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MAIN & WALL Financial Corporation

The Seagram Building

375 Park Avenue, Suite 2607

New York, NY 10152

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About Us

The MAIN & WALL Story

Founded in 1991 to align the emerging discipline of financial planning with institutional investment management, align strategy with purpose, and put the needs, goals and interests of MAIN Street first, we were MAIN & WALL before MAIN & WALL was cool. Today, in the World of Finance as well as in the World of Politics, the debate, relationship and interplay between MAIN Street and WALL Street, finance and society, is now front page, center stage and all the rage.

"Fixing The Losers Game"... Design Thinking Applied To the World of Finance

"The Market for 'Lemons" and Investment Management Services: George Akerlof was awarded the 2001 Nobel Prize in Economics for a profound idea captured in his 1970 article "The Market for 'Lemons": Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism", in which he showed that the classic "value-for-money" outcome attached to market competition requires informational symmetry between buyers and sellers. If sellers know more about what they are selling than buyers know about what they are buying, the sellers will be able to extract too high a price from the buyers for too little value. Although Akerlof chose the used-car "lemons" market to make his point, he could just as well have chosen the market for investment management services, - it would be hard to conceive of a market with greater informational asymmetry between buyers and sellers. If asymmetrical information is the underlying problem in the market for investment management services, then simply removing the informational asymmetry must be the solution. Can we create a demand side in that market that understands the realities of financial markets, security pricing, and the economics and motivations of security issuers as well as the supply side does? This question is essentially about institutional design. So, more specifically, can we create knowledgeable investment institutions with both the requisite knowledge of finance and economics and a legal requirement to use that knowledge solely in the best financial interests of their clients? Put more succinctly, can we create knowledgeable investment institutions with clear fiduciary responsibilities to their stakeholders/beneficiaries?"

Hat Tip ~ Keith Ambachtsheer, Director at The Rotman International Centre for Pension Management (ICPM).

Simplicity on the near side of Complexity is Fools Gold!

WANTED: A New Model for Financial Markets

"Don Putnam, designer of investment products since the 1970's points to the most fundamental of lessons learnt from last years' global financial implosion. "Markets are defined by their participants as much as they are by their mechanics", and it is people's motivations that ultimately count. The car is important but the driver is crucial - and panic among drivers, if you will, makes the technology of the roadways irrelevant, says Putnam. To some that conclusion may seem self-evident. But to accept it sweeps away assumptions that for half a century, it formed the foundation of the financial industry. The reigning theory, often referred to in shorthand as "efficient markets", is deeply embedded in the way that markets operate. The regulations for pension funds and banks both ultimately hinge on these assumptions. So do many law concerning securities fraud. It is central to business schools' curriculum and is part of the Chartered Financial Analyst® qualification that acts as a gateway to the investment profession. Fund managers run their business by comparing their performance against benchmarks indices, another idea from efficient markets. The products based on derivatives that grew notorious for their role in the market crash all stemmed directly from efficient market theory. If the theory needs to be abandoned, the effect on investing will be profound. More important still is what will come to replace it. Efficient markets borrowed from mathematics, but that is now widely regarded as an over simplified and downright misleading theory that fostered the cavalier confidence leading to the crash. Academics are now ransacking a range of other disciplines in a quest for a better understanding. The search has ranged from evolutionary biology through behavioral psychology to thermodynamics and chaos theory. None is likely to deliver answers as clean and simple as those that came from efficient markets."

Hat tip ~ John Authers, Financial Times, September 28, 2009.

Economics and Business....The last bastions of Modernism...

"I think they are the last bastions of the idea that you can redesign the world in accordance with a rationally designed blueprint. Modernism in the 20th century went through areas such as art, architecture and the humanities with the idea we could rethink everything from the ground up and that we understood enough about the world to do that. I've come to believe that we don't. But people still think they can analyze and structure economies as if they were a mechanical system and that they can do the same in business. So in the same way that Corbusier said - wrongly - that a house is a machine for living in, it exemplifies the idea that a business or a community can be structured from first principles in the same way - And ignores the social context within which economies and businesses work - They are organic entities that evolve over time and operate within a social context. You can't look at them independently of that."

John Kay, British economist, Author

Adaptive Markets and Modular-Finance™...

An Alternative Model for Financial Markets

Don Putnam, designer of investment products since the 1970's points to the most fundamental of lessons learnt from last years' global financial implosion. "Markets are defined by their particpants as much as they are by their mechanics", and it is people's motivations that ultimately count."

