Benjamin Wey is a financier and a journalist.

A graduate of Columbia University, Benjamin Wey has two master’s degrees and almost two decades of operational experience in the fields of marketing and management science. He shares his thoughts and advice with our readers:

They say it takes money to make money. This has never been truer than in currency trading. The international currency market, called the foreign exchange market (“forex” or “FX” for short), is the single largest financial market in the entire world, trumping stocks, bonds, derivatives and anything else you can throw at it with over $4 trillion in activity daily. It was once solely the stomping ground of behemoth financial institutions, but now the average investor can try to grab a piece of that trillion-dollar pie through online trading. Take a look at this intro to trading currency on the foreign exchange market.

Trading in currency is often compared to trading in stocks, except, in a way, you are buying stock in a country. You are buying a country’s currency in the hopes that the country will perform well economically and therefore increase the value of its currency and, in turn, your investment. The value of a currency is based on its relationship to other currencies, so in the forex, currencies are quoted in pairs. This may seem odd, but currency is the standard by which all things measure their value. The market value of a commodity is just based on how much currency it is worth, so the same is true with currency itself.

There are many pairs, but there are four major pairs that account for the majority of trading:

  • The British Pound and U.S. Dollar (GBP/USD)
  • The Euro and U.S. Dollar (EUR/USD)
  • The U.S. Dollar and Swiss Franc (USD/CHF)
  • The U.S. Dollar and Japanese Yen (USD/JPY)

Let’s take the GBP/USD pair. In this pair, the GBP is what is called the base currency and the USD is the quote currency. The base currency is the first currency listed in a pair. Today you would see a quote that says this:

GBP/USD= 1.66

That means that it would take $1.66 USD to buy a single British Pound. The pair always shows how much of the quote currency it takes to equal a single unit of base currency. If you bought in at this price for a single pound and the quote went up to, say, 1.70 because the British economy went on an upswing, the value in American dollars would go up. So you paid $1.66 and now you have $1.70 in pounds and you can sell that pound back for American money and make a $.04 profit. Of course, you can’t just buy a single unit on the forex.

In order to trade currency, you will have to go through an online broker. These brokers are much different than stock brokers because the forex is much different from the stock market.  There is no exchange on which currency is traded, but banks and other financial institutions trade amongst themselves all over the world. Brokers don’t charge commissions like stock brokers, but instead make their money on the spread. The spread is the small difference, measured in fractions calledpips, between what they will buy a currency at (bid price) and what they will sell a currency at (ask price).

An example quote would be:

GBPUSD – 1.6671 – 1.6677

This is a spread of six pips. They will buy at 1.6671, but they will sell at 1.6677.

Benjamin Wey summarizes

It’s similar to a pawn shop in that you will never be able to sell at the price at which you can buy. That’s how they make their money. Different brokers offer different spreads. They usually get a better spread based on the volume of business they do with a certain financial institution. Once again, it’s not like the stock market. A bank will give Broker 1 a better deal than Broker 2 if Broker 1 brings that bank a great deal more business. Just make sure to go with a reliable broker because regulation is much more lax than the stock market.

Even though it may seem different and confusing, trading in currency is similar to any investment in that you want to buy low and sell high. It can be very risky, but so can many other investments. As I always say: make sure to do your homework before making any investment, currency trading included. But it never hurts to know yet another way you can turn money into more money.

If I, Benjamin Wey, would trade currency on a daily basis, I would strict follow these rules. Good luck trading!

Benjamin Wey is the CEO of New York Global Group and a contributing journalist forTheBlot Magazine



Over the years, I, Benjamin Wey, have learned that entrepreneurs can sometimes seem a little crazy. By that, I mean they see something the rest of us don’t, and they pursue it with a passion that can be all-encompassing. Often, the result can be a multi-million, or multi-billion, dollar business that leaves a lot of us saying, “Why didn’t I think of that?”

In the case of Donald Trump, he has been a visionary in many ways. When he went to work in his father’s real-estate development business (father Fred Trump named it after his wife – Elizabeth Trump & Son), it was a carefully run operation building affordable housing in New York City. Donald thought his dad didn’t dream big enough. Golf courses in Scotland and casinos in Atlantic City weren’t on Fred’s radar, but “The Donald” has dreamed bigger. Since taking the reins of the family business in the 1970s, he had his own airline, his own TV show, and he is one of the few businessmen “everyone” knows by name and by face.

“Mixing business and politics creates perplexing dynamics. Trump is the master at creating sensationalism to build his brand.” Says Benjamin Wey, a recognized American financier on Wall Street and CEO of New York Global Group, a private equity investment firm. “No publicity is bad publicity. The iconic Trump statement may hurt him in the short run. Over time, Donald Trump is a marketing genius.”

In 2015, Wall Street financier Benjamin Wey was named a “Top 10 Most Influential Asian Americans in Finance” by Asian media.


Sure, he’s had his failures: the airline, Trump Vodka (a Trump and Tonic? Really?), and his casinos have gone bust (how do you lose money with a “00” on the roulette wheel?), but Trump has managed to bounce back from his disappointments because he always has more irons in the fire, and his brand is strong.

So, I, Benjamin Wey, have to admit that his current campaign for the White House, specifically for the Republican nomination in 2016, can be confusing. Maybe he sees something that we don’t, but just as likely, this time he sees something that isn’t there, and it’s costing him big time.

Among the business ties Trump has lost since starting his campaign and saying the things he has said are: Macy’s, NBCUniversal, Univision, and Serta mattresses. In addition, by taking sides rather aggressively on issues like immigration, Trump alienates large segments of the market. The one thing you really don’t want to do as a business is get people mad at you. Trump has done this.


Yet there is a part of the American public that believes a good businessman or woman would make a good president. And Trump is appealing to their instincts; they tend to dislike “politics” and think the pragmatism of business and the skills of a CEO transfer to the White House. The trouble is that history teaches that it just isn’t so.

The real question comes down to this: Does Trump really believe that he can win the White House, or is this just a publicity stunt? He probably believes he has a shot; the single most-common trait among successful entrepreneurs is a “can-do” attitude. At the same time, Trump has used possible presidential bids as a way to keep his name in the paper. I, Benjamin Wey, think if we could look inside his head right now, we’d see that Trump is after both. The presidency would be an extension of his career, and it would be a great foundation for future successes.


When you look at it this way, it starts to make sense. The money that Trump is losing from ruptured business ties are a cost of doing the White House business. If he wins (and he believes he will, and he’ll be the best ever in his own opinion), the power of the presidency and the legacy that creates for the Trump Organization to use will pay off hugely (or as he would say “yooj-ly). If he doesn’t win, he will have lost some money (the Univision deal cost him $13.5 million) but will be in a position to recoup much of it based on his experiences as a “politician.”

You have to remember that Trump’s 1987 book “The Art of the Deal” explains his philosophy. He’s in a deal-making business, and if you have to lose a few to gain a few extra, that’s the game.

“The Art of the Deal is a good example of Donald Trump’s talent in building a brand. When the controversy blows over, Trump will be the winner, again. I am a fan.” Says Benjamin Wey, financier and journalist who has been following Donald Trump’s career path.

This isn’t necessarily about the presidency so much as it is about the brand Donald Trump. From that angle, this whole thing starts to make sense.



Everyone needs job.

Long ago, one could get a job with a company and, 40 years later, retire from that same company. Those days are long over, and most of us will have numerous employers before our working lives end. So long as you are the one deciding when to quit, that’s cool. As we all learned during the financial crisis, though, a lot of companies in times of trouble do the deciding for you, and you wind up unemployed through no fault of your own.

That isn’t going to change any time soon, but here’s some advice on how to know when it’s time to jump before you get pushed:

The first clue that you probably need to leave is when top management announces major changes.Think about it: If things were going well, there’d be no reason for change. Business is a conservative environment; you don’t fix things that aren’t broken. Risk is acceptable only to the extent that the rewards justify it. If the rewards are shrinking, you are forced to change. “Adapt or die” is code for update the resume.

Are you part of the team to implement “Project X,” which has been delayed twice and has a new project manager and the budget has been redefined? This is change that isn’t being implemented well.

Do you walk past the conference room and the corner offices and see the big wigs in closed-door meetings all day? Their time is valuable, or at least expensive, and every minute they are together, they aren’t running their own fiefdom in the firm. So whatever it is they are discussing is serious. And when serious things go well, those meetings are short, and they leave the doors open. Long meetings with the door shut means review your LinkedIn profile.

Another hint is to check out the conditions in the accounting department. Are the bean counters working late? Sometimes this is perfectly normal, like right before a regularly scheduled audit. But if the last audit was a few months ago and these guys are burning the midnight oil, it might be a sign that there is more money going out than there is coming in.

Related to that, for those of you who get reimbursed for expenses (travel or whatever), do you get your expenses paid easily and quickly, or is it like pulling teeth weeks, even months, after the fact? If they aren’t paying you, and you’re part of the team, what outside suppliers aren’t getting paid? Probably most of them. And why? Because there isn’t enough cash to take care of everyone.

Did you just get a promotion without a raise attached? Does this promotion give you greater responsibility, or as the bullshitters in H.R. call it, “scope for professional growth?” Without more money, they are trying to get more out of you for free. Let’s try a thought experiment. What would happen if you go to the grocery store and get a loaf of bread and a pound of butter, and offer only to pay for the bread? Even if you call the free butter “a unique professional opportunity,” you aren’t leaving with the stuff. If they don’t want to pay you more for extra work, there could be trouble across the company.

Ever been at a company that has a hiring freeze? Someone leaves the company, and the desk sits unoccupied for months or permanently. It could be that the company has outgrown the need for a person in that role, but more likely, not filling that seat saves some cash. And if you’ve been given some of that person’s duties (without a raise), then you should see if that interview suit still fits.

To get rid of a lot of people at once, management sometimes likes to redraw the organizational chart. Have you had four different supervisors this year? Has your department changed names three times? Are you on a different floor or on the opposite side of the building just because? Beware of employees playing musical chairs.

How’s morale? It’s quite possible for you to be totally miserable, but everyone else is thrilled to pieces to get to work every morning. Or are you the happiest camper in the company despite crying yourself to sleep every night? Bad morale is hard to fix. Better to leave.

When you get to work, do you know what you are supposed to do? Or have they moved the goalposts so many times you have no idea where to begin? You have a function within the organization that contributes to the success of the whole, and if you don’t know what that function is and how it fits into the overall operation, maybe no one else does either.

If you’ve been in the company a couple of years, how many new faces are there? If the answer is “a lot,” that means many people have left. High turnover is never a good sign. You probably ought to join the exodus.

Some people think that quitting a job means that they have failed somehow. Rats abandoning a sinking ship, and that kind of thing. That’s the wrong way to look at it. You’re just firing your employer for failure to perform. If they can do it to you, you ought to be allowed to do the same.




Business is competitive and exciting. 

We spend a lot of time in this society focusing on winning and losing. While attending Columbia University to earn my 2nd master’s degree, I had many professors that challenged us to become winners, not losers. “Benjamin Wey, you want to be a winner? ” says a business school professor. From the sports pages to the stock market, from our elections to our schools, we worry about who’s up and who’s down. There is an entire industry, the self-help book business, that generates millions or even billions for those who claim to have the answers.

Based on my experience of both success and failure in life, I have spotted seven myths about winners and losers that deserve exploring.


Education, of course, is incredibly valuable, but our formal system of education isn’t as well adapted to the needs of the 21st century as it could be. You want proof? Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Larry Ellison, Mark Zuckerberg and Michael Dell dropped out of college and became billionaires. And it isn’t just in the computer world: Ted Turner, David Geffen and Ralph Lauren are worth a billion or more, and they dropped out as well.


You can amass wealth, get yourself a corner office and wind up in Millionaire Acres in the Game of Life by knowing the rules and playing by them. However, more and more often, I see truly successful people don’t play the game. They create their own rules. In a world of checkers players, these people are playing chess, Risk, Jenga and God knows what else. By redefining the world around them, they build success into their new game. You can’t win a million-dollar jackpot if you’re playing penny ante poker. And nobody ever got rich playing someone else’s game.


We read all the time about the guy at Goldman or Morgan or Chase who got a $100-million bonus, and the popular press has us convinced that everyone on Wall Street is paid insane amounts of money. It’s true for the people at the very top, but most people in finance don’t have “screw you” money — they need that paycheck and can’t afford to be out of work. Think of the people who answer the phones, run the copiers and enter the data. Do you really think they’d do that if they had a million bucks? At the same time, we don’t think of people in janitorial services as being rich. But there isn’t a city in America without at least one person who runs a cleaning service or custodial enterprise who couldn’t pay cash for a Mercedes.


The flaw in this thinking is the word “join.” Yes, it’s possible to team up with someone who is successful, and you can ride on that person’s coattails. But that isn’t really success so much as it is being a parasite — even a beneficial one. Far more frequently, you work with people over time, and as jobs and projects come and go, you wind up assembling a team that then goes out and succeeds. Again, it’s useful to think about musicians. The Beatles, arguably the most successful band of all time, had one member die (Stuart Sutcliffe played bass originally) and another get replaced (Ringo Starr took Pete Best’s job as drummer) before they took the world by storm. That said, it’s hard to make it if you are surrounded by people whose approach to things almost guarantees failure.


This myth mistakes activity for productivity. Yes, there are times when you have to do something for 14 hours at a stretch; we’ve all done it. You shouldn’t be doing it like that everyday. One thing I have learned is that if you like something, it’s not work any more. When LeBron James suits up to play for the Miami Heat, do you seriously believe he’s thinking, “Time to go to work?” Basketball for him isn’t work, and the last time I looked, the NBA didn’t play 14-hour games every day.


Goals are actually double-edged swords. Yes, setting goals is a great way to focus on achievement. But what happens when you achieve your goal? NASA had a goal of sending a man to the moon before the 1960s ended. It was an astonishing challenge, and the brightest people in the country pulled it off. And then what? We went to the moon a few more times and canceled the last Apollo mission for budgetary reasons. Since then, the brightest people in the country have tended not to work for NASA — the space shuttle and the space station are OK, but they aren’t the moon shot. Goals can be self-defeating, whereas direction is endless. That’s why our space probes are driving around Mars, photographing Jupiter and Saturn and even leaving the solar system.


Again, thinking outside the box is a blessing and a curse. You have to be outside of it just enough to see a way to improve on what exists, but if you get too far ahead, no one is prepared to back you. To stay with our space metaphor, back in the 1950s, when the Soviets put up Sputnik, a private company like Virgin Galactic was beyond belief. People weren’t going to go for it because even the U.S. government couldn’t get into orbit. Today, Virgin Galactic is on the verge of commercial operations because the world has caught up to the idea of a private company in space. If you are three steps ahead of everyone else, you’re leading the parade. If you are a mile ahead, you’re walking by yourself.

One final thought about this: Winning is fun, and losing isn’t. But it’s your life. How you keep score is entirely up to you.


Benjamin Wey on Leadership Lessons – Not Live A Life Like a Coward

Benjamin Wey is a financier, an investigative journalist, a leader and the CEO of New York Global Group (“NYGG”), a leading private equity investment firm.

I run across all kinds of things in my professional life that I may not know much about. My expertise lies in how money works, but a lot of the time, I am providing that for people who need money to build bridges or factories, launch high-tech businesses or new farming products. I am driven because I don’t try to know it all. I get advice from people I trust who know these things. Often, I have to pay a pretty penny for that knowledge.

So, it never ceases to amaze me, Benjamin Wey that how many people I meet casually or who are part of my non-professional life have opinions they believe they have to share with me. People who have never been to China (where I was born and raised) want to advise me on how to do business there. People with a negative credit rating want to suggest ways to make my business thrive. People who don’t have to suffer the consequences always know exactly what I should do.

Speaking from personal experience. Benjamin Wey is a Wall Street financier and investigative journalist. I have been to more than 50 countries and have advised many projects. By this logic, if we just let the cab drivers and barbers in New York run the world, we’d have heaven on earth. The old espionage saying applies, “Those who know don’t talk and those who talk don’t know.”

It all sounds simple. In reality however, its takes confidence, courage and a lot of gust to adhere to one’s beliefs and not bend to pressure.

What is really hard to deal with is their damned sincerity. They want to help. They really do. They have my best interests at heart. They’re just hopelessly ignorant about the business situations that puzzle or trouble me, and I really don’t need to be distracted or second-guessed by someone who isn’t even in the game. There are people I will gladly pay for their wisdom, and these other people are not on that list.

There is a special place in hell for the would-be gurus out there who dress up completely obvious points as some kind of wisdom. Fortune-cookie advice is hardly worth cracking open the cookie (and by the way, fortune cookies are an American invention.) “Today is the first day of the rest of your life.” No kidding? A day ago, yesterday was and a day from now, tomorrow will be. That’s how time works!

“Be the change you want to see in the world” is just as useless or unproductive. Why would I want to be the change I don’t want to see? What if I like the status quo? “Be the sameness that you desire” doesn’t really resonate, does it?

A dear friend of mine, one of the most enlightening CEOs of public companies recently taught me a new phrase: YOLO, which stands for “You Only Live Once” . It rings a lot of truth. Take charge, stand up for your own principles, supported by resources and perseverance. In the end, a courageous or a visionary leader does not live life like a coward.

It reminds me of the Chevy Chase bit in the movie “Caddyshack,” when the country club’s best golfer advises a kid to “be the ball.” The kid promptly screws up the shot and is told “You’re not being the ball.” What the hell does that even mean? But there they are on late-night TV telling me to do this or that, not even knowing who the hell I am.

I think a moratorium is in order for any statement that starts with “If I were you …” You aren’t me, and I’m happy about that.

If I wanted your opinion, I’d ask for it. Sometimes we have to ask ourselves a basic question: Can we ever live a life that is fearless?

Benjamin Wey‘s life principles:

1) “Important principles may, and must, be inflexible.” – Abraham Lincoln
2) “No publicity is bad publicity.” – Donald Trump
3) “Facts are stubborn things.” – Ronald Reagan

Yes, I am Benjamin Wey and I stand by these messages. Leadership training is a real and daily learning experience.

China Expert BENJAMIN WEY — Top 3 Cultural Lessons on Doing Business in China


China expert Benjamin Wey has almost two decades of experience dealing with China.

Europeans and Americans have been trying to figure out how to do business in China quite literally for centuries. Some have been fairly successful, but the Middle Kingdom remains a land of commercial mystery to most outsiders. The reason is fairly simple — almost everything about China is different. A great many business people get caught up in the minutiae of Chinese business culture and forget that we are all human beings trying our best to succeed. In that regard, everything about doing business in China is exactly the same.


Meet Benjamin Wey, a proud American financier and a bridge to China

I was born in China and grew up speaking Chinese. I came to America to study business at Oklahoma Baptist University on full scholarships. After earning a second master’s degree in business from Columbia University in New York, and as Craig Ferguson says, I am American on purpose. I am very proud of my Chinese culture, and I chose to become an American citizen. My company has an office in New York and a co-branded office in Beijing. I speak English at work in New York and Chinese or English after work depending on the people around me. In short, I have a foot in both camps.

