The business owner
I'm really pleased to publish our first reader profile of 2017 today, courtesy of RJC, an entrepreneur recently arrived in Japan.
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself
I am an expat from the USA. I have lived in Costa Rica and Thailand previously and decided to move to Japan just over a year ago. I am a business owner and one of the main reasons I moved here was to have better control over our accounts in Japan. My shipping company works mainly in shipping vehicles and also freight internationally. I have fallen in love with the culture and lifestyle in Japan and I think I will continue to stay. I am able to travel and live almost anywhere and work online but have to say this really feels like home.
2. How did you get started with personal finance?
Pretty much my entire life fortunately. I was naturally a good saver when I lived at home in high school and worked jobs after school. I remember for the longest time I was really tight with my money. Then one day I woke up and wanted a new mountain bike because my friend had one. That day I learned my favorite part about personal finance, which would be spending the money that you have saved up. At a young age I learned the benefits of putting money into a 401(k) and was a home owner just out of high school. I rented the house out which created some good income for me and allowed me to venture out and try my first business, a surf shop in Santa Cruz. I sold that business which led me to where I am today with my company A-1 Auto Transport Japan.
3. What are you doing at the moment
I will say that saving is a lot tougher here in Japan compared to when I was living in Costa Rica and especially Thailand. However business has improved and I manage to diversify my financial profile. I have become increasingly interested in physical gold and silver. I had invested in a mine a while back and things didn’t work out so holding on to the real deal has been very appealing to me.
I set aside the money that I need for expenses. With what I have left over 25% goes to food and necessities, I invest 50% and the other 25% I spend on having fun. I stay very strict to my plan and I think what holds it all together is splurging with that 25%, I guess what I learned when I was a kid. For me this plan works.
4. What books/websites/companies do you recommend?
Rich Dad Poor Dad was a classic for me that I would recommend for anyone that is not only interested in personal finance but business as well. Robert Kiyosaki is a genius when it comes to investing and this books explains the differences between his rich dad who had a positive outlook on money and his poor dad who had a negative outlook.
Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. Another classic that I like to listen to often in audio form. It is mostly about mind set and really more of a self-help book but there is definitely some personal finance gold here.
The Global Expatriates Guide to Investing by Andrew Hallam. This is especially good for me coming from the states with expatriate goals.
5. What's your plan going forward?
Hard to say for sure but I think I will continue to live in Japan. I have met a girl so we will see where that takes me. Other than that I will continue to do what I am doing and plan on looking more in to crypto currency to diversify a little more.
6. Any other thoughts?
I would say to do your research before making too big of any decision. Whether that would be moving to a foreign country or investing in to the next big company that just went public. I have been burned before in the past and every time it was because I didn’t do the do-diligence that I should have or just wasn’t patient enough.
Find a plan that works for you and your family and don’t stray far from it. Remember that your future relies on what you do now with your life and your money and you only have one chance so be very serious with the decisions that you make.
RJ: Great stuff here from RJC. Unlike me, it seems like he might be a natural with money, but there are some good lessons there for the rest of us.
I particularly like the 25/50/25 spending ratio. Solid saving without losing track of living life well.
If anyone would be willing to be featured in a Reader Profile, please get in touch via the contact form -I'd love to hear from you.