Top of the Class

#31 Starting a Million Dollar Investment Company in High School

January 30, 2021 Crimson Education Season 1 Episode 31
Top of the Class
#31 Starting a Million Dollar Investment Company in High School
Show Notes Transcript

While most teenagers are working part time jobs in supermarkets or retail, 16-year-old Koki Mashita is checking the latest stock market reports in his role as co-founder and managing partner of investment firm, Lallic Partners.

With more than a million dollars in investments, Lallic Partners is just one part of Koki's entrepreneurial journey. He has sold old computers when he was barely in high school, has cut $3000 of losses in an attempt to revolutionise Summer Camps and is now on the brink of launching a kickstarter campaign for Floe, an environmentally friendly tampon applicator.  

We hear how Koki went from an interest in Bitcoin as a 12-year-old to having a passion for investing, what he looks for in stocks and why he has an entrepreneurial mindset.

  • Koki invites listeners to connect with him on LinkedIn or Instagram
  • Click here to learn more about Lallic Partners
  • Click here to learn more about Floe, Koki's latest start-up
  • Click here for Koki's YouTube recommendation, Learn to Invest
  • Click here to try out Crimson's US College Admissions Calculator to predict your best fit college.

The Top of the Class podcast is powered by Crimson Education. If you want to learn more about your path to top US, UK or European universities, click here to request a free and private meeting with an Academic Advisor in your area.

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Podcast Host  00:00

Hello, and welcome to the top of the class podcast. I'm your host Alex cork, and today I chat with California based student Koki Mashita. Koki is the co founder of Lallic Partners, an investment firm managing more than a million dollars. We chat about how an interest in Bitcoin as a 12 year old became a fully fledged investment company, what he looks for in stocks, and how he turned his age into an advantage when pitching to potential investors. Let's chat with Koki Mashita. Koki, welcome to the Top of the Class, can you tell our listeners a little bit about yourself?

Koki Mashita  00:50

Hi, thank you for having me. My name is Koki, I go to a boarding school in California. I'm a junior in high school. And I first started my business when I was 12. Now I'm working on an investment firm and a startup who help make reusable tampon applicators.

Podcast Host  01:08

Okay, that's an interesting business for a young man to get involved in how'd you get involved in?

Koki Mashita  01:14

Yeah, so me and my friend, we were in a startup incubator, and he's really like, into the scientific field. And we were like, what kind of product we can create, that can actually like help the environment because we were also really, like, worried about like, how we're polluting the environment with like plastics. And when we were researching was a lot about like, throwing away plastic applicators. Because, you know, I obviously had no idea. And when I came across it, I was like, I was really inspired to do something about it. And then now, we're trying to start a Kickstarter. Next month, I'm making a reusable tampon applicator. So it's pretty simple. And, you know, people can reuse it without like throwing the plastic away every time.

Podcast Host  02:00

Right? Okay, that's fantastic. And talk to us about the startup incubator. So for those of us who might not know much about what happens at a startup incubator, how do you get involved? And what do you do when you're there?

Koki Mashita  02:12

Yeah, so this startup incubator is actually really useful. I went to two actually, one was over the summer, it was for high school students. And then one was more flexible. I like the flexible part. Because it was more like I find my friend that I already know. And we go into this startup incubator, which I found on LinkedIn, actually, I think it's also really important to start networking as early as possible on LinkedIn. And then I found I found this guy called Patrick. And he introduced me to this to his incubator, and we joined for a few weeks, he actually learned a lot about like, how to create an idea first, how to develop that idea. And then how to like, expand with like, press in, you know, Kickstarter. And so it was really interesting. And then, yeah, so we go through that. It's like, it's like a class, online class. And then, yeah, after that, we can actually start making a company,

Podcast Host  03:11

what were some of your main, or how big takeaway moments that you got from that startup incubator, that you were able to then apply to what you're doing now? And do you think, you know, has probably been one of the main reasons that you're able to now launch into a Kickstarter next month?

