Today's Cheat Sheet is brought to you by The Web Success Agency:


Game change - new mortgage rules that will change the rules:

Bottom Line:  Nearly 20% of all mortgages that are being originated would (will) not be under newly created guidelines outlined by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.  Let’s go through this…

As part of the Dodd – Frank financial regulation law the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was changed with regulatory changes that would prevent a repeat of the boom / bust mortgage cycle.  Yesterday they provided what the new regulation would be.  The following new rules will have to be followed by all mortgage originators by January of 2014:

  • The debt to income ratio for borrowers can’t exceed 43% (14% of loans violate this currently)
  • No loans over 30 years can be created (40 year loans had become about 5% of the mortgage market)
  • No interest only loans
  • No negative amortization loans
  • Banks can’t charge fees in excess of 3% of the loan

Here is the key – all mortgage loans originated have to meet these guidelines by 2014 but they could be adopted by any mortgage company at any time (as soon as today).  If you are in the grey area or would not qualify based on these rules changes – I’d lock up your financing ASAP.


Today’s question from a listener – how to get started in mobile advertising:

Bottom Line:  So today’s question comes from a business owner who wanted to know where to start with mobile advertising.

The good news is this person is thinking the right way – how to participate / remain relevant in the mobile marketplace.  My answer is to take a step back. 

What’s the first rule of advertising (and this applies to advertising in any medium)?

  • Have a product or service that’s ready to market

So how does that apply to the mobile marketplace?  The first step is to look at your website on mobile devices – smart phones and tablets.  Is your site easy to use?  Do you have a phone number that’s available and clickable (so that potential customers can instantly call you without having to type in your phone number (which most people on the go won’t do).  Pull up your competitor’s mobility as see what ideas you have to ensure your site is easier to use and better positioned. 

Once you’ve accomplished those objectives – you’ll be ready to create an advertising strategy.  For that piece of it…  Well I’m not the expert by my friends at the Web Success Agency can help (sponsor of the Cheat Sheet above).

If you’d like to ask a question or introduce a topic that you’d like me to address on-air and online email me:


End of paper Social Security checks is near:

Bottom Line:  Hard to believe it’s been two years since I first reported on the payment changes at the Social Security Administration but alas…  Here’s an update.

Two years ago the SSA began to convert those who received paper checks over to either direct deposit or a debit like card.  While encouraging people to convert it wasn’t mandatory.  Soon it will be. 

93% of all Social Security recipients are receiving payments electronically but for the remaining 7%, they have to convert very quickly.  The SSA will no longer issue paper checks after March 1st.   If you or your parents haven’t made the conversion you should look into it right away so you fully understand the two options and make the appropriate choice for your needs / preference.  Otherwise the choice will be made for you.


Financial fear index is at a five year low:

Bottom Line:  This is an interesting development.  The VIX (volatility index aka the “Fear Index”) is a tool that’s measured in the financial markets to judge what the fear or mood of the country may be at any given time.  An interesting development occurred yesterday.  The VIX hit its lowest level (or the lowest amount of fear) since before the fall of 2008.

Given the fiscal cliff and looming debt cliff issues – it’s a bit surprising that’s the case.  It could be interpreted as a positive in terms of our financial decision making.  It potentially could indicate that we’re not prepared for severe adversity if it hits us (because we’re not expecting anything out of the usual to occur).


Whole new world of 3D printing (Maker Bot 2):

Bottom Line:  The 2nd Gen 3D printer is here.  I think we’ve finally achieved Weird Science.  In the link below you’ll see the video demonstration of this printer (which comes with a price tag of $2800).  The developers say they don’t know its limits…  They’re interested to see what people are able to replicate with it.