The New York Times is reporting Japanese Housewives Sweat in Secret as Markets Reel.
Tens of thousands of married Japanese women ventured into online currency trading in the last year and a half, playing the markets between household chores or after tucking the children into bed. While the overwhelmingly male world of traders and investors here mocked them as kimono-clad “Mrs. Watanabes,” these women collectively emerged as a powerful force, using Japan’s vast wealth to sway prices and confound economists.
Many bought and sold stakes worth into the millions of dollars through margin trading, a potentially lucrative but risky form of trading that uses borrowed money.
Most analysts estimate that Japanese online investors lost $2.5 billion trading currency last month. In fact, the subprime-mortgage crisis was the first severe market downturn since online trading took off here. Economists see the current tumult as the first real test of Japan’s homemaker-traders, and whether these newcomers have the stomach to ride out markets in a time of volatility.
Ms. Torii is one of Japan’s most famous housewife-traders. She has written a book on her investing strategies and founded a support group for home traders, the FX Beauties Club, which now has 40 members. (FX is financial shorthand for “foreign exchange.”)
But until her book was released in July, she said, she was afraid to admit even to her friends that she was trading, though her husband knew and approved. Now she is a regular guest on television programs.
Ms. Torii said she intended to keep trading, despite the recent market setbacks. She said it was her best chance to “stand on my own economically,” a necessity she discovered after her first marriage ended in divorce, and she and her son had to live off her meager savings. “I never want to feel that vulnerable again,” said Ms. Torii, now remarried.
This is seriously too funny. Global Alpha as noted in Huge Carry Trade Blowup at Goldman has been executing the same strategy as Japanese housewives trading currencies behind their husband’s back.
If this does not discourage Global Alpha investors I suppose nothing will.
Mike Shedlock / Mish/