Change Your Future - Learn To Speak The Language Of Success The Subtle Power of Language By: Jim Rohn

March 26th, 2015

I have found that sometimes the subtle difference in our attitude, which of course can make a major difference in our future, can be as simple as the language we use—the difference in even how you talk to yourself or others… consciously making a decision to quit saying what you don't want and to start saying what you do want. I call that faith—believing in the best, hoping for the best and moving toward the best.


A few examples could be, instead of saying, “What if somebody doesn't respond?” you start saying, “What if they do respond?” Instead of saying, “What if someone says no?” you say, “What if they say yes?” Instead of, “What if they start and quit?” say, “What if they start and stay?” Or instead of asking, “What if it doesn't work out?” you say, “What if it does work out?“ The list goes on and on.


A few examples could be, instead of saying, “What if somebody doesn't respond?” you start saying, “What if they do respond?” Instead of saying, “What if someone says no?” you say, “What if they say yes?” Instead of, “What if they start and quit?” say, “What if they start and stay?” Or instead of asking, “What if it doesn't work out?” you say, “What if it does work out?“ The list goes on and on.


I found that when you start thinking and saying what you really want, your mind automatically shifts and pulls you in that direction. And sometimes it can be that simple, just a little twist in vocabulary, that illustrates your attitude and philosophy.


Our language can also affect how others perform and behave around us. Here’s a scenario: A teenager says to a parent, “I need $10.” The parents need to learn to say, “That kind of language doesn't work here. We've got plenty of money, but that's not how you get $10.” That will teach your teenager how to ask, “How can I earn $10?”


That is the magic of words. There is plenty of money here—there is money for everybody, but you just have to learn the magic words to get it… for everything you could possibly want… if you just learn the philosophy. Because you can't go to the soil and say, “Give me a harvest.” You know the soil smiles and says, “Who is this clown that brings me his need and brings me no seed?” And if you said to the soil, “I've got this seed and if I planted it, would you work while I sleep?” And the soil says, “No problem. Give me the seed. Go to sleep and I'll be working while you're sleeping.”

If you just understand these simple principles, teaching them to someone is sometimes just a matter of language—simple language, but so important. It is easy to stumble through almost a lifetime and not learn some of these simplicities. Then you have to put up with all the lack and all the challenges that don't work out simply from not reading the book, not listening to the tape, not sitting in the class, not studying your language and not being willing to search so you can then find.


But here is the great news. You can start this process anytime. For me it was at age 25. At 25 I'm broke. Six years later I'm a millionaire. Somebody says, “What kind of revolution, what kind of change, what kind of thinking, what kind of magic had to happen? Was it you?” And I say, “No. It can happen for any person, any six years, 36 to 42, 50 to 56. Whatever six years, whatever few years, you can go on an intensive, accelerated personal development curve, learning curve, application curve, and learn the disciplines.”


Now, it might not take the same amount of time, but I'm telling you the same changes and the same rewards in some different fashion are available for those who pay that six year price. And you might find that whether it's in the beginning to help get you started or in the middle to keep you on track, that your language can have a great impact on your attitude, actions and results.



Schlumberger Sees Prudence As New Normal For US Shale Oil

March 26th, 2015

Prudence will be the new normal for the U.S. shale oil industry, which has quickly abandoned its heavy-spending ways in the face of sliding crude prices, Schlumberger Ltd, the world's No.1 oilfield services provider, said on Monday.


Spending cuts already announced by producers - to the tune of 25 to 60 percent - have dropped the rig count by 45 percent since late 2014, and output will soon decline or flatten out so prices can recover, Schlumberger's Chief Executive Paal Kibsgaard said. U.S. oil prices have fallen by 50 percent since June to around $46 per barrel as Saudi Arabia and OPEC try to push higher cost producers out of the market. At the time of $100 oil, some U.S. highly-leveraged U.S. players were known for their intensive capex budgets. That may change forever. "Going forward, we believe financial prudence, where investments are limited to the cash flow generated by production, will be the new normal for U.S. tight-oil developments," he said at the Scotia Howard Weil Energy conference in New Orleans.


