Of Mortgages and Outperforming the S&P 500 Index

July 30, 2009

Obama wants to save more mortgages. But defaults have yet to abate, and new mortgage applicants face harsh guidelines.


  • Greg Ghodsi, Senior Vice President at Raymond James & Associates' 360 Wealth Management Group;

  • Sacha Millstone,  Senior Vice President with Raymond James & Associates' Millstone Evans Group; and

  • Bill Singer, Shareholder in the Securities Practice Group of the law firm Stark & Stark and Publisher of http://BrokeAndBroker.com and http://RRBDLaw.com

    Bill Singer: [W]hile Robert Browning waxed poetic when he said, "Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp, or what's a heaven for," that has never struck me as a prudent approach to home financing or personal budgeting. As a society, we've been reaching for far too much that we could not grasp, and are now paying the price for that excess.

To read the entire Intelligent Investing Panel interview, visit:


In response to requests from a number of folks concerning the portfolio that I recommended in Forbes during a July 13 panel discussion, and as published on July 20th in http://www.forbes.com/2009/07/20/china-economy-etf-intelligent-investing-adr.html

here are the bases costs for the positions as of the open of July 13th and the similar price for the baseline S&P 500 Index.  As of today, looks like that portfolio is beating the S&P by a nice percentage.

7/13 OPEN
MES 18.65
FXI 36.38
IGN 22.17
PIO 14.29
EWZ 49.56
MOO 32.2
DBA 23.91
INP 44.72
DBB 14.58
MVIS 2.9
S&P500 879.57

Also, here's the link to my June 3rd "Time to Panic?" column in which I opined that those folks advocating yet another Dead Cat Bounce and more Doom-And-Gloom in the markets were wrong. http://www.brokeandbroker.com/index.php?a=blog&id=191 As I noted at the end of that article:

As such, I'm looking at today's retreat as presenting opportunities in the near term rather than a time to cash in my chips and go home.  I expect that things may be choppy, if not nasty, going into the weekend. However, I see more and more stories about decelerating recessions worldwide and signs that some emerging markets may be nearing a point in time when they will start to pull on the rope and draw us all along. 

Bottom line: Take some profits off the table if you think it will help you sleep at night.  However, I think this is more the pause that refreshes than the last chance to get off a train ready to go over the cliff.  

What's my timeline for that call? Well, I'm not into any day by day horizon, so let's say we all meet back here by Labor Day and see whether staying long was smart-- or whether getting out was smarter. . .

Let's hope that by the time I come back from my much-needed summer vacation that things are as relatively rosy as they appear today.  Of course, having now posted this upbeat commentary, I have likely put the dreaded kibosh on the market -- not that I'm superstitious or anything . . .knock wood.