Steadfast FinancesSteadfast Finances - Interest Rates
13 September 2012

The Age of Financial Repression

How long has it been since you earned any money by saving? You definitely can’t include the 1 percent interest you earned last year, which was taxed at 15 or 25 percent by the federal government and 5 to 10 percent by your state. No, the interest that you think you made lost ground to the over 2 percent inflation that boosted prices last year. Honestly, it’s been years since you’ve actually saved any money. What your savings accounts have been doing over the last few years is losing money.

22 April 2011

Shutting Down My Lending Club Investments

In a decision I consider nearly as bad as the “New Coke” experience, Lending Club has decided to limit the questions an investor can ask potential borrowers. The resulting policy only allows investors to ask a limited series of pre-approved questions. For me, this is unacceptable. The primary reason for the change in transparency was [...]

11 March 2011

Real Estate vs. Gold Ratio: Getting Closer to 1980s Low

Image Credit: Chart of the Day Being a chartporn aficionado, it’s hard to not to look at such a chart and wonder if precious metals and real estate markets from the late 1970s/early 1980s will do an encore. Real estate still has a long way to fall, in my opinion as well as many others [...]

22 February 2011

Overstated Home Sales Data: Housing Crash Worse than Expected?

As if we needed more reason question the National Association of Realtor’s financial advice, who profited greatly from the credit bubble and resulting real estate bubble, now we learn they may have been fudging the numbers using the wrong economic model once the housing crash began in 2007. The housing crash may have been more [...]

10 February 2011

30 Year Mortgage Rates Over 5% Got You Down? Try 18%!

So you think 30 year fixed mortgage rates over 5% is a bad thing? You think an interest rate above 4.99% has some sort of mystical, psychological barrier to entry? How does 10% sound? What about 18.5%? So quit your cryin’… we all knew 30 year mortgage rates in the 4% ballpark couldn’t last forever. [...]

7 February 2011

My First Lending Club Loan Default

They say you always remember your first more than the others… So yes, after 1 1/2 to 2 years as a Lending Club investor, I finally got hit with my first default where a small $24 loss took my pretty little 15.64% NAR out behind the woodshed to a tune of 0.86%. A 14.78% NAR [...]

12 January 2011

FICO Score CEO Debunks Myths About How Credit Scores are Calculated

The problem I most often run into when talking basic personal finance metrics like FICO scores, credit reports, and overall creditworthiness is that many people fail to realize that your FICO score is based on pure statistical evidence with no consideration for judgment and does not allow for human emotion. So a recent “Come to [...]

30 December 2010

Lending Club Update: Earning 15.6% NAR on P2P Lending Investments

~ ~ ~ April 2011 Update: Shutting Down My Lending Club Investments over Q&A Change ~ ~ ~   My Lending Club investment portfolio is continuing to look fairly impressive as we close the books on 2010. Summary Net Annual Return is up to 15.64% NAR. My highest observed NAR was 15.69%, but as of today, I’m [...]

16 December 2010

2011 Foreclosure Numbers Will Be Worse than 2010

 Economy,Real Estate         1 comment

I’m all for slowing down the foreclosure mess to make sure that banks are following property rights law to the letter (e.g. foreclosing on homeowners without a mortgage), but as with anything in life, the longer you delay or ignore a problem, the more expensive and more painful it will eventually be. It [foreclosure numbers] [...]

8 December 2010

It Pays To Wait, But Not with Interest Rates

For those who like to say it pays to wait, they might want to put an asterisk next to that idiom when referring to interest rates. In today’s world of quantitative easing and bond/credit traders wired to marketplaces at near the speed of light, one scrap of news or the most subtle of rumors can [...]

17 November 2010

How Obama’s Flip Flop on Bush Tax Cuts Screwed Fixed Income Investors

Like it or not, political policy, and the uncertainty it creates, is a major influence in the financial markets. Case in point: the massive sell off in municipal bond funds and ETFs, in what is usually a historical snooze fest, over the last two weeks when President Obama caved to political pressure by extending the [...]

16 November 2010

Hey Realtors: How Crazy Am I For Waiting Now?

In the mid 2000s when I was a novice real estate investor and looking for easy to rent beachfront properties in a family friendly complex, I was berated by nearly every Realtor I met when I suggested the real estate market was overheated and had formed a full fledged real estate bubble. When I hesitated, [...]

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