Rules for Lenders Relaxed

“A man’s treatment of money is the most decisive test of his character–how he makes it and how he spends it.“–James Moffatt

(Image 1)

When I saw this title in The Wall Street Journal article on January 7th, I got excited. It is about time for regulators to release their grip on lenders. But my joy was premature. The actual story was about a meeting in Basel, Switzerland. There, global banking regulators succumbed to the banks’ pressure and eased the “liquidity coverage ratio”. In other words, banks can keep less money in reserves since they need as much capital as possible to make risky investments to generate hefty profits.

After the global financial meltdown was caused by the reckless activities of banks and large financial institutions, the pendulum has swung in the other direction. It seems that the concern about the banks’ lack of capital liquidity became an international issue. After reading the article, I thought that this ruling had very little to do with you and me, but then I changed my mind.

As I mentioned before, I am in the middle of writing the sequel to“The Mortgage Game”. The title of my new book is going to be“Mortgage Solutions for Smart People: 5 Simple Ways to Get Your Loan Approved”. In my book, I write about the ways to increase the probability of getting a mortgage by improving each of the 5 C’s. One of the “C’s” is Capital.

While researching for materials, I came across a good book–“The Smartest Way ™ to Save: Why You Can’t Hang on to Money and What to Do About It.” by Samuel K. Freshman and Heidi E. Clingen. While reading the book, I realized that the Banks’ lack of capital liquidity has a great deal to do with all of us. It is a reminder that for many borrowers the lack of liquidity or “Capital” has caused a lot of problems while attempting to get a loan approved.


(Image 2)

The only difference is that there is only one regulator for each of us and this person is looking at you in the mirror. In my new book, I will give specific solutions for each of the “C’s”.

In our consumer society, where government keeps interest rates artificially low, to enable homeowners to refinance and to spend more, it is difficult to save and build the liquidity necessary to survive the challenges of home ownership.

In his book, Mr. Freshman points out, “It is not your income that makes you rich–it’s your savings habits.” The book has many ideas and suggestions on how to save and manage money. One of the suggestions in the book is to hire a coach or have an accountability partner to help to develop “savings habits”. While I will strongly recommend buying the book to all my clients, if you think you need a coach, Kathryn Amenta, I wrote about before, can be the right person.  She may be reached at 415.333.6972, email, or website.

(Image 3)

We celebrated my 66th birthday in Los Angeles with both of our daughters last weekend. Our eldest daughter, Alona, flew in from Paris. As always, I combined business with pleasure. It was a fun weekend meeting friends and clients.

One of my new clients–a well-known doctor–had a setback in his life. He is trying to refinance his jumbo mortgage and the main obstacle–if you can guess it–is personal cash liquidity.  He told me about his friend–a famous actor who lost his house in a foreclosure for the same reason.

Unfortunately, this person is not alone. In my view, every foreclosure can be avoided if borrowers just had money for a rainy day. You know what to do, “Just do it”.


In the photo poll last week, the winner was Image #2.

This week I continue our photo game with a small quiz.

#1–Which image do you like?

#2–Where was this photo taken?

a) Carpathian mountains

b) Near Los Angeles

c) Patagonia in Argentina      



Best Wishes,


Can Interest Rates Go Even Lower?

“A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds.“–Sir Francis Bacon

(Sun rise at The Sea Ranch // Image 1)

We were at dinner with friends whose mortgage I refinanced six months ago. Before leaving for dinner, I checked if the interest rates were low enough to justify another no cost refinancing, and they were. They could lower their monthly payments by another $107/month.

When I shared the exciting news with them, the wife asked me the question–“Can the rates go down even lower?”

We could have asked the same question six months ago, but who knew? According to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, the interest rates could be lower at the present. However, big banks who control interest rates keep them higher, to make more profits. Since overall interest rates are quite low, no one complains. To stimulate the economy, the Federal Reserve continues to buy Fannie Mae mortgages in the rate of 40 billion a month. As long as banks continue to make huge profits and consumers have extra cash every month by refinancing, why lower interest rates even more? Actually, rates started to go up in the first week of 2013, possibly as a result of the good feeling from averting the “fiscal cliff”. Refinancing has become “a big business”. Why else would the article, Refi, Save, Repeat be in the San Francisco Chronicle‘s Business Report Section?  

I stopped being surprised, but many of our clients actually do not refinance their mortgage to lower their interest rates. They are either saboteurs who do not want to help the economy, procrastinators who do not want to deal with all the extra paper work, or own shares of the banks whom they are making higher payments to.

Can you come up with another reason why some of my clients, whom I contacted and emailed loan applications to, do not even respond to my emails? How would you react if your favorite Bank/Lender sent you a letter asking to pay them $100, $200, $300, or even more every month? But this is exactly what those who wait for the interest rates to go down even lower do. Please do not wait. Remember “a small bird in the hand“?


