Friday, August 31, 2012

Wall Street - 30 Years Later (Then - Physical Securities, Now Automation with needed Regulation)

There are many visions of Wall Street. Over the years and much has changed. Let me take you down memory lane just a little bit. For some this tour may be unclear, for some it may be a little clear and for others it may be crystal clear. Back in the 1980’s I  (pictured on the right back then) started my journey on Wall Street. (I'll end with what I consider  just some very important lessons learned)

I was a senior in high school at Andrew Jackson High School in Queens, N.Y., and had joined a Co-Operative education program (Co-Op). I’m not sure how many of these exist today. I had the opportunity to work one full week with pay and then go to school the following week. A high school student stepping on to Wall Street for the first time was an experience like no other.

The first adjustment to the adult world was being told that I could address the adults by first name as opposed to “Mr” or “Mrs” or “Ms.” As I did with my High School teachers. I was very fortunate to work for a well-established firm called, The Morgan Guaranty Trust Company. As it is today, it was then that the firms wanted to ensure that students experiencing the firm for the first time got very familiar with the industry and the firm. Training back then, involved visiting a room where you were equipped with a cassette tape player, cassettes, booklets and headphones. I remember hearing words like “manifold” referring to trading tickets. You don’t here that too often now if at all. The training tapes gave information about the various departments and the company itself.

I did not feel completely out of place as I also found number of other High School Co-Op students working in my same section at the company. I handled the “manifold” tickets relative to trades that had been entered. I worked in the section called “Ticket Check Off”. The Department was called Government Bond. Here I saw trade tickets relative to what I would soon learn were Fixed Income trades such as Treasuries as well as Money Market Instruments such as Certificates of Deposit and Bankers Acceptances.

As I reflect back now what was most interesting was that that I not only got to “see” the manifold tickets relative to these instruments I also got to see the instruments themselves. This was the 1980’s and many of the instruments of the day were in physical form. I got to see US Treasury Notes with the interest payment “coupons attached”. We would attached a one copy of a multi-ply manifold ticket to the Treasury by using what then a “T-Pin” which I have not seen in ages. I was informed one day I would be delivering some Treasuries to the Federal Reserve Bank down the street (we were located on Broad Street across from the NY Stock Exchange). We had an armed Security Guard Accompany us. I later realized that as many of the instruments of the day were in “bearer” form they could literally be cashed by whoever said it was theirs.

Working in Government Bond was an excellent learning experience. I got involved with the daily proof and reconciliation. We reconciled with a group of individuals that were enclosed behind a window called “The Cage”. We ran a calculation tapes on huge calculators that took up most of a desk and used two copy calculator tape (on copy being a carbon copy). We would balance the general ledger tickets that had passed throughout the day.

There were no personal computers as we know them today. For me as a High Schooler, my taste of the Internet was during my "school week" I was able to go into a High School Room and dial-up an on line services. I would need to dial the number on the telephone and then put down the handset on some acoustic couplers (shaped like the phone mouth and ear piece) that was attached to a printing (not display) terminal. The Session information would print out on the long printer as opposed to on a display system. News and other other information would print out. That was it for the "The Net" in those days! Read more on the Technology of those days on my latest Blog.

As with most High School Students of the day, the highlight was lunch time. Most interesting enough lunch was free. Not only that, on those occasions when we had to work late we also got free dinner via a “supper pass”. For me the work, the experience and the food, was the life!

Lessons Learned (in addition to my Blog on The Changing Face Of Client Service):

In an automated environment we have to ensure not to "miss steps" during the automation process. 

It is critical that the "business" is totally involved as "technology" implements enhancments.  Technology can only  "build it" "to specifications" outlined.  Those specification have to be clearly defined. I've uncovered some inefficiencies in processes during my work which I believe will ultimately benefit the more important group to us, our customers. 

As example, if  an automation process gathers data for a specific security type, the definitions for that type have to be spelled out by the business groups. Others as the saying goes, "Garbage In, Garbase Out." Just imagine building metrics around data from a report where the data elements have not be properly defined and you are as an example reporting on Apples, in a Category for Oranges. Your client is looking for just Apples but, Oranges and any other kind of fruit has been thrown in. It just throws off the reporting and more importantly because the clients "trust" what we report, they make critical business decisions on that data presented. 

Regulation such as Dodd Frank, which in part looks out of the interest of consumers is causing or should be causing many to take critical looks at what we process on a day to day and how we report on it.

When you service a Financial Community, I don't have to stress how important that is.  My background has been in Financial Services on the Business side (Trade Processing, Cash/Income US and Non-US, Corporate Actions both Global and Domestic). 

As I reflect back on my last 30 years, I am fortunate to have actually held Mortgage Backed Securities (Ginna Mae, Fannie Mae, along with Early Stage, "To Be Announced" (TBA's) which proceed the ultimately Pooled issues, in my hands along with processing settlement along with what was called Due Bills as needed. 

I also covered an excellent video in a past Blog on Mortgage Backed Securites (MBS). You can view the Video on a TBA Website I created at  This Video really speaks about the MBS Security which comes about after the issue is "Announced" ) 

More Information:

Organizations helping Youth in Financial Services and Information Technology at the High School and College Level in New York (Local Chapters have links to their respective National Offices):

Urban Financial Services Coalition New York Chapter

BDPA Information Technology Thought Leaders New York Chapter

Here's a Video on Students brought from out of state for Interviews within the Financial Services Community.

More about Mike Holman

Mike Holman Video Resume

Certifed Securities Ops Professional Resume

Non Profit Social Media Analyst Resume

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Entrepreneurial heavyweight Daymond John joins UFSC 2012 Conference line-up as Gala Keynote speaker

The Planning Committee of the UFSC Toronto 2012 Conference is delighted to announce the latest addition to our programming line-up - branding and fashion icon, groundbreaking entrepreneur, founder and CEO of FUBU and star of ABC network’s hit business reality show Shark TankDaymond John is on board as the keynote speaker for our 15th Anniversary Gala on Saturday, September 29.  

A young entrepreneur, an industry pioneer, a highly regarded marketing expert, and a man who has surpassed new heights of commercial and financial success are just a few ways people have described Daymond John. Over the last 20 years, Daymond has evolved from one of the most successful fashion icons of his generation to one of the most sought after branding experts, business, and motivational speakers in the country.

In recognition of his contributions to fashion and the face of American business, Daymond has been celebrated with some of the most prestigious awards including: Brandweek Marketer of the Year, the Advertising Age Marketing 1000 Award for Outstanding Ad Campaign, Crain's Business of New York Forty Under Forty Award, and Ernst & Young’s New York Entrepreneur of the Year Award.


Mr. John is an exciting addition to an already exciting Conference line-up. UFSC Toronto is aiming to pack the Conference with tremendous value for financial professionals, students, entrepreneurs and community members.

Please visit to review all the incredible Conference programming we offer from Sept. 27-29. We are confident you will see the value in this all-inclusive pricing - register today! Your registration fee includes:
  • Thursday, Sept. 27: Entry into the Diversity Career Expo and Diversity Employers Panel Session, Opening Plenary Session and Welcome Reception
  • Friday, Sept. 28: Full Day conference programming featuring leading executives from Canada, U.S. and Caribbean - includes breakfast session with meal, lunch session with meal, President's reception in evening
  • Saturday, Sept. 29: Entry and participation in Community Empowerment Day (includes Town Hall discussion on role models in the black community and movie screening) and a ticket for the UFSC 15th Anniversary Gala Dinner and Dance

With the 2012 Conference, we aim to:
  • Engage the talent in our community to develop professionally and seek their potential
  • Inspire young people to consider financial services as a viable career path
  • Inform our community about the importance of financial literacy to sustained prosperity
  • Empower all our members and constituents to reach new heights of leadership, personal growth and community service

Contact us at to learn more.
Don’t wait, register today!  

