Shigeki Makino

Scottsdale, Arizona, United States

Investment Portfolio Manager, Portfolio Manager

Putnam Investments (Retired)

Being an investment portfolio manager and equity analyst is a great career. Investing is one of the most attractive jobs on the planet. It is intellectually challenging, dynamic and performance is transparent. While you work hard, there is a level of work-life balance, yet compensation is quite nice.

I am retired now, but I worked for two major investment management businesses, Putnam Investments and Fidelity Investments, for a combined total of 20 years. Each were global businesses with thousands of employees and offices in each of the major geographic regions around the world.

At these firms, I had roles as an equity research analyst, director of research and portfolio manager. I managed the first onshore Japan Fund managed by a foreign firm and was one of the top 5% performing funds during my tenure on the fund. I also managed a top 5% performing Pacific Basin Fund during that same time. Finally, I was highlighted in Barron's in 2007 as the fund manager on the Putnam Global Equity Fund, which at its peak had $15 billion in assets.

Here’s just a bit of what we can cover in our PivotPlanet session(s):
• What a career as an equity analyst entails (daily responsibilities, compensation, work-life, skill sets required, etc.).
• What a career as a portfolio manager entails.
• How to analyze equities.
• Tips on working abroad in Tokyo, Hong Kong or London.
• Job hunting tips for either career as an equity analyst or fund manager.

There is a significant level of autonomy working in this field. Professionals are expected to make recommendations and contribute, but how they do so is left up to them. In other words, it is more about what you do than how you do it.

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I spent 10 years living overseas in Tokyo, Hong Kong and London, in addition to 10 years in Boston. I managed Japan, Pacific Basin, and most recently, Global Equity portfolios, so I have an intimate knowledge of companies around the globe.

As an equity analyst, and in my more recent role as a guest lecturer at Cornell University, I have coached and mentored many analysts and students. The key topic of my coaching and mentoring is equity analysis and communicating with portfolio managers. This includes financial statement analysis, regressions, quantitative analysis, portfolio management, portfolio construction, modeling, communication and an understanding of security markets. I am very proud of the many professionals I have coached and mentored over the years who are now incredibly successful investors.

There are so many smart people in the investment community; you need to figure out how to differentiate yourself from everyone else both in terms of getting a job and being successful as an investor.