Happy Hour: 2nd Chance With Low Rates

I don’t know anyone who thought interest rates would stay low for this long or go lower. But falling rates do have one benefit. All you homeowners out there have another opportunity to refinance your mortgage. Mortgage rates fell for most of 2014 to rates we haven’t seen in two years.

Two years ago it looked like the last great chance to lock in historically low mortgage rates. If you missed it, the market gave you a second chance. Current 15 year and 30 year mortgage rates are getting close to those all time lows. You can check the FRED charts below. Continue Reading…

S&P 500 After Multiple Losing Years

We don't have to be smarter than the rest. We have to be more disciplined than the rest.The S&P 500 doesn’t lose often. It’s only seen 24 losing years from 1926 to 2014. Roughly one out of every four years ends in a loss. Too bad that doesn’t happen like clockwork.

The S&P has gone on a nine year stretch without a loss and its had periods of multiple losses in a row. In fact, half of the losses were involved in multi-year losing streaks.

The infrequency of losing years doesn’t make it easy on investors. It allows you to get comfortable, too comfortable sometimes, or comfortable enough to forget about what the last loss did to your psyche and your savings. Continue Reading…

Happy Hour: Over Promise, Under Deliver

I’ve been wrestling with server problems and customer support the past week. It’s why this weeks post was shorter than usual. That, and it gave me the excuse to try out a cool charting tool too.

We all deal with computer problems from time to time. A server is simply a computer that fires off web pages when its working correctly. When its not, it’s like dealing with your typical computer problem. You try to fix it yourself or turn to customer support for help, hoping it’s an easy fix or the support lives up to the promises made when you bought in.

Sometimes things work. Promises are delivered. Other times you get all promise and no delivery. Continue Reading…

The $10 a Day Lottery Habit That Pays Off

Lottery QuoteStrike it rich! It’s the happy ending for millions of lottery dreams and the quick fix to all life’s problems. Right? That’s why we play. Who doesn’t want to be an instant millionaire?

There’s just one small problem with playing the lottery. Your odds of winning this week is exactly the same as the next. Low. Unbelievably low. And it never changes.

But its okay. You have a system. You play birthdays, ages, anniversaries, phone numbers, addresses, your license plate number, and divorce date. Those lucky numbers are bound to pay off soon. Continue Reading…

Happy Hour: Goals and Using Benchmarks

I’ve never been a fan of New Years resolutions. There are 364 other great days available to start improving on something, so why waste it? I understand why people get behind it with the fresh start feel of a new year, but it rarely works out.

Typical resolutions are big ideas devoid of specifics. You see a lot of things like eat healthier, lose weight, and save more money. All great goals, and I’ve covered this before, but its generic.

I came across an Inc. article on goal setting worth reading. The article does a great job explaining how to reach goals in general. But it covers something specific to investing with benchmarks. Continue Reading…