Koki Mashita  03:25

Yeah. So actually, the most important part is believing what you make, and also having an a smaller team, I think with like, dedicated people. So I think that's actually really important. So before, in my investment firm, I had 15 employees, a lot of them were like analysts, and we were, and we weren't, like very effective, because we were just, you know, doing random stuff. It wasn't like properly organized. And so when I learned about it in the, in the incubator, we actually cut our employees into six, and like, mainly for people. And it actually worked really nicely, because we can have meetings all the time. And we can always like talk, and we can communicate and communication is really important. And then we can also find four people that are really dedicated, and like really inspirational.

Podcast Host  04:18

And those other four people, are they students as well.

Koki Mashita  04:20

Yeah, yeah, they're my age. And also, I think when having a startup when you're like, really young, I think it's really important to have fun, especially because you have school and you can get easily distracted. So um, yeah, all my coworkers are like really close friends. And I have a lot of fun during like the meetings.

Podcast Host  04:43

Yeah. Well, it's interesting. You make that point because in the other interviews that I've done as well, where students are looking at creating organizations with other students, like student run organizations, or whether it be like a company or whether it be a not for profit, or whatever it might be. I have heard that a lot of students do struggle with that idea that As the team expands, there's you know, that periphery of like the 70 to 100% of people like the people who joined 70 to 100%, but then just, you know, usually joining for the resume padding, they're not necessarily joining to actually have an active involvement in the organization that they've joined, that they're joining mainly for the title. What was it like when you kind of had that moment? And then realize you had to cut X number of people 15, down to six? Was that a tough conversation to have? Or did those people kind of know what was coming?

Koki Mashita  05:31

Yeah, so for us, we're just honest. And we were like, we know, like, you're kind of doing for college, and you know, you haven't been participating, which is a huge part, when it becomes evident. After they join, they don't really participate. You know, they don't like they miss meetings and stuff. So then we just email them, be clear about it, and then, you know, and then they will actually agree, for the most part. So then we were able to cut our team.

Podcast Host  06:00

Yeah, yeah. Well, it's interesting. Also, I think, from the perspective of how do you create a company with staff as such, like you've turned your friends into colleagues? You know, when I go for a job at a company, for instance, they will typically ask me, what's your experience, and then I'll have to have a couple years of experience to point me in a particular direction for a particular role, whether that be marketing, or whether it be design or whatever it might be, when you're working with students who might not have much experience, or you literally just putting people in roles based on what they want to do.

Koki Mashita  06:32

Yeah, that is actually a really good question. Because we were just talking about that, like a week ago in my in our meeting. So as we like, manage financial savings for other people, which is actually like, really risky. And so when I started by myself, I chose these three people, we actually had experienced, actually, we started investing in freshman year. So me and my two other friends, Charlie, and Eugene, we were just investing for fun. And we were like, Oh, it's actually really like profitable. And we can actually grow money without working out of like, a part time job, you know, because a lot of people, we see that they go, they go work for a part time job, we actually made honestly, more than the people working at part time jobs by sitting in our dorm rooms, because we were in boarding school. And that was really intriguing. And we made money while we were sleeping. So we found that ideas fascinating. So we just kept investing for three years. And then in 2020, when COVID hit, I was like, Oh, we should use our experience to do something. And we're actually pretty good at our performance. And so, you know, we had some experience. But one crucial point I was also looking at, was if they're actually invested into the idea, yeah, because it was cool, you know, people can get distracted really easily. And although experience is important, I think dedication is the most important because when they're dedicated, we can try to teach each other, we actually took like a lot of these courses like corporate finance Institute courses. And so dedication, I think, is really important.

Podcast Host  08:10

Yeah, at the end of the day, like, it doesn't matter exactly what people's skills are, when you're in high school, it's more about Yeah, are you willing to keep doing it once exam start, because if people are going to be able to continue even managing a little bit of time to this kind of, you know, other company or whatever you're setting up, then that's super important if they just drop the ball completely, and they're like, I'm out, I got to focus on exams. I think a lot of students do that. Right. They get involved in extracurriculars. And as soon as the exam start, they just completely say, I'm study and nothing else. And I think that's very, very difficult to keep them involved in a team where other people are saying, No, I'll do study, but I'll continue to work on the company or whatever I'm doing at the same time. So I think it's at the very start trying to work out. Are you one of those people who will continue to manage it even during exams or not? And I think that's a that's a pretty good way to judge. I've got another question about starting investing. How old were you when you actually started to do investing? And what were you investing in?

