Veteran Japan Investor Takes Out Full-Page Ads to Warn of Bubble
(Bloomberg) -- A legendary figure in Japan’s equity markets warned of a bubble caused by excess liquidity in a series of full-page advertisements printed in Japan’s broadsheets on Monday.
Atsuto Sawakami, who set up Japan’s first low-cost mutual fund and helped to promote long-term investing in local stocks, published the advertisements in newspapers including the Nikkei and the Asahi.
“The collapse of the bubble is just a matter of time,” one of the ads said, which carried Sawakami’s name and that of the firm he founded, Sawakami Asset Management Inc. “The time to act is now. Get as far away as possible from this growing, epic bubble.”
Another warned of the long-term impact of zero interest rates and monetary easing, saying low-cost financing made businesses slack off and reduced investors’ risk awareness. They encouraged investors to invest for the long-term to reduce the damage they face. The ads come as Japan’s stock markets enjoy their best run in months, with the Nikkei 225 Stock Average and the broader Topix index the best-performing equity markets in the world so far this month.
Sawakami, 74, the former Japan head of what is now Pictet Asset Management Japan, helped pioneer mutual funds sold directly to individuals. His son Ryo now heads the firm he founded, which had more 360 billion yen ($3.3 billion) in assets under management as of Sept. 24, according to its website, with about 91% of assets in domestic stocks.
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