"For every complex problem, there is an answer that is clear, simple and wrong"

~ H.L.Mencken

Complexity Economics, Modular-Finance™, Fiduciary Capitalism, Design & Systems Thinking, The Mayo Model, Fintech, the Disintermediation Revolution and Orgel's Rules... (and we're just getting warmed u

This is The Gateway to The Next Level

We don't have a 21st century financial system - What we do have is a system built with 19th century ideas, 20th century institutions, juiced with 21st century technology...

"There is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come"   ~ Victor Hugo

Welcome to MAIN & WALL Financial™

~ Design Thinking applied to The World of Finance ~ 

MFiM™... Modular-Finance~in~Motion™...

The purpose of this site is to introduce you to a new way of thinking about planning and investing in the 21st century. We call this approach - Modular-Finance~in~Motion™. The ideas we will present to you are decades in the making, but fundamental in nature. Together they form the foundation of our model and approach......Our mission is threefold: 1) Bring these ideas to the forefront 2) Establish the foundation and develop the conceptual framework and 3) Create the requisite model, cultural, and corporate architecture to put them in play to benefit individuals, investors and society. Modular-Finance~in~Motion is the product of Design Thinking, bringing together an interdisciplinary approach to provide innovative thinking and solutions to get you to the next level and survive and thrive in the ever changing highly competitive world of the 21st century. 

The Game has changed: The needs are different, The game is faster, the stakes are higher  - Some get it, some don't, and some will get trapped in the past.

The ideas we present are firmly in play in both academia and at the Institutional level. Unfortunately, when it comes to investment management, Financial Planning has always lagged ideas in academia and institutions by ten to twenty years. This time is no different. While the institutional World is working with complexity theory and non-linear systems, the financial planning industry is busy automating/selling Modern portfolio antiquated and discredited concept from the 1950' World is Changing, The Third Wave is upon us and most of MAIN Street will likely get left behind with the antiquated thinking and mean variance optimization portfolios being touted today by old Wall today.

 Welcome to The ModularWorld @MainandWall™

A Smarter Approach...

"To understand the complexity of human behavior, we need to understand the different environments that have shaped it over time and across circumstances, and how the financial system functions underthese different conditions. Most important, we need to understand how the financial system sometimes fails.

Academia, industry, and public policy have assumed rational economic behavior for so long that we've forgotten about the other aspects of human behavior, aspects that don't fit as neatly into a mathematically precise framework.

Nowhere is this more painfully obvious than in financial markets. Until recently, market prices almost always seemed to reflect the wisdom of crowds. But on many days since the financial crisisbegan, the collective behavior of financial markets might be better described as the madness of mobs. This Jekyll-and-Hyde personality of financial markets, oscillating between wisdom and madness, isn't a pathology. It's simply a reflection of human nature."

Andrew Lo, Adaptive Markets

Efficient markets mean that there's no such thing as a free lunch, especially on Wall Stree: if financial market prices fully incorporate all relevant information already, trying to beat the market is a hopeless task. Instead, you should put all your money into psassive index funds that diversity as broadly as posible, and stay invested for the long run. SOUND FAMILIAR? This is the theory that we teach in business schools today, and it was taught to your broker, your financial adviser, and your portfolio manager...... but it is WRONG!

Man Working With Calculator and Notes

MAIN & WALL 2.1... The Second Iteration...

Our mission today has evolved and is more ambitious than when we first started. The mass market is over. The middleman is gone. Human capital matters. Modern Finance Theory is adrift and being re-examined. Our mission is to introduce an alternative theory and approach - Modular-Finance Theory - blending quantitative finance with the social sciences and the ability to manage both deliberate and emerging strategies, and create the requisite model to deliver the benefits to the individual investor and society in the 21st century.

The Age of Transformation...

We are living in the early years of a third revolution that will transform strategies and management processes. The first was the industrial revolution, the second was the information revolution, and the third (now underway) is the Design Revolution.

Disclaimer: The information provided here is for informational, educational and entertainment purposes only. It is provided as food for thought and under no circumstances should it be construed as investment advice or a recommendation to buy or sell any security. Before acting on any information or investment recommendation, you should always do your own homework and consult with your financial advisor.,,,,,,,,,,,, and are the property of MAIN & WALL Financial Corporation. Other linked sites are provided as a courtesy. We do not guarantee, approve or endorse the information or products available at these sites, nor do the links indicate any association with or endorsement of the linked site by MAIN & WALL Financial Corporation.