Koki Mashita  09:06

I was, well, I think I bought some Bitcoin that was my first investment. And it was totally just like, a gamble. Like, I researched 30 minutes about Bitcoin. And then I was like, Oh, this is nice. I bought it. I mean, now I'm making money off like $300 worth of Bitcoin. But that's what got me started. I was like, really excited. I was checking my phone every single minute outside of class, sometimes even in class, just looking at Bitcoin prices. And that was like really fine. And so at that time, I was in Singapore. And then when I moved to California, and in high school, me and my friends, were also interested in investing. So at the start, it was a lot of like, guessing we weren't as motivated to do a lot of research. So we kind of guessed, and we actually got lucky. And that actually, like drove us to do more. work. And so we started like actually researching what investing is. And we started doing due diligence and then investing.

Podcast Host  10:07

Yeah, I love the start with Bitcoin. I know that there's been some questions that you've been getting from other students is like, how do you start when you don't have much capital? You must have only started as you said, like 300 bucks. Is that what you invested in Bitcoin at the very start?

Koki Mashita  10:21

Yeah, I use my whole savings. Oh, wait, no, but so when I was around 12, I started this company called co lab in Singapore. So we were buying a used tech, like computers, I actually bought like 10 used MacBook Airs from school, because they were like, kind of like giving it away. And so I collected them, I cleaned them, I posted them on the internet, and then I would get buyers, and then I would go meet them. And so I had some money of that. So with that money I use for investment. So Bitcoin was my choice of investment. And then from there, of course, $300, even if it doubles, it's still $600 investing, you know, we actually need quite a lot of money to make, you know, substantial profits. And so to do that, of course, I had some family help. So my dad gave me $1,000. And so I have to, like, prove myself, right, because I was just, you know, guessing. And so he loaned me the $1,000. And we made this contract, which is really important, I think we I still do it, when he gives me money. And the profit I make, I take 60% of the profit, and my dad takes 40%. So he would have incentive to invest more when I make a lot of money. So this is actually like, really great. I like it better than just taking all the profit, because I would just feel bad for my dad.

Podcast Host  11:48

Yeah. So you're got a kind of early stage investment company in a way with your dad, where he made his money in you, and he's expecting a profit. And you're taking the fees, I guess, as well, in this case, your phase are 60%. High, but it's still 40%, which is, which is great. Yeah, that must have been a really big kind of moment for you when you're like, Alright, you know, now I've got to get to work, I've got to make enough money for me to kind of make sense of this $1,000 loan, if I only get 60% of the profit. That's not a huge amount, but it gives me a bit more incentive to work and your dad's kind of like keeping an eye on you as well, right? Because he's interested in what kind of profits you're turning to, in terms of the research side of things, because this is something that has always befuddled me. I'm still like a 12 year old Kogi kinda like reading up on a stock for half an hour and be like, Yeah, sounds good to me have put some money into it. And there we go. So when you're researching a stock, or when you're researching investment, what are you looking for?

Koki Mashita  12:49

For me, when I research I look at like, you know, I look at companies that are not written about and like Motley Fool, you know, a lot of these news articles on Market Watch. And then I find some of this company, like, for example, I found beyond me, and I was like, so intrigued as I bought an IPO. So this beyond me, company creates fake meat. So what I would do with beyond me, is I would look at the first of all the financials. So I find financials really important. So how much assets how much cash they have, and how much liabilities they have. And then there's this thing called current ratio, you look at the ratio between, and then what I actually did for this company, is I ordered beyond me to my house, and then I ate them if it's actually like, edible. Yeah. And when I ate it, it was actually really good. And so I was like, Oh, this can work. And with like, partnerships with like, McDonald's, I, you know, if that could happen, and like in countries, it would really work. And for me, my kind of expertise was knowing what Gen Z, like my generation actually interested into. And so beyond me, is actually quite interesting, because, you know, it's a vegetarian diet. And a lot of my friends I saw was go going vegetarian, which I thought I wouldn't do that. But it was really interesting. And so I saw that firsthand. And so, you know, I believed in what other people are doing. And so I kind of bought in with, of course, other research. And so I would read a lot of other analysts on research is actually available online for free. So I think reading a lot is really important. And then I found that stock, and then I bought it.

