The First Stock Exchanges

This article was written by Samuel Phineas Upham

The New York Stock Exchange is like the major leagues of stocks, but it’s neither the only nor the original stock exchange. In fact, people have been trading shares in companies since the dawn of banking. From Venice to New York, here is a brief picture of the world’s stock exchanges.

Venetian Merchants

The merchants of Venice helped to fill a gap that the big banks of the time couldn’t. Certain debts were considered high risk, either because of the amount borrowed or the interest associated with the loan. These merchants would trade the debts with one another, which eventually gave way to the ability to sell that debt to customers in the form of “securities.”

Belgium Stock Exchange

The exchange at Antwerp was one of the earliest examples of a stock exchange in existence. Merchants would gather in Antwerp to discuss business, and trade debt notes with one another. The exchange was almost exclusively confined to paper notes and bonds. Though it was common to partner up for business ventures, there were no official shares that could change hands at the time.

East India Companies

The Dutch, British and French governments all lent money generously to companies who agreed to carry the “East India” brand. The formation of these companies changed how business was done. Each company had stocks that paid out dividends depending on how well it performed. In the past, earnings were calculated voyage by voyage, but the East Indian companies considered all voyages for the year when looking at earnings. This is similar to the modern concepts of quarterly and annual financial statements.

About the Author: Samuel Phineas Upham is an investor at a family office/hedgefund, where he focuses on special situation illiquid investing. Before this position, Samuel Phineas Upham was working at Morgan Stanley in the Media & Technology group. You may contact Samuel Phineas Upham on his Twitter page.

How a Mortgage Works

Written by Samuel Phineas Upham

Mortgages are long-term loans that are granted by the bank to a borrower. Mortgages use the property and the land it sits upon as collateral for the loan. When a home sale closes, the buyer signs documents that essentially grant the lender rights to a lien on the property.

Mortgages can trace themselves back to the Great Depression, when the Federal Housing Administration first got its start making loans to the general public. Loans were not entirely unheard of before then, but most real estate transactions were all-cash. Today, consumers pay these loans off over a long period of time (usually 15-30 years).

Each month, the borrower is required to make a payment towards the loan. This payment, often referred to as PITI, covers all elements of the loan itself. The lender helps the borrower set up an amortization table, which describes where the money from each payment will go. The principle represents the full balance of the loan, not the purchase price of the house. So the principle is the loan minus the down payment. The user then pays interest on that remaining balance based on what the bank agreed upon with the borrower. There are also taxes on the property that the owner will always remain responsible for. The owner is also responsible for maintaining property insurance against theft, fire, hurricanes and other natural disasters.

Borrowers also have options for where their money goes. They can choose to pay off taxes and insurance in one lump sum, which helps reduce the monthly payment without affecting the mortgage balance.

Samuel Phineas Upham is an investor from NYC and SF. You may contact Samuel Phineas Upham on his Samuel Phineas Upham website

Trust Documentation to Tech

Written by

All companies have to deal with documentation, even in this, the paperless age. If you don’t handle it correctly, though, something as seemingly minor as invoice mailing can come back to bite you in a big way.

That’s why it’s important that you leverage documentation technology to your company’s benefit. Otherwise, you’re just begging for human error to eventually make your life much more difficult than it needs to be.

Document outsourcing is a great option so long as you’re entrusting it to a superior form of software. If that’s the case, you can rely on it to handle everything from addressing to formatting to mailing it out to tracking it. That’s how outsourcing is supposed to work and you didn’t even have to pay somebody extra to do it.

What’s more, with technology on your side, you have an absolutely infallible paper trail. Handling documentation correctly is one thing. Being able to prove you did so is another. The latter is essential if you want to succeed in your industry on a regular basis. Mistakes will happen, after all, so it’s important that you’re prepared.

Don’t let something as simple as documentation become your company’s Achilles heel.


Whether you have credit union statementsto contend withor some other vital type of documentation, you need to ensure that it gets to where it needs to be as soon as possible and in the correct form. Don’t leave this important matter to chance, leave it to Lanvera.

The History of the New York Times

This article was written by Phin Upham

The New York Times is known for its excellence in editing. The paper puts together hard-hitting stories exploring the facets of each issue closely. Though it has never been the largest paper in circulation, it has grown to carry the reputation of one of the world’s greatest newspapers.

First sold for pennies in 1851, the Times began with the mission of catering to a more cultured and learned audience. The editors worked hard to avoid sensationalism in their stories, but that hard work came at a high cost. The paper was losing over $1,000 by the time it was purchased by Adolph Simon Ochs in 1896.

Under Ochs, the paper put a greater emphasis on providing full coverage of the news of the day. He made sweeping changes, including changing the price back to a penny (it had since gone up to try and cover some of the costs of producing it), he added a Sunday magazine section, and he eliminated fiction from the paper entirely.

Its coverage of the sinking of the Titanic is considered one of the landmark points of time that put the paper on the map. It also gained notoriety for the integrity exhibited by its reporters throughout coverage of World War II.

The Times has since changed a lot, especially as the digital age expands and evolves. Today, viewers can purchase subscriptions to the paper online to read from its articles. Though the subscription was briefly abolished in 2005, it has since come back in 2011, offering viewers limited access to some of its subscriber content.

About the Author: Phin Upham is an investor at a family office/hedgefund, where he focuses on special situation illiquid investing. Before this position, Phin Upham was working at Morgan Stanley in the Media & Technology group. You may contact Phin on his Twitter page.