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Investing in Japan: There is no stock market as undervalued and as misunderstood as Japan Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 210 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (March 14, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1475013507
  • ISBN-13: 978-1475013504
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #896,842 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Steven is a value investor and shareowner rights proponent with a successful track record enhancing value and engaging management/directors in Japan; he has done extensive proxy-related work independently and with the U.S. Proxy Exchange. Steven is co-founder of Nippon Value Capital, an activist hedge fund startup seeking to enhance Japanese equity valuations through a combination of improved asset efficiency, excess capital allocation, and corporate action. He has lived in Japan for over 12 years and has the highest level of Japanese language proficiency certified by the Japanese government. Website: http://steventowns.com

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Customer Reviews

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The focus is for investors who want to buy quality companies cheaply and hold for the long term.
Nate Tobik
Investing in Japan shines as a well-researched book that highlighted many points investors need to know when investing in Japan.
HOWARD L JOHNSON
I could definitely recommend this book is the best guide for understanding the Japanese stock market.
hm

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Nate Tobik on March 28, 2012
Format: Paperback
This is the book I wish I would have had before I started to invest in Japanese equities. Even now that I have some experience in the Japan market I was able to learn alot from this book.

Steven Towns starts off by giving an overview of the market from a value investors perspective. You won't find much discussion of technical analysis or buying on dips in this book. The focus is for investors who want to buy quality companies cheaply and hold for the long term.

The book then goes into the nuts and bolts aspect of Japanese equities. There are a lot of things about the Japanese market that can seem strange to a foreigner, pretty much every important aspect is discussed, from trading lots, and dividends to why companies list subsidiaries instead of spinning them off.

Two areas where this book really shines:

Busting the myth that Japan should be avoided
Discussing shareholder activism and shareholder rights in Japan
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By James Mcritchie VINE VOICE on April 18, 2012
Format: Paperback
Towns might be right: "There is no stock market as undervalued and as misunderstood as Japan." He guides the reader to plenty of undervalued companies but will their underlying value be eventually recognized? There is a dearth of activism, especially given relatively strong shareowner rights. I'm not about to plunge into a broad index of Japanase companies but honing in on a few unappreciated gems and working to unlock value looks like it could be rewarding... especially if you can team with someone like Towns who has been there.

Towns briefly covers the basics of value investing before plunging into the mysteries of the TOPIX (1&2) Mothers, and JASDAQ. If you are at all thinking about investing in mutual funds, ETFs, ADRs, etc., Towns' advice could easily save you the price of the book on your first buy. It seems that much of the market is traded very thinly, especially domestically (in Japan). Among the largest funds, there is not a single one, besides the Nikkei 225 and TOPIX index funds that focus on a domestic equity strategy. Compare that to the US, where there are probably more funds than stocks. Towns warns us that sales loads and fund fees often average more than 4% on Japanese funds, so even strong performance fails to attract interest from domestic investors.

Turning to stocks, "coverage of stocks has been on the decline, meaning ever fewer professionals are evaluating stocks based on fundamental value. Unlike developing markets, market measures are plentiful in Japan. One that looks interesting is the Dividend Focus 100 Index, well worth reviewing for its constituents.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By hm on August 2, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I could definitely recommend this book is the best guide for understanding the Japanese stock market.

I have been working in investment banking industry in Japan for long time. I have never seen a book like this which well explains the Japanese undervalued stock market and Japanese corporate governance. I totally agree Steven's argument (i.e. significant undervaluation of Japan equities, unique corporate governance) and believe in the significant opportunity in investing in Japan.

However, I believe it is easy to understand the Japan's undervalued market but it is not so easy to unlock such undervalued stocks. Many activist investors tried to acquire Japanese companies in a hostile way in the past but most of the attempt were not successful. I believe people like Towns who understands the Japanese corporate culture very well may possibly take right investment strategy.

In the book, he also addressed typical concerns/ misconception by foreign investors (e.g. decreasing population, large government debt) . His arguments for such concerns are also quite persuasive. Japan is not a growth market but still in quite stabile economy and significantly undervalued compared to US or Euro companies.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By HOWARD L JOHNSON on October 23, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This comprehensive book was very insightful in its discussion of the japanese equity market and how it was done in a concise manner. Investing in Japan shines as a well-researched book that highlighted many points investors need to know when investing in Japan. After reading the book it's clear Japanese mutual funds and ETF's are probably not ones best options. There are plenty of stock ideas and possible strategies referenced and implied. I would judge this to be a timely opportunity to take advantage of what this book has to offer. Well worth the money. A delight for value investors.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mark S. Fuhrer on October 22, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"Investing in Japan" proved to be very informative about the Japanese market, explaining many things that I hadn't understood or had questions about. The book makes it clear investors are missing huge opportunities. Though, a word of caution as Towns explains, the Japan mutual funds and ETFs available in the U.S. may not be a good idea because their holdings can be too similar or too diverse to reap the upside potential of individual companies with better valuations and growth prospects. The book explains Japanese ADRs and it mentions many stocks throughout the book that only trade in Japan. I am very pleased with the book as someone investing in Japanese ADRs and looking for Japanese stock investment ideas.
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