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How LoanDepot’s Anthony Hsieh went from cashier to mortgage billionaire – Orange County Register

Lisa Lee and David Sigrizzo | Bloomberg

When Lake Forest-based LoanDepot debuted on the New York Stock Exchange earlier this year Anthony Shah Unusual among the ultra-rich, he became an Asian-American millionaire.

For the 56-year-old, this was the pinnacle of decades of quest to challenge the highly competitive mortgage industry. It also took advantage of some of his own struggles as an immigrant from Taiwan to the United States to become more prominent and give him a fresh stimulus to inspire others.

“I have a unique opportunity,” She said. “Thanks to my success, I was able to effectively cross the border and gain the respect of non-Asians. It gives Asians a lot of pride.”


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His hangout at the summit demanded that a masked man rush into his parents’ liquor store on Long Beach on Sunday afternoon 42 years ago, slamming a gun at his head and emptying the cash register. It’s very different from the time.

A few minutes of desperate fear of life gave Shay one of the most important lessons of his career. He believes he had helped Asian Americans later face the discrimination and hostility they encountered when entering the financial industry.

“We’ll learn about self-defense and survival early on,” said Shay, who will face two more armed robbers while working at a family cashier. “I’m not going to exchange it for anything.”

His parents settled in California after moving from Taiwan with Hsieh and his two sisters in the early 1970s. Giving up a comfortable life to raise a child in the United States, his father worked as a grill cook, but before he saved enough to open his own store, he was a grill cook. shop.

Because they didn’t speak English, She helped all the family’s major financial decisions, from buying cars and appliances to paying mortgages.

“I’ve been protecting my parents since I was eight,” he said. “I became their advisor, loan officer, and translator.”

He says it’s thanks to his upbringing that he has instilled in him the resilience and determination needed to face head-on with some of Wall Street’s major banks, one of the toughest places in finance. He says.

Serial deal maker

According to the Bloomberg Billion Index, Shay’s fortune is currently about $ 2 billion. He is one of the few East Asian Americans who, along with Eric Yuan of Zoom Video Communications Inc. and Jensen Huang of Nvidia Corp., have transformed the U.S. companies they founded into multi-billion dollar businesses. ..

Unlike many millionaires who made a fortune in Silicon Valley after graduating from the US Elite University, Hsieh attended California State University, Fullerton, completely away from the upper classes of the tech industry.


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In fact, his leap into finance was almost a coincidence.

His parents wanted him to be a doctor, but they were happy to go to the dentist because he knew his son was afraid of blood. Instead, Hsieh applied for a job as a lender for a small mortgage company, following the advice of one of his baseball teammates. It was adopted on the spot.

After working for the company for just four years, Hsieh realized that this business had more potential than the owner could imagine. So he offered them an offer to buy the entire company. After steering once, he abandoned typewriters and fax machines, aggressively expanded his business online, and changed his name to LoansDirect.com.

“I just thought I could do better,” Shay said. “I didn’t know what my skill set was. I just felt confident and competitive. I had great work ethic.”

This was the beginning of a series of ventures that made Hsieh one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the highly competitive mortgage industry. After selling LoansDirect.com to E * Trade Financial Corp. in 2001, he founded HomeLoanCenter.com. It is the first online platform to offer a complete suite of mortgage products in all 50 states. When he sold it to LendingTree in 2004, the company had 800 employees.

Mortgage boom

But Hsieh got most of his fortune from LoanDepot. The company hit a record high in 2020 as the Federal Reserve Board (FRB) cut interest rates to near zero in response to the spread of the new coronavirus and turned mortgages into one of the biggest pandemic winners. Recorded the year.

LoanDepot’s Digital First Approach With over $ 100 billion in origins, it was the seventh largest mortgage originator in the country in 2020 and the second largest mortgage originator for direct consumer delivery.

In February, the company completed its long-awaited initial public offering. Revenues from the listing were only about $ 62 million, a small part of the initial target, but about a month later, through debt dividends, more to shareholders, including Mr. Hsieh and his co-investors. $ 200 million has been distributed.

The question is whether we can sustain such rapid growth.

LoanDepot’s share price has fallen more than half since it peaked shortly after listing. Meanwhile, the outlook for mortgages has weakened, with only 35% of consumers thinking it’s a good time to buy a home, according to Fannie Mae, and inflation given the potential for higher prices and higher interest rates. Increased risk can further weaken sentiment. Similar to selling and refinancing existing homes, home start-ups are slowing.

Hsieh is currently looking at millennials, many of whom are buying homes for the first time. Most people are accustomed to doing business online, but their familiarity does not always lead to a better understanding of interest rates and closing costs.

“They are very familiar with the use of digital tools, but that doesn’t mean they have financial literacy,” he said.

How LoanDepot’s Anthony Hsieh went from cashier to mortgage billionaire – Orange County Register Source link How LoanDepot’s Anthony Hsieh went from cashier to mortgage billionaire – Orange County Register

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