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…

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…

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…

Happy Hour: Opt Out Retirement Savings

Starting is the hardest part. In hopefully what is a sign of things to come, The Upshot reported on a new retirement savings program offered in Illinois called Secure Choice.

The plan is meant to fill the void for people who don’t have a retirement plan through work. It’s a voluntary program with one defining characteristic. You need to opt out to stop saving.

Dealing with a retirement plan for the first time can be intimidating. That was my first experience as I watched coworkers stare at a packet of fund choices like it was a Chinese takeout menu. The plan administrators salesmen’s best advisor impression only confused things more. Only a few of us signed up. Continue Reading…

Happy Hour: On Bezos and Happy Holidays

Welcome to the end of the week! Just sit back, relax, and enjoy this weeks roundup in another edition of Happy Hour.

Lessons From Bezos

Business Insider did a great interview with Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon. You can read the entire transcript. If you scroll down to the bottom, you can watch the 52 minute video. It’s a nice video for anyone interested in Amazon.

The video also had a few nuggets of great advice that can used toward investing.

Continue Reading…