Archive for July, 2011

The Little Bit Factor

July 29th, 2011

Worry a little bit every day and in a lifetime you will lose a couple of years. If something is wrong, fix it if you can. But train yourself not to worry. Worry never fixes anything.

Mary Hemingway

Spoken like the true Minnesotan that she was, Ernest’s fourth wife and widow has a point. Read the rest of this entry »

Will we get a Deficit Reduction Plan and an increase in the Debt Ceiling in time?

July 22nd, 2011

This could be an interesting week.

That is still the big question.  So far, the markets seem to believe that Congress will burn the midnight oil and strike a deal. I hope so and I hope it is one both sides of the aisle can and do embrace.   Time is running out.  The closer we get to the deadline without a deal, the more likely the market is to start pricing in the risk of both a default and a downgrade of US bonds.  Keep your eyes on the rates and the news this week.  Better to be safe than sorry.  According to my Financial Planner, his advisors believe a default or failure to reach a deal on the deficit might result in an immediate .5-1.0% increase in rates and an 8-15% decline in the stock market. Read the rest of this entry »

If You Can't Afford the Risk, Lock in Now.

July 19th, 2011

Yesterday, our underwriter walked in to my office and asked me if I knew when interest rates had last been at 7.0% or higher.

As it happens, I have been keeping track of interest rates since the early 80’s.  The answer:  March 2002.

Given the stalemate in Washington over the budget, and the current debt ceiling, I thought it might be important to issue a pointed warning today that these incredibly low interest rates may soon rise. Read the rest of this entry »

Good to Know…

July 12th, 2011

For homeowners on the brink of foreclosure, new federal program might offer help. The Emergency Homeowners Loans Program (EHLP) offers up to $50,000 in loans to homeowners in danger of foreclosure because of unemployment, underemployment or medical issues. The program was developed by HUD, which has set aside more than $50 million to use in Minnesota over the next two years. Read the rest of this entry »

Responsibility Comes with Freedom

July 1st, 2011

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”  Excerpted from The Declaration of Independence. Read the rest of this entry »