It took me years to reach this point, and most business people may not have the time or inclination to make that kind of commitment. That gives me an advantage when I do business in China and in the U.S., but anyone can do it. The secret is to do your best with the details but stay focused on the big picture. China expert Benjamin Wey:

Benjamin Wey, Financier, Journalist, CEO, New York Global Group

Benjamin Wey, Financier, Journalist, CEO, New York Global Group

Benjamin Wey on China cultural lesson No. 1: Be patient and be humble 

One of the things that people starting to do business in China always complain about is how long things can take. You don’t fly into Beijing of Shanghai on Monday and leave with signed deal and a check on Friday. But think about it. If you fly from Los Angeles to Miami on Monday, are you likely to get a contract and a check on Friday? Probably not. There’s something in finance called “due diligence.” Basically, that means you check out the other guy to make sure he’s on the up and up. Why? Well, so you don’t get screwed. The Chinese don’t want to get taken any more than you do. They may not have a formal due diligence program or process, but they want to check you out. That’s what the banquets and all that social stuff is about.

Look at it another way: If you play golf with one supplier and just have a professional relationship with another, and all other things are equal, who gets the contract? The fact is that every businessperson on the planet wants to do business with people they can trust, and if you happen to be on friendly terms, so much the better.

Read More: Chinese reverse mergers are not toxic: Stanford University study

Benjamin Wey on China cultural lesson No. 2: Learn from the Chinese history

The last century or so of Chinese history has been chaotic. The Emperor was overthrown and a republic declared. Japan invaded and was defeated. The Nationalists and Communists fought a civil war that the Communists won. Since 1949, China has had the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution as well as an opening to the world with capitalist features. It wasn’t the kind of history that lets a commercial code evolve over time. If America’s contract and property laws were as changeable and flexible as Chinese laws, wouldn’t you want to be able to trust your business associates? Actually, you would need to be able to trust them. In a way, personal trust is going to let you sleep better at night than any number of signed deals.

So during those banquets or coffee and cigarette breaks, talk about the same things you would discuss with someone in your own country in such a circumstance — even if you need an interpreter. Traffic, weather, your hotel, the plane ride all make for good small talk. And for God’s sake, try to be pleasant even if you have had a bad experience. After all, you wouldn’t want a visitor running your city or country down. Don’t try to show off your knowledge of the politics of Tibet and Taiwan any more than you would discuss U.S. party politics with a complete stranger whose account you want. If you find a common interest, that is huge. Work that angle.

Benjamin Wey on China cultural lesson No. 3: Pay attention to details

A little local knowledge is never a bad thing. “Hello,” “goodbye” and “thank you” in any language usually is enough to show you respect the other party. Your interpreter can handle the rest, but try. When in Rome …

And that applies to all the little details, like how to present your business card. Watch what they do, and mimic it. You can’t go too far wrong that way. Why? Because at a very human level, even if you get it not-quite-right, you are trying, and that means you respect them. And you can’t trust someone who doesn’t respect you.

Yes, everything about China is different, but at a very basic level, we all want the same things: success, respect and happiness. In that regard, China and Oklahoma have a lot in common.

Investors have been making a mad dash to cash

This has been the scariest week in stock market history, at least by one significant measure. Though the market’s certainly seen larger downturns, and in fact is on pace to end the week in positive territory, it’s never witnessed investors flee for the exits in the manner they did since the first correction in four years briefly but violently came raining down on Wall Street. Read More:

Benjamin Wey, CEO of New York Global Group, recommends this article.

Dow, Nasdaq close out of correction as stocks extend rebound


U.S. stocks closed more than 2 percent higher in a second straight day of recovery from a recent plunge, with sentiment helped by a rebound in oil and continued signs of strength in the U.S. economy. The major averages ended near session highs after briefly more than halving gains in choppy trade leading into the close. Read More:

Benjamin Wey, CEO of New York Global Group, recommends this article.

The junk bond market ‘is having a coronary’: David Rosenberg


The biggest trouble sign for stocks may be bonds. High-yield bonds, specifically, often are seen as an effective proxy for movements in the equity market. If that’s the case, trends in junk are pointing to a rocky road ahead. Average yields for low-rated companies have jumped to 7.3 percent and spreads between such debt and comparable duration Treasurys have widened dramatically, according to David Rosenberg, chief economist and strategist at Gluskin Sheff. History suggests that fallout in stocks is not far behind. Read More:

Benjamin Wey, CEO of New York Global Group, recommends this article.