Word of the Month: January, 2018

A little late to the show, but here is what I shared with my branch at the start of the year:

Happy 2018 to you all!
 
 
   We’re past the holidays and in our first complete week of the new year. What we do now sets the tone for the rest of the year; work hard now and reap the rewards, slack off and you’ll be fighting that inertia for months.
 
   I also encourage you to turn inwards for a moment and consider what you’d like to accomplish this year (and further into the future) and, more importantly, why you’d like to accomplish it. It is great to have goals to strive for but even better to be cognizant of why you want those goals. If you don’t have a clarity of purpose you are more likely to struggle with sticking to your goals and to lose sight of them as the work piles up and life comes at you in waves. For some people, they are working for providing for their family. Others want to build a business. Some want to project an image of success. Still others are seeking to achieve financial independence. There are innumerable purposes and nearly all are perfectly valid, but you need to find yours. Once you have your purpose, you have your true north and can navigate in the right direction. You can ask yourself, “How does this help me achieve my purpose?” If something doesn’t help you can discard it or de-prioritize it. Same thing with the people in your life, if they are hindering you from your purpose then you can leave them behind or reduce their influence on you.
 
   Similarly I want you to keep in mind that your clients and your referral partners have their own purposes. If you can identify them and help them with their purpose then you can truly partner with them. That’s one of the ways to strengthening your referral network. By helping someone towards their purpose you will be going farther than most of the other people in their life and your relationship can more easily weather rough patches or challenges. The flip side, of course, is that if you are NOT helping someone with their purposethen you risk being discarded or being left behind.
 
TL,DR:
   Know what you seek, why you seek it and you will find it. Know what others seek, why they seek it and help them find it!
 
 
“Being busy does not always mean real work. The object of all work is production or accomplishment and to either of these ends there must be forethought, system, planning, intelligence, and honest purpose, as well as perspiration. Seeming to do is not doing.” – Thomas A. Edison
 
“True happiness… is not attained through self-gratification, but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.” – Helen Keller

Word of the Month: December 2017

Every month I send out a Word of the Month to my branch. I thought I’d share this one:

The end of the year is a fantastic time for reflection upon one’s life and a celebration of one’s good fortune. I’m
generally a melancholy person unless I am making an effort to be social. During the holidays I try and notice how
lucky I am. You and I share a lot of that fortune, so I invite you to celebrate it yourself. Are lucky enough:

  1. To live in the United States which, for all its flaws, is one of the highest standards of living in the world
  2.  To live without a daily struggle for food or clean water (which is a problem for millions of people around the
    world – including some right here in America)
  3.  To have the advantages of telecommunication (just think about the internet and what it was like before we had
    all in the information humanity has ever gathered – minus the recipe for Greek Fire – at our fingertips 24/7.
    Then just think about your cell phone. We all have one and we can call anywhere in the world, at any time for
    very, very little cost)
  4. To have a high degree of confidence in our personal safety everywhere we go. This is not the situation for a lot
    of the world.
  5. To be gainfully employed in an industry with no caps on earning potential
  6. To have the opportunity to improve someone’s life
  7. To have been born in this day and age. No plagues, relatively little war, running water, sewer systems,
    electricity, and readily available chocolate in various forms
  8. To have people in our life that care (and if you think you don’t, you’re wrong – at the very least, know that I
    care)
  9. The list can go on, give it a thought for a minute

One of our branch’s clients recently lost their spouse unexpectedly. I can barely wrap my mind around loss of that
magnitude. So, whatever your complaints are today – keep them in perspective and be thankful for what and who
you have, and spend less time focusing on what you don’t have because time is fleeting and unmerciful.

Show respect to all people and grovel to none. When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life,
for your strength. Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies
in yourself.” – Tecumseh (maybe)

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance,
chaos to order, confusionto clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.” –
Melody Beattie

Weekly In-depth Market Analysis: 1/9/2017

Mortgage rates holding steady

 

A better start today after soft prices last Friday. The volatility continues; last Thursday MBS prices ended +29, Friday -36 and early today +20 bps. The 10 yr this morning prior to the stock market open at 9:30 AM EST 2.37% -5 bps from Friday. There is no US economic data today except this afternoon with Nov consumer credit data; and little until Friday. Two Fed officials today; Eric Rosengren (Boston) at 9:00 AM and Dennis Lockhart (Atlanta) at 12:40. The better start this morning on some increase in the dollar, weaker crude prices and stock indexes prior to the open a little lower.

Boston Fed’s Rosengren saying three rate hikes in 2017 seems “reasonable”. Rosengren will not vote again on FOMC decisions until 2019 and he dissented in favor of a hike at the September meeting, meaning that he is in the hawkish third of all the FOMC participants (voters and nonvoters).

SF Fed’s John Williams in an interview with the Financial Times said that strong hiring and higher wage inflation, confirmed in Friday’s jobs figures, showed “the stars are aligning” in the US labor market as he signaled support for forecasts of three quarter-point interest rate increases this year. He doesn’t believe there is a need for big fiscal spending now that the economy is moving ahead more rapidly. He said economic policy would be best helped by federal action that ensures a sustainable budget deficit and boosts long-term productivity. He also warned Congress against impinging on the Fed’s ability to set rates by imposing audit requirements or policy rules, amid fresh Republican attempts to clip the central bank’s wings. “If you were to ask me three years ago, four years ago, when unemployment was still high and the economy was still digging out of a hole, I would have said, sure, fiscal policy would be great to help expedite getting back to full employment — short-term fiscal stimulus,” said Mr. Williams in an interview. “But today I don’t think we need short-term fiscal stimulus. What we need is really better policies and investments in the long-term health of the economy.”

