“I am too stupid to learn about finance.”

Have you ever said this to yourself?  If so, it’s probably more a limiting belief rather than an accurate evaluation of your abilities.  You may believe it because it is a convenient reason to justify avoiding facing the topics of money and finance, which many people consider foreign and overwhelming.  Basic money concepts and even learning how to balance a checkbook are topics that are not usually taught in schools, not even at many colleges.  Chances are that unless your parents were financially literate and were proactive in teaching you, you did not grow up understanding money.

Money is a sensitive topic because of the emotional attachments we have to it.  Most people need or want to have more than they do and feel badly if they find out that they have less than their peers, or that they have not made wise spending or investment choices.  Discussions regarding money can lead to embarrassment over not measuring up or having made mistakes.  Being short on money can be seen as a deficiency and can cause fears of being judged. On the other hand, having a perceived surplus of wealth can raise the concern of being offensive by seeming to appear arrogant or better off than others.  It could also make you the target of envy or cause greedy people, who are more interested in what you have rather than who you are, to be attracted to you.

We need straightforward and clear dialogue regarding money.  Face your financial fears to deflate them.  Education is empowering!

Are You a Business Owner?

Do you have your hands full managing the day-to-day operations of your company and are not sure how to keep financial records?  Are you knowledgeable of your industry and product but don’t understand the how to interpret the numbers side of running a business?  Are you confused because your company is running out of money although sales are increasing?

90% of all start-ups fail in the first 4 years.  One of the main reasons is the lack of funding, which is often a symptom of mismanagement such as non-strategic or wasteful spending, and an inability to raise capital.  The owners can’t afford to be afraid to look at the cold, hard figures, nor can they afford to think that accounting for company funds is ‘boring’, or ‘not my job’.

Bookkeeping and understanding accounting is essential for your business.  If there are no financial records, then the transaction didn’t happen and even an accountant won’t be able to help you without documentation.  Financial records need to be organized to produce financial statements, which are used to review a company’s performance.  Financial statements are analyzed to understand where operations are robust and profitable, and to investigate and improve areas that are under performing.  A business owner needs to know cash sources and uses, a project’s break-even point, and how to maximize profits not only for internal management purposes but also to be able to clearly communicate that to outside investors and lenders.  You can’t expect to raise capital if you can’t explain how your company is doing.

Akiko Kato

Akiko Kato is the Founder of Finance U and has been active in the financial community in New York City for the past 30 years… She is now bringing you this amazing product that has already helped entrepreneurs, managers, and people who want financial security and a brighter future. Akiko is a seasoned finance professional who has experience in a broad range of banking and finance positions on Wall Street. Akiko began her career at Sumitomo Bank in Loan Administration and Trade Finance, where she first learned about banking and global financial markets. Understanding the need for more business education to advance her career, she went back to earn her MBA in Finance from Columbia University in 1988. She then worked for six years at Fuji Bank as an analyst in Japanese Corporate Finance and U.S. Commercial Lending to Fortune 500 companies.

Akiko transitioned to Sumitomo Trust where she was a buy-side analyst for nine years. She invested in structured finance bonds, collateral debt obligations (CDOs), U.S. corporate bonds, and mortgage bonds to build the bank’s portfolio. Akiko strategically executed all bond trades and sold Treasury futures to hedge interest rate risk. She purchased LIBOR funds and issued institutional CDs to finance the bond portfolio, managed the portfolio’s asset-liability position, and handled the daily cash balance of the bank by buying and selling overnight Fed Funds.

Seizing an opportunity in the origination of asset-backed securities during the active new issue market in 2006, Akiko joined Standard and Poor’s as a Collateralized Debt Obligation Rating Analyst until the financial crisis of 2008, when she transferred to surveillance to model and monitor CDOs. Her last position was with the financial data division of Standard and Poor’s where she priced CDOs backed by leveraged loans, commercial real estate, residential real estate and trust preferred securities.

As a lender and an institutional investor, she has analyzed hundreds of millions of dollars in investments for either purchase or the assignment of debt ratings. She has persevered through market ups and downs both as an institutional and individual investor, most recently through the dot-com crash in 2000 and the subprime mortgage crisis of 2008.

Despite market volatility, through solid investment strategy combined with her finance knowledge, Akiko has not only achieved the investment objectives of her banks’ proprietary portfolios, but has grown her personal investment portfolio to the high 6-figures. She also earns passive income through smart investments in real estate.

After receiving a financial education and working a long career on Wall Street, she’s ready to share what she’s learned with you. Akiko will help you increase your financial security by teaching you how money, banking, business and accounting works.