Kenny Polcari – Experiencing the Trading Room Floor

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Interview with Kenneth Polcari 09_23_2020


[00:00:00] Mike: [00:00:00] Everybody welcome back to Java chat. We got an interesting, one for you today, and it almost sounds like what’s his name? Steve Harvey. We got a good one for you today. We have a gentleman here by the name of Kenny . Who’s a former, a former wall street floor trader. Now if you guys don’t, everybody thinks wall street is this big, crazy wild place.

[00:00:24] And that’s exactly where Kenny played in the days when it was like that. In fact, if any of you remember the movie Trading Places, which is one of my absolute favorites when it comes to wall street, I thought that was well done. I’m sure Kenny’s got a few stories that can relate to something just like that.

[00:00:38] So, Kenny, thanks for coming on and hanging out with us at Java Chat.

[00:00:42] Kenneth Polcari: [00:00:42] You’re very welcome. Thanks for having me. Although, that movie took place in the commodities markets. Although, although the theory is the same because the markets, the floor of the New York stock exchange was a market.

[00:00:55] We traded equities there, right?

[00:00:58] Mike: [00:00:58] We’re going to get into that. Give us a little bit of history about where you were, where you’re from, because you’re, you’re not there now. You’re in Florida now, from what, from what I remember, is that correct? 

[00:01:08] Kenneth Polcari: [00:01:08] That is correct.

Mike: Okay. But what are you originally a Bostonian?

[00:01:13] Kenneth Polcari: I was born and brought up in a town outside of Boston called Belmont then the middle of five kids from a Boston Italian family. And, Oh my gosh. My grandparents came over, after the first world war, moved to Boston, met each other in Boston, all that stuff.

[00:01:36] and then, I was born in Boston in 1961. I lived there until I graduated college, which was 1983. I went to Boston university school. And during the summers of my college experience, I had the opportunity to go work on the floor of the New York stock exchange. 

[00:01:55] Mike: How does that happen? You’re in college and you get to go to the floor? 

Kenneth Polcari: Well, I know it’s very interesting, I was 19 years old then at 19. Hello. I had never been to New York city before. It was, it was December of 1979. Cause I had just finished my freshmen the first semester of my freshman year in college. We went to New York, my family and I went to New York.

[00:02:20] My dad was a retail stockbroker in Boston. But had relationships with people in New York. And so, we went, we were invited to New York as a family to go to a Christmas party in New York city. This person he knew, and who ultimately became partners with, lived in New York city, had this great Christmas party.

[00:02:41] And so we all went, we went to the Christmas party and I was 19 years old and there, I met her a bunch of people and a lot of them were guys from the floor of the New York stock exchange who were very, very, they were all type a personalities. They were funny. They were, they were. They were the greatest set of guys.

[00:03:00] Okay. I think about a type A personality just constantly going. And so we’re having, we had a great time at this party, met a number of people and had a couple of conversations. And this one guy said to me,, why don’t you consider coming to New York for the summer and work on the floor next?

[00:03:17] So I changed. Okay, dude, look, I’m 19 years old at the time. And I’m sitting there going, what. That held our one moved to New York city for in the summer when I had every intention of going back to Cape Cod and, work being a lifeguard on the beach at 19 years old. Could you think of anything else?

[00:03:30] Mike: [00:03:30] So that’s the best job. Are you kidding me? Lifeguard. 

[00:03:33] Kenneth Polcari: [00:03:33] Oh, come on. Well, and so I, my first reaction was to say no, that I had no interest in doing that. I didn’t, what the hell would I want to do? So I went back to college my second semester of freshman year, and I started thinking about this opportunity and I thought, what’s the worst that’s going to happen?

[00:03:49] I’m going to go there. I’m going to, I’m going to have this experience. I’m either going to like it. I’m going to like it, or I’m not going to like it. So I can, if I don’t like it, I chalk it up for experience. And if I do like it, who knows it could change the course of my life. Clearly it changed the course of my life because what I decided to do was I said,  what, screw it.

[00:04:06] I’m going to go. I’m going to live in New York for the summer. I’m going to try it out. So I moved to New York city in the summer of 1980 downtown in the financial district, which was a ghost town. After five o’clock at night, because it was really where all the banks or brokers were .

[00:04:21] No one lived downtown. But the rent was cheap and it was right around the corner from the exchange and I could walk back and forth and so, okay. Let’s do it. Well, I walked on the floor on a, it was probably May 10th or 12th of 1980. I don’t know anything about anything. And yeah, it took me about three weeks and all of a sudden I was just named with the place I looked understood.

[00:04:45] I still didn’t understand a thing that was going on because there was a separate language. Everybody’s spoken a different language. It’s like they spoke in fractions, they spoke in symbols, they spoke in,  the way, well , if you came from the business, the way you represented yourself as a, by the way, represented yourself as a seller, supplying demand and understanding how to read the crowd. That, that right there. 


[00:05:08] How the crowd, the crowd, that has gotta be one of the most underrated skills 

[00:05:15] To this day. And until you, you learn that skill and it’s not a skill you learn anywhere. You don’t learn it in college. You don’t learn. If I go into school, you have to learn it from you.

[00:05:24] You have to learn it by doing it. And what was really interesting is, in 1980, I was, my generation was the first generation of guys that were going men and women. I say guys, in a general sense. That we’re going to the floor that actually we’re going to college. Everyone that was above me, that was older than me.

[00:05:43] These were, these were kids that had come from the streets of New York, Brooklyn, and Queens, Staten Island of Manhattan. They didn’t go to college. It came right out of high school, but again, they were tight Bay. They were street smart. They could read a crowd. They understood what it was like when you got into crowd supply and demand, when they were, how the buyers were, how aggressive were the sellers, how to, how to strategize and be creative in terms of representing clients at the point that it was those two amazing plays in the whole world.

[00:06:10] God, I was there for about three weeks and I was like, Oh my God, I couldn’t get enough of the place. I run home after work. I read the newspaper, I’d read books. I try to learn everything I can. So the next morning I’d get up and I’d fly right to work again. All of a sudden that first summer I was a gopher.

[00:06:25] I mean, this would go for that. You don’t do anything, but cause I didn’t know anything. But I spent the whole summer learning. Oh, back to college in the summer, I went back to colleges in February, 1980. I came back in the summer of ‘81. I did the same thing. I got a little bit better at it. I got to know more people.

[00:06:41] I got to understand it. It was, it was unbelievable. And then I went back in. September of ‘81. I came back in the summer of ‘82. Here’s what’s really interesting for a lot of your listeners who may or may not understand this, because if you weren’t around in 1982, you definitely want to understand it. We had just come through the Jimmy Carter years.

[00:06:58] You remember the whole Iranian hostage crisis? The US economy was in, was in complete, complete. It was rough. This location interest interest rates were 21%. Unemployment was 13% and she was running at 10%. It was a really difficult time in the country. And then on top of it, we had, we were still Marly demoralized after the Iranian hostage crisis, they had Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan had just become president.

[00:07:28] Paul Volcker was fed chair. Ronald Reagan was now pushing through, his tax reform ballsy very much the way what happened when Trump took office . That’s called tax reform palsy. And if you remember, that was a massive, massive. A legislative deal. The rate was insane. It was insane. 

[00:07:47] And, but what was interesting is that guys who were my age then , who were 59, 60 years old back in 1982, when business was so bad, they were losing their jobs.