Podcast Host  14:35

You bought it for around 65. But at IPO Is that right?

Koki Mashita  14:39

Yes. 70. And then I sold it at 220. And then now I bought back at 120. A week ago, and now it's gone up actually.

Podcast Host  14:47

It's gone up 17% just in the last day know that?

Koki Mashita  14:51

Yeah. I knew that.

Podcast Host  14:52

That's why you bought it up in the podcast, right? Because you're thinking, Hey, this is a stock that's doing pretty well. I mean, like it's so it's awesome. So you have at least tripled your money in some cases, for extra money when you sold it at 220. It's interesting you bought back in as well. But yeah, I think it's one of those things that stock investing i think is a pretty legit part time job once you get a bit of a handle on it, and you know exactly what you're doing, like my first part time job was probably the exact opposite of beyond meat. I worked at McDonald's. And as I'm sure a lot of other students have done, you know, fast food or retail, those kinds of things. Do you feel like what you're doing now is helping you understand what you want to do after school as well.

Koki Mashita  15:30

Going into investing, I kind of thought of it as like a skill that I would use throughout my life. Because you know, financial, like management isn't everyone's lives. And I think no matter what job you have, you have to keep track of your money. And like invest. I thought it is a lifetime skill. But now, for my future, I think these stocks can also really helped me because I'm really interested into like economics as well. But the thing about stocks is actually like builds your character in terms of patience, and being able to like manage stressful times, which is really important. Because patience is really important. Even if stock goes down. If I believe in that stock, I have to wait a year or two years for it to go up. And so it really taught me about patience.

Podcast Host  16:21

What skills do you need to be a good stock investor? I mean, you mentioned patience is like more of a characteristic or a quality rather than necessarily a skill. But when you're looking at stock investing from a skills perspective, which ones do you think would be advantageous for students, if they were to look into this kind of field and say, yes, there's something I want to do. Have you really good at maths is what I'm trying to say.

Koki Mashita  16:44

And my morning school, like everyone's good or not, I'm on the not so good side. But being able to look at numbers is really important. But knowing what company does best in like an environment we have now is really important. And like being able to be shown like 200 pages of research, and then being able to dissect what's important off that really quickly is really important. For example, when you when I research a stock, I look at like 10, KS, and like earnings and stuff, it's quite long. So being able to speed through it, and knowing the important parts are really important. And also like understanding the market, like being able to proactively look at news is really important.

Podcast Host  17:30

So when you're going through those reports, how long did it take you to get good at knowing what to look for? And did you do any learning or you said you did a couple of financial courses and those kinds of things? Were those the kind of things that helped you to understand what to look for? Or was it YouTube videos, or just experience or a combination of all of them?

Koki Mashita  17:48

It's very unprofessional. But YouTube is actually really great. YouTube taught me how to invest how to like look at like, companies, they teach you how to read tenncare reports. And so when I first started, it took me like five hours just to read one. But when you just keep reading and reading and reading the same thing all over, because there's a fixed format of Yep, 10 Ks. And so you get used to it.

Podcast Host  18:14

YouTube channel recommendations, what's your favorite one do you think?

Koki Mashita  18:17

Learn to Invest - he's a he's a great value investor. So you focus on margin of safety, which is kind of like comparing the actual value of a company. Like let's say target's worth $10 per share, but it's actually trading at $5, then there's that 50% safety margin,

Podcast Host  18:38

Right? So Learn to Invest might link that in the show notes as well. And what's your favorite metric for predicting a company's success?

