Zaizen Takashi passes his entrance exams at the top of the heap, and starts his first year in junior high school at Dojuku Gakuen, a 130-year old super-advanced institute of higher education. The day after the entrance ceremony, "the secret" of the school is revealed to him, which concerns the existence of an "investment club," consisting only of the top student from each of the 6 grades.
Its club members have a mission. They must invest from a capital of 300-billion yen and yield a profit of 8%, which is their annual goal. This is why Dojuku Gakuen, boasting the highest standards of education in all of Japan, is tuition free.
"The most exciting game in the world. The ultimate game of ultimate thrill… In other words, money… Investments!" Here begins the story of the genius Zaizen, who bets the entirety of his youth on money. Learn, Zaizen... and make a bundle!!
I wanted a manga about the stock market/ economics.
Investor Z got my attention. The manga overall is pretty good if you are interested in economics and the stock market.
My review might be bias because I do dabble in the stock market myself and my point of view is completely different (80% different) than the view of the characters in the manga or the author.
So, my final score of an 8 is because the manga overall is definitely worth an 8 (if you are interested in the stock market and economics). But if I need to be strict and count the information given about
how to trade in the stock market then I definitely would have to give it a 5 overall. But since this manga is for entertainment purpose and not a guide on how to invest in the stock market I can say that an 8 is a fair score.
Let’s get into the manga. The author is trying to portray the investment club as a Hedge Fund. This is very cool to do and it will give some flair to the story. You will see that everyone in the Investment Club (Hedge Fund) has his own field of expertise. This is very realistic because. Getting a return of 8% a year is also very realistic. But there is a huge problem here everything in this manga has been written in the view of the author. What I meant by that is that the author is approaching the stock market with a view of a retail trader (someone that is trading at home with his own money and no fundamentals or a framework to work with) but he is trying to emulate a Hedge Fund (Professional Trader, someone that gets paid a steady salary and a bonus to trade with other people’s money and have a set framework to work with) in his manga.
You may wonder why this is a bad thing? If I have to write in detail why the approach of the author is wrong, then I can be writing a wall of text. So just keep in mind if you are going to read this manga do not go into the stock market!!! Use this manga for entertainment purpose only.
This is because more than 90% of the retail traders are losing money and only 2% of the retail traders where profitable, 7% remains after 5 years of trading more than 80% quits after 2 years (Study was released in 2010 so the percentage might be slightly different now but it should not be that far off).
Since the approach of trading is completely wrong and everyone that trade with this approach will go bankrupt (your cash or margin account at your broker will go to 0) and stop trading according to the statistics I can say that you should not use the methods explained in this manga.
Don’t get me wrong it is very educational. There are a lot of facts in the manga which is all true. The manga goes in the stock market is covers the FX market, Gold and housing etc. Everything in the manga that has been explained is for the most part correct and very inspirational and educational.
They cover stocks in the Japanese market (you can compare it with S&P 500 etc.). Zaizen is very fixated in the Japanese market and because he is new and his approach is the approach of a retail trader you can see what he does wrong but they do show you the emotional side of trading. (Never trade the Japanese market without knowing what is happening in America).
So, to finish my review I can advise you to read this manga for entertainment only and do not even try to go in the stock market with the knowledge you gain from this manga. The knowledge that you gain is more for you to improve yourself. Because they do quote some lines from famous investors that you can apply in your own life too and not only in investing. So, the manga is the same as all the other inspirational books that you can buy from the famous investors like Warren Buffet, Jesse Livemore etc. Those books are telling you what they did and why they did it and they also give you some very inspirational quotes. But they never tell you how you can do it too. The reason why no books will tell you how you can do it too is because the approach from a professional trader that is working in a Hedge Fund is the same for every single employee in hat hedge fund (They use a framework) but their point of view is different and their field of expertise is also different.
In short, the manga’s approach is more like what is the next big thing! What are the analyst saying in the newspaper? etc (news on television or newspaper is yesterday’s news and if you trade with that information you will always be late to the party). What product do I use and why do I use it? Which brand am I using and why do I use this brand? Ow you bought this and that? Let me look at the stocks of this and that too ow it looks good, it is cheap I buy it. Ok now I did my research let’s buy XYZ. (so basically, a retail traders approach).
Since Zaizen is so fixated in the Japanese market he is blind to understand that he is trading with old information (but since this is a manga and Zaizen is the main character in it he will profit). I wrote it earlier ‘’Never trade the Japanese market without knowing what happens in the American market’’.
Now let’s compare it to a professional approach (will just point a few out). Instead of generating trading ideas from news and rumors or looking at which brand we use ourselves etc. They have a different approach and point of view. Instead of looking at which brand I’m using let’s look at the world! Which country is leading with GDP (America followed by China and then Japan stats from 2016). Once you understand the world view you do some more research you will now use a Top Down View so look at the Market and then Industry Sector and then you look at Stocks. After they did that then they start looking at the company within that sector (like the approach of the ketchup brand that added an extra point to the star to force more sale, what they explained in the manga). And then they use technical analysis to time their trades. After timing, they also make sure that they hedge their position so they go long Nike but they go short another stock that is less cyclicals dependend (beta hedging).
Because America is leading in GDP it means that they are leading in economics. That’s why Zaizen needs to look at the American market too. So basically, if there is an economic crisis in America expect the same to happen in the next 1 to 3+ months in the other markets like the market in Japan (A good example for this is the stats from 2009 you can look it up yourself and you understand why).
Disclaimer: the above information is just a quick summary there is a lot more to add in that trading framework that I did not tell (Like Building permits, Unemployment stats from each country etc.).
In the manga, they do the opposite they get their ideas from the news or they start generating ideas by looking at the brand (stock) once they have their ideas they go into details about that company doing some research who is managing it etc. and then they use technical analysis to see if their idea is good to buy. Also the strategy they use is buy low sell high…….. they never hedge out their risk in case it goes wrong. So, they do the complete opposite. And that is why I say Zaizen is so stupid just to look at the Japanese stocks without knowing what is happening in the rest of the world (The author does explain it in the Manga that America is leading in a lot of sectors but I can also read how he tries to defend the Japanese market sectors which is awesome to know).
Hope this review clears a bit of the misunderstanding of the author about the view on the stock market. Once you understand this then you can enjoy this manga (and you will notice that all the information explained in the manga is correct and very educational). Just the part about how to invest in the stock market and the FX market is incorrect.
So, I give this Manga an 8 overall since it is educational and fun to read and it is also fun to see what the author is thinking vs my own point of view. This manga does not have a lot of plots but overall it is a fun and educational read. I think it is a bit of slice of life. The tips in the manga are very good and you can use them to improve your own life.
Final conclusion: If you are searching for an economical and stock market manga then this manga is for you. If you are not into these kinds of things, then skip it or else it will bore you to death. The manga is still going and it is not completed but I doubt it that he is going to implement a real Hedge Funds trading approach.
(Need more manga about the stock market? Billionaire Girl is also fun to read it is more romance but Investor Z is covering more of the market).