Man On A Mission

Oki Matsumoto wants to tap Japan's individual investors with online broker Monex

If you trust your first impression of Oki Matsumoto, you're likely to be misled. The soft-spoken 36-year-old with a shy smile comes off like a daydreaming librarian--not the president of Japan's fastest-growing online brokerage, Monex Inc. Despite his bookish manner, Matsumoto is a man on a mission. He's out to make investing in Japanese stocks more accessible to a nation of people hungry for U.S.-style returns. That's why he's building a business based on an affordable commission of $9.25, top-flight mutual funds, and quality research. And unlike most Japanese brokers that fawn over older, wealthy clients, Monex seeks young beginners eager to turn themselves into junior Warren Buffetts. "It's a dream of mine to make the Japanese markets more democratic," says Matsumoto.

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