(Sun rise at The Sea Ranch // Image 2)


On January 13, I can no longer pretend that I am dyslexic. In 2012, when someone asked my age, I would say that I was 56. Now just one year later, I am turning 66. When people ask me when I plan to retire, I suggest that they should stick around for another 30 years. I actually want to follow the example of Irving Kahnwho at 107 is still a stock picker.

A client told me that when her father turned 99 and was asked his age, he would claim that he was 66. Apparently, dyslexia can be contagious.

So much to do, so little time.

As I’ve mentioned in my last email, I started writing a new book–a sequel to “The Mortgage Game: The 5 C’s and How to Connect Them”. A few copies of which can still be purchased online. I will keep you posted on the development.

Since some of you have expressed that you like my photos, I decided to show you how modern technology can help improve images to make them more interesting. Please email me and let me know which version most appeals to you–Image 1, Image 2, or Image 3.

(Sun rise at The Sea Ranch // Image 3)

And as always, please do not forget–


Best Wishes,


The Possibility of Impossibility

“Dream no small dreams for they have no power to move the hearts of men.”–Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
(Birds at The Sea Ranch)
Happy New Year Dear Friends!

It is the morning of December 31st, 2012. We are staying at The Sea Ranch. The house we rented is located on a bluff, a short distance from the ocean.

When we arrived here in the afternoon a few days ago, the sky was grey, it was drizzling rain, and a strong wind was blowing my umbrella away when I tried to walk along the bluff.

It was impossible at the moment to imagine that the next morning everything would change. In our bedroom, the window shades were broken and wouldn’t go down, so we woke up the following morning to see a pink sky.

Most “normal” people would stay in bed, just to enjoy the view and being on vacation, to linger in the bed a little bit longer. But for a photographer, this pink sky offered a possibility and here I was in my pajamas on the deck in the freezing morning air clicking yet another sunrise moment.

When I spoke with my daughter Tamar that night, after coming back from the bluff with another trophy of the most gorgeous sunset, she asked me, “You’re not tired of photographing all those sunsets and sunrises again and again?” “But they are beautiful,” I responded. “Yes, but why photograph them all the time?” she said. I think I do it to preserve the memory of the moment.



(Sunset // The Sea Ranch)

Men had to discover and improve the ability to “draw with light”–this is what photography means, not to create artistic masterpieces, but to record events, memories, and yes…the beauty that we are surrounded by.

And I am blessed to have the sensitivity and good tools to do it. Speaking of tools and the possibility to record photo images, this morning, the pink skyline jolted me out of bed again. I grabbed my fancy “professional” camera with a very good long lens attached to it and ran to the deck again, only to realize that I needed a different lens. Since the intensity of the light does not last long, I took out my pocket camera instead, and here you can see the result.

(Sunrise // The Sea Ranch)

It takes about three hours to drive to The Sea Ranch from San Francisco, especially if one stops for a cup of coffee or hot chocolate in my case, on the way.

To make the journey more palatable, we borrow audio books from the library. On this trip, we listened to The Apothecary” by Maile Meloy. We thought it to be a suspense story. It is, but as it turns out, for teenagers, in the likes of a Harry Potter-type book. It is about three fourteen year olds trying to find the father of one of the boys–the Apothecary (a pharmacist in American English), who turns out to be an Alchemist.

At one moment to escape from the pursuer, they drink a magic potion and become birds to defy skepticism and disbelief of the possibility that the body can change form and actually fly away as a bird. Adults could not comprehend where they disappeared and only a little girl said that they became birds to everyone’s dismissal. Of course most of us would say that this is only possible in children’s’ books. Sure, for most of the human history, the speed of travel was equated to the speed of the fastest horse.

Last week when I wrote about making time to dream, I mentioned Darren Hardy’s book, “The Compound Effect”. It is not only inspirational; but also, a guide how to create the Possible from the Impossible in our lives, which I intend to follow.

A few years ago in a “life transformational” event I participated in, I wrote down that I will write 5 books. At that time, I did not see a possibility on how to even start, and why 5? By now as I am almost finished writing my second book, I realize that’s how the possibility works. When we find the answer to why we want to do something, the “how” comes along. In my new book: “Mortgage Solutions for Smart People: 5 Simple Steps to Get Your Mortgage Approved”, I explain my reasons for why.

Someone asked me how do I have time to work and write, and do all of the things that I do? My secret is that what I do – help clients get mortgages, over 9 to 10 hours/day, five days a week, I do not consider work. I help people to better their lives. For my writing and photography, I have evenings, weekends, and of course when we go away.

As far as the mortgage business is concerned, I see the possibility to double the number of people I can help in 2013. We have a good process to help me and there is a very good possibility that interest rates will continue to stay low, while real estate prices will rise, and more people will have jobs to qualify for a mortgage. And of course there is the possibility that you will share this message with all of your friends.

