Jason Kelly

Jason Kelly



Originally published on metropolis.co.jp on December 2007


What brought you to Japan?
I first came in 1999 on a book tour to promote my novel Y2K, which had been translated into Japanese. I liked it so much I decided to move here in 2001. I’m now based in Sano, Tochigi.

What books have you written?
I started in 1997 with The Neatest Little Guide to Mutual Fund Investing. Since then, I have written a “Neatest” series on topics ranging from do-it-yourself investing and personal finance to making money online. I also have a monthly email investment newsletter, The Kelly Letter, which has attracted thousands of subscribers (for US$5 a month). That smoothes out the feast-or-famine pace of the book business.

C’mon, tell us: what’s the secret to successful investing?
The challenge is to reduce the amount of noise down to just the small amount of information that actually matters. The dirty little secret in the investment world is that profits are made when you can convince people they need all this information you are pumping out. It’s a complete smokescreen. Where most people go wrong is taking news events and headlines from real life and thinking they apply to the stock market. They get scared out of the market by events like Hurricane Katrina, 9/11, the Iraq war or, more recently, the subprime mortgage crisis in America.

Are your books available in Japan?
Yes, at English bookstores. One day I wandered into Tower Records in Shibuya, and there on the staff-recommended shelf was my stock-investing book with a card at the bottom where the staff had written in English why they liked it. It was really touching.

What is your routine in Tochigi?
I get up early and exercise early. Then I start working by 9am and work all afternoon. I usually go out most evenings. The “in-Japan” part of my life is going to the onsen, matsuri and so on.

For more on Jason Kelly, see www.jasonkelly.com.