´´ Value Investing Japan

Friday, August 12, 2022

Blog has moved!

 In the future you will find undervaluedjapan on Substack.

undervaluedjapan | O-Tone | Substack (Link)

Thursday, August 4, 2022

The Tron Project: How Japan Almost Ruled IT

At a winter day in 1989 the Japanese sent chills down the spine of the world of tech. They presented a house, located in one of Tokyo’s most fashionable neighbourhood, which was able to think, sense and act on its own. It linked millions of microprocessors in consumer appliances, business machines and telecommunication networks into a giant cooperative web.

The house would know when to open the windows, air-condition the room and water the plants. It would flush the toilet, flip the faucet and air-dry your hands. When the phone rang, it muted the stereo. If the homeowner wanted to cook a fancy meal, it would present a recipe and instruction on a kitchen monitor while setting the correct oven temperature. All without manual human interaction.

Thursday, May 12, 2022

10 Years Blogging: Japan Still Undervalued


Ten years ago I started my little Journey into the Bloggosphere. To be honest, the experience of running the blog in the current form has been rather sobering. The main reason? Limited interest in general and little engagement of the audience in form of comments, links on social media, etc. Actually, the blog vindicated my deep- rooted antipathy towards social media!

Be it as it may! I still enjoy writing about my ideas and findings for myself. And for inexplicable reasons I still publish some every now and then on this blog.

In this post I will make the case that Japan was, and still is, a wet dream for any contrarian value investor, a truly endangered species. I would even argue that the Japanese market has never been more attractive at the time of writing.

Saturday, March 26, 2022

Investing in Japan: Getting by on "Yuutai"

I reckon the readers of my blog will be familiar with my investment gurus, namely Peter Cundill, Walter Schloss, Jean- Marie Eveillard, and many others coming from Grahamanddoddsville.

But have you ever heard of Hiroto Kiritani? Until very recently me neither. Mr. Kiritani used to be a top-ranked Japanese player of shogi (kind of an east Asian version of chess). More than a decade ago Mr. Kiritani jumped ship, reinventing himself as an investment guru for retail investors in a weird corner of the Japanese investment universe called 株主優待 “kabunushi yuutai” (= “hospitality”).

“Yuutai” is a special shareholder benefit. Such shareholder perks are not unheard of in the west, but they are rare. In the UK, about 40 public companies provide special benefit plans to its shareholders. In the US blue chip companies like Ford, Carnival and Kimberly Clark are known for the handouts to their shareholders. To the “value investing” community the most familiar will be those offered during Berkshire Hathaway’s AGM: Discounts at Geico Insurance; large price reductions on merchandise from Borsheims Fine Jewelry & Gifts and Nebraska Furniture Mart.