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, it was the culmination of decades of quest to challenge the highly competitive mortgage industry. He also took advantage of some of his own struggles as an immigrant from Taiwan to the United States to become more prominent and give it new impetus to inspire others.

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

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

A few minutes of desperate fear of life taught Shay one of the most important lessons of his career. He is believed to have helped Asian Americans later cope with the discrimination and hostility they encountered upon entering the financial industry.

“We will learn self defense and survival very early on,” said Shay, who will face two other armed robbers while working at a family cashier. “I won’t trade it for anything.”

Her parents moved to California after leaving Taiwan with Hsieh and her two sisters in the early 1970s. Abandoning a comfortable life to raise a child in the United States, her father worked as a grill cook, but before saving enough. to open his own store, he was a grill cook. shop.

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

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

He says it was through his education that he instilled in him the resilience and determination to take on some of the big banks on Wall Street, one of the toughest places in finance, head on. He says.

Serial chord maker

According to the Bloomberg Billion Index, Shay’s fortune is currently around $ 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., transformed the American companies they founded into multi-billion dollar companies. dollars. ..

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

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In fact, his jump 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 only four years, Hsieh realized that this company had more potential than the owner could imagine. He therefore offered to buy the whole company. After leading once, he gave up typewriters and fax machines, aggressively grew his online business, and changed his name to

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

It was the start of a series of businesses that have made Hsieh one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the highly competitive mortgage industry. After selling to E * Trade Financial Corp. in 2001 he founded It is the first online platform to offer a full range 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 an all-time high in 2020 as the Federal Reserve Board (FRB) cut interest rates to near zero in response to the spread of the novel coronavirus and made mortgages one of the biggest winners of the pandemic. Registered year.

LoanDepot’s First Digital Approach With more than $ 100 billion in origin, it was the seventh largest mortgage originator in the country in 2020 and the second largest mortgage originator for direct delivery to consumers. .

In February, the company finalized its long-awaited initial public offering. Listing income was only about $ 62 million, a small part of the original target, but about a month later, thanks to debt dividends, more to shareholders, including Mr. Hsieh and his colleagues. co-investors. $ 200 million has been distributed.

The question is whether we can sustain such rapid growth.

LoanDepot’s share price has fallen by more than half since peaking shortly after listing. Meanwhile, the outlook for mortgages has weakened, with just 35% of consumers believing now is the right time to buy a home, according to Fannie Mae, and inflation given the price and rate potential. higher interest. An increased risk can further weaken the feeling. Much like selling and refinancing existing homes, home starts are slowing down.

Hsieh is currently interested in millennials, many of whom are buying homes for the first time. Most people are used 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 knowledge,” he said.

How LoanDepot’s Anthony Hsieh From Teller To Mortgage Billionaire – Orange County Register Source Link How LoanDepot’s Anthony Hsieh From Teller To Mortgage Billionaire – Orange County Register

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