[00:07:58] They were losing their business. Guys are getting thrown up because business was horrendous. So I came back in the summer of 1982, went to go work for the guy that I worked for the previous two summers. Now he was the guy who was an independent member of the floor. He had what I thought was a fairly decent business, but started to suffer because think about this for a minute.

[00:08:18] When interest rates are 21% and you or anybody with any money in the world, You have two choices with your money. You could go to the bank and put it in a, put it in the bank and earn 21% guaranteed, no risk at night, . Or even take your money. And you could go out and buy GE and Johnson and Johnson and generally, and they’re all fine American companies, but full of risk, right?

[00:08:40] So you had a choice. Geez. I could take this. Whatever the number is, the 500,000 a million dollars, $200. I could take it and go to the bank at her and 21% or I could buy these stocks and risks. Never knowing, right? Because stocks go up and down the value, the economy was horrendous, it was horrendous.

[00:08:54] And so all this money flew into the banks. And so, and so. The Dow was trading at 792 today. It’s trading at 28,000. 

[00:09:04] Mike: [00:09:04] Yeah, I know. 

[00:09:05] Kenneth Polcari: [00:09:05] What did we, did we ever think they would ever fall on the New York stock exchange was maybe 30 million shares a day today. We’ll do 30 million shares in about a minute and a half.

[00:09:15] But I went back in the summer of 1982 and I’ll never forget it because the guy that I was going back to work for, literally, I walked in there, he put his arm around me and he said to me, I can’t afford to have you, like, I just can’t afford to have you businesses is business going down the drain.

[00:09:33] Yeah, listen, 1982, I was making a hundred bucks. I’ve had all a week as an intern on the floor of the exchange, $125 a week. And so this guy said to me, I just, it’s just another bill I can’t afford to have right now. That’s it. All . So I thought, well, okay, maybe this is the summer I’m going to be the lifeguard.

[00:09:52] So then I decided that-

[00:09:53] Mike: [00:09:53]  You had something to fall back on.

[00:09:55] Kenneth Polcari: [00:09:55] Cause I, by this time I know I got to know a lot of guys on the floor and I, and businesses and stuff. So I walked her, I said, okay, let me just check it out. So there’s one particular gentleman who I absolutely adore. He is the salt of the earth.

[00:10:08] I went over to him and said, Hey, mr. Nathan, how are you? Blah, blah, blah. Hey, welcome back. Keto puts his arm around you and gives you hope. How do you do? And I said to them, I said miss Lake. And I said, I’m probably not going to be sticking around. I said, because Douggie can’t have me because this is not doing very well.

[00:10:21] So, I’m looking for a job, but I also understand that times are tough and he looked at me and he goes, Hey kid, what’s the difference between buying a cell? I go, yeah, he goes, do  June 8th or quarter? I go, yes, sir. He goes, what’s the symbol for IBM it’s IBM. . So he said, can you start tomorrow?

[00:10:37] How’s two 50 a week. Two 50. I just got a raise. You’re kidding. I couldn’t believe it. So I spent the summer 1982, and what’s really significant about this is what happened in the summer, 1982. And again, if you weren’t around you won’t, you won’t understand this, but it was Monday, August 16th. The Dow was trading at seven 92, like I said, interesting.

[00:11:00] The agent 21% inflation was 30%. Unemployed was 10%. It was horrendous. And on the Monday afternoon, there was this rumor that was starting that on Tuesday morning, that was going to be the surprise as announced by the fed. The Fed never made surprise announcements, never, ever, ever. They came out.

[00:11:15] There’s always predictable. you say in the morning at 8:30, the guy had opened the door and stepped out to the podium. He made it an announcer. Didn’t turn around. It closed the door. He didn’t sit there and hold your hand and out. If he was Xanax, we would talk about it. Lie down. Are you okay? How do you feel? None of that jump, right?

[00:11:29] Now remember also there was no internet. There’s no LinkedIn, there’s no Twitter. There’s no Facebook. There’s no, you just radio on the floor. So the only way when you were on the floor, the only way you got information was when somebody from the outside called down to tell you what was happening.

[00:11:45] And that was really. That was by design because when you were on the floor of the exchange and you were representing a client in a crowd, you were not supposed to be poisoned with news from the outside. Your job is to react to supply and demand at that moment in time to be able to represent, buy and sell the stock based on what was happening at that moment in time in that stock.

[00:12:04] Okay. So, so, rumor has it that the Fed’s going to find him Tuesday. And so, nobody really paid any attention to it. So Tuesday morning came, we’re all there at work. It’s. As the clock approached 8:30, you could feel this kind of like the rooms got quiet. Not at this time. There were three rooms at the New York stock shakes, the original room, which is the room you see on TV all the time.

[00:12:23] And then there was a, the first, the first one that was built in 1917 called the garage and the other one built 1963 called the blue room. The three rooms made up the trading floor and all the stocks had traded, traded amongst those two rooms. So as we approached about 8:30, you could feel the room, get a little bit quiet, but not, not.

[00:12:39] Yeah, because everyone’s just waiting. And the only way you were going to know if something happened is if the phone started ringing, because again, there was no television, there was no radio, there’s no internet. All of a sudden it’s about 8:30 and in 30 seconds. And every single phone on the floor lit up and they, and there were these old institutional metal phones with the push buttons.

[00:13:00] And they would, they would ring like they were hurting, they would ring, right? Not playing songs and music the way they do today, they would ring like ring every phone that up at the same time. Picked up the phone and the people on the outside were guys that were on the trading desk at Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley at first Boston.

[00:13:15] And other regional brokers, all of them and people screaming, Oh my God, did you see what happened? No, I didn’t see what happened, what happened? And so what he told you, in fact, the feed had come out and they made the surprise announcement on Tuesday morning, August 17th, and they made the announcement that they were cutting it.

[00:13:32] We’re going to break the back of inflation and break the back of unemployment. They were going to cut interest rates by 10%. Listen to what I just said 10%. That was a big sentence. 2%, two full percentage points. So Rachel got to go from 21 to 90% in one fell swoop today. We’re talking about raising rates by a quarter of 1%.

[00:13:51] Everyone’s having a nervous breakdown. And so, and so that was Tuesday, August 17th was the birth of the greatest bull market that you and I and the world has ever known. Right? And so, and so on that day, the phones didn’t stop ringing because what that, what that did was it drew a line in the sand and he made it very clear that Rachel was coming down.

[00:14:11] And so what did it do? It forces money out of the banks and can do the market stocks . And the market took off. And that day we traded. Now on Monday, we traded 30 million shares in a down might’ve been up or down 50 cents. Yeah, three 75 cents a buck, maybe a buck, . Tuesday we traded 138 billion shares as four and a half percent for that percent at the time was 35 points.

[00:14:36] Take 30 by points is nothing, but then it was the percentage. It was a massive move in the market. And, and, And the phones never stopped ringing. It was the most amazing day. I remember it like it was yesterday. And it was, that was the birth of the greatest bull market. And then, I stayed through August.

[00:14:55] I went back to college and in September it was my, you were in college and he didn’t want me to go back. He now wanted me to stay there and go look, dude, I’ve gone three years of calls. I spent $30,000, $10,000 a year at Boston university. $70,000 a year. Insane. So I went back to college, instead.

