Book Review & Giveaway: The New Rules For Mortgages

41rpgJfrwQL._SS500_“The New Rules For Mortgages” by Dale Siegel provides a fantastic understanding of everything you need to know about mortgages.  For many, a home is the single biggest purchase of their lives, and the mortgage is a necessary instrument for making homeownership dreams a reality.

Qualifying for a mortgage is daunting, but it doesn’t have to be under Dale Siegel’s guidance.  After all, who’s better to give instructions than the president of her own mortgage company?  It’s important to highlight that Dale truly tries to provide readers knowledge about mortgages and doesn’t use her book as a sounding board for her company.  The book is like a secret weapon for first time home-buyers who dare tip-toe past enemy landmines.  The enemy is the industry which has adeptly blown off many appendages via exotic liar loans and oh-too-high fees.

Tuition Hike For The Poor Is Like A Tax Hike For The Rich

In a stunning move to shore up a $535 million budget gap, the UC Regents in 2009 voted to raise student undergraduate tuition by 32 percent (to $10,302/yr)!  Nothing like a little 16X increase over the rate of inflation to get blood boiling.  And now in 2011, the UC Regents voted to raise tuition by another 18% over 2010 to a total of $13,500 a year.  Talk about runaway inflation as just two years ago that figure was sitting at $8,000.

It’s really sad that during a difficult economic climate, the University of California Regents can conceivably raise tuition by such a magnitude.  Part of the reason why many of these fine students attend the UC system is because of cost.  Students from UC Berkeley or UCLA, for example, can easily get into many of the best private schools in America.  But for many, $40,000 a year in tuition is just too hefty a burden to carry.

The reality remains that due to careless spending by the state, budget cuts and a competitive market place for attracting top professors, tuition increases are inevitable.  The California state government has messed things up for so long that it’s now time for students, who have no money of their own to pay the price.  As a result, there is a fantastic silver lining to this tuition hike: the grooming of future conservative leaders of America and more empathy towards hard working, tax paying Americans.


The Katana: Nobody Really Cares More About You Than You 11/22

katana-1After observing the users of promotion sites like TIP’d on Twitter, I’ve come to the conclusion that there needs to be an endless amount of self-promotion to initially move up the rankings.  It just feels weird asking for votes, so I don’t think I’m going to bother participating too often.  I’d rather just focus on publishing good content here.

Tomorrow we’ll talk about how a new hoard of students will grow up to be ardent fiscal conservatives and agree with our flat tax argument. We’ll also talk about work place equality, dealing with cock-ups and one of my favorite inspirational videos for the rest of the month so stay tuned!

I enjoy posting every other day because I’m selfish and like reading other sites on my “days off”.  Furthermore, there’s such a good amount of community participation, it’s fun to learn from all of you.  BG, David, LeanLifecoach, and Credit Card Chaser were particularly insightful this week, highlighting hybrids could actually be WORSE for the environment than gas guzzling SUV’s.

In case anybody was wondering how to get an Avatar next to their name when they comment and input their e-mail address, simply go to GRAVATAR and follow their instructions.  It’s so easy to sign up.

Finally, publishers and readers should really think about installing the Alexa Toolbar owned by Amazon.  For those who don’t know, it’s a nifty tool which gives you a ton of traffic data about the site you’re visiting (supposedly 50mil+ have signed up).  For publishers, it’s particularly fun to observe your own rankings and see if they improve.


Everything Is Relative Superstar – Being Happy With What You Have

Last week was pretty busy.  I traveled to three cities and saw 10 different clients with one of my senior colleagues, Jim.  Jim, aka Superstar, is 45 years old, has his PhD in Economics, and could probably retire now if he wants to.

Jim is a great speaker who engages his clients with insightful anecdotes.  At 5 foot 5 inches tall, Jim stands more confidently than his stature would suggest.  With a staff of 30 people serving his every wishes, Jim never has to worry about not getting his way.  He’s a meticulous man with particular demands, which leads us to our little adventure.


My SUV Will Beat Up Your Hybrid & Save The World!

Why is it that some hybrid vehicle drivers eventually start looking down at non hybrid-owning drivers in disdain?  Is the “holier-than-thou” complex too hard to contain during flights of fuel sipping passion?  It’s natural to feel that whatever you purchase is the right purchase.  After all, if I overpaid for a hybrid vehicle (zing!) in hopes of saving the environment when a similar non-hybrid vehicle will do, I’d defend my decision and look down on others as well!  Don’t be mad, let me explain.


For those of you who have been following this site for a while, you’ll know that I’ve had plenty of cars over the past 10 years, and I now drive a 9 year older beater SUV which is MAYBE worth $6,000.  I love “Moose“, as I affectionately call him, because he adeptly takes us up the snowy mountains during the winter with its 4-wheel-drive capabilities.  Moose can conveniently carry up to  5 people with plenty of storage space, which is especially helpful when our parents visit.  Too bad Moose only gets 15mpg in the City, and 19mpg on the highway.  I can hear the hissing and booing now!

I bought “Moose” for $8,000 three years ago, from a woman who was in a hurry to dump her car before relocating to Amsterdam.  Special brownies anyone?  The hybrid craze at the time was dizzying, where seemingly rational people would spend $25,000 for a Prius vs. $15,000 for a comparable Toyota Corolla.  If people did the calculations, they’d realize the premium price paid for the car is much greater than the gas savings over an average 7 year ownership period.

Consumers weren’t adhering to our “1/10th” rule either, as I knew plenty of sub $100,000/yr income earners spending $25,000 for these hybrids.  I must repeat here again that it is absolutely financial destruction if you are spending more than 1/10th your annual gross income on a car.  Multi-millionaires follow this rule, why shouldn’t the rest of us?  Don’t give into your weak desires!