Outside of North America, Schlumberger expects the oil and gas industry's international spending on exploration and production to drop by 10 to 15 percent in 2015, continuing a trend seen last year. That means, he said, "the global oil market is clearly heading for a tightening ... in the second half of this year." The rebalancing would come in part from less supply but also stronger demand in a market currently oversupplied by about 1 million barrels per day.



Schlumberger, which has seen its share price fall by about a third since July, would be positioned to take advantage of any uptick in demand for its range of oilfield services, from drilling to fracking, Kibsgaard said. He emphasized that Schlumberger has been generating more free cash flow than its two main competitors, Halliburton Co and Baker Hughes Inc., which are in the process of merging. But he also acknowledged that the industry is going through an rocky downturn. "In the short term, activity visibility still remains limited as many of our customers are making drastic and sometimes unpredictable cuts to protect margins and cash flow," he said. 

Cold Winter, Soft Economic Growth Cause Housing Market to Stumble

March 26th, 2015

The housing market experienced winter doldrums in January as housing stumbled due to cold weather and slower economic growth, according to Freddie Mac's latest Multi-Indicator Market Index (MiMi) released on Wednesday.


The latest index experienced a broad-based decline in January despite recent improvements in the labor market and low mortgage rates that promised a strong home buying season for the spring. Just as it reported for December's national index, Freddie Mac reported that January's national MiMi value of 74.6 indicated a weak housing market and even declined slightly (0.20 percent) month-over-month despite a year-over-year increase of 3.39 percent. The all-time high for the national MiMi is 121.7, set in April 2006 prior to the recession.


The all-time low for the national MiMi was 57.2, set in October 2010 at the height of the foreclosure wave. The housing market has rebounded by 30 percent since hitting that all-time low nearly four and a half years ago. "Housing markets weakened slightly this month, which is no surprise considering the harsh winter and slowdown in economic activity at the outset of 2015," Freddie Mac Deputy Chief Economist Len Kiefer said. "While single-family purchase applications dipped a bit across the board from December to January, they are still up nearly 3 percent from last year. Improving employment and attractive mortgage rates should help to support increased purchase applications, particularly as the weather warms up and we head into the spring home buying season."


Two of the four indicators in the MiMi, purchase applications and payment to income, experienced slight month-over-month declines in January down to 63.4 and 68.3, respectively. The other two indicators, current on mortgage and employment, ticked up to 67.5 and 99.3, respectively. Fourteen of the 50 states plus the District of Columbia and nine out of the top 50 metro areas had MiMi values in the stable range for January, compared to 16 states and 11 metro areas that had a MiMi value in the stable range for December, according to Freddie Mac. North Dakota had the highest MiMi value among states with 96.9, and Austin, Texas, had the highest MiMi value among metro areas at 86.0.


Eleven of the 50 states and 21 out of the 50 metros showed an improving three-month trend in MiMi value in January, a steep decline from December when 38 states and 40 metro areas showed an improving three-month trend. In January 2015, 49 states plus the District of Columbia and all 50 metro areas showed an improving three-month trend. Freddie Mac reported in its February 2015 Monthly


Volume Summary on Tuesday that the serious delinquency rate on mortgage loans backed by the GSE had fallen to 1.81 percent, its lowest level since 2008, and less than half the national average reported by CoreLogic at 4.0 percent for January. "The good news is that mortgage delinquencies also continued their steady decline," Keifer said. "The national MiMi current on mortgage indicator for January is up 10 percent from a year ago at 67.5, the highest level we've seen since in six years. The improvement in households paying their mortgages on time has been dramatic. For example, at its low point in February of 2010, California's MiMi current on mortgage indicator was just 22.8. Since then, California has seen major improvements and today the current on mortgage indicator is 77.6, showing a 240 percent improvement from its low point and an 8.2 percent improvement from one year ago."