[00:15:14] Okay, go back. you said, but you have a job when you get out in May. The following may do, I just hit the freaking lottery because there were kids who couldn’t get a job. And I had a job nine months out. He was going to hold it for me. I had it. I was going to pay me $36,000 a year. I hit the lottery .

[00:15:31] And so I went back to college. I had the greatest senior year of my life because everyone else is doing their resumes and going on interviews. I didn’t do any of that, which actually probably in retrospect, might’ve been a mistake, but what? I knew what I wanted to do and I just went and did it.

[00:15:46]  So I went, I finished my senior year. I went to Italy for a month in June. I moved down in New York, in July of, early July of 1983 for what I thought was going to be. A two or three year stint looks like I said, you want my kid from Boston. My whole family was in Boston. If  anything about Italian mothers, Italian, mothers want their kids around them.

[00:16:06] So I was expected to get married and buy a house next door, basically to my mother and father and live in like everyone was . That was just, that’s just the way it was. So I moved to New York and went to work on the floor, the exchange. It was such an amazing place. I ended up beating my wife on the fourth, the New York stock exchange.

[00:16:23] Yeah, it’s another interesting story. My wife was a girl, a young girl from Brooklyn. She’s actually Puerto Rican. She was born in Puerto Rico. She moved here when she was three. She went to high school. After high school, she got a job on the floor. Did not go to college, got a job in the forest and runner and way up the scale on her own and became a member.

[00:16:43] Well, the New York stock exchange in 1984, when there were. 12 female members of the exchange out of 1,366 when women were just punching their head through the glass ceiling. My wife was one of those on the cutting edge of those women. And on top of that, she’s Puerto Rican.

[00:17:02] So she’s Hispanic, she’s a minority, which was just what just added.

[00:17:06] Mike: [00:17:06] She is one of the street smarts. 

[00:17:09] Kenneth Polcari: [00:17:09] Yeah, she was, certainly one of the trailblazers. And anyway, so I met my wife, then next thing, we got married. Then you buy a house, you get pregnant, you have kids. And all of a sudden you have two cars and a dog, and next thing , your life just happens.

[00:17:20] So 38 years later, I was still in New York and I never ended up moving back to Boston. And my mother is still not talking to me, but that’s a whole other issue. But, I have to test, it was the most amazing, amazing place and time to be in, during that time I was young, it was exciting that the market was just, and- 

[00:17:42] Mike: [00:17:42] how many years did you spend there?

[00:17:44] Kenneth Polcari: [00:17:44] 38. I was there for 38 years. I left there in January of 2019. 

[00:17:50] Mike: [00:17:50] Wow. So you just left? 

[00:17:51] Kenneth Polcari: [00:17:51] I left. Yeah, I left a year and a half ago. 

[00:17:54] Mike: [00:17:54] You’ve seen a ton of change on that floor. 

[00:17:57] Kenneth Polcari: [00:17:57] A ton of change, the rules and regulations, the things like the crash of 87, the bull market, the nineties, the whole bowl wide. Kate tech bubble.

[00:18:06] And  I laughed so hard at that. I mean, the fear was real though. The costumes, it was real, but fear was real when they finally figured out what the real issue was. 

[00:18:10] The fear was real, but that whole, that whole time, the nineties was just an incredible time in the markets. Not only just in terms of the markets, but.

[00:18:26] In terms of technology was just beginning to show its face, Europe and Asia had already had, they had gone from, from, open crime markets the way we work to automate it. They automated their markets in the late eighties and early nineties, United States. We were still doing pen to paper, human, to human rights of a quarter eighths of a dollar trading in the crowd.

[00:18:48] . We did not automate until after the turn of the century. Yeah. And so, we, 

[00:18:55] Mike: [00:18:55] So, what are you saying that the floor traders are a dying breed. 

[00:19:00] Kenneth Polcari: [00:19:00] The flip there is no more flood trader. Now look now. Yeah, they’re all gone. It’s all automated today. It’s all automated. Well, so, so, so there’s, first of all, all those people, there’s only, there’s less than 200 down from 5,500 is what used to be on the trading.

[00:19:16] 5,500 type personalities. That was the greatest part because we’re all type A personalities. And so, but I had to be a spectacle. Dude. I got to tell you the energy was up here every day. If the market was up, the energy was up, the blood went down, the energy was up. It was just a different energy.

[00:19:33] You could feel it, like I like to, I like to explain it. When you go to a concert, like a, like a concert and you’re sitting right down in the front and, the big, huge speakers and when the music starts to play well, if you, if you, if you’re standing up for those figures, you can feel the vibration, it goes right through your body.

[00:19:50] . That’s the way it felt. Every single eye on the foot was the most exciting place in the world. And then, I was there during the crash of 1987. I was only 26 years old, but that’s also a story. Like I remember it was yesterday. 

[00:20:05] Mike: [00:20:05] You were there during that?

[00:20:07] Kenneth Polcari: [00:20:07] I was there during, I was there during a wait.

[00:20:09] I was there during 9-11. I was at Y2K. I was there the whole way through it. And each one of those events resulted in regulatory changes and advances in technology. And so, and so slowly. The market started to change because it changed. It didn’t change overnight until after 9-11. I will say after 9-11, it started to change over because what people don’t realize about 9-11 was, was what it revealed and what it revealed was the vulnerability of the United States in the US capital markets.

[00:20:46] Mike: [00:20:46] Because here we had so much, we had so much sitting in those towers. 

[00:20:48] Kenneth Polcari: [00:20:48] I mean, well, the floors worth of financial planning. 

[00:20:52] Yeah. Not only in the towers, but what people don’t understand is that the New York stock exchange was three blocks East of the twin towers. And at the turn of the century, once they once.

[00:21:03] We converted from open outcry to starting to use technology and really automating the marketplace. All the servers that ran the floor, the New York stock exchange that were all located in the building, all the cables and wires that ran out to the world that connected out to went underneath the truck, went through the belly of the trade centers.

[00:21:22] Not that I don’t think anybody does. I think that they knew Al Qaeda knew that that was the case. No, I don’t think I’ll come to that at all. But what happened was, that’s where they went and when the trade centers got hit and collapsed, what happened to all those cables and wires, they all got severed and destroyed.

[00:21:40] And so now what happens to this brand new automated 21st century market? We have it. Was it work? Does it work? I mean, the building, the building physically was there. The computer’s on, but there’s no data. There’s no data going back and forth because now there’s, there’s, there’s, there’s no connectivity.

[00:21:58] And so what happened was that event revealed. Exactly how vulnerable the country was and how long horrible the markets were. Because look, the listed stocks, when you think of IBM at general electric and Avalara inventories in Boeing, those are all New York stock exchange listed stocks, unlike Apple and Intel, they traded on NASDAQ, NASDAQ, different marketplace.

[00:22:20] The offices building the office buildings were in a time square that was already an automated computerized market, not like the New York stock exchange. It was very, very different . And what 9-11 revealed was there was, not only did we not have a backup plan in this country, but what it revealed was how vulnerable, vulnerable we were as a country and how vulnerable that the capital market system wasn’t listening.

[00:22:45] The US capital market is not just the US. It involves investors around the world. The same way we as Americans go invest in Europe, we as Americans go invest in Asia. And so Asians come to America, invest in the US Europeans come to America or Latin Americans come to America, Canadians come to America, .

