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Submitted by: Robert Buran

Not too long ago I read an article in the New York Times about John McCaffee, the founder of the McCaffee anti virus Software Company. Although no longer associated with that company, Mr. McCaffee was and is a brilliant businessman and entrepreneur who, it seems, for a couple decades, could do no wrong in his business dealing and investments.

Only a very short time ago Mr. McCaffee had a net worth of well over 100 million dollars. Today that net worth is about 4 million.

So what happened? Well one of the major reasons for Mr. MacAfees problems was he made a very common mistake that many other wealthy people have made. He turned investment decisions over to financial experts oftentimes people who call themselves brokers or financial advisers. In MacAfees case one of their recommendations was to put millions of dollars into bonds tied to Lehman Brothers.

Obviously Mr. McCaffee got bad advice and most people now know that Lehman Brothers was one of the first cards to fall in a financial deck that toppled a couple years ago. The resulting fallout brought the world economy to its knees and we are going to be digging out of the resulting mess for some time to come.

Mr. McCaffee also got burned in the real estate collapse as well. And I am certain he got a lot of advice on real estate also. It is likely he was told that real estate was an absolutely safe investment. Real estate prices cannot go down and increasing demand and increasing prices are almost a given.

This is the manure spread by financial advisors, brokers and people in government prior to the crash and 10s of millions of Americans, including Mr. McCaffee, bought into it.

Years ago I wrote a book, How I Quit My Job and turned $6000 into a Half Million Trading. Basically what I had done was to start with $6,000 of borrowed money and by taking about 10,000 individual trades, I realized well over 100% annual returns on my investments for six consecutive years before writing the book.

I am not trying to blow my own horn here, but this experience got me to thinking a lot about investments, risks and return as well as expert opinion. I was not an expert; I developed my basic plan on a yellow legal pad on a skiing trip. Understanding the plan required an understanding of 5th grade math. No I was not an expert.

I am not going to try to rewrite that book in this article, but there were four important noteworthy things I did that contributed to my success:

1) I ignored just about everybodys advice and I developed my own strategies for trading. My strategies violated many sacred rules of trading financial instruments.

2) I never held on to anything more than three days. This kept me from being killed in the marketplace. If I bought something and it started going for the toilet, I was out of it while I still had some money. There is a lot of safety in trading the short term.

3) I traded a lot of different markets. There is also safety in diversification. Things can go bad with one or two things, but it is rare that things go wrong with everything. On one memorable day when all hell broke loose I lost $18,000 in bonds, but made $24,000 in stocks. Diversification saved my butt.

4) I did everything myself. I developed the strategies myself, I did the trading myself and everyday I counted the money myself.

Of all these strategies the most important is doing it yourself. I was once fired from a good job because my boss said I was too much of a lone wolf. But you have to be a lone wolf to be a good trader. Contrarians may make bad employees and bad spouses, but they make excellent investors. One of the truths of trading is that the markets tend to destroy the majority following conventional wisdom and reward the minority following contrarian thinking.

I travel a much less exciting road today regarding investing. I stick to stocks and I only buy them. I no longer short stocks; in the year 2010 probability clearly favors rising prices. But I still diversify and I presently take trading signals in 96 diverse stock markets. I do a lot of programming now, but my trading systems are not that much different from what I developed on a yellow legal pad on a skiing trip 25 years ago. That old stuff still works. And I still do not keep anything more than three days.

My hobby now is putting these trades up on a web site several times every day. I keep it low key and gear it to small investors. I do not make money everyday but I do make money the majority of days. As I write this I am still exceeding 100 % annual returns on my money invested. My web site is kind of my way of saying in your face to the kind of moronic advise that got John McCaffee in trouble.

Simple logic is still a viable investment strategy and lone wolves still make money. Diversification really works. Short term trading is one of the most logical and easiest ways to increase profitability while reducing risk. And finally if you want to get rich you must develop your own strategy, ignore the experts and DO IT YOURSELF!

About the Author: Robert Buran, StockBrain2010 on Twitter, is the author of “How I Quit My Job and Turned $6,000 Into a Half Million Trading. He has traded small accounts and traded millions of dollars. His website

short-term-stocktrading.com

posts real time stock trades several times daily.

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By Carrie Reeder

The hassle of making two monthly mortgage payments has prompted many homeowners to consider refinancing their 1st and 2nd mortgages into one loan. While combining both loans into one mortgage is convenient, and may save you money, homeowners should carefully weigh the risks and advantages before choosing to refinance their mortgages.

Benefits Associated with Combining 1st and 2nd Mortgages

Aside from consolidating your mortgages and making one monthly payment, a mortgage consolidation may lower your monthly payments to mortgage lenders. If you acquired your 1st or 2nd mortgage before home loan rates began to decline, you are likely paying an interest rate that is at least two points above current market rates. If so, a refinancing will greatly benefit you. By refinancing both mortgages with a low interest rate, you may save hundreds on your monthly mortgage payment.

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Furthermore, if you accepted a 1st and 2nd mortgage with an adjustable mortgage rate, refinancing both loans at a fixed rate may benefit you in the long run. Even if your current rates are low, these rates are not guaranteed to remain low. As market trends fluctuated, your adjustable rate mortgages are free to rise. Higher mortgage rates will cause your mortgage payment to climb considerably. Refinancing both mortgages with a fixed rate will ensure that your mortgage remains predictable.

Disadvantages to Refinancing 1st and 2nd Mortgage

Before choosing to refinance your mortgages, it is imperative to consider the drawbacks of combining both mortgages. To begin, refinancing a mortgage involves the same procedures as applying for the initial mortgage. Thus, you are required to pay closing costs and fees. In this case, refinancing is best for those who plan to live in their homes for a long time.

If your credit score has dropped considerably within recent years, lenders may not approve you for a low rate refinancing. By refinancing and consolidating both mortgages, be prepared to pay a higher interest rate. Before accepting an offer, carefully compare the savings.

Moreover, refinancing your two mortgages may result in you paying private mortgage insurance (PMI). PMI is required for home loans with less than 20% equity. To avoid paying private mortgage insurance, homeowners may consider refinancing both mortgages separately, as opposed to consolidating both mortgage loans.

About the Author: Carrie Reeder offers advice about

Mortgage Refinance

Loans Online. View our

Recommended Lowest Rate Mtg Refinance Lenders

Online.

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