Bouncing Back from Tough Times By: Jim Rohn

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You have an exciting goal in mind; you've done your homework; you think you're amply prepared… but things just don't work out. You've probably had times when you thought you were doing what you were supposed to do, but you were misinformed. You thought you had it all laid out, but it just didn't work. You burned the midnight oil day after day after day, but it didn't seem to help. You couldn't seem to change the end result.

These are the times when you have to be your own best cheerleader. And there are two ways to keep yourself encouraged:

1.      Take responsibility for the missed opportunity or the misrepresentation. Learn from the fact that even though you made the best presentation possible, your client wanted it a different way. Be prepared for the letdowns that happen every so often. Know that this lost opportunity just set you up to take advantage of the next one. Make the changes that will make the difference. Instead of dwelling on the mistakes, simply acknowledge them and learn from them.

2.         Remind yourself that you're bound to get better. Don't get down on yourself. Don't beat yourself up. It's the next opportunity that matters, not the last one. The last one matters only in that you must learn from your mistakes. But the next one gives you the opportunity to make the necessary alterations, to show that you have learned from your mistakes. You can do it better next time. You just have to practice. Keep trying until…Until what? Until you've got it down.

If you figured out what went wrong last time, then you know how to make it right next time. If you figured out what it was in your presentation that didn't work, don't say that next time. If you figured out that the reason you didn't close the deal this time was because you didn't have all the facts and figures in place, have all the facts and figures in place next time. Don't beat yourself up for messing up. Pat yourself on the back for figuring it out.

You need to encourage yourself. You need to pump yourself up. You need to be your own cheerleader. Why? Because you can't wait and hope that someone else will come along and cheer you up… make you feel better… tell you that you'll do better next time. You have to rely on yourself. You have to have faith in yourself and your ability to figure out what works and what doesn't. You have to have the inner belief that everything you're doing, you're doing for a positive outcome in the future. You have to encourage yourself with future successes.


Cheer yourself on to victory. You can do it.

Home Prices Headed For A Triple Dip

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The headline for much of this year has been that home price gains are easing. Prices are still higher compared to last year, but not nearly as much as they had been. Now, suddenly, it looks as if home values could actually go negative on a national level. "That will be the first time collectively, as a nation, we've seen prices drop since the low point or the trough of the housing crisis," said Alex Villacorta, vice president of research and analytics at data firm Clear Capital. 


Villacorta points to a 1 percent quarterly home price gain from the second to the third quarter of this year. Last year that quarterly gain was 3 percent. "The discouraging thing about that is, yes, we're still in the positive, but that 1 percent has been waning from that three percent, and this comes after what should have been the most active buying season in the housing market for the summer that just ended," he added. 


The West, which has some of the largest metropolitan markets in the nation, has seen a huge drop in distressed sales, as fewer properties go to foreclosure. At their peak in 2009, just over half of all sales in the West were of distressed properties; today that share is just over 12 percent, according to Clear Capital. Investors, consequently, are moving on to other markets in the South and Midwest, where there are still bargains to be had. The West is therefore seeing sharper drops in home price appreciation

Half of December 2013 Foreclosures Remained In August

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Nearly half of the mortgages that were in foreclosure in December 2013 were still in foreclosure as of the end of August, according to the Black Knight Financial Services August Mortgage Monitor released earlier in the week. Even though foreclosure inventory was down both month-over-month and year-over-year, 49 percent of mortgage loans nationwide that were in foreclosure in December of last year remained in that state as of August 31, 2014. Only 2 percent of borrowers who were in foreclosure last December had fully paid off their mortgage loans by the end of August.


Eight percent of borrowers in foreclosure in December 2013 had worked their way up to being current on their mortgages by the end of August, according to Black Knight. Four percent had sold their homes through a short sale or third party during that eight month period, and 23 percent had settled through active REO or REO liquidation. The data revealed that 2 percent of borrowers whose loans were in foreclosure last December were at least 30 days delinquent on their mortgage payments in August, and 12 percent were 60 or more days delinquent. Ten percent of the mortgage loans that received modifications were in distress three months later. According to Black Knight's data, 3.9 million properties nationwide were either 30 more days past due on mortgage payments or in foreclosure in August, which was a decline of 557,000 from August 2013 but an increase of 123,000 from July 2014.


Wal-Mart Cutting Health Benefits to 30,000 Part-Time Employees

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Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the largest private-sector employer in the U.S., will cut medical benefits to about 30,000 workers in response to mounting health-care costs and the growth of alternatives available under Obamacare.


Wal-Mart will no longer provide health coverage to employees who work less than 30 hours a week, according to a statement Tuesday on its website. The change is in line with moves by fellow retailers, including Target Corp., Home Depot Inc. and Walgreen Co., the company said. “We don’t make these decisions lightly, and the fact remains that our plans exceed those of our peers in the retail industry,” Sally Welborn, senior vice president of global benefits, said on the company’s blog.


The U.S. Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, doesn’t require companies to cover part-time workers, and offering them health plans may disqualify those people from subsidies in government-run insurance exchanges that opened last year. The coverage provided by the law softens the blow of companies eliminating benefits, said Ron Pollack, executive director of Families USA, a Washington-based group representing health-care consumers. “People who are losing coverage can get it in a way that provides high-quality coverage at a much lower price,” he said. “Many of these people will be better off.”


Previous Cutbacks

Today’s move, which affects about 2 percent of Wal-Mart’s 1.3 million U.S. employees, follows the retailer’s elimination of benefits for many new part-time workers in 2012. Wal-Mart, based in Bentonville, Arkansas, will rely on the firm HealthCompare Insurance Services Inc. to help employees find replacement coverage.


The world’s biggest retailer also is increasing premiums as it projects a more than $500 million rise in health-care spending this year. The company’s lowest-cost health plan -- its most popular offering -- will climb by $3.50 to $21.90 per pay period. Wal-Mart pays employees biweekly and covers 75 percent of its employees’ premiums.


Assuming the 30,000 part-time workers used the lowest-cost plan, eliminating their benefits would save the company about $50 million a year, according to Bloomberg estimates. Target based in Minneapolis, announced plans to drop coverage of part-time employees in January.


Obamacare Rules

The Obama administration has modified the law’s rules for employer health coverage, requiring companies with 100 or more workers to cover 70 percent of their full-time employees beginning next year. They must cover 95 percent of full-timers beginning in 2016, when the mandate will be extended to companies with 50 or more workers. Those that don’t comply may be liable for fines of as much as $3,000 per worker.


The Affordable Care Act created new government-run health insurance exchanges to sell coverage to uninsured people, often with premiums discounted by federal subsidies. It disqualifies Americans for subsidies at the exchanges if they have an offer of “affordable” coverage from their employers, defined as an insurance premium less than 9.5 percent of their income.


Foreclosures Down, But Delinquencies Up In August

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Nationwide foreclosures are down both monthly and annually, but mortgage loan delinquencies are up month-over-month in August, according to the Black Knight Financial Services Mortgage Monitor released earlier in the week.


In its August 2014 data summary included in the report, indicated a nationwide foreclosure inventory rate of 1.80 percent, meaning that 1.80 percent of all residential mortgage loans were in some state of foreclosure in August. This number represented a decline of 2.80 percent from July and 33 percent from August 2013.


The number of foreclosure starts in August declined by 10 percent from July and by 24 percent year-over-year. The number of nationwide foreclosure starts has dropped from about 107,000 in August 2013 to about 81,000 in August 2014. A foreclosure start is defined as "any active loan that was not in foreclosure in the prior month that moves into foreclosure inventory in the current month."


The mortgage loan delinquency rate was reported at 5.9 percent for August, meaning that 5.9 percent of all mortgage loans in the nation were delinquent that month. A delinquent loan is defined as one that 30 or more days late on a payment. The percentage of delinquent loans has dropped from 6.20 percent in August 2013, but experienced a 4.68 percent increase from July after an up and down year. It was the fifth time in the last 12 months the delinquency rate experienced a month-over-month increase.


The nation's serious delinquency rate which is the percentage of mortgages that are either 90 days late on their payment or in foreclosure, dropped slightly from 4.10 percent in July to 4.05 percent in August.


The serious delinquency rate has been declining slowly but surely each month for 11 months after a slight uptick from 5.22 percent in August 2013 to 5.26 percent in August 2014.


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