Koki Mashita  18:45

For long term, I wouldn't look at valuations too much, I would look at like, what the potential of that business to bring up beyond meat again, it has a lot of potential because tastes can improve, more people might go vegetarian as the world becomes more like fragile, so people will be more concerned. So looking at that, like 10, year 20 year even prospects, because the stock market always tries to predict the future. So even if you predict for 10 years, 20 years growth, your returns might come in two years. And then mid to short term, I would look at like intrinsic value, which is the actual value of the company, or like technical analysis, which is kind of like looking at charts and then looking at different link signals less definitely shorter.

Podcast Host  19:33

It's something that you've probably been able to apply to your organization lolich partners. So we're going to talk a little bit about that. Because there's one thing to be investing your own money in. It's a completely different thing to be investing other people's money. So talk me through the initial founding of Lallic Partners, why you chose the name, etc. I think that's interesting. And then how did you start getting investors to invest in high school students?

Koki Mashita  19:58

Okay, so the lolich name It's actually like a knockoff of Lilith and the flower. I chose that because like flowers bloom early, and we were kind of like early in investing. And so we call that Lallic partners, LLC. So then, you know, it's easier to Google when you search in Lallic Partners. And when we started off, we were like, $5,000. And then in 2020, March, when we first formed, we were like, 50,000, 70,000.

Podcast Host  20:28

where's this money coming from? Is

Koki Mashita  20:30

that coming from your investments? Or is that coming from other people, mostly from our investments, but from also, like, our parents were, you know, we build some trust. And we still had that 60 40%. And so from there, we formed our website and everything. And so we started finding the clients. So right now we're at about 1.0 5 million. And so what we did to get there was getting a pitch done, and getting a booklet done. And so we had to register as an LLC, and get a lawyer first, which was pretty costly, and to make sure everything was legal, because the last thing that clients want is part of like an illegal organization. You know, that's what we did. And then once we did that, we were just focused on performance, nothing else. And so we chose on a relative turns with focusing on the information ratio and focusing on performance. So the information ratio is comparing ourselves to a benchmark, like the s&p 500, and then also comparing the volatility to the benchmark. And so once the performance gets better than declines, when we reach out to them, they would be like, wow, because for us, we need to build credibility, we have like, zero or like negative credibility, because we're young, but on so once you build that performance, it kind of adds credibility. And the big part actually, is, it's kind of like when adults invest is kind of like, supporting the youth. And like, when we're investing, we would say, you know, we're really interested in investing. And when you invest in us, you'd help us grow as like investors and build our future,

Podcast Host  22:11

you're kind of pitching it to the adults, or the, you know, parents, the group, and that kind of stuff that like, you can put your money into some other kind of young gun, Hot Shot type of thing. But if you invest with us, you're helping our future, you know, you're getting them in their fields, right to get him right in their fields to feel like not, don't invest in another guy's, you know, next BMW or whatever, invest in our future.

Koki Mashita  22:35

Yeah. And whatever, like, intriguing point was, we know, the future, and we are actually the future. So you know, a lot of hedge funds are, like, really like, to be honest, they're, like, 6065, the managers. And so we were like, you know, we know the future, like we, you know, literally, like live next to them. So why don't you invest in us and like, that means you would also invest in the future, because we would invest into like, upcoming, you know, companies that can derive off Gen Z's like beyond me,

Podcast Host  23:09

if you were talking to a student who wanted to do the same. Who wanted to start up their own investment company, what do you think would be your main pieces of advice that you'd give them to be able to do that successfully?

Koki Mashita  23:19

Yeah, so the investment side is actually, I'd say, easier, because it's less like risky, when we're doing a company, you know, seed investments are in a much more risky, it can be all gone. But once we have some performance, I think we, you actually need performance to raise any money. Once you do that, you need to just reach out and like talk to like, anyone, if you said like a word to them before you have to reach out and like, even if they like reject you, I think it's important to keep reaching out to other people, because that's what I did. I used to spam 200, LinkedIn, Goldman Sachs people just to try to get an internship. You know, everyone said, No, but I think it's really important to not to give up.