New Data Shows Housing Gains, Rental Problems

March 26th, 2015

Both sides in the homeownership-versus-renting debate trotted out data to support their respective claims of strength in numbers. But those advocating renting as a housing option confronted numbers showing a lack of inventory and, in one major market, a serious evaporation of affordable options.


On the homeownership side, Freddie Mac’s latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS) found the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.86 percent with an average 0.6 point for the week ending March 12, up from last week when it averaged 3.75 percent—but it was still below the 4.37 percent level of a year ago at this time. The 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.10 percent with an average 0.6 point, up from last week when it averaged 3.03 percent; a year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.38 percent.


The five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.01 percent this week with an average 0.5 point, up from last week when it averaged 2.96 percent, and slightly below the 3.09 percent average from a year ago. The one-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.46 percent this week with an average 0.4 point, up from last week when it averaged 2.44 percent. At this time last year, the one-year ARM averaged 2.48 percent. “The average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose to 3.86 percent for this week following a strong labor market report, essentially bring rates back to where they were at the start of the year,” Len Kiefer, deputy chief economist at Freddie Mac.  


Today’s data from Freddie Mac was not that far removed from mortgage rate data released Tuesday by Zillow, which found the 30-year FRM at 3.73 percent and the 15-year FRM at 2.92 percent. “Rates remained flat for most of last week but jumped sharply after Friday's exceptionally strong jobs report, before easing back down early this week,” said Erin Lantz, vice president of mortgages at Zillow. “We expect rates to hold steady this week due to little incoming data and the official start of the European Central Bank's bond purchases.”


Also supporting the cause of homeownership was the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) Builder Application Survey data for February 2015, which found mortgage applications for new home purchases up by 12 percent relative to the previous month. The MBA estimated new single-family home sales were running at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 487,000 units in February, which is down 8.1 percent from the January pace of 530,000 units. But on an unadjusted basis, the MBA estimated that there were 42,000 new home sales in February, an increase of 7.7 percent from 39,000 new home sales in January. The average loan size of new homes increased from $304,364 in January to $311,379 in February, with conventional loans making up nearly two-thirds of the mortgage applications.


“An increase in mortgage applications to builders in February over strong January numbers bodes well for new home purchases this year,” said Lynn Fisher, MBA’s vice president of research and economics. “Applications in both January and February were up on a year over year basis.” Over on the rental side, new data released by the National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) and the National Apartment Association (NAA) the apartment industry and its 36 million residents contributed an impressive $1.3 trillion to the U.S. economy and supported 12.3 million jobs in 2013. Citing demographic changes fueled by the housing choices of Millennials and the relocation of Baby Boomers back to urban markets, the NMHC-NAA data found that apartment construction contributed more than $1 billion to each of 17 different metro areas during 2013, with Los Angeles leading the list with $5 billion. “Our study showed major increases around apartment construction, with spending, economic contributions and personal earnings from construction all rising substantially,” said Dr. Stephen S. Fuller, an economist at George Mason University’s Center for Regional Analysis, whose research was at the core of the data. “The construction for multifamily apartment buildings is a significant and growing source of economic activity, jobs and personal earnings in communities nationwide.”


Although there were 294,000 construction starts in 2013, leading to nearly $30 billion in construction spending, the demand for multifamily units is still greater than its supply. “We need 300,000 to 400,000 new apartments each year just to keep up with resident demand, yet we’ve chronically under-built for years during and after the Great Recession,” said NMHC Chairman Daryl Carter, CEO of Avanath Capital Management. “For example, in 2013, we completed 186,000 units, which is only about half of what was needed to meet resident demand for that year alone. After bottoming out in 2009, apartment starts have increased nationally almost to the point of meeting annual demand, but the lengthy development process and years of backlog mean that completions aren’t likely to hit the necessary level for a couple of years. This increase of available apartments will also help address affordability challenges that we see in many markets across the U.S.”


Also complicating matters is the increased absence of affordable rental options. Indeed, this situation is particularly acute in Washington, D.C—a new study released by the D.C. Fiscal Policy Institute found the availability of affordable rentals has become all but impossible in the nation’s capital. While low-income families were particularly hard hit—64 percent of this demographic devoted half or more of their income to rent—that particular rental market was also brutal on those higher up the economic scale. “In 2013, the typical middle-income renters earned $46,000 a year, a gain of $4,000 since 2002,” the study said. “However, this gain was outstripped by rents for moderate priced unites that rose almost $5,000 per year, from $900 to $1,300 monthly. For D.C. households in the middle, typical rents are about 34 percent of average income … Rents also rose for apartments in the upper half of the city’s rental market. But the gains in income were higher than the rent changes. For example, rents at the highest end of the market rose from $2,045 a month to $2,700 an increase of $7,900 a year. Average income for this group rose by $14,000.”

FHFA Inspector General Cautions Profitability of GSEs Might Not Continue

March 26th, 2015

n a white paper released Wednesday titled "The Continued Profitability of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is Not Assured," the Office of Inspector General of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) warned that the profitability of the two GSEs may not continue due to their having to rely on core earnings for profits in the future.


The combined profits of the two GSEs totaled $135 billion in 2013 largely due to non-recurring tax-related items and legal settlements, which accounted for 60 percent of the profits. Without the income from the non-recurring items and settlements in 2014, the profitability of the two Enterprises shrunk to a combined $22 billion. Only 40 percent of the profits in 2013 came from core earnings, compared to 55 percent in 2014. The white paper suggested that the profitability of the GSEs in is jeopardy because, aside from missing the income from non-recurring items, the two Enterprises are legally required to reduce their investment portfolios, thus shrinking another source of income. Also, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac cannot legally accumulate a financial cushion to absorb future losses – they must pay a dividend to Treasury each quarter equal to the excess of their net worth over an applicable capital reserve amount, according to the white paper.


That capital buffer is currently $1.8 billion and is required to be reduced by $600 million per year until it reaches zero by 2018. Should the GSEs' losses exceed their capital buffer, they would require another draw on Treasury. "Fannie Mae reports that it expects to remain profitable for the foreseeable future; however, it acknowledges that a decrease in home prices or changes in interest rates, combined with provisions of their agreements with Treasury that require the reduction of their retained asset portfolios, could lead to losses," wrote Acting Deputy Inspector General for Evaluations Kyle Roberts in the white paper. "Thus, if these losses result in an Enterprise reporting a negative net worth, that Enterprise would be obligated to draw on Treasury’s funding commitment."


The white paper stated that a stress test conducted by the FHFA in April 2014 found that under economic conditions similar to those, the two GSEs would require a draw on Treasury of $84.4 billion or $190 billion depending on the treatment of deferred tax assets. The FHFA OIG's white paper was the second report released this week discussing the declining profitability of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. On Monday, the Urban Institute published a research brief entitled "What to Make of the Dramatic Fall in GSE Profits" and examined the likelihood of Freddie Mac having to take another draw on Treasury, which it has not done since 2012.


Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac required a combined bailout of $188 billion in 2008 after the government seized control of them. The two GSEs returned to profitability in 2012. The future of the two GSEs has been a hotly contested topic in Washington as well as in the rest of the housing industry. Both parties appear to want to wind down the FHFA's conservatorship of the two, but cannot agree on what, if anything, should replace them as well as what role the government should play in housing, if any. "Absent Congressional action, or a change in FHFA’s current strategy, the conservatorships will go on indefinitely," Roberts wrote in the FHFA OIG white paper. "The Enterprises’ future status is beyond their control. At present, it appears that Congressional action will be needed to define what role, if any, the Enterprises play in the housing finance system."