The best mortgage rates & How to get them.

What are the best mortgage rates? Good question. The best rates or the best ‘rate’ are kind of a subjective thing because they depend on your personal situation.

For instance, the best ‘rate’ at the moment might be the Bank of Scotland Tracker at 4.55% but that may as well be pie in the sky if you are a first time buyer. Why? Simple, its because there is an LTV restriction on that of 50%. Which means that if you are buying a house for €400,000 you can get this rate only if your mortgage is €200,000 or less.

So What’s the point in communicating to a First Time Buyer the ‘best mortgage rate’ if its one that they are not really likely to qualify for? Naturally a broker will jump at this rate on behalf of their client if they are anywhere near qualifying for it however the percentage of First Time Buyers putting down a 50% deposit is surely quite small.

So in answer to the question I always here of ‘What is the best rate’ or ‘what …

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The best mortgage rates & How to get them.

What are the best mortgage rates? Good question. The best rates or the best ‘rate’ are kind of a subjective thing because they depend on your personal situation.

For instance, the best ‘rate’ at the moment might be the Bank of Scotland Tracker at 4.55% but that may as well be pie in the sky if you are a first time buyer. Why? Simple, its because there is an LTV restriction on that of 50%. Which means that if you are buying a house for €400,000 you can get this rate only if your mortgage is €200,000 or less.

So What’s the point in communicating to a First Time Buyer the ‘best mortgage rate’ if its one that they are not really likely to qualify for? Naturally a broker will jump at this rate on behalf of their client if they are anywhere near qualifying for it however the percentage of First Time Buyers putting down a 50% deposit is surely quite small.

So in answer to the question I always here of ‘What is the best rate’ or ‘what …

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China may start to listen.

I haven’t take my hat off to Steven Spielberg since E.T., and that’s not just because I don’t wear a hat any more. I officially put one on today just so I could take it off in honour of him. The reason is that he is stepping down from role as Artistic Advisor for the Beijing Olympics because of Darfur in Sudan.

Darfur is a modern day catastrophe and it will be another part of history where people said ‘We should have done something, why didn’t anybody do something?’ the same way we say that now about Rwanda, and likely we will say it about Kenya and the DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo – formerly Zaire). It’s simply not good enough to sit comfy in the developed first world and allow genocide to happen.

Our company went to Krakow on a Christmas trip and part of it was a tour of Auschwitz, a strange choice for a Christmas trip you might say but a powerful reminder of the need to be thankful for what you do have and to be …

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Permanent TSB? More like Permanent inability.

Permanent Tsb are in the financial news again, this time its not for ripping off brokers though, its because their sub-prime mortgage wing ‘Springboard’ have had their funding pulled by Merrill Lynch. Springboard is a joint venture between PTsb and Merrill Lynch, the question now is ‘what does a mortgage company who can’t lend money do?’. I suspect they will be standing in line with the Woodworm who specialises in concrete only products.

The same thing happened several months back to another lender and they swiftly left the market. The concern now is for the IL&P share price, Dennis Casey will have some serious wangling on his hands to avoid disaster because he now has a war on several fronts, in fact, if I could raise Bismark from the dead and get a decent Prussian translator I would do it and let the original ‘Mr. Blood and Guts’ lay down some facts for the beleaguered CEO of Permanent Tsb.

Today’s news is about the fact that a major bank (Merrill Lynch) is pulling funding from Springboard, they are not pulling …

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How to get a Mortgage, getting a mortgage is easy…

If you want to get a mortgage the process is fairly simple, it’s a big undertaking for certain but that doesn’t mean that everything surrounding it is overly complex. A mortgage is a security backed loan, this means that there is some actual asset that a lender has a lien on (lien: this term means ‘ownership of’ so if a lender has a lein on your property in the form of a mortgage then they own the property ahead of you owning it until you pay them off) and its generally called ‘the security’ or just the ‘property’.

