shortcuts — if somebody tells you that if you invest 100$, you will make 10.000 quickly, you know it’s a scam. Be realistic. Do your homework and research and don’t believe that you will get rich overnight.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Kingsley Kobayashi.
Kingsley Kobayashi is first of all, a husband, a father, a family-man and also a serial entrepreneur. He believes in empowering people around him and giving back to society. He uses Blockchain to create projects that alleviate poverty, health-technology, edu-technology and remo-technology, because of its transparency, accountability and security.
Thank you for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to learn a bit more about you. Can you tell us the “backstory” about what brought you to the finance industry?
About 6 years ago, I saw the trend moving away from traditional finance to digital finance. Saw the opportunity in it and founded FGC Group with my partner Tony Evans.
Can you share with our readers the most interesting or amusing story that occurred to you in your career so far? Can you share the lesson or take away you took out of that story?
Well, my story is not very amusing and entertaining, it is more a lesson in life. About 12 years ago, I lost my businesses and had to start all over again. It taught me never to give up, believe in the Great Architect of the Universe. If you have enough zeal and determination and believe in yourself, you can put through anything. It also taught me that when you are down, that’s when you know your real friends and family.
Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?
Yes, I am working on several new projects, for example payment system for the un-banked and also Clean Energy in Africa, turning waste into energy. The payment system for the un-banked will help people especially in rural areas, that do not have access to a regular bank, but need to receive and send money. It will also help people living abroad to easily send money to their loved ones abroad, without high remittance fees and complicated procedures. The Clean Energy project helps to provide energy while cleaning the environment and that way it also has big impact on our eco systems.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
This will be Mr. Gondo Kazuhiko, who gave me an opportunity as a black man in Japan, to manage and oversee his entertainment empire at the time when black people in Japan were still doing menial jobs and were looked down at. It gave me the chance to manage people from all around the world and I was able to take the business to the highest level and we became the best brand all over Japan. Without his trust and faith in me, I wouldn’t have met all the top businessmen and entertainers in the world, which inspired me to excel and become one of them.
Let’s shift a bit to what is happening today in the broader world. Many people have become anxious from the dramatic jolts of the news cycle. The fears related to the coronavirus pandemic have understandably heightened a sense of uncertainty and loneliness. From your experience, what are a few ideas that we can use to effectively offer support to our families and loved ones who are feeling anxious? Can you explain?
The corona virus pandemic has affected mostly the SME (Small and medium size businesses), which 70% or more of the world population depends on for daily survival. However, every pandemic we had in the world, has brought a change to the way we live and do business. It has improved family bonding, people realized they can work from their homes. It is time when we need to encourage our closed family members and friends to have faith and work together, to pull out of this situation. In whatever portion you have, there is a share for someone less privileged than yourself. The art of charity and support for our loved ones has become inevitable. So even simply calling your family and loved ones regularly, encouraging them, giving them moral support, can really help. And if you can financially support your family members where needed, then please do so. I really try to support all my family during these times, to make sure they have food on their plates and access to health care if needed.
Ok. Thanks for all that. Let’s now jump to the main core of our interview. As you know the stock market and the economy in general have become extremely volatile and uncertain. Many people “dollar cost average” and put aside a monthly sum into a long-term savings plan for retirement, college, or a home purchase. If a loved one or a client came to you and said, “I have been saving and investing $500 every month in an S&P 500 index fund. Over the next few months until the dust settles, should I be doing something else with my money?”, what would you say to them?
The S&P 500 index companies are still generating high returns. They are still operating and creating business, they are globally diversified across every industry.
Eventually the economy will recover and rebound. Certain sectors, like travel and hospitality might be hurting for a while. But other sectors, like technology and healthcare, might do very well. If someone wanted to prepare today to take advantage of the future recovery, what would you suggest they do?
Invest in Blockchain related projects that are asset-backed. Especially Health -Tech, Remo-Tech and Edu-Tech related projects, like Tele-Medicine.
Are there sectors that provide exciting and lucrative investment opportunities today, specifically because of the volatility and uncertainty?
That’s exactly what I mentioned previously, Health-Tech, Remo-Tech and Edu-Tech. Health-Tech is using technology to provide care for health related issues, for example with the present pandemic, it is not advisable for people to visit hospitals for medical consultations, it can be done through video calls. Remo-Tech is about people working from home, therefore avoiding crowded public transportation and crowded work areas. Edu-Tech is focusing on online education, although this poses a problem to developing countries that do not have the infrastructure to support this. Therefore, our Clean Energy project is proving crucial in this area, providing electricity and with that, would come affordable internet service and technical equipment.
Are there alternative investments that you think more people should look more deeply at?
This is a time to be very careful with investments as every economy around the world is trying to adjust to the present crisis. Most projects are unpredictable at the moment. Any e-commerce business at this time will yield income, any social networking, online platforms, video conferencing apps etc., are good investments.
If a person in their thirties and forties came to you today and said that they have $10,000 that they want to put away today for a long-term investment what would you advise them to do with it?
Spread their money in three different blockchain projects that are asset backed or especially in the projects I mentioned above, as they all have long term potential.
Ok, thank you! Here is a more general finance question. You are a “finance insider”. If you had to advise your adult child about 5 non intuitive essentials for smart investing what would you say? Can you please give a story or an example for each?
No shortcuts — keep it simple, buy when the price is low, be patient and resist jumping from one investment to another.
Again, no shortcuts — if somebody tells you that if you invest 100$, you will make 10.000 quickly, you know it’s a scam. Be realistic. Do your homework and research and don’t believe that you will get rich overnight.
Keep it simple — if you do not understand it, don’t invest in it. They should be able to explain to you the merits of the investment in terms you can understand and if they can’t and still are using big words, they might not understand themselves and more than likely, it won’t be a good investment.
Buy when price is low — Lots of people tend to sell if the price is falling. They rush out to it. Be patient, watch the market and buy when it’s low. When it’s down, there is no way to go but up. We buy projects that are bankrupt or about to go bankrupt, we take the healthy part of the project, we marry a few projects together and create one strong one — that way we buy cheap and create good value.
Be patient — every business takes time to grow. It is advisable to stick to a project you believe in from the start. It took me over 25 years to build what I have now. I failed many times. But I never gave up. I believed in myself and in my visions.
Resist jumping from one investment to another — The grass always looks greener on the other side, but you never know the problems they have been through to get there or what they have done for it to look good. It might just be fake. Instead of leaving your project and going after the newest hype, focus on improving your business or your investment. Avoid investing with people that have a “new business opportunity” every other month. You should know none of their projects are valid.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“I learned to give not because I have too much, but because I know how it feels not to have anything.” That is probably my favorite quote. I was born in small village in Nigeria to a father who was a teacher, a mother who was a housewife and I am the first child. I had to work every day since early childhood years alongside my father at our farm, to support and feed our family. I grew up in a community where sharing was the order of the day. Any of your neighbors could come to your house and ask for what they needed. If you had it, you would share the little you had. When you didn’t have it, they would also share with you. At my age today, that upbringing still plays an important role in all my decisions and in the manner in which I live my life. That’s why my family and I are involved with different charity projects and are diligent in empowering the less privileged in our communities.
You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the greatest amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
For me, it is bringing people of all races and tribes together, to live in peace, harmony and unity, where love be the order of the day, despite different religion, background or status.