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Cheat Sheet Q&A - What's the best way to go about paying down a mortgage?:

Today’s entry: 

First, love the show. You guys are great. Listen to you on the iHeart radio app. I just purchased a house. 30 year fixed rate.  We all know banks make sick amount of money if you don’t pay off the mortgage sooner. My goal would be to pay an additional 1000 dollars to the principle balance every month. Should I do that or write a check at the end of the year for 12000 or should I just save that money up for 12 years and then write a check. Think you know where I am going with this. What’s your opinion?

Bottom Line:  Great question and I love your line of thinking with regard to paying off your mortgage.  My first rule of retirement is that “a mortgage isn’t a retirement plan”.  Its amazing how much better positioned for the future you are once you’ve paid off your home.  I strongly encourage using a percentage of free cash flow towards paying off your mortgage on a monthly basis if possible.  First…

Ensure that you have a mortgage that doesn’t include a prepayment penalty.  These are awful products that not only penalize you significantly if you payoff your mortgage early but they also make it cost prohibitive to refi your mortgage. 

I love that you have a 30 year fixed rate mortgage even though you have the monthly free cash flow to be able to have a shorter duration loan.  I only agree with a shorter duration loan if you have the savings to pay the entire mortgage off if needed.  The average American will face negative financial adversity (lower income for a short duration and/or one time major expenses i.e. hurricane damage, major medical expenses, etc.) every ten years and will face potential job loss 2 times within the average 30 year period.  For that reason I much prefer to have the financial flexibility of a lower mandatory monthly payment of a 30 year fixed augmented by principal payoff when it’s possible.  So now to that piece of the question…

You will be best served by paying down principal on a monthly basis.  The reason is two fold.  First, your mortgage rate is going to be substantially higher than the interest rate you can earn in any shorter duration options (savings account, money market, CD).  Second you get a compounding benefit of monthly principal payments because of how APR is calculated. 

APR recalculates every month.  In other words if your loan is at 4% and your APR is 4.5%, the interest you’ll pay is based upon the APR of 4.5% based on the principal owed every month.  That’s why even if you just make the monthly mortgage payment; the amount that’s paid toward principal will increase slightly every month.  So…  By making monthly principal payments you’ll gain the benefit of compounding every month as the APR is recalculated against a lower principal amount. 

If you have a topic or question you’d like me to address email me:


Audio Report: 


Why & how you can benefit by knowing your IQ (and how you arrive at that number):

Bottom Line:  A couple of days ago the as part of the Q&A I compared the IQ of politicians to various segments of Americans with results that surprised many.   As a follow-up I’d like to discuss the value of knowing your number…  Or perhaps more importantly knowing how you get to your number. 

I’m a big believer in the life philosophy of playing to your strengths while downplaying your weaknesses.  This means that I’d prefer to spend my constructive time focusing on tasks that play to my strengths based on aptitude while not spending time, surrounding myself with others if needed, on my areas of weakness (lower aptitude).  To be able to effectively setup your life that way you first need to know where you’re strongest and weakest.  First you need to know your real (not just perceived) strengths and weakness.  That’s the biggest potential value of taking accredited IQ tests.  IQ tests measure the following: 

Verbal intelligence, mathematical ability, spatial reasoning, visual & perceptual skills, classification skill, logical reasoning & pattern recognition skills

Beyond those seven broad categories you’ll be able to gain even more specific information.  For example my biggest strength is critical thinking and analysis.  My biggest weakness is within the pattern recognition category.  I’ve kept those in mind for my entire professional life and have made many decisions with that information in mind (not the least of which is my approach to creating and sharing content).  If you are interested in taking an IQ test, be sure to identify accredited tests.  Most online aren’t accredited and could produce false and/or misleading results.


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Have fewer than 100 employees, use Facebook & want a $150,000 grant?  Here's how to get it:

Bottom Line:  Chase and Google have come together on a small business grant program that will be pure benefit for 20 US companies.  Through an initiative called the Mission Main Street Grant program, twenty companies will receive no strings attached grants for $150,000!  So what are the requirements to qualify?

Your business needs to be a for profit business

Your business needs to have fewer than 100 employees

You need to use a Facebook account

That’s it! 

Here are a few of the finer points.  First go here to get started:

You are asked 5 essay questions.  Among them…  Why you became an entrepreneur and what your short and long term growth plans are (in other words what you’d do with the money).  Then you need to get 250 Facebook votes for your business.  If you do those things you’re fully qualified for the opportunity to receive one of the 20 grants.  Good luck!

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The iPhone 6 is already on sale - just not for Americans - & we now have confirmation about the size(s):

Bottom Line:  The Chinese (government and companies) tend not to respect intellectual property or even contracts.  The latest example comes from China Mobile (the largest mobile company in Asia).  Even though Apple doesn’t announce the next generation iPhones until next Tuesday, China Mobile started accepting pre-orders yesterday!  In their defiance of Apple we have confirmation that there will be two different sized phones.  Available for pre-order on China mobile’s website are a 4.7 inch option and a 5.5 inch phone.  Those two sides will likely satisfy all potential consumers.  More to come Tuesday…

Audio Report:


Who will win on Sunday?  Just ask your phone.  No really - try it:

Bottom Line:  Cortana is the Microsoft mobile digital assistant.  It’s their answer to Siri and Google Voice.  According to digital experts it’s also superior in producing positive results than either of its competitors (though it’s worth noting that Apple will release its next generation Siri next week so we’ll need to reevaluate at that time).  But there may be even more to it’s ability than you could have previously imagined. 

Microsoft isn’t advertising it’s programming that could be used to predict the outcome to sporting events but it’s there.  Moreover…  it might be the most accurate predictor of outcomes that we’ve ever scene.  The debut of Cortana’s sports predicting outcomes was during the World Cup.  Cortana predicted the correct outcome in 15 of the final 16 matchups!  Better than any odds maker or professional predication service!  That same formula is being used for the NFL season.  So for example if you ask Cortana what the outcome of a game with be it’ll provide an answer.  Clearly time will tell if the World Cup was a one-time event or if it translates to the NFL but it’ll be interesting to see.  Among the factors it considers:  Odds, home field advantage, historical matchup outcomes of the teams and players in the game, weather & other non published info. 

Very interesting…

Audio Report: