that you do incorporate all of the key points into any financial investment view. A very long term habit similar to the man himself, this book certainly satisfies the reader.  It is well written, smoothly edited, and a wonderful read for anyone in finance or not. Good solid sage advice. 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, March 17, 2017

Friday Feature Book Review: Flash Boys by Michael Lewis フラッシュ・ボーイズ: 10億分の1秒の男たち: マイケル ルイス

Michael Lewis knows how to tell an entertaining story to anybody, and "Flash Boys" is no different. Curiously, on March 3, 2017, the Japanese Diet released a Bill called FIEA (Financial Instruments Exchange Act). The aim is to help control high frequency trading by overseas hedge funds. You could argue that this is a direct result of this book in many ways. No previous interest in finance or trading is actually needed to enjoy this book. The author tells a very compelling story about people involved, and never gets lost in trading terms or jargon.

In this book, the focus is on the professional education and financial coming of age, of a Canadian trader in New York City, Brad Katsuyama, the lead character. It is a David and Goliath style story, but also an emotional roller coaster of truth, ethics and the moral choices made in any financial market. Just like his many other enjoyable reads like "Moneyball" and "The Blind Side", his latest book could easily be a movie as well. It is non-fiction and packs a punch. 

We learn about 2 main sub-stories that collide and learn so much from the destruction. Brad is sent from Toronto, where he works for a Canadian Bank, RBC, to increase trading profits in New York. At the same time, there is a investment banking driven technology plot to lay down fast fiber for a growing high frequency trading industry. The two stories develop in parallel until they collide, dramatically. However, what we observe is a test of character and the system that tries to crush that type of person.

The people described in both of these stories are written about very well, and given just the right amount of detail. We are given a case to consider, and left to wonder if the stock market is indeed fair or rigged by fast technology driven investment banks. It stimulates the reader when the case is made. There are rules but they can or they should be re-written sometimes. 

However, it is the unfolding of a trading mystery to prices and what later happens to trading markets, that hooks you in. It is not financial markets, but the technology behind it, that opens your eyes, and sucks you into the story fully. In many ways, it has very wide appeal, and is not just for people working in finance. You can see this as a detective story with a financial theme, not the other way around. The story described has mass appeal and is not just for people familiar with the markets.

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

1) There is a lot to learn about how the retail investor often gets a price that is "gamed" by market traders with very high speed.

2) The impact of high frequency trading is not so much the trading charge that retail investors pay, but the institutions that runs pension funds, and ultimately the retail investor who draws on them. 

3) The top investment banks have always been at the cutting edge of many new trading technologies, and this is no different. It is certainly legal to focus on, but hardly beneficial to the retail investor's accounts overall.

The book has certainly made an impact to markets, and does make an interesting case. Time will tell how much will change as a result of this "shining sunlight on a dark secret" within finance. UK and US banks have since come under fire soon afterwards with dark pool doings, so it is a story that will continue to evolve. It is well written, even more easily explained, and a wonderful read for anyone in finance or not.  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, March 10, 2017

Friday Feature Book Review: Super Freakonomics by Steven Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner 超ヤバい経済学:y スティーヴン・D・レヴィット + スティーヴン・ダブナー

The economics of any Fed rise is one thing, but it's hardly exciting to the man on the street. This book is full of great economic observations and head scratching ideas. This amazing series continues on, and keeps investigating economic questions that many want to know, but few can or are willing to investigate, despite clear economic impact. The team continues to ask economic questions few would consider like "How is a street prostitute like a department store Santa?". It is a very curious comparison that rings true once revealed. If a job is a job, then a temporary part-time job is still that, a temporary part-time job. It does not always lead to a full-time career.

Christmas is only once a year, and temporary short term jobs pop up around that season like Santa Claus roles as part-time jobs in department stores. However it turns out that during holiday season with family gatherings like July 4th or independence day, not everybody wants to stay home and talk to grandma. As a result this is when ordinary women notice that the price for prostitution from men bored, and from out of town, but in the big city of Chicago, peaks. It provides a perfect tax free opportunity to make money for a short period of time often with a temporary client base who do not even live in the city, hence no long term repeat business, just a short term windfall of cash. 

We know about health and cleanliness but "Why are doctors so bad at washing their hands?". It turns out that in many US hospitals, the standards were lower than the perceptions by even the doctors themselves. Most doctors when honest admitted to washing regularly 70% of the time. This contrasted with the nurses who observed them washing less than 20% of the time! Until a meeting where doctors present touched their hands in a petri dish and observed over weeks the bacteria growth, that things changed. The use of these petri dishes in the form of a screen saver later used in the hospital, proved popular as a clear visual reminder. In fact, other hospitals started to use the same screen saver in order to help spread the message. The benefits to the patients has been medically and economically extraordinary.


One personal favorite question asked was "Which adds more value: a Pimp or a Realtor?". Again data on such a comparison is difficult to find, but when focused can be created organically by coordinating on the ground with the prostitutes and home sellers themselves. One is clearly more difficult than the other. Some of the data points found though were not expected, like how much revenue from any prostitute is given up in "free" services to police officers, in order to avoid prosecution. We discover what is literally her "cost" of doing business! 

It turns out that a pimp does have a direct impact on higher earnings, as he typically acts as a marketer within high-end markets for his prostitute who usually relies on lower end street traffic. It brings a higher paying customers base to a low cost service zone, very much an economic development. This helps bring a better margin for the worker, who can then work less often, but at a higher rate of pay. This is contrasted in time value with a realtor who often encourages a homeowner to sell at the first price offered. Even though if it were their own home, they would wait longer for a higher offer, it is a pattern. It comes down to how much any extra commission is worth for the extra weeks in time spent. The breakdown of this incentive system is very well explained. It turns out to be a very solid case.

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

1) There is a lot to learn about the real economy around prostitution. I was very surprised to learn that 7% of transactions are free services to police officers in order to avoid arrest. 

2) The impact of pimps for prostitutes is often positive economically. A pimp can often act as a marketer and find high end customers. This increases wage income and hours worked compared to independent prostitutes. 

3) Input from global warming or global cooling needs another point of view. Can can we cool the planet quickly if we really needed to fast? Quick solutions are possible but not very attractive. However, they are a start.

There are many more questions that are fascinating reading. They include "What's the best way to catch a terrorist?" or "Did TV cause a rise in crime?". Another is "Can eating kangaroo save the planet?" As safety and the car industry interests me, one question really got my attention, and that was "How much good do cars seats do?" Installing them correctly is more difficult than many parents can handle. This kind of product needs better execution clearly, despite the positive intentions of the parents themselves. No matter what the question posed is, this team makes me want to read the answer they find every time time. 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