Yes You Should Refinance. But How?

With mortgage rates dropping like a brick, it’s becoming a no-brainer for us to refinance our home loan. Even though we just got a 30-year loan 2 years ago at 5.875%, we can get 30-year loans now for around 4.5% or lower. You might be in a similar situation. Rule of Thumb The rule of (more…)

Free “Avoiding Forclosure” DVD via NFCC

We received an email from Melissa Minkalis of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC). They are offering a Free DVD about avoiding foreclosure.

I did not order the DVD or know much more about it. I did quickly verify that the NFCC is a legit organization and doesn’t seem to be simply harvesting contact info, etc.

(more info from the email we received after the fold)

Gavin’s Calling All Canadians: RSP Advice

Got this email from a fan. And since none of the current writers are Canadian, I thought I’d throw this out there. BTW, RSP stands for “Registered Retirement Savings Plan” and seems to be a Canadian 401k. I’m sure a lot of the standard retirement plan advice would apply, but we’re looking for a Canadian (more…)

The Bernanke Put

Fingers crossed. He should moderate his language, open the possibility of a rate cut, and send the markets higher. I hope he keeps his mouth closed, talks about inflation and the US dollar, and keeps rates right where they are. Wishful thinking? Perhaps. However, I just have a vibe that he isn’t the soft touch (more…)

The Fall of the All Consuming Yankee

The consumer is tapped out. After consistent 25 basis point increases to the Federal Funds Rate, we are finally starting to see the effects on the stock market.

Yesterday morning we saw three headlines that caught my attention. The first detailed Sears’ guidance for this quarter – a reduction from $2.12 to from $1.06 to $1.32 per share. These revisions are, at best, a 30% reduction and, at worst, a 50% reduction from their previous optimistic estimates.

Notably, declines were across all categories. If you follow the theory that the consumer is on thin ice, then it is hardly surprising to find big ticket items are not being purchased. Sears is having trouble selling new stainless steel fridges and widescreen TVs because consumers do not feel confident about their financial situation. The only sector that wasn’t hit as hard was women’s apparel and footwear – suggesting stressed housewives may be engaging in retail therapy.

Are You Financially Smarter Than A 5th Grader?

Yes, I’m still an InvestorGeek! It might seem like only Jason and Christian are blogging lately, but I don’t mind being the guest that drops in once in a while. I’m sure many of you have watched or heard of the new Mark Burnett-produced game show called “Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader“. If not, you can read a quick description here.

I was inspired after reading Canadian blogger, Tony Hung’s short diatribe on who’s really smarter – the kids or the adults? Tony, if you don’t know, is an editor at the prominent new media site, BlogHerald. I’ve had the privilege to meet him, and trust me, he’s one smart dude! But I digressed since the question remains, who ARE the smart ones? What does it mean to be smart? Is it just about random trivia or knowledge? After all, adults were able to create a show like that to make money! Aha…. now that money comes into play, that’s my lame segway to discussing financial smarts!

What Gives With Interest Only Being Better Version 2?

My original version of this blog entry has been deleted because I did find some errors in my spreadsheet. I saw them when I was explaining what I thought I had found while doing my calculations. The new calculations are not as I thought they were, but still some interesting things can be extracted from (more…)

Money Money Money. Money.The following is a paid review. See the notes at the bottom for more information.

Looking for a place to store your hard earned (or not so hard earned) money? is site that shows the interest rates available at the most popular US banks.

According to the list, HSBC is the best bet with a 6% rate on “new money”. But hurry, you only have until April 30th to get the “promotional rate”. Bank of America and E*Trade are also decent with 5.1% and 5.05% repspectively. Your corner banks like Wachovia and Wells Fargo are offering just 0.25% and 0.50% respectively. The worst offer on the list is Key Bank, with a pitiful 0.15%.

In Defense of Bush’s Tax Cuts

I was listening to Bernake, and then Mr Sanders started the typical leftist propaganda. The Democrats are idiots who are going to self-destruct in about four years. My political leanings are center right liberal libertarian.

The tax cuts that Bush made have raised the hackles of Democrats. Democrats want to nullify the tax cuts. Yet I will argue that Bush was right to make the tax cuts.

I bet you are ready to pounce on me and say, “Only the rich benefit from the tax cuts and they pay so little.” Well, let me tell you a story about morality and being pragmatic.