Podcast Host  24:05

And then on the company side, like actually building and creating a company, what would you say are some of the kind of more practical piece of advice you'd give to students? I mean, obviously, you had to make it legal. So you're getting a lawyer, and it was pretty important. But is there anything else that you would recommend for students who are wanting to set up their own investment company,

Koki Mashita  24:24

for just building a company or like a startup? I think I was kind of being optimistic at first. So that's why I failed a lot. So one company I was trying to make was kind of like social media, but for summer camp owners who are looking for, you know, summer camp students. And we went to like the San Diego national like summer camp conference, and we realized that it's a lot harder than we thought it was actually like making a community online is really difficult. And so we realized, we need to be more realistic because you know, we're at Cool, and we can't be that motivated. If you know, we're gonna be done with a project in like five years. Yeah. So the thing is, you know, keeping your imaginations a little limited, I don't like to say that. But to be honest, that's what I did. And then once you have some like type of product, people actually want to support you. It's not that hard. People want to support, you know, high school students doing on startup middle school students making something that they like, they would actually support that. And so you can, you know, start raising literal money from everyone, then you can go from there.

Podcast Host  25:38

Yeah, I think the important thing for me as well, having heard your story is, before you start an investment company is have performance and know what you're doing know what you're talking about, know the lingo. And if you are going to ask for other people to invest their money in you be able to show off what you've been doing, what your performance has been, what typical strategy you apply those types of things as well, in terms of the strategy side of things. Are you when you pitch allelic? Do you say that you're a rather aggressive company or that you invest in companies that are more up and coming kind of more IPOs? That type of thing? For people who don't know IPO? initial public offerings? please correct me if I'm wrong, cokie, I think you know this better than I do. But basically, when a company first lists their company on the stock exchange, and goes from a private company to a public company, they launch an IPO. So is that generally what you're doing? When you are pitching the company, you are trying to give me a bit of a sense of what strategy you typically use?

Koki Mashita  26:37

Yeah, we do. Say that we like invest into upcoming stocks. But we but then when saying that, we realized, we kind of sound like people that don't know anything, and just investing into any IPO, because it's risky. And you know, you see it go up 100% in a day, you know, it seems that we're just gambling with their money. So we said, we balanced out that volatility, with more like safer assets, like blue chip companies that are part of the Fortune 500, we try to check the s&p 500 to make our performance more stable. So we buy like Microsoft, Costco, and large companies to show that we can generate like safe returns, like, you know, we need to keep up with like ratios like Sharpe ratio information ratio, to show the volatility. And so when saying that we can, you know, perform, like s&p 500, but a little better, then people are safe, because we kind of know that s&p 500, you know, on average returns, at least like 10%. And so people are like, not too scared to invest in us that can lose, you know, 30 k to $0. So, I think that helps us a lot like managing risk.

Podcast Host  27:53

Yeah, I mean, I guess that's why people put money with people who are watching the stock market more regularly, is to avoid when that crash starts to happen. If it does happen, that you hopefully will know that people looking after your money and can manage that risk for you. Speaking of which, how do you manage your school on top of this? Because, in my mind, as you were checking bitcoin price fairly regularly, when you were 12 years old, it does require like a significant amount of attention. I mean, so how do you kind of stay on top of it, and make sure that you're managing school and managing the company and people's money at the same time.

Koki Mashita  28:29

So I think, for one part, when, you know, schools became online, and I go to school in LA, so it's still online for quite a long time, it was really helpful, because I had a lot of free time. So in between classes, I would research but when in like school, like when physical school, I would sometimes go on my computer during class and check on like a stock and because you know, the mic gets opened during class. So I'm, like, pretty stressed about it. But I try to stay off that the most time I have is that weekend side sacrifice sometimes on like, you know, hanging out with my friends, I still prioritize that. I lose some sleep in between, but the weekend allows me to just, you know, focus on one thing and dive into it. And then, um, yeah, that's how I manage manage school and work.

Podcast Host  29:24

And so you do a lot of Yeah, so you do a lot of writing on the weekends, then.

Koki Mashita  29:28

Yeah, yeah. And during the week, I'd say in the mornings, but yeah, for people that like, wouldn't like you know, be checking the stock market or like researching all the time. I've been saying that. It's just much better to put it in, put your money into like an s&p 500 because that's just historically performs better, and you don't really have to worry about it.

