ARUN - Social Investment Platform | Series: Book Review for Understanding Social Investment 

Series: Book Review for Understanding Social Investment


Kachigumi ni Naritainara “Toukei” wo yome! : “Jinkoudoukou” kara yomu jisedai toshi

by Kenji Hirayama (Asahishimbun Publishing, 2014)

(If you want to be the winner in investment, read ‘statistics!’ : Next generation investment read from ‘demography’.)


By Shunichi Kozasa, ARUN Partner

Many books on investment tend to be neither here nor there. If a book is written by someone who hit the jackpot, it sounds like mere boasting instead of giving tips for success, while others aim too high but end up just covering the basics. Mr. Hirayama’s new book is full of content and is a good title for readers who are dissatisfied with such books. He exhibits his most current knowledge of population studies inspired by Mr. Akira Hayami and his approach toward innovation that reminds us of Schumpeter, providing us with tips so the readers can create their portfolio of the companies for themselves.

I have known Mr. Hirayama since his first book in 2001 entitled “Kinrishikan (Overview of the History of Interest Rates)”, and it amazes me how his brain has been evolving.  He was a bond strategist, then expanded his investment to stocks, and now, a fund manager of the global market. He became an authority of commodity,  to the degree where he participates in the meetings of agricultural organizations in the United States and reads the trends. In his private life, he succeeded in the carbohydrates diet and transformed his looks as well.

In this book, Mr. Hirayama introduces 38 of his perspectives that he acquired, not just from his brain, but through his “gut-feeling”, or even through the experience that he achieved through his sugar-restricted diet. For example, in the “Choosing Company: Advise #4”, he says, “in the future, it is not feasible that we will stop our diet heavily dependent on carbohydrates. Therefore, we need to pay attention to our blood sugar level staying within the normal range in order to live a healthy life.” “As a consequence, improvement of lifestyles, early treatment and providing ‘diabetic care’ that corresponds to various life environments receive attention as the next generation industry.”

I admire the way he sublimates his own experience of sugar-restricted diet into a concept, even more so than the professionalism of musicians who write songs based on their own experience of their heartbreak. Hirayama’s world is now at a level where not only the interests and stock prices mater, but also the volatility of blood sugar levels is taken into account.

The author, however, intentionally does not answer the questions from the greedy readers like me, such as “which stock I should buy after all?” He says,”Upon listening to the opinions of others carefully, you need to draw your own conclusion. Then you can continue a style of investment that will not fall off its course in the long run.” Oh, I see, it is my volatility that is in question ultimately.

This book is written about stock investment, but the author’s claim is that the stable, long-term  investments by various investors promotes a company’s innovation and corresponds perfectly with the current ideas of social investment. This book can be enjoyed from a multitude of angles; for example, talking about population, it tells us the astonishing fact that the world’s population growth rate has reached its summit 45 years ago.

August 2022
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