[00:23:01] The same way. And so what it, what it highlighted was the risk of, of our system and our system was in New York stock change was where it all traded. I mean that I listened, they were starting to make advancements in what you call alternative trading systems, but they didn’t, they hadn’t taken off yet.

[00:23:20] The technology wasn’t so advanced that they were successful yet. But what happened was when that happened. The whole world changed, right? When, when, when we realized, when people thought, okay, well the New York stock exchange is going to open on Tuesday. It wasn’t gonna open on Tuesday, 9-11, but then it didn’t open on Wednesday.

[00:23:38] And then it didn’t open it Thursday because he couldn’t, there was no connectivity, but stood up and told everybody about that. Because it would have created panic, right? And so here’s what happened. So on, on, on Wednesday morning, you call your broker and you say to your broker, okay, I want to sell my stocks because you remember what was going on.

[00:23:58] And Asian markets are under pressure. European markets are under pressure, the US markets. And when the US markets, when you couldn’t trade anything on the new exchange, you couldn’t trade anything else. So interest rates didn’t trade. Futures didn’t trade currencies at Drake. C’mon nothing traded, right?

[00:24:13] So the United States went dark, completely dark. And so what we had to do as a nation and as an industry was we shipped guys in immediately that had to rewire the system and they were in the middle. Now think about what was happening over here was this disaster of the world trade center. And over here was the center of finance for real well, not only the United States, but really for the world.

[00:24:34] And, and these guys, they had to rewire every single computer and server on the front door to the outside world. They had to connect it. They had to test it. They had to make sure that everyone, the outside world could connect in there to make sure we got kicked out, check the phones. They had a, they had a, we had a fine office space for all those brokers that were in the twin towers whose offices had gotten destroyed.

[00:24:57] Because they had 10,000 you couldn’t say to Marilyn, Oh, I’m sorry, we’re going to open the market, but you can’t play because their office got destroyed. Everyone had to be up and running before you could open the market again. And so when you think about it, it was, it was really amazing when you think about it, because we got that.

[00:25:14] Up and running in six days. Right? Because it happened on Tuesday. The following Monday, we reopened now when we put it together with spit and bandaids, no one knew if it was going to last, it wasn’t gonna last. And I’ll never forget. I’ll never forget on that Monday. The people who could come back to work came back, there were some people who.

[00:25:36] Who couldn’t come back because they had gotten killed or other people chose not to come back because they, they were, they were too traumatized. They just work on that. But for, for those of us who did go back. We had to go back over the weekend. On Saturday and Sunday, we had to test our phones, test computers to make sure everything was going to work Monday morning, we were going to go.

[00:25:54] And so on the Monday morning they had everybody on the floor that came back. They had police and they fired me and they had, they had Clinton and Chuck Schumer, elected officials, and then Rudy Giuliani. But the mayor has all that stuff. And, They also had this woman, who’s a, who was in the army.

[00:26:13] I forget her name right now, but you can look her up. She’s very famous, but she’s an opera singer and they brought her to New York and they put her up on the podium. At 9:15 on Monday morning. And she sang God, bless America at nine 15. Just acapella just sang it. Yep. Just, just, just blew the doors off.

[00:26:36] Awesome. And I have to tell you something. Talk about an emotional moment in your life because here’s we, we all know what happened on 9-11, exactly remember exactly where you were. And then on the Monday morning here we were, and we, everyone expected that, the market was going to open and it was going to crash.

[00:26:55] Because you want it out. You didn’t want to own GE and Abbott and Johnson Johnson, but you want your cat, you called your broker. He was like, get me the fuck out. I want my cash. And so, and that’s exactly what happened. She’s saying that there were tears in everybody’s eyes and then at nine 29 and 55 seconds, when they start to ring the opening bell, everyone, everyone in the flow goes like this because you didn’t know if it was going to work or if it was going to fail.

[00:27:24] Mike: [00:27:24] Yep. Yep. 

[00:27:24] Kenneth Polcari: [00:27:24] Where the computer’s going to start delivering the flow. When was the tape? We’re going to start to move and with stocks going to start to trade or not. And so, it did, in fact, it all lit up and the computers lit up and you had a flow started that started to come in and the trade started to happen.

[00:27:39] And I’ll never forget it. You, we, we ran around the whole day, like on, on eggshells. Because I’m sure nobody at any moment you didn’t know. And at four o’clock when the closing bell rang, the market was down. 600 points I think, on huge volume. Yeah. And that was a big, that was a big move down.

[00:28:00] 600 points was a big move. But when the bell stopped ringing is when it got really emotional, because it was at that moment that you realized that as difficult as the previous six days had been, and as difficult as that day had been, and as difficult as it was going to be, to be in the days ahead that. We were back.

[00:28:23] We were, they kicked us down and knocked us down for six days. Absolutely they did. But we, it was like at four o’clock. It was like, you stole, you could feel the whole country stand up and lock arms and stand up. And then it became really physically emotional, like crying and tears because it, because people were just holding it all in, everyone was trying to be, you know what I mean?

[00:28:48] They were trying to hold it together. And, and then that was the beginning of really what was soon to become like this massive change in the industry, certainly at the beginning of, the rebound. And so from there, that event, what that event did, it showed a light on the vulnerabilities and shone a light on the vulnerabilities of the country, of the market, how that affected global markets.

[00:29:13] Cause look, if you’re somebody in Europe, you’ve got all this money. You’ve worked your whole life. You’ve got all this money. It’s invested in stocks in Europe. It’s invested in the United States. When that event happens, you get freaky to call you. You call your broker and you say, listen, I sell all my stocks, European US Selma.

[00:29:28] I want all my money. And so the broker sells your stocks in Europe, but he says to you, I can’t sell you stocks, the United States because the markets are closed. I can’t sell it. And so you say, okay, that’s on Wednesday. Then on Thursday you say the same thing. And he says, I can’t close the market. And on Friday you said the market’s closed.

[00:29:43] And so now you start to get nervous. And so on Monday morning, when the market opened, you called your broker, you say, to get me out, which is exactly what happened. And the market came under pressure and. But, but, and I remember that it’s so vivid in my mind that the mere fact, 

[00:30:01] Mike: [00:30:01] your fact, that, that all went down though, the fact that you guys were able to make it through.

[00:30:05] Kenneth Polcari: [00:30:05] Yeah. And Yeah, people on the other side of the phones that were calling their brokers finally hearing, okay, it’s done, speaks volumes. 

[00:30:14] Mike: [00:30:14] Yeah. Cause at that point now all of a sudden it’s, it’s no longer, well, we can’t help you. It’s like we did our job. And you got, and you got your liquidity.

[00:30:23] Kenneth Polcari: [00:30:23] Correct. Don’t forget you come back. Well, and, and so they didn’t, I mean, the market’s actually stabilized. That was the worst day that Monday was the worst day. And then, yeah. And then, I mean, listen, it was volatile for the next couple of weeks just because there’d been so much damage done to the market and really, to the country psyche.

[00:30:41] But what happened was then the, then the industry immediately said, okay, how do we, how do we now fix this? How do we now prepare? And so today, as a result, enlisted, it may have happened anyway, but that event lit the fire under.

[00:30:57] Mike: [00:30:57]  Yeah, it was a real catalyst for sure. 

[00:30:58] Kenneth Polcari: [00:30:58] Yeah. It was absolutely a catalyst.

[00:31:00] And so, today we have 12 exchanges in the United States. Right? So the New York stock exchange is the only physical exchange. The other 11 exchanges are virtual. They trade in the cloud, they’re run by servers, located all over the country. You can’t talk to him. He can feel me. You can’t go visit them.

[00:31:15] There’s no human beings. It’s all electronic. New York is the only one where there are still people. It is electronic, but the people that you see down there today, when you see it on television, those are the people that are just overseeing the technology. The technology is doing all the work people are overseeing in the event that there’s a failure of technology in the event that there’s a news light Amman on, on general electric or Boeing.

[00:31:38] It would cause him, it would cause a surgeon, the trading volume, the human being is there to help coordinate it. But for the most part, it’s completely automated. And which is why, at some point I just decided, decided it wasn’t for me anymore, because as much as I love the industry and I’m still in the industry, I just not in a different I’m in a different part of it now, that role, first of all, got completely automated away.

[00:32:01] Mike: [00:32:01] Yeah. Technology has definitely automated it. Yeah. 

[00:32:04] Kenneth Polcari: [00:32:04] Broking does not exist, today. That institutional broker. Cause remember the guy on the floor, I was an institutional broker. My clients were hedge funds, mutual funds, pension plans, foundations. 

Mike: Was it talking to you as an individual, right? You were not calling.

[00:32:20] Kenneth Polcari: Yeah. And say, listen, I want to buy 50 shares of Coca. Put it in my kid’s retirement account. Ah, I was talking to fidelity. I was talking to mutual funds or hedge funds, right? The portfolio manager that was managing billions of dollars needed to buy a million shares of both and sell 300,000 shares of IBM, but buy 5 million shares of American telephone.

[00:32:38] Those were my clients. 

[00:32:40] Mike: [00:32:40] Okay. Oh my gosh. American telephone. 

[00:32:45] Hey guys, so we’re gonna, we’re going to take a quick, quick break, short break, and then we’re going to come back. I want to talk a little bit more with Kenny about them. But, motivations, things that get him jazz, obviously sleekness is one of them.

[00:32:56] And then you’re going to have to come back and share more of these stories because I’m hearing there’s plenty of them with every market drop and come back. It’s always been, it’s been interesting to me too. I mean, the mere fact that I was able to see what was going to happen in 2008 back in 2006, I still anyway, want to take 30 seconds, we’ll be right back.

[00:33:19] and then we’ll, we’ll talk a little bit about what motivates you, all right, guys. 


Mike: We’re back here with Java chat and man, Kenny just got some stories, dude. We, I mean, there’s so much and guys understand something when you’re, when you’re in, when you’re in the financial district or financial vertical.

[00:33:40] There’s a whole bunch of sub niches, but this one in particular gets to see a lot of the action and it can get to be overwhelming. One of the things that Kenny said earlier was, it was fun to watch a whole bunch of type personalities playing with each other on the floor because they’re sitting there trying to figure out what am I going to buy?

[00:33:56] What am I going to sell? And the energy is there’s, it’s like a buzz. There’s this buzz vibe that goes, it’s a constant buzz. 

[00:34:03] Mike: [00:34:03] It’s a constant buzz. When you talk about motivations, which we do, what moves somebody to do something, motivate inspirate, however you want to call it. there’s a reason that people got up in the morning and, and yours obviously was this love of this industry, but what, what was that?

[00:34:20] What was, are there people that inspired you because of this? Or was it just. What moves you? 

[00:34:26] Kenneth Polcari: [00:34:26] It’s, it’s so funny. Because when I was, when I was in high school, getting ready to go to college. I wanted to, I wanted to go to school and become a lawyer and be a politician. And one day, be present.

[00:34:42] Yeah, there you go. I am so happy and not a lawyer and a politician in the United States. Trust me, but it’s funny because the job I ended up doing was the furthest thing in the world that I ever thought. I would do. It goes back to that statement that I met this, I met this, these guys at this Christmas party.

[00:35:04] I had this opportunity, I originally said no, and then I rethought it. And then I, and so I guess the question is, it depends on the choices you make along the way in your life, how your life is going to end up. And so, I never had, I never went to that Christmas party. I would never have had that opportunity.

[00:35:22] Had I never met that guy. I would never have that opportunity. 

[00:35:25] Mike: [00:35:25] Had you not, you might actually be president, 

[00:35:26] Kenneth Polcari: [00:35:26] I might be president. But I didn’t, for whatever reason, the choices I made and then, like I said to myself, what’s the worst that’s going to happen. I’m going to go there and I’m either going to love it, or I’m going to hate it.

[00:35:40] If I hate it, I chalk it up to experience and move on if I love it, who knows if it changes course in life. And in fact it did just that. And it was from the minute. I walked on the floor. It was the people I met. It was their engaging personalities. It was, that was the strategy and the creativity of being on the floor.

[00:35:58] It was, it was the energy in the room. And when I had to taste the energy, it was like a dream, right? 

[00:36:06] Mike: [00:36:06] Oh yeah. 

[00:36:07] Kenneth Polcari: [00:36:07] You just, you just feed off the energy and it was, it was, it was well, in my mind, it was the most amazing place. Humans have this wonderful business world, 

[00:36:21] Mike: [00:36:21] Humans have this wonderful ability to transfer their energy to each other, either by sound or by, by activity.

[00:36:27] And, sometimes which is why humans dance and why they sing or talk or yell out to each other. Like the outcry. 

[00:36:36] Same thing happened to me. I was a musician. People know that when I was younger and there were days when on stage. If you’re a solo guitar, it’s kind of hard. You got to feed off the crowd, but if you’re on stage with like four other musicians.

[00:36:50] Kenneth Polcari: [00:36:50] Yeah. 

[00:36:50] Mike: [00:36:50] Holy cow. All of a sudden it’s a love Fest. 

[00:36:53] Kenneth Polcari: [00:36:53] Yeah. You play the guitar?

[00:36:57] Mike: [00:36:57] Yeah. And it, and I know the same thing happens. Financial. I know what happens is if you remember the movie Boiler Room I’ve been in places like that. And when it’s rolling and it’s buzzing, it really does it, they as well.

[00:37:12] So who were some of your best mentors, like who, who influenced you in your, in your development? 

[00:37:17] Kenneth Polcari: [00:37:17] Well, listen, I would, I would be remiss if I said my father was not one of my, one of the guiding lights and absolutely certainly one of the guiding lights in my life. But, along the way there were, there were, when I was at, when I was at college at BU there were a couple of teachers in high school that made significant impacts on the way I looked at the world.

[00:37:40] And the way I thought, when I was a senior in high school, I took a psychology one on one course. And, the teacher in that course changed. I just, it was his, it was his style. It was his personality. It was the, it was the subject matter. It just changed. The way I thought. And so, he made a significant impact on my life in terms of how I looked at things, how I looked at myself, how I looked at the world.

[00:38:10] And then, and then when I was in college, just the same thing there, there were, there were, professors along the way in college, different different classes. Certainly in my case, there were all business classes that just started to ignite the fire that was in me. And then, and then when I had the opportunity to go to New York, I mean, certainly the guy that I ended up working for, I told you it’s the salt of the earth that I loved this man.

[00:38:36] He’s now 83 years old. He lives up long Island, but he was and continues to be, he was a mentor then. And he was like, the kid that grew up in Queens had nothing more than a high school education and worked his way up the ladder. He was a guy that, at, 15 years old whose father passed away.

[00:38:54] And so when he graduated high school, his mother said, God and got a job. And he got a job at the New York stock exchange and, but he had the right personality, right? It was all about the right personality. And somebody took a liking to him and somebody took him under his wing and somebody educated him and somebody gave him an opportunity.

[00:39:12] And, in 1974, he bought a seat in the, on the New York stock exchange. I think he paid $52,000 for the seat, 50 2019 70 and a half a mil. Now. They don’t exist anymore. Well, the equivalence of the equivalence of the feed into 

[00:39:31] what it would be now. Well, so let me tell you it’s much more than that.

[00:39:34] So let me tell you why. Because when I became a member in 1985, seats were trading at $350,000, but there were only, there were only a limited number of seats. So since traded up and down like stocks, if the market was good in the economy is good and, and yellow was good. Seats would trade up because you couldn’t make a lot of money.

[00:39:49] If the economy was bad, Yeah. A secret trade down, right? And so, at the height, before it went, before they, the place where public seats traded as high as 2 million bucks, Whoa, Whoa was just right the century, 1998, 99. And when the place went public in 2005, after 9-11 and all that stuff, if you owned a seat, the seat became more at $6.8 million, right?

[00:40:18] So this guy, this mentor of mine, the guy that I worked for who paid $54,000 for the seat, 1974 and worked it and used it his whole life and created a life and a career. And in 2005, When the place went public, he turned the seat in. He got a check for, he got stock worth $6.2 million in the new New York stock exchange.

[00:40:40] And he got a check for three, 350 or $400,000, whatever that, whatever the difference was. And then the stock price came out at $62 a share trade up to 128 before the market crashed and then credit all the way down to 15. Now it’s straightened back then. A hundred and something again. But he ended up selling all the stock on the way up, hundreds.

[00:40:59] And so he’s very well for himself. And, but he, he was somebody who forever impacted my life. It was, it was him as a person. It was as a mentor. He took me under his wing. He paid it forward as well. Just like the guy when he was younger, who put his arm around him and paid it forward, he did the same to me.

[00:41:19] And I have now since done the same to three or four other three or four other guys. I’m awesome because. Hey, that’s what you should do now, you should always pay it. you should always pay it forward and you should always look to be a mentor. And that’s what I look, part of what I like to do.

[00:41:36] And part of what I’m doing today is mentoring and education, certainly in the financial services space, but I’ve, I’ve now since left and I, and I moved to the wealth management side of the high net worth investor space. So I’ve gone from the institutional side to the retail side and I, and I, have this perspective after spending 40 to 38 years on the floor of the exchange servicing institution.

[00:42:04] Asset managers on not only how the markets work in function, but yeah, I get a sense of, I got a very deep ingrained sense of the markets. And so I’ve taken that, And that’s what really fires me up every day, besides that my family fires me up every day. I mean, I’m married. I got two kids.

[00:42:22] Although I have two adults now, I don’t, I have two adults, but they fire me up every day. That they are what keep me, put one foot in front of the other and get up and go look. Cause I’m only 59. I know I’m maybe I look a little bit older. I’m only 59, but I could live, my grandmother died at 103 and she was perfectly healthy.

[00:42:40] I could live for another 40 years. That’d be perfect. So, yeah. And so, I’m going no place at the moment, right? I’m not, I’m not like, oh, you must be retired. I’m not retired at all because honestly, I think if I retired right now, I think, I think I ended up dying because I think you’d end up losing your mind first.

[00:42:58] Bays have a hard time staying still. That’s just how it is. And that’s part, that’s part of the issue, right? So I gotta be up, I gotta be doing something, doing something maybe, maybe, maybe at a little bit, you have a slower pace, but I’m still doing something . And that’s what keeps me going. And so, in addition to my kind of wealth management and chief market strategist role in this independent RIA down here in Florida, I do a lot of education stuff.

[00:43:21] I do a lot of public speaking stuff about the markets, about the history of the markets, about all that stuff and I mentor. And so, that’s what, that’s what kind of drives me today. 

[00:43:31] Mike: [00:43:31] That’s cool. That’s all cool stuff. you’ve moved through. You’ve obviously gone from being mentored, to being a mentor and being driven for all, all great reasons, family, other people that need your needs, your expertise, et cetera.

[00:43:50] What would be one guiding principle that you think people could use on the daily? Like when they get out of bed, what would be something that you would say is what you should start with? Start with this when you first get up  and go from there. 

[00:44:04] Kenneth Polcari: [00:44:04] Well, for me, for me, I start with some introspection very early in the morning.

[00:44:16] I get up at four o’clock in the morning and I, and I just think about, I think about the person I am, I think about who I want to be. I think about how I’m gonna, how I’m going to make this day. Impact not only on my life, but how am I going to impact somebody else’s life on this day? And what can I do to do that?

[00:44:37] I’m not a religious fanatic, but I, but I have faith. And so therefore I, that’s part of what guides me, and that’s how I lived my life. And I’ve, and I, and I, I try to get up every day and think about, okay, what am I going to be able to do today?

[00:44:58] That’s going to benefit somebody, how can I help somebody else? And that’s, I spent a lot of time doing that. And I’ve, and I’ve really done that, honestly, my whole life in terms of that’s, I’ve kind of always lived my life. I think that’s, that’s your answer. 

[00:45:13] Mike: [00:45:13] That’s, that’s it that’s well, that’s actually, An answer

[00:45:17] that’s in alignment with a lot of other people, how they think if I’m going to get up in the morning.

[00:45:26] Kenneth Polcari: [00:45:26]  I need a reason either I’m impacting family or I’m impacting my neighbor, somebody and impact somebody. And you’ve got to try to, you’ve got to try to do something good in the world. 

[00:45:32] Mike: [00:45:32] Yeah, absolutely.

[00:45:34] That’s good. Hey guys, we’re gonna take one more break. Yes, we’re rolling along that fast. I want to take one more 30 second break. And when we come back, we’ll talk a little bit more about where Kenny is now, what he’s doing, how he’s impacting lives and where we can, where we can find them. So then be back in 30 seconds.


Mike: And we’re back here at Java chat here doing an interview with Kenny Paul Carey.

[00:45:55] Kenny has been sharing some real amazing stories of the past, where he’s been, where he’s from. His motivations, obviously, if you guys hear that part, reverse this a little bit, but he hasn’t stopped even at where he’s at now. Stop. He’s still moving. What are you doing these days now that you’ve obviously left the exchange?

[00:46:18] You’re you’re done. You let your seat go but that stuff never leaves you. So what are you doing with it? 

[00:46:24] Kenneth Polcari: [00:46:24] No, it doesn’t leave you. And, partly, I left. I left. No, it’s interesting. It took me a long time to leave. Partly because 

[00:46:33] Mike: [00:46:33] 38 years it took you to leave. That’s a long time. 

[00:46:35] Kenneth Polcari: [00:46:35] A long time, because partly it defined who I was.

[00:46:40] For a certain amount of time defined who I was. And I had a love affair with the place. I just, I just. Loved every minute of going there and being there and the excitement of it. I ended up doing a lot of, I do television commentary too, and I would do it live from the floor, the exchange, it was all very, it was all so very exciting to me.

[00:47:04] But at some point it didn’t make any more sense. Right? I mean, the job I did get automated away and at some point, it just didn’t, it wasn’t that at that point, it didn’t become fun for me anymore and so when our kids were big, our kids are grown now, so it wasn’t like we had, we had to stay in New York and yeah.

[00:47:19] Put them in school, all that stuff, they would already have done all that. So I said to my wife, listen, if we’re going to change, if I’m going to change my life, I’m going to launch this new business. I want a complete change. I want to see something different. 

[00:47:34] Mike: [00:47:34] Forgive me. I need a whole makeover.

[00:47:36] Kenneth Polcari: [00:47:36] Right. And so, 

[00:47:39] Mike: [00:47:39] Or, or the, or the twins, I need a whole new ensemble. 

[00:47:42] Kenneth Polcari: [00:47:42] Yeah, so we decided, so we picked up and we moved to South Florida. We didn’t note anything here. And so we just went out into women as we sold our house in New York and we picked up and we rented a place in Palm beach to try it out, to kind of feel it out, see what it was like.

[00:47:59] And I launched my new business down here in Boca and, I am a, I have my own consulting business, which is case capital advisors. And I consult not only in the, in the finished services space, but in the wealth management space. I’m the chief market strategist for a billion dollar at $1.2 billion, independent RIA down here in Jupiter by representing them.

[00:48:19] When I get on TV, I represent them at client events, I help to bring assets and help people, that now need some, some sure. More specific, money management, help and financial plans and all that. So, I do all that, which I also that’s the other side of it that I love to do, because it keeps me once again engaged with people.

[00:48:39] Mike: [00:48:39] Yeah. That’s what happened 

[00:48:40] Kenneth Polcari: [00:48:40] To my yeah. Is like a completely automated way. They took the people away. Now what this does is it allows me to sit down and have a conversation with you. It allows me to strategize, it allows me to help you build a plan and lay it out. What do you want to do? How are we going to get there?

[00:48:53] So much more creative and for me it fits my personality because it puts me right back in the thick of it again. Sure, sure. And then I still watch television stuff. I write a daily blog, a market commentary blog that you could see. It goes into my Twitter. It goes out on my LinkedIn every day. You can sign up for it and get it delivered to every day. 

[00:49:12] Mike: [00:49:12] We’ll have those, we’ll have those links down in the comments. Yeah. 

[00:49:15] Kenneth Polcari: [00:49:15] People will be able to do that. So that’s what I do. So I’ve, I’ve kind of created this, this new world for myself, different from what I did, but yet using all the skill sets that I, that I developed over 38 years, 

[00:49:27] Mike: [00:49:27] It’s obviously serving you well, if you’re with a REIA that’s that large, I mean, it’s, it’s doing just fine.

[00:49:32] Kenneth Polcari: [00:49:32] Yeah, no, they’re great. And they, and listen, we do a great job and it’s all very.. It’s I, I struggled with it at first thinking, I dunno, I dunno. I don’t know if I can do this, but because it was the whole thing. Think about the change right here. They had done that other job for 38 years.

[00:49:50] I was, I was, I was so deep in it that it was breaking out. And that’s what you had to do. You had to break. 

[00:49:57] Mike: [00:49:57] Yeah. Yeah. I get that 

[00:49:58] Kenneth Polcari: [00:49:58] But we had to step outside the box and for a lot of people that can be unnerving and listen, I’ll be the first one to say it was unnerving for me as well.

[00:50:07] Because I was leaving everything I knew. And I was launching this new business that I didn’t know, it wasn’t gonna work. It wasn’t gonna work. and so it’s still very much in the building phase. but that’s exciting for me too, because I’m building it. So I’m actively involved. I’m doing it.

[00:50:24] I’m out there talking to people and trying to build them . Build the business. So, 

[00:50:28] Mike: [00:50:28] and who’s, who are the kinds of people that you usually talk with? Like, are we talking net worth individuals? Are we talking just anybody or 

[00:50:34] Kenneth Polcari: [00:50:34] No, no, no, no. So, for me, for me, a key client has gotta be someone that’s got, 750,000 or more of investable assets.

[00:50:44] but most of my clients are somewhere between the one and 5 million Mark of investable assets. The firm does. We have clients at the firm that have 10 and 15 and $20 million of investable assets. but my sweet spot is right in there really between the one and 5,000,001 and 3 million, range is what, what my sweet spot would be.

[00:51:04] So yeah. Considered that at a high net worth. Yeah. Yeah, sure. For sure. Cool.

[00:51:10] Mike: [00:51:10] There is a podcast that you’re going to be kicking off here shortly too. What’s that called? 

[00:51:14] Kenneth Polcari: [00:51:14] Well, I haven’t come up with the exact name yet. I think it’s going to be called host of the party because it’s going to be about finance and food finance.

[00:51:22] Mike: [00:51:22] Wait, wait, wait, finance and food? And those are still completely divergent subjects. You got to explain this. 

[00:51:30] Kenneth Polcari: [00:51:30] There’s a story behind that. and because listen, I started this podcast by telling you I’m the middle of five kids who are a boss at a dyad family. So, I grew up cooking. Well, I grew up a statue on one hand and a pot in the other.

[00:51:45] It’s just what we did in my house and so I grew up cooking and I love the cook. It’s fascinating to get.

[00:51:51] Mike: [00:51:51] You’ve got another you got another footie too right here. 

[00:51:53] Kenneth Polcari: [00:51:53] And so, and the thing about cooking and the, and, and, and as a result of cooking, I love to entertain. I love to have people and listen, as there’s something very intimate.

[00:52:03] About inviting someone into your home, right? You invite people in your home, you cook for them, you set the table, you create the atmosphere. It is a, there’s an intimacy about that. That, that is just fascinating to me. But I, and my wife is the same way. My wife is Puerto Rican and she’s a great Hispanic, Spanish cook, Latin cook.

[00:52:22] And then together I cook Italian, she cooks Hispanic and then we, everything else we can just cook together. But my wife has also, loves food and loves the entertaining and, and, and the, and the intimacy of it. And so what happened was the reason that this is you’ll understand this in a minute. If you go and you read my blog every day, you’re going to see there’s a headline on the blog and it’ll be a headline.

[00:52:46] So today it was like a stock surge. And then I gave you, I gave you a recipe. So today I gave you a linguini, right? We’ll see, in the headline, on Twitter, on my LinkedIn. And the reason that happened was because in the middle of the crisis, I started writing this blog. In the middle of the financial crisis, I would, every morning, I’d just write my thoughts down on paper, about what the market was doing and why, and what was important, what happened overnight in Europe, but it was happening in Asia.

[00:53:13] And I used to send this blog out to just my clients. It was 16 people that was, I would just write it and then email it out. And on this one Friday night, it was a Friday night in December. It was going to be a lousy quarter. Rainy snow is a shitty weekend in New York. I had gotten my head. I’d just gotten beaten up the whole week because the European banks were falling off the edge of the ECB and were having meetings in Brussels every day.

[00:53:37] And the markets were under pressure and I went home on Friday night. And my wife and I were empty nesters at the time. Because both our kids were at college and I walked in the house. And I went around and I pulled down all the shades of the first store and I took the phone off the hook.

[00:53:50] And I said to my wife, I don’t want to see anybody. I don’t want to talk to anybody. I want to go upstairs and take a shower. I want to put on my pajamas. I want to come downstairs and light a fire. I want to see Noggle on the couch. Watch movies and cook. That’s all I want to do. Just me and her. That’s all I want to do.