Podcast Host  29:50

What do your friends say about you running your own investment company? Is it like a normal thing your boarding school, or are you guys like is everyone look It used to be that the multimillionaires in the future.

Koki Mashita  30:04

They think I'm crazy. So I guess it's like not as crazy because three of my other friends in the same school work in Lallic Partners. But when I first started, they were like, I'm definitely going to fail. Because you know, I don't know much about investing. And when people tell me is crazy, and like, when I sometimes declined an invitation to go out on the weekend, they were kind of like, I guess, kind of mad or like, but I had to deal with that first. But now people don't see me as that crazy anymore. I think when people started, like companies in high school, we're kind of like a little bit crazy. I think, to be honest, we need to be crazy to like start a company in high school. Like it totally doesn't make sense, right? Because we don't have any experience. We don't have any money. Yes, I'm a little bit crazy on that side.

Podcast Host  30:55

Well, yeah, but when it works, it works. Right? And even if it doesn't work, you would have fantastic experience. But where are you at right now? And what you think, you know, Lallic Partners could be and where you want it to be.

Koki Mashita  31:05

Yeah. So when I started, I had an optimistic goal of having a million dollars by 2021. Summer. But luckily, we reached that earlier, but I don't know. But I'm not like satisfied. So you know, we keep on setting higher goals. And I think that motivates us. Having those are really important. And especially like, deadlines are really important. Because when I'm working with friends, it's hard to keep an account and if they're actually like doing work, and so we set up deadlines so that I don't procrastinate because I procrastinate a lot. Right, yeah. So you're you're trying to keep the company moving, even though everything's going on at school and Coronavirus and everything else, which is super important. So yeah, that sounds like you're well on track, though you certainly a million dollars before summer, Queen 21. But I failed a lot. And I think I think it's really important to like not give up. And I think my dad told me this. And this is like, the best thing is said to me is like starting a company, when you're young, like you literally have nothing to lose. Yeah. And so you fail 100 times, you're just wasting, not wasting, but you're spending time and you're gaining that experience, you can honestly put it on your college application also. But when you fail, you don't have to have any bills to pay. And especially what's interesting, when raising money for a startup, we recently raised money for the reasonable applicator. And on our expense report. There's $0 for salary and salaries, you know, first startup, it can take like $60,000 per year, we're at zero. So we were able to raise small money, but use that money for a lot more than what adult like startups can.

Podcast Host  32:53

Yeah, is that what need to pay salary straightaway. And you're saying, well, we're at a boarding school and like our parents are paying our phase at the moment to where sweet men have to pay salaries at the moment, which is awesome. So you're able to kind of any money that you raise for that company, you're able to put directly into like r&d or advertising and those kinds of things, right? Yeah, yeah. Which is awesome. How easy or hard is it to let go of an idea once you've kind of tried it. And you obviously thought a lot about like the summer camp idea, and you really wanted it to work. But how hard is it to let go of an idea and be like, Oh, that's not working, I want to move on to the next.

Koki Mashita  33:29

I think it's very easy for me, especially as like high school students, I think that's a really like good point to us. Because we were able to switch to different ideas really quickly. Because, you know, we don't have much bills to pay again. And we don't need that stability that a lot of adults need. And so for us when you know, we went to that conference, it's gonna be like 100 K to build our platform, we were like, Okay, this is not happening. Let's just cut our losses there. Because as the time goes on, and this, we just spend more time trying to be attached myself to this idea. I'm just wasting time. So to kind of deal with this sense of loss, I tried coming up with new ideas. And yeah, so it's kind of like a pivot.

Podcast Host  34:16

Yeah, I really love that. I like that idea of cutting your losses, and that you fill the void with even more ideas. I think there's a lot of students who and adults and whoever, just anybody really, who when they attach themselves to an idea, and they get really excited by an idea when they hit a roadblock. It's kind of that it's a bit of, I guess, an interesting moment for people because in life, you get told, you know, don't give up like just keep going put your nose to the grindstone and like, try again, try again. And then there's other people who are like no, economics says opportunity costs. If you keep focusing on this thing too much, you're going to waste more money. It's not going anywhere and you could miss the opportunity to do something else. So yeah, how do you go way up that mental side vein like the practical side of opportunity cost versus the mental side or that kind of thing that is celebrated all the time, which is never give up?