Please do not forget to say a few good words about my services and suggest that they read “The Mortgage Game: The 5 C’s and How to Connect Them”.


The beginning of this year coincides with a weekly portion in the Torah, which describes the events which led to the Exodus of the Hebrew Slaves from Egypt. There is a famous part when Moses sees the burning bush in the desert and hears the voice of God, who tells him to go back to Egypt and lead his people out. He asks God, “But what should I tell them is your name?” God answers ,”My name is “I Shall Be, as I Shall Be.” (Exodus 3/14)\. Personally for me, this translates perfectly into “The Possibility of Impossibility”, because this is how Moses overcame his own limitations and with God’s help created the Possibility of Impossibility.

Create The Possibility for a Great Year and Share it with your friends.


Best Wishes,

Manny<br />

Do You Have Time to Dream?


“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language and next year’s words await another voice. And to make an end is to make a little beginning.”–T.S. Eliot, “Little Gidding”

As the New Year approaches it is time to ask ourselves: “What would I like to happen in 2013? How was the previous year for you and your family? What would you like to change?” As the saying goes, “Out with the old, in with the new” (this is especially prudent for many of us, if we have a look in our closets).

I had a conversation with an old friend at a birthday party a few days ago, and I asked him:

“What would you like to happen in your business in the New Year?”

He got quiet and responded: “Is that a very good question? How about your life and business?”

What we want, usually starts with a Dream.

After being around for almost 66 years, I have learned a thing or two from many different teachers, which I summarized into a formula of 5 D’s to accomplish my desired results in life.

Dream + Drive + Demand + Discipline = Desired Life

I followed this formula at the end of 2011 when I decided to write a book, which had been my Dream for a number of years. I actually only started writing, when my Dream became a Drive (the reasons were to create a marketing tool to ensure the continuation of my business). This led to the Demand of scheduling free time in my busy life. I was able to accomplish this by having the Discipline to write every evening. The result is my first published book, “The Mortgage Game. The Five C’s and How to Connect Them,”that came out in November 2012, exactly one year later.

The key is to ask the question: “How can others benefit from my Dream?”

When you have your answer, the Universe will help you to fulfill it. Since I developed the Discipline for writing, I have continued the process and my Dream for 2013 is to write another book, as a companion to the first one. I am working on this project every day and expect to finish by my birthday, January 13th.

I will keep you posted. But first please read “The Mortgage Game. The Five C’s and How to Connect Them”. Do you have time to Dream (or read books)? Please follow my formula, and report your results!

If your Dream is to improve your cash flow, developing a Discipline can help you get a Desired mortgage and many other things in life. Most of us need a coach or accountability partner to get specific results (For my book, I had my editor).

My good friend and a client Kathryn Amenta is just the right person to do that. She is a Financial Adviser, who coaches and helps her clients save more and spend less. As I pointed out in my e-mail last week, borrowers need to have cash reserves in order to qualify for a Jumbo loan. I’m currently reading (and listening to) Darren Hardy’s book “The Compound Effect.” Darren is the editor of “Success” magazine and one of the stories he relates is about how he taught his associate to save 10% a month instead of giving her a raise. As a result, she became a wealthy woman. If you need help, call Kathryn Amenta @415-333-6972.

Recently Kathryn referred me her clients with whom she has been working for almost a year. In spite of their high income, they did not have enough savings to pay off their line of credit (L/C). To enable for me to lower their mortgage from 6.75% to 3.75% with a savings of $1,300/month, I suggested that they request a short term loan from their family members, for which they would pay 3.5%, the rate of their current L/C. In turn, they could use their monthly payments savings to pay off the private loan. My new book will offer my readers practical solutions like this one, and many others.
Share my book with five of your friends, I guarantee they will be grateful.

The<br /><br /><br />
                                    Mortgage Game
Below is a comment I recently received:

“Manny Kagan’s The Mortgage Game is one of the best outlines of the mortgage industry to read it before applying for a loan”. – Samuel K. Freshman (Author of “The Smartest Way to Save & President, Standard Management Company).

I wish you a Happy, Prosperous, and Joyful New Year!P.S.

To work on my dreams this year we are going to what, according to my wife, is the best place in the world – “The Sea Ranch”. We rented a house and will stay there for four days through the New Year. I will continue to write and Dream about other events in my life. I will report the results of my revelations to you in my future writings. Meanwhile, please enjoy some of the images from our previous trips to The Sea Ranch.

(Low Tide at The Sea Ranch)
(Abalone Divers at The Sea Ranch)
(Dogs on the beach at The Sea Ranch)

(All images by Manny Kagan)


Best Wishes,

Manny<br /><br /><br />