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Nomura Michel Pireu     | Business Day Thursday, January 3, 2019
From Jamie Catherwood at Medium.com:

Tokushichi Nomura, the founder of Nomura Holdings, began his investing career during a Japanese bull market in the early 1900s. As the overall market continued to soar, Nomura profited on every investment, but despite his successes, he remained a disciplined investor, and turned to his research as the market began to feel frothy.

Concluding that Japanese stocks were overpriced, and due for a correction, Nomura sold all his stocks to fund his new investment: a large short position on the market. These ‘shorts’ would profit if the stock market fell.

Unfortunately his fellow investors did not share this bearish outlook. Each day, Nomura watched as Japanese stocks continued to climb higher. Just as his short positions made money if the market declined, he lost money if the market went up.

Margin calls started pouring in as Nomura’s positions began to plummet. When creditors came to his office seeking payment, he hid under his desk. He even hired an enclosed rickshaw to transport him through the Tokyo side streets so that no one could watch his movements.

Despite the financial and emotional toll, Nomura doubled down and purchased additional short positions. While many of his peers were swept up by the bull market euphoria, he remained convinced that stocks were overvalued.

When he asked a friend for a loan to finance his margin calls, his friend urged him to reconsider. Instead Nomura handed him a list of all his assets and pledged them. ‘I am betting my life that I am correct,” he said, “If someone considers a matter thoroughly and does nothing, the outcome is the same as if he had considered nothing at all. I have never been wrong.’”

A short while later Nomura’s thesis came to fruition. Japanese stocks began to slowly decline, before plummeting 88% in a matter of months.
 
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