[00:54:04] So that’s what we did the whole weekend. That’s what we did. And so on Monday morning I went to work and I used to write this note from Florida, the New York stock exchange. At six o’clock in the morning, I’d start writing the note. And so all of a sudden it’s 6:30, the phone rings in the phone and the call came from a buddy of mine who was also a client who lived down in Texas.

[00:54:22] And he called me up today. Just shoot the breeze with me. What are you doing? How was your weekend? What’d you do? So I told them exactly that story. And he says to me what you make. And so I listed off the four or five things we made and one of them was a rugal of pesto pesto. It’s just pesto, beggar, the rugal.

[00:54:37] Instead of Bazell you use the gal, use the Allwood cheese, the Panola nuts, right? You boil the pasta, you put the pesto sauce over the pasta, garlic bread, a glass of white wine. You’re done. That’s it? It’s easy. Really delicious. Google’s got a little bit of a peppery flavor, so it’s got like a little bit of a kick to it, right?

[00:54:54] Unlike days, it’s a little bit sweeter. Anyway, so I told him that story. I told him that recipe and he said to me, jeez, he said, that sounds great. Can you send me the rest of you? Go? Yeah, sure. No problem. I’ll just type it in the bottom of the note, because now I’m talking to you at the same time I’m typing.

[00:55:07] So I typed the recipe in the bottom of the note. And so when I hit the send button, it went out to everybody on the list, which was again, only 16 people. But, when you have an email and you hit the send button you’re like Oh shit, you try to call it back. You can’t call it back. It’s gone.

[00:55:19] So note that they went out to the 16 people . With the recipe in it. And so I spent all day. 16 times. I had to tell that story because all daggers, the phone calls, what the hell is this recipe in the bottle? It was a mistake. It was a mistake. It was a mistake, but I told the whole story and the response I got was Pete, just like you did, you left, right?

[00:55:41] You didn’t say to me, Oh, you’re an idiot. You go, wow. That sounds good. Or I’m going to send this to my wife where I could go home and try to make it tonight. Yeah. Dope. It takes all of 15 minutes to make, because you boil the pasta. You bro, you blend the arugala. Boom, that’s it.

[00:55:54] And so. The next day when I get to work, I’m writing the note on Tuesday morning. I’m thinking about the 16 conversations I had the day before about the food.

[00:56:03] And what’s interesting about finances, especially when you’re in the middle of the crisis is finance can be so unnerving to people and managing money and. And jobs and income can be so unnerving, but yet food on the other hand is so nurturing because you need food to survive. And, and, like I have this love affair with food and I have this love affair with cooking and serving.

[00:56:29] Having you over for dinner. And so the second day Tuesday, I said, screw you, you don’t, I’m going to put another recipe in the note. And so I put another recipe in the note, then the next day put another as peanut notes. So now the note goes every day with that, the first half is all about the markets and the bottom half is, is a recipe of the day.

[00:56:47] And what ended up happening was suddenly I was getting requests. All of a sudden you’d call me up and you’d say, I forward your note onto it. Five of my friends. Can you do me a favor? Just add them to the list. Okay. So I started, I started adding people to the list. Next thing , there’s 70,000 people on this list.

[00:57:02] Awesome. That is awesome. And it it’s picked up by Bloomberg. It gets picked up by a, it goes out of my Twitter, goes out of my LinkedIn, but that’s where the food and the finance came from. So the podcast I’m on, I’m going to combine my love of the markets with my love of food, because there are times when I try to, I try to feature a recipe that details the tone of the market.

[00:57:23] Sure. Right? And there are other times I just want to talk about food at the end. Listen, I don’t want it to be, it’s not a, it’s not a food blog. It’s not a food podcast. It is only going to be a finance podcast.

[00:57:32] Mike: [00:57:32] Having something of that nature involved. Really, it really sets a better tone. It causes most people to only think of the droning that goes on in the front.

[00:57:41] Kenneth Polcari: [00:57:41] Yeah. You know? Exactly. And so, and so I’ve had such success with this, with this blog is food and finance that I want to make the podcast the same thing. So I think it’s going to be called hosting the party right on the one hand. The party like you would have at your house with the food. And on the other hand, the party, like when I think of that, when I think of the royalty, the nineties, what it was like on the floor every day, it felt like a party every day.

[00:58:04] So I’m thinking that’s going to be my name and I’m thinking that I’m getting ready to, I’m getting ready to launch it. Probably. I would imagine over the next. Two or three weeks 

[00:58:14] Mike: [00:58:14] You’ll have to, you’ll have to get us the actual link and everything went through 

[00:58:17] Kenneth Polcari: [00:58:17] Once they do it. It’s because it’s not live yet.

[00:58:19] Mike: [00:58:19] Yeah. Well we’ll definitely promote it on our end. We’re happy to, and if anything, you’ve got a subscriber cause that’s stuff that I’m interested in too. So it’ll all work out. It’ll all work out just fine. 

[00:58:30] Kenneth Polcari: [00:58:30] Yeah. Yeah. I think it would be great. 

[00:58:32] Mike: [00:58:32] Awesome. We’ve we’ve, we’ve done that time and we have, we’re going to have to have you come back and talk about some other stuff.

[00:58:41] Cause this is fun. Where else can people find you besides your well where’s your blog located? What’s the, what’s the, what’s the URL for that? 

[00:58:48] Kenneth Polcari: [00:58:48] So the URL of my blog is 

[00:58:54] Mike: [00:58:54] Okay, cool. They can find the blog. They can find you on LinkedIn. 

[00:58:58] Kenneth Polcari: [00:58:58] I’m on LinkedIn. And my blog gets reposted to LinkedIn.

[00:59:02] So you can see it there in my activity on Twitter, which is just add Kenny Polcari, you’ll see Twitter handle and my, and my. Then my business website is called case capital 

[00:59:14] Mike: [00:59:14] Okay cool. We’ll make sure that that’s all done in the comments and people can find you. And, man, thank you.

[00:59:21] Kenneth Polcari: [00:59:21] I mean, well thank you. I hope it was a job. I can’t believe an hour and a half went by that. [00:59:29] Mike: [00:59:29] Yeah, it goes by like super quick, dude. This happens a lot though. Especially when you have a good story to share and that’s, and that’s absolutely fine. There’s plenty more that we can talk about. So the doors open would love to have you back, especially when this new podcast comes on and you get some other stuff going and so guys, you know how we love the end.

[00:59:43] It’s always the same. We love every one of you. Thank you for watching. Thank you for listening. If you’re on YouTube, hit that subscribe button. If it’s your first time seeing it, make sure you hit the bell. The bell is what tells you when the next one, if you’re listening on any of them, the podcast platforms Castbox state your blah, blah, download us.

[01:00:02] Subscribe, please. If you’re on anchor, you can support a little podcast by making a donation, keep things moving, and, in the same, I guess, stay up and stay safe. Stay healthy. And live. That’s always the biggest one and live from both of us to all of you chow for now.

[01:00:30] For more information on Java chat, visit chat, You’ve been listening to coffee with Mike on Java chat tune weekly on this podcast. For the next episode, you can also download or subscribe today on your favorite podcast platform. A production of Oasis media group, LLC. Located in Las Vegas, Nevada.

[01:00:55] 2019, all rights reserved.

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