Koki Mashita  35:09

And is a really good question, because I think never giving up is really important. But I think I interpreted it differently than what other people might have thought. I think I wasn't about like marrying one idea and seeing it till the end, which is quite economically impossible, I wouldn't be able to raise $100,000. So never giving up I think was never giving up on trying to build something, create something and then sell something that I really believed in. So in a way, when I faced this 100 k Roadblock, I kind of pivoted found a whole new idea. I didn't give up just because one idea that I spent three months on didn't work out, I tried to stay very positive when roadblocks happen, I just think what can I do? Maybe I can try to find a new idea. So I just looking for some opportunity. I haven't given up for the 100 k roadblock. Maybe I can try going over that. But I looked at other opportunities. But luckily, I found the different opportunities. So I went there instead.

Podcast Host  36:18

It's kind of like not giving up on the idea of being an entrepreneur. Right. Yeah, kind of saying, you know, the, the entrepreneurial journey can take many different forms, but I'm not going to give up on that journey. I'm going to pivot and go in this direction instead. And as you said, like not marrying any one idea. And I think that's super important as well. Who are some of the people that you aspire to or some of the kind of people that you like to follow online.

Koki Mashita  36:41

On Investment terms? I have a lot of people that I look up to, like Ray Dalio, Warren Buffett, they're really good investors.

Podcast Host  36:51

Also, you did a totally Warren Buffett thing by ordering the beyond meat because he's always like, he's always like, if you want to know a product or service is good, go to the store, like buy the things like actually test it out. Right? Like it's no point investing in beyond meat. He didn't have actually tried it. Like if you ordered beyond meat, and it tasted terrible, you'd be like, Oh, well, I'm not gonna invest in this company. Right? But you ordered it and he was like, I was pretty good.

Koki Mashita  37:13

Warren Buffett's actually a really good example of finding the in between of not giving up and also cutting losses. Because when he like, believes in, like in a company like Coke, he drinks it every day. He doesn't stop he markets for them, like every single day. But when they realize a company's not good, he kind of sells it quite easily. I think that's I admire for him. But in business terms, my dad's really inspirational. He was not doing very good in college. But he started like designing websites when he was 19. So that's the idea I got from him to start early. And the valuable lessons he taught me was the best time to to start a startup is now if you wait, you know, you're too late.

Podcast Host  37:56

It's a an investor as well. I'm gonna guess he has some investments, if not in your company in elsewhere.

Koki Mashita  38:01

Yeah. But he's not an investor.

Podcast Host  38:03

Right. So he was just like, gave you that kind of entrepreneurial spirit. Right?

Koki Mashita  38:07

Yeah, we're actually helping, like other high school students on totally for free on, like, how to invest, like how to make like reports on like investing. And then we would actually, if it's good, we would post it on our own website and stuff.

Podcast Host  38:22

And so that's all on your website, or for free access, like free resources.

Koki Mashita  38:25

Yeah. If they reach out to us, there's an application form. But if they get through that, we would teach everything.

Podcast Host  38:32

Once. If students wanted to get in contact with you and wanted to connect with you what would be the best way,

Koki Mashita  38:36

you can go to my email, or you can just search up Lallic partners, or my Instagram is Koki.mashita.

Podcast Host  38:49

And then you're on LinkedIn as well?

Koki Mashita  38:51

LinkedIn is just Koki Mashita.

Podcast Host  38:53

Yep. Awesome. Well, I'll put some of those links in the show notes as well. And I hope people kind of, you know, listening to this. I know that man, there's been some amazing young people that I've seen online who are really into investing, and could take that leap into starting a an investment firm. And I think that's a really exciting and potential leap towards you know, replacing that part time job like you don't need to go to McDonald's or you don't need to work at retail. As a high school student. You could do something completely different and as you did, and start your own investment firm. Well, thank you so much for joining the top of the class podcast. It's fantastic to have you on and look forward to sharing this episode far and wide.

Koki Mashita  39:38

Thank you so much.

Podcast Host  39:38

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