William Huston, AIF®, AIFA®

Asian Investors Championing AAPI Success

Did you know that about 72% of the Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) consider it important to be completely debt free?

While 72% of AAPI people want to be debt free, only 42% of Asian Americans are interested in understanding the basics of financial planning. Likewise, while 54% consider themselves to be prepared for unplanned expenses and emergencies, just about 48% are ready to take financial decisions and handle their own financial planning. These statistics reveal a gap between aspiration and action within the AAPI demographic.

William Huston, AIF®, AIFA®

William Huston, AIF®, AIFA®

With the younger generation preferring to build a career rather than establish a business, a key solution to achieving this goal for AAPI individuals is to work with financial advisors like Katie Wei and Mia Levu who have positive track records. Financial and investment advisors not only educate clients on wealth management and provide investment strategies for them, but they also help clients plan for the foreseeable future by providing an already built system that works.

Whether you're from Hong Kong, South Korea or other Asian countries, if you're part of the AAPI communities in the US, it's time to rethink finances.

Key Takeaways
  • Collaborating with experienced financial advisors is a key solution for bridging this gap and achieving financial goals.
  • Investment trends among Asian-Americans encompass diverse portfolios, from traditional savings to cryptocurrency, with a generational divide in property and risk preferences.
  • Notably, 38% trust fintech services moderately, while 30% express high trust in traditional banks.
  • Prominent Asian investors, such as Katie Wei, Mia Levu, and Alfred Lin, exemplify success in various fields.

The contents of this article are for educational purposes only. They are not intended to be a source of professional financial advice. You will find experts on financial planning and financial management here.

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Top Asian Investors in the US

Regardless of your specific interest, be it traditional investments or emerging markets, if you aspire to build wealth, you should certainly consider collaborating with these prominent Asian financial and investment advisors with roots in both US and China focusing on Asian wealth.

Katie Wei
Katie Wei

Katie Wei is a seasoned professional with a remarkable 15-year investing background, specializing in multi-asset investments, portfolio construction, asset allocation, risk management, and capital markets.

As a distinguished investment advisor at Bay Street Capital Holdings, Katie brings her unique expertise in private credit, meticulously evaluating loan deals while wearing the dual hats of both investor and risk manager. Her approach is anchored in the incorporation of diversification and downside risk management, shaping robust portfolio constructions.

Armed with an M.S. in Financial Mathematics from Stanford University and a B.S. in Mathematics and Statistics from the University of Toronto, Katie seamlessly combines academic prowess with extensive industry knowledge. Her journey commenced at Deutsche Bank, where she served as an equity derivatives structurer, showcasing excellence in market and credit risk management.

Katie's impactful career includes key roles at prestigious financial institutions. During her decade-long tenure at AQR Capital Management, she co-managed multi-asset portfolios, overseeing equity, currencies, fixed income, commodities, and credit.

Furthermore, she contributed her expertise during a two-year stint at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, where she evaluated fund managers, providing valuable analytics on fund return drivers and portfolio optimization in alternative investments. Katie Wei stands as a testament to the intersection of academic excellence and practical investment acumen. Today she works with the chief investment officer at Bay Street to bring novel investment opportunities to Asian Americans.

Mia Levu
Mia Levu

Mia Levu is a key partner at Bay Street Capital Holdings, stepping in as the Marketing Director before taking on the role of Chief of Staff with a focus on property management. As Managing Director, she orchestrates the development and implementation of Bay Street's marketing strategies across various social media platforms.

Before joining the Bay Street team, Mia made her mark as an Amazon consultant, specializing in Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA). Her expertise spanned the launch of new product listings, logistics, fulfillment, and PPC campaigns. Prior to her stint at Amazon, Mia showcased her skills in sales and client relations as an Assistant Sales Manager at a local pharmaceutical company in Houston, Texas.

Mia's tenacity and drive are truly commendable, as she consistently seeks to expand her skill set. Outside of her professional pursuits, she finds joy in playing pool, exploring mountain biking trails, and indulging in the simple pleasure of window shopping. Mia Levu is not just a professional powerhouse; she's a versatile individual with a passion for both personal and professional growth.

Alfred Lin
Alfred Lin

Alfred Lin is an Asian-American venture capitalist at Sequoia Capital. Originally from Taiwan, he embarked on his successful career by establishing noteworthy businesses. Notably, he played a pivotal role in the creation of Zappos.com, Tellme Networks, and LinkExchange, demonstrating a knack for entrepreneurial ventures.

In 2010, leveraging his background as a former mathematics graduate student the COO, CFO, and Chairman of Zappos.com, Lin became a co-founder of Sequoia Capital. This venture capital firm specializes in identifying promising young companies poised to disrupt their respective industries.

Unsurprisingly, Sequoia Capital has championed unconventional enterprises like Airbnb, Houzz, DoorDash, and numerous other lucrative brands, showcasing Lin's keen eye for innovative and disruptive investments.

Charles Zhang
Charles Zhang

Charles Zhang is the CEO of Zhang Financial and he stands out as a prominent financial advisor in the Michigan region. As a founding partner at his firm, his distinctive approach underscores the benefits of collaborative advisory teams, each member possessing expertise in specific areas such as estate planning and taxes.

Acknowledging his noteworthy contributions, Charles Zhang earned a place among the Grand Rapids 200, as recognized by the Grand Rapids Business Journal. In the editorial piece titled "Responsibility Weighs Heavily," Tim Gortsema, the Editor of the journal, emphasized that the Grand Rapids 200 epitomizes the pinnacle of leadership in West Michigan.

Charles Zhang is highly sought after in his advisory capacity, evident from the frequent inquiry "Who is the CEO of Zhang Financials?" ranking as a top Google search query. Additionally, his consistent hold on a prominent position since the inception of Michigan's Top Adviser four years ago attests to his enduring influence and acclaim.

Li Lu
Li Lu

Li Lu is an informal advisor to BYD, who hails from China and is influenced by renowned investors Benjamin Graham and Warren Buffett, has skillfully applied the principles of value investing to amass substantial personal wealth. Notably, Li played a pivotal role as a young man in organizing landmark student protests at Tiananmen Square.

In 1997, Li founded Himalaya Capital, based in Seattle, and has been successfully managing the fund ever since. Himalaya focuses on publicly traded companies in Asia, honing in on well-run businesses with a significant "economic moat" – a sustainable competitive advantage over their peers.

Li's investment approach mirrors Buffett's, emphasizing a keen eye for long-term prospects, with some of his firm's holdings enduring for 20 years or more. Notably, Li Lu's close friendship with Berkshire Hathaway vice chairman Charlie Munger has led to his frequent mention as a potential successor to Buffett at the esteemed firm.

Marguerita M. Cheng
Marguerita Cheng

Marguerita M. Cheng serves as the founder and CEO of Blue Ocean Global Wealth. Before establishing Blue Ocean Global Wealth, she held positions as a Financial Advisor at Ameriprise Financial and as an Analyst and Editor at Towa Securities in Tokyo, Japan. Her professional background also includes roles as the spokesperson for the AARP Financial Freedom Campaign and a regular columnist for Investopedia & Kiplinger.

Marguerita was honored with the Ameriprise Financial Presidential Award for Quality of Advice. In 2017, she achieved the 3rd position in the Investopedia Top 100's list of the Most Influential Financial Advisors. The Capital Region Minority Supplier Development Council (CRMSDC) recognized her among the Top 100 Minority Business Enterprises (MBE®).

In her capacity as a certified financial planner, Rita actively engages with policymakers, the general public, the media, and other stakeholders, imparting knowledge about the advantages of ethical and proficient financial planning.

Mohnish Pabrai
Mohnish Pabrai

Mohnish Pabrai is the founder and Managing Partner of the Pabrai Investments Funds and the founder and CEO of Dhandho Funds, who prominently stands out in the realm of value investing. Having established and successfully sold an IT consulting firm in the 1990s, this Mumbai-born entrepreneur utilized the proceeds to form Pabrai Investment Funds.

Pabrai unabashedly adopts Warren Buffett's strategy as his guiding principle – the art of purchasing undervalued companies and patiently waiting for the market to recognize their true worth. Central to his approach is identifying businesses where the potential upside substantially outweighs the associated risk, encapsulated in his mantra: "Heads I win, tails I don't lose much."

Beyond his practical investment endeavors, Pabrai has authored two acclaimed books on the intricacies of value investing: "The Dhandho Investor" and "Mosaic: Perspectives on Investing." His insights and methodologies continue to resonate, solidifying his status as a luminary in the world of value investment.

Ram Shriram
Ram Shriram

Ram Shriram is a billionaire, philanthropist, and a distinguished Silicon Valley figure, who gained recognition as a skilled businessman, notably serving as the Vice President of Business Development at Amazon from 1998 to 2000.

Beyond his corporate endeavors, Shriram proved to be a savvy investor, making early bets on Google's success and later reaping significant rewards by selling most of his shares for a substantial payday. Currently, he retains a position on the board of Alphabet, Google's parent company.

Born in Chennai, India, Shriram earned his bachelor's degree in commerce from the University of Madras in 1977. In 2000, he founded Sherpalo Ventures, a venture capital firm dedicated to identifying and supporting promising startups. Drawing on his extensive corporate experience, Shriram actively contributes to the growth and success of these burgeoning businesses.

Sandra Cho
Sandra Cho

Sandra Cho is the Founder and President of Pointwealth Capital Management, a boutique wealth management firm located in Encino, California. Specializing in the comprehensive management of generational wealth, Ms. Cho brings 15 years of experience to her role.

She consistently ranks in the top 5% of financial advisors nationwide and currently holds the impressive position of #3 in California. Ms. Cho is a member of FINRA/SIPC and a Registered Representative with securities offered through LPL Financial.

Managing a portfolio exceeding $150 million, Ms. Cho's clientele encompasses a diverse range of industries, including Fortune 500 executives, NBA coaches, families, and millennials.

Beyond her role as a financial advisor, Ms. Cho is a devoted mother to four wonderful children. She possesses conversational proficiency in French and is also skilled in playing the cello.

Vinod Khosla
Vinod Khosla

Vinod Khosla is an Indian-American business guru, VC, co-founder of Sun Microsystems and the founder of Khosla Ventures. Achieving success was no easy feat for Vinod Khosla, who was born in Pune, India, in 1955. As a young man, he initiated a soy milk company that faced challenges and ultimately did not flourish. Undeterred, Khosla's journey led him to the United States, where he pursued master’s degrees in both biomedical engineering and business administration.

Khosla's resilience and vision paved the way for the founding of several prosperous tech firms, including Daisy Systems, Sun Microsystems, and Juniper Networks. In 2004, he established Khosla Ventures, an investment firm distinguished for its dual focus on social impact and profitability.

This unique approach has proven to be a winning formula, contributing to Khosla's estimated net worth of $5.1 billion in 2023. His journey stands as a testament to the tenacity required to overcome initial setbacks and achieve remarkable success in the entrepreneurial and investment spheres.

Who are Asian Americans Investing With?

Asian-Americans from India, China and other countries possess a range of financial portfolios that span from conventional savings accounts to contemporary investments, such as cryptocurrency.

The older demographic are more inclined towards buying property, while the younger demographic typically exhibit a greater tolerance for financial risk. This is attributed to the extended timeframe available for recovering from potential financial setbacks. Their reliance on fintech solutions and focus on environmental and social responsibility align with the sentiments shared by numerous contemporary young adults globally.

One important thing for financial institutions and investment firms to note is that 38% of Asian-American households trust financial technology companies moderately, while only 30% have a high level of trust in traditional banks. The financial choices of younger adults are influenced by values like respect, honesty, and responsibility, exemplified by advisors such as Bay Street Capital Holdings.

Bay Street Capital Holdings

Bay Street Capital Holdings is a renowned wealth management firm located in Palo Alto. Through specialized service offered to individual and institutional investors from the AAPI community, it's become a the leading companies managing Asian investments.

The firm prioritizes comprehensive risk management over mere profit maximization. They have received acclaim for their dedication to diversity and making a positive social impact, earning them finalist recognition in esteemed industry awards.

The firm is headed by William Huston, a financial advisor who has been listed three times among Investopedia's Top 100 Financial Advisors. Notably, among the nineteen distinguished firms in California, Bay Street is one of the two Black-owned firms.






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