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My Educational Background and Work History

Avatar  Hello, I am Jun Kurema.  As a start, I would like to introduce my educational and work history very briefly.  I was born and raised in Japan.  Ever since I started learning English (when I was 7th grade), it was my dream to work using English in whatever field.  After graduating a college in Japan and worked for a company in Tokyo, I came to the US to study at graduate schools.  Upon graduating the schools, I went back to Japan as I found a job there, but my employer transferred me back to their New York office after a while.  I worked there until they laid me off during Lehman Shock period.  Luckily, I found another job, and am still working in New York.  My stay in the US is over 15 years now, including the periods while I was a student.

My Name 

Jun Kurema is my pen name which is named after James Cramer who is my mentor in investments — I love reading his books and watching his talk show “Mad Money” at CNBC.  Since sound of “Cramer” is close to that of “Kurema”, it is natural for me to decide to use the last name “Kurema” as my pen name.  Regarding first name, “Jun” is not quite close to “James” but this is the only name that starts with “J” I could think of which could be used as a name for Japanese female.   Kanji characters (暮眞 for Kurema and 潤 for Jun) are chosen using fortune telling for names (this method is very common in Japan, especially when deciding a first name of a baby) which believe that number of strokes of each Kanji characters and combination thereof will affect person’s personality, family relationship, financial success, success in jobs, etc. And I was able to come up with Kanji characters whose strokes exhibits lucky combination in all aspects.

My Investment History 

Although my investment history itself is relatively long, I have not started investing to stocks until I was laid off in the US.  Actually, it was lucky that I could start in such a timing because the stock price was historically low due to Lehman Shock.

When I was in college, I decided to come to the US and attend a graduate school some day.  I was an option to study abroad for a year while I was in college, but if I do so, I needed to ask my parent to spend extra money.  And I rather wanted to study in the US by my own money.   And for that purpose, I saved every penny after graduating from the college.  I invested to medium-term government securities fund, open‐end bond investment trust, REIT, mutual fund, and government bond.  But all those investments were made based on the recommendations given by a lady who worked for a brokerage company (she was a friend of my friend from my high school), and I was a complete layman in investment.  Regarding stock investment, I bought stocks of the company I had worked for through employee stock ownership plan.  By the way, I still hold the account of the brokerage firm, but I am not a resident of Japan, my account was temporally frozen.  Therefore, I do not plan to trade Japanese stocks. Although it is possible to purchase Japanese stocks in Japanese yen through US based brokerage firm (eg. Fidelity Investment), transaction fees to purchase Japanese stock is quite high (3,000 yen per transaction in case of Fidelity Investment, as oppose to $4.95 per transaction for US stock), I do not plan to do so.

While I was working for an office in New York, I (and my husband) had all the intention to going back to Japan within a few years.  Therefore, I did not utilize 401(K) nor IRA, and only investment activities I did was making CD (Certificate of Deposit).  Initially, I had a H1-B Visa (work visa), but after the Lehman Shock, I felt threats in my job securities and adjusted my status as a permanent resident (i.e., obtained a marriage-based green card) which makes me commit to stay in the US longer than I originally intended, and started purchasing stocks in my IRA account as a start.

Disclaimer 

Although this site contains explanation about the US tax law in several places, since I am not a tax professional, please consult with accountants or tax lawyers for more accurate and up-to-date information.  Regarding articles relating to investment, it is merely an explanation about what I did or what I would do, and I have no intent to recommend any specific investment.  When making investment, please use your judgement based on your own research, or consultation with specialists such as financial advisers.

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