The UFSC Toronto 2012 Conference Planning Committee

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

LinkShare: Where I See The Money

Watch "An Inside Perspective on Rakuten LinkShare" on YouTube

Among the many opportunities out there, as my latest Social Media Status Updates have shown, The Money is in Links and Clicks. Let me say that this can be applied on a Personal Level just for your self, A For Profit Business or a Not For Profit Business (for Fund Raising). A service noted in the above Video at their own Awards Ceremony (also a company where I actually got my first Online Affiliate Commission Check) that I have found useful is LinkShare (see the link below to join (no pun). LinkShare Money Mania - Do Not Delete- LinkShare will provide you with a list of Advertisers (who also awarded in the above video) for which you can apply to promote their products and if approved, you can get the HTML Codes for the links to put in your Emails, Website, Blogs, Posts, etc. (All you do is copy and paste the code) You can view the Advertiser Categories and pick those that are familiar to you to start out and expand to other advertisers later on. People often may come to you to ask where do you Shop or which Broker do you recommend (the LinkShare categories are that extensive) and if that happens to be also one of the Advertisers with whom you have an Affiliate Relationship via LinkShare, you can send them an email or point them to your Website or Blog with the link. You can get paid sometimes by just sending them the link and they click on it or you might get paid if they signup for the Service. I like the fact that some Advertisers Pay you just for sending someone to their site without buying anything. You can tell others to just "check them out" and you get paid just for them clicking on the link and not buying anything at all. These are your referrals. You can even setup a one page website (if you want to do more than just use email, Blogs, posting, etc.) with as many or few links as you like using a Web Hosting Provider like ours below where you can Buy a Domain currently for $1.99 which comes with a Start Web Page (watch our video Tutorial called, "Spin Your Web" for more on this): With a Hosting Provider you can Register a Domain Name such as or whatever and either use the domain name to Host a Web Page or Forward the Domain name to another website. You can even Forward your Domain name to your Advertisers Text link. You may want to use Domain Forwarding because some Affiliate Links are very long and if you are not embedding them but rather using just the text link a shorter name is best. I have a Web Services Help Center site that has a long address but I Registered a the Domain Name so that anyone can go to that Domain Name and Search for Help on any of my own Web Hosting Products or Services at just by using the Help Guides found at So when asked, "Show Me The Mondy", I say that just one of many places is in providing Links to others from Advertisers. You just go to LinkShare from the link directly below LinkShare Money Mania - Do Not Delete- Signup which includes, TELLING THEM HOW YOU WANT TO GET PAID, then apply to the Advertisers you are interested in. Again you can start with Brands you know well or Toggle the Select All botton, as you don't know which will Approve Right away, as many do Manual Approvals. Finally again you may want to get a $1.99 Domain so you can post your Links if you want to on a Website, or just use your Email, Blogs, Posting, etc. as noted below: Lastely you can make more sense of Domain Names, Webhosting and more with your Free Help Center Search and Guides at Hope this helps!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Your words and thoughts have physical power - Will Smith

Your words and thoughts have physical power. In life many people wonder why things dont always go the way they want them to but do not realize that in every thought they think and words they speak starts the physical formation of what begins to appears in our lives. It is normal to have negative thoughts from time to time because we do not live in a perfect world, Or Do We? The key is when a thought like that shows up you just need to make the decision wether or not you want to entertain that though for a long time or if you want to change the path to a better one immediately. This is where skill comes in to play. With all things you must practice to make perfect, all though some are borne with more talent than other, anyone can hone the skills of being discipline and beat there fears into submission. it was once said "your biggest fear should be fear itself" I would have to say this is pretty right on. Why? Because fear is a negative emotion and because of fear you tend to pay more attention to it which starts the physical birth of some kind of reaction. This is why most people that fear that they are going to get hurt get hurt more than the rest. Or think they are going to be sick and then it happens. If you fear that you dont have enough money to pay the bills and speak and think these thoughts and words everyday then guess what, You are creating the physical reaction to show up in your life. This is why it is good to marinate yourself in unconditional love and positive good words and belief that good things are heading your way at all times. You deserve it, It is your birth right. Own it. except it. enjoy it. Live it. know it is in your escrow. more and more, every moment. and when the other thoughts of fear come, Do Not Entertain it. leave it behind and get right back on track with the truth! Live every monent of this life like there is no tomorrow, because it is not a rehearsal. So Start getting from it what is yours. GREATNESS!!!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Raising an Olympian - GABBY DOUGLAS

As the Proud Sponsor of Moms, P&G presents this series about the mom behind the Olympic athlete.