1.3 billion yen a year! The “most moneyed congressman” teaches “financial techniques”. | FRIDAY DIGITAL

1.3 billion yen a year! The “most moneyed congressman” teaches “financial techniques”.

I have nothing but gratitude to Nagata-cho" but ......?

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1,292.61 million yen – The top earner in the annual income of Diet members, disclosed in July 2010, was former LDP member of the House of Councillors Taichiro Motoei. Motoei, a lawyer and founder of the legal portal site Lawyer.com, was first elected to the House of Councillors in 2016, running for the first time from his Chiba Prefecture constituency, and served as Parliamentary Vice Minister of Finance in 2008. However, he announced his decision not to run for the Upper House in July of this year. How did he generate the nearly 1.3 billion yen in annual income, and what was the reason for his decision not to run? We interviewed him immediately after the Upper House election.

Former member of the House of Councillors, Mr. Taichiro Motoei

Ranked 49th in the list of Japanese eldest persons

Shintaro Ishihara, the governor of Tokyo, once commented on the benefits of being a politician and a writer at the same time.

He said, “Ideas come to me. I can come up with bold ideas that the technocrats in the Tokyo Metropolitan Government would never come up with.

For six years since 2016, Mr. Taichiro Motoei has been a “lawyer,” “owner and chairman of Lawyer.com,” and “member of the House of Councillors,” a “three-legged sandal. However, he will not run for the House of Councillors this summer and will work as a listed entrepreneur from now on. He has an office in Roppongi, where he is required to make quick decisions. He is dashingly dressed in a blue jacket, a change from his dark blue suit.

When he was a member of the House of Councilors, the entire Chiba Prefecture was his constituency, so he hired 10 secretaries and spent every minute on weekends and holidays traveling to meetings and major festivals, etc. There were 54 municipalities, and every month there was an election somewhere in Chiba Prefecture: municipal mayor, municipal assembly, prefectural assembly, lower house, upper house, and governor’s election, and the campaigning ceremony was usually held on a Sunday morning, so he had to be on call at all times. The campaign ceremonies were usually held on Sunday mornings, and there were no days off. I lived like a monk in ascetic training.

Despite his busy schedule, he is proud that he was able to use his management perspective to deliver a high-resolution, firsthand voice to the political arena in areas such as the promotion of parental leave for men and the expansion of telework.

He says, “Lawyer.com went from president to chairman, handing over authority to the new president and generating more time. I used my cell phone and Slack (Slack) while traveling to receive business reports and make decisions.

As long as I handed over authority to the president, I would not speak up even if I was concerned about a detail. As long as I entrusted it to him, I respected it. When making important decisions, I did not say, “Let’s do this,” but rather, “Here is what I think, but what do you think about it?

In July, the income of Diet members was disclosed in the income report of Diet members, and Motoei’s major-league-like income of 1,292.61 million yen in FY 2009 topped all others. Forbes Japan” reported that he will have total assets of $1.2 billion in FY2021, ranking him 49th on the list of the top Japanese businessmen.

At the beginning of each year, Forbes reports in English, “This is how we calculate your assets. We have calculated how much is the Lawyers.com holding, which is owned by the management company of your personal assets, and how much is the real estate, totaling $1.2 billion, is there any error? This is publicly available information, but I am amazed at how well you have researched it.”

Adhering to the “Iron Law” of Investment

This year, interest rates have continued to rise worldwide, growth stocks have fallen, and Lawyer.com’s stock price has dropped by about two-thirds from its price at the beginning of the year. Since the majority of Mr. Motoei’s assets are his own shares, his total assets are currently around $800 million.

What I pay attention to is diversification, which is the golden rule in the investment world,” he said. Diversification of assets, currency, and time frame. Seven years ago, when we went public, we were only investing in Lawyer.com stock, but we have expanded into real estate investments and securities.

In terms of portfolio, Lawyers.com stock accounts for 70%, and real estate and securities make up the rest. I don’t hold individual stocks because I don’t have time to analyze companies and because I am in a position to talk to the top management of companies, which raises suspicions of insider trading.

Mr. Motoei returned to his position as president of Lawyer.com after his term as a member of the House of Councillors expired.

How can one increase one’s assets, if not to the extent of Mr. Motoei? Under the current inflationary environment, yen deposits alone will only diminish the value of one’s assets.

I am doing exactly what I have been doing, which is to shift from savings to investment. For example, there are American index investment trusts that are based on the NASDAQ 100 Index and the S&P 500 Index. Also, investment trusts in U.S. growth stocks have performed well until recently. There have been periods of declines due to interest rate hikes and recessions, but when equalized, U.S. index investment trusts have been rising steadily.

There is little risk if you accumulate them over a long period of time, and I also buy more when they go down. There is a market saying, ‘Don’t pick up a fallen knife,’ but I added to my purchases when I judged that the market had fallen completely due to the Corona shock. It is also a good idea to put your yen deposits into dollars. I recommend starting with an amount you won’t regret too much if you lose it.”

As for his decision to step out of the House of Councillors, he said, “I did so in order to become a driving force behind Reiwa’s economic growth,” he continued.

In politics, we often use the term “growth strategy,” but it is the power of the private sector that makes it happen. In the world of politics, if the total number of people is 100, then if 51 people approve, the system and laws will change. It is the power of the private sector that makes it possible to reach this 51.

In this regard, the contract management platform “Crowdsign” has changed the stamp culture that remains strong in Japan. Although it was promoted by the COVID-19 crisis, it was only when electronic contracts had spread to a certain extent in the private sector that politicians were able to say, “We’re getting rid of the hanko.

As a politician, I would like to refine my view of the nation, and then as an entrepreneur, I would like to lead Reiwa’s economic growth. During the Showa period, Matsushita Electric Industrial (now Panasonic), Honda Motor (Honda), and Sony led Japan’s economic growth. I would like to return to the private sector and become one of the driving forces of economic growth in the digital field in the Reiwa era.

Members of the Diet are a microcosm of the people.

The House of Councillors was once known as the seat of decency, but now former idols, YouTube stars, actors, and others whose words and actions raise questions about decency are wearing the badge.

When I became a politician, I realized that there are so many different kinds of people in the world. There were people who caused unbelievable scandals in their capacity as members of the Diet, but that was only a small percentage, and those who were chosen by many voters have shining qualities because they were chosen.

Reiwa Shin-Sen-Gumi, the NHK Party, the Sangyo Party, and many others with different ideas will come to the Diet, and the opinions of a few will be conveyed. The fact that a You Tuber took a seat in the Diet is also a reflection of the world’s condition, and I believe that the members of the Diet are a microcosm of the people.

As a member of the House of Councilors for six years, I have found that the majority of people in Nagata-cho are very insightful and are engaged in their work without eating or sleeping. There are few unscrupulous people. I have come to realize that I can go back to the private sector if this is the case. I have nothing but gratitude for Nagatacho.”

Nagatacho has its own culture. He may return again with a “manager’s eye.

  • Interview, text, and photos Daisuke Iwasaki

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