Diamonds and Dogs #18
In each post of the Money Counselor “Diamonds & Dogs” series, I pick three items—an article, a website, a video, an image—that in my humble opinion would be especially valuable—the Diamonds—in helping Money Counselor readers make better money choices. And to balance the three Diamonds, I pick just one lame item—the Dog.
- Jake at the blog iHeartBudgets.net has a knack for being direct and honest. He’s honest and open about his past failings, and he doesn’t hesitate to call a spade a spade. As Jake writes in his characteristic “Cut the Crap” post, “…sometimes your finances need a jump start with a good ol’ fashioned slap in the face!” He challenges you to suspend whining about your tight budget and instead first quit wasting money on stuff you don’t care about.
- How can you resist reading an article with the title “Could a Monkey Beat Your Portfolio?” If you’ve made a little money in the stock market and are starting to feel pretty good about yourself and maybe you’re contemplating doing more stock-picking since you’re so smart, time for a reality check. This post on The College Investor is just the cure. Trust me: when it comes to stock-picking, you’re nothing special, bub. Just like the rest of us.
- We bloggers are only human, and every once in a while we let our guard down and succumb to the temptation to publish a rant. I love rants. (Well, most of them.) Grayson at Debt RoundUp let loose with a doozy in “Encouragement—Spread It Around!” To give you an idea of what got Grayson riled, here’s a brief excerpt: “If you can’t offer people that are in a financial issue some encouraging words or helpful advice, then shut up. Yes, I said, shut up!” (Emphasis in original!)
On the 10-year anniversary of the U.S. National Do Not Call Registry, the Federal Trade Commission announced a $7.5 million civil penalty levied against Mortgage Investors Corporation, one of the nation’s leading refinancers of veterans’ home loans, and this edition’s Dog. The FTC’s complaint says that, while targeting former U.S. military consumers, Mortgage Investors’ telemarketers:
- Called more than 5.4 million numbers listed on the National Do Not Call Registry to offer home loan refinancing services; and
- allegedly led service members to believe that low interest, fixed rate mortgages were available at no cost, often quoting rates that they implied would last the duration of their loan.
According to the FTC: “In reality, Mortgage Investors only offered adjustable rate mortgages in which consumers’ payments would increase with rising interest rates and would require consumers to pay closing costs. In addition, Mortgage Investors allegedly misled consumers about [its] affiliation with the Department of Veterans Affairs.”
What some people won’t do for a buck.
Do you have a nomination for a Diamond or Dog? Send it to me please. I’ll give you credit if I use it in a “3 Diamonds and a Dog” post.