The biggest concern for any bank or building society when considering a mortgage is the clients ability to pay back the loan, this is sometimes referred to as ‘repayment capacity’, or if you want the hardcore underwriting terminology its the ‘debt service ratio’ and its normally a calculation that decides numerically if a person has the ability to service a loan obligation. There are different ways of doing this, some banks use a multiplier, for instance: you can borrow four times your …

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Things can only get better

Don’t be too unhappy, because although January was the worst stock market since the January of 1990, the S&P was down by 6.1% and the MSCI world index said goodbye to 7.7% of its value, markets in India and China are down (at one stage India actually had to suspend trading on their market), despite all of these things the good news is that bad times don’t last forever.

Market commentators sometimes remind me of psycho ex-girlfriends who just can’t let go, (if you want to see one of the old Internet comic phenomenons type ‘psycho ex-girlfriend into your search engine) they are the type where by the time they realise whats happened its like the whole world is falling and its never going to get any better, they’ll NEVER love anybody again! Keep the faith.

Around the world the reaction was indeed just that, a reaction, it was reactive to results and not pro-active. The fed held an emergency meeting and slashed 75 basis points off rates and then at a regular meeting they cut another 50 basis points. …

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Yipee! lets blow 44 Billion!… or should we say Yahoo?

Do you Yahoo? Statistically the answer is probably no, you don’t, but in a world of decreased market penetration for every search engine (other than the Ubersearcher Google) the megalith companies like Microsoft -who’s MSN (I won’t even ask ‘do you MSN’) is even lower on the scale – are looking for ways to corner a portion of the Internet search engine market, initially they thought that the success of Internet explorer over Netscape navigator was a big deal, in hindsight it wasn’t, ask people the difference between Mozilla and IE7 and expect a blank stare, except from the closet online gamers whom I seem to be meeting more and more recently.

Google came from nowhere and used a simple approach, they have an interface that could only have been dreamt up by Mac or …well…. Google, and it was a huge success. I lived in Chicago the first time I heard of Google, it was around the year 1999 or 2000 and I recall there was another search engine called ‘snap’ or something that also impressed me, anyways, these …

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The Second Line of Dominoes.

2007 saw virtually every financial sector face decline. My own holding in Irish Lifes ‘BankScope’ took a pounding worthy of the national Football team.

One thing you won’t hear many analysts talking about is what the knock on effects may be and where the next disaster may strike, because like many things, money has a knock on effect on other areas, in the same way that expensive oil makes chocolate bars more expensive (It is more in transportations costs to get the chocolate to the shops etc. so at some time there will be a degree of cost push inflation).

So today I will try to consider other areas that may suffer, and some of them are as follows: Automobiles, luxury goods, building materials, and heavy machinery. Naturally there will be some rationale behind this. So I’ll start.

Automobiles: They are inadvertantly tied to the same financial markets that the banks are tied to, the cost of funds has risen and because of the increased risk on car lending (even though it is a secured asset) will play a role …

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the Dead Cat Bounce of 2008

There is an expression called a ‘Dead Cat Bounce’ and it is where a market or stock take a fall and then as people see it going down they believe it then represents value and buy in causing a temporary upswing, There is a moderate rise in the price followed by a spectacular fall. This is the ‘bounce’ but alas, if the cat is dead it continues shortly there after to fall. It comes from the reasoning that ‘even a dead cat will bounce if it falls from a great height’. Good school playground reasoning I suppose!

Is this what we are witnessing in the rally? I think that given all of the recessionary indicators present that it may be the lesser of the two evils to let a recession come in and run its course, the average recession is about a year, the average boom is about 5 years.

there is a belief out there that recessions are the ultimate evil, I can tell you that they are not, George Bush is …

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Investment Ideas for 2008

If you are the type of investor who doesn’t get scared when there is a bit of a storm then there are some opportunities in 2008, an important thing to remember is that when money is lost there is an equal gain somewhere else, almost like that rule in physics, matter cannot be created or destroyed only turned from one form into another, for the sake of our example, money can change from one persons hand into another persons hand (unlike matter it can be created, the Fed,ECB, & BOE have proven that much in the last few weeks!).

Here are some of my picks:

1. Property: Even in a market where prices are falling there are deals to be found, the debt burden is going to push some people out and they may become motivated sellers, this means you can purchase well below the market value. Distressed debt and Vulture buying are not for the feint of heart but I absolutely guarantee that right now the billionaires of the late teens in real estate in the USA are the …

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