Bonds and mortgage prices, although holding nice gains today, are very quiet compared to recent intraday volatility; but it is early. Stock trading, the dollar and crude oil will be the focus today. Zero economic data until late today with consumer credit; while we don’t get estimates breaking down credit our main interest is in the revolving sector of credit (credit cards).

The market action (technicals) has a very slight bullish bias, maybe a better way of saying it; not bearish but not with much of a bullish sentiment. No scheduled data in the US and not much occurring in Europe today. Traders looking forward to Donald Trump’s first press conference on Wednesday.

This Week’s Calendar:

Monday,

3:00 pm Nov consumer credit ($18.5B from $16.0B in Oct)

Tuesday,

6:00 am Dec NFIB Small Business Optimism Index (99.6 from 98.4 in Nov)

10:00 am Nov wholesale inventories (+0.9%)

1:00 pm $24B 3 yr note auction

Wednesday,

7:00 am weekly MBA mortgage applications

10:30 am weekly crude oil inventories

1:00 pm $20B 10 yr. note auction (9yrs, and 10 months)

Thursday,

8:30 am weekly jobless claims (255K +20K after declining 28K the previous week)

  • Charles Evans (Chicago)
  • Harker (Philadelphia Fed)
  • Dec export and import prices (exports +0.2%; imports +0.7%)

1:00 pm $12B 30 yr bond auction (29 yrs and 10 months)

1:15 pm Bullard (St. Louis Fed)

7:00 pm Janet Yellen hosts a town hall meeting with educators in Washington, D.C.

Friday,

8:30 am Dec PPI (+0.3%, ex food and energy +0.1%, ex food, energy and services +0.2%)

  • Dec retail sales (+0.7% from +0.1% in Nov; excluding auto sales +0.5% from +0.2% in Nov)

10:00 am U. of Michigan md-month consumer sentiment index (98.6 from 98.2)

  • Nov business inventories (+0.6% from -0.2% in Oct)

Source: TBWS

 

 

 

Happy New Year!

Driving on an empty road towards the setting sun to upcoming 2016 and leaving behind old 2015.

Welcome to 2016!

This year I intend to eat/drink a little healthier and work out a little more regularly. I also intend to continue working on educating people about their financial options; including, but not limited to, their options concerning their home mortgage. What are your New Year resolutions?

 

California Mortgage Professionals: Join CAMP!

CAMP Logo Higher Res

 

I finally decided to join the California Association of Mortgage Professionals.

They sold me when they pointed out the obscene amount of money spent by the National Association of Realtors lobbying Legislators. They then correct pointed out that spending the second highest amount of bribes, I mean “political contributions,” resulted in absolutely no new legislation that affected the ability of Realtors to work or make a living. Compare that to the amount of money spent by the Loan Originators lobby. The National Association of Mortgage Bankers (with which CAMP is affiliated) isn’t even on the map when it comes to relative spending and look at how many changes have affected us in the last seven years.

At first I was sickened by how blatantly skewed our political system is by money. It is not ideals or a drive for the common good which guides our elected officials. It is the almighty dollar.

After recovering from my revulsion I realized that in order to play the game I had to get dirty just like everyone else…

TGIF

Man in Hawaiian shirt and white straw hat walking on Orient Beach in Saint Martin.
Where my mind wanders on Fridays…

Fridays are exciting for a number of reasons:

  1. Casual Attire. Or maybe I should say, even more casual attire. My daily self-imposed uniform during the work week are polo shirts and khakis, like Jake from State Farm. It’s comfortable and doesn’t make me melt in my seat like a long sleeve shirt does. On Fridays, however, I switch to jeans! Sometimes I’ll even wear an Aloha shirt to remind myself there are places with sun and sand where the phone doesn’t ring every few minutes.
  2. Saturday is coming. Need I say more?
  3. Gym. I can usually find time on Fridays to hit the gym, which is rare enough to be celebrated.
  4. Atmosphere. Everyone tends to be a little more laid back on Friday, it makes for more pleasant interactions all day.

Hello world!

Hey there, I’m Edgar and I’ve been bouncing around the mortgage industry for going on 12 years now. I started as an assistant to a loan officer, then became a loan officer. A few years later, during the height of the “crisis” I went to work for the California Department of Real Estate, where I helped regulate Real Estate Agents and Mortgage Brokers all over Southern California. After a couple of years of that I was offered a position with Freddie Mac (the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation) as a Senior Fraud Investigator. There I investigated appraisers, mortgage brokers, real estate agents, banks, loan officers, escrow officers, borrowers, attorneys, fraudsters, sovereign citizens and other colorful characters. Now I’m back on the front lines of the industry – I’m the Operations Manager of a branch and I still take on a few personal clients.

So why I am writing this blog? Well, I got a lot of thoughts and things to say about this business and I think it’s time that I share it with the world – even if it is from a tiny corner of the internet that few are likely to visit. So, follow me down the rabbit hole as I try to tell everyone what it is like to sit on this side of the desk.