Respect, Listen, and Stay Balanced – Fairway’s Core Value #7

Respect, Listen, and Stay Balanced – Fairway’s Core Value #7

Respect, Listen, and Stay Balanced that is the “modus operandi” for Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation. These three actions are important individually. Moreover, they are even more important when the sum of all three are used together when engaged with a client, a co-worker, or handling a difficult situation. Respect, listen, and stay balanced is the magic formula at Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation for taking care of both people and challenges that may arise in the course of business.

Respect, it is the essential ingredient for having and nurturing a great relationship. Great relationships are what Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation seeks with its’ clients, employees, and coworkers. This first part of our core value it is easy to see it’s value.

Listen, as the old saying tells us, there is a reason God gave us to ears and only one mouth. He was stressing the importance of being a good listener. We make sure that we listen in detail to our clients needs in order to deliver them the best option for their mortgage needs. Being a good listener again the value is self-evident as to why it is part of Core Value Number Seven.

On the other hand, what does “Stay Balanced” mean exactly, and how does it fit into this core value at Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation? It means to stay calm and keep a cool head during difficult situations. By staying balanced and not having knee-jerk reactions you will make better decisions when facing adversity.

I mentioned earlier the importance of the using each of these items together when handling challenges. I’d like to demonstrate this importance to a real-life scenario that happened at Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation where we used Core Value Number Seven – Respect, Listen, and Stay Balanced

When hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Jose hit Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation had hundreds of millions of dollars of loans on properties in the affected areas. Before an assessment of the property damage was initiated Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation had respect for their employees and people that were affected by the storms.

They listened to their needs and responded to making sure they were taken care of first and foremost. The loans and potential problems and losses could wait.

The Executive Team stayed balanced taking care of their most important assets first – their employees and clients affected by the hurricanes before moving on to accounting for any damage properties for which they held the mortgage.

Even in handling the assessment of the damaged properties the Executive Team stayed balanced and came up with a plan to make sure all properties with mortgages they held were quickly accounted for in order to focus efforts on only those that had been damaged.

Thus, there is a real-life example when facing the adversity of dealing not with only one but, three natural disasters the importance of Core Value Number Seven – Respect, Listen and Stay Balanced.

Cary Michael Cox


Jose Altuve – 2017 American League MVP

Jose Altuve – 2017 American League MVP

Jose Altuve of the Houston Astros is living proof that big things do come in small packages. He stands only 5’6″ but plays like a giant on the baseball diamond. He has been a mainstay on the Houston Astros for seven years now. He and one of Houston’s other Al-Star players Carlos Correa form the best Double-Play combo in all of Major League Baseball.

It’s been a magical year for both Jose Altuve and the Houston Astros. The Astros won three consecutive elimination games against the most-storied programs in baseball history. They beat the Boston Red Sox in Game Three to win the Division Championship. Then they beat the New York Yankees in Game Seven to win the League Series Championship. Finally, they beat the Los Angeles Dodgers on the road in Game Seven to win the World Series. It was the Houston Astros first ever championship.

Jose Altuve from day one of Spring Training to the final out on that early November night in Los Angeles was a huge part of the Houston Astros success in becoming World Series Champions. He said, “When I got to that first Spring Training day, it felt different, I knew this was going to be our year to win the World Series.”

He did his part to make sure those words came true. He had league leading .346 batting average. He stole 32 bases. He had 24 home runs and 81 runs batted in, along with 204 hits. Moreover, he stayed on fire during the playoffs. In those seventeen games he hit for a .310 batting average and that was against the best pitchers n baseball. He also had 7 home runs, 14 runs batted in, 2 stolen bases, and scored 14 runs.

Jose Altuve was justly rewarded yesterday, by winning in a landslide victory, being named the 2017 American League Most Valuable Player!

Yes the shortest man in baseball, who came from Venezuela, and was cut from his first major league tryout – the man that put the City of Houston, ravaged by Hurricane Harvey, on his back and carried them to a World Series Championship. He has earned what the fans kept chanting during the playoffs – MVP! MVP!

Congratulations Jose Altuve! You have forever endured yourself with the heart of Houston.

Cary Michael Cox

21 Foot Rule – Why Conceal-Carry Can Be a False Sense of Security

21 Foot Rule – Why Conceal-Carry Can Be a False Sense of Security

The 21 Foot Rule is something that we have studied extensively in Krav-Maga. This rule says that if an attacker with an edged weapon is within twenty-one feet of you, that you will not have time to draw your firearm before they can stab you. We have simulated this thousands of times when training in Krav-Maga. Every instance that we have an attacker within 21 feet or less of the person with a holstered weapon – the attacker can reach and stab the person before they can draw their firearm and get it on target.

On the other hand, it seems that those with a concealed-handgun license have never heard of it, much less studied it. And that my friends is a very dangerous situation. Moreover, the lack of understanding the 21 Foot Rule can create a false-sense of security for those with a concealed-handgun license when facing an attacker with an edged weapon. Particularly when the attacker with the edged weapon, typically a knife, or machete is within a 21 foot radius of them.

Here is the background on how the rule was formulated and the timing involved courtesy of

The 21-Foot Rule was formulated by timing subjects beginning their headlong run from a dead stop on a flat surface offering good traction and officers standing stationary on the same plane, sidearm holstered and snapped in. The FSRC has extensively measured action and reaction times under these same conditions. Among other things, the Center has documented the time it takes officers to make 20 different actions that are common in deadly force encounters. Here are some of the relevant findings that the FSRC applied in reevaluating the 21-Foot Rule.

Once he perceives a signal to do so, the AVERAGE officer requires 1.5 seconds to draw from a snapped Level II holster and fire one unsighted round at center mass. Meanwhile, the AVERAGE suspect with an edged weapon raised in the traditional “ice-pick” position can go from a dead stop to level, unobstructed surface offering good traction in 1.5-1.7 seconds.

The above doesn’t even account for the time it takes the person with the gun to realize or visualize the attacker which even if milliseconds gives the advantage even more so to the attacker. This is the essence of the 21 Foot Rule.

The burden of proof is overwhelming that those carrying a concealed handgun are in a definite if not fatal disadvantage against an attacker with an edged-weapon if they are within 21 feet of them.

The moral of the story here is not to be lulled into a false-sense of security that if you are carrying a concealed handgun that you have the upper-hand against an attacker with an edged-weapon – at least if they are within 21 feet of you and you haven’t drawn your weapon.

Cary Michael Cox

Seek Wise Counsel – Fairway’s Core Value #6

Seek Wise Counsel – Fairway’s Core Value #6

Seeking wise counsel has been a concept since recorded time. Even Solomon, the wisest man that ever lived, recognized that he needed wise & Godly counsel. As it says in the Book of Proverbs in the Bible, “Plans go wrong for lack of advice, many counselors bring success.” (Chapter 15 Verse 22). Later Solomon also said, With many counselors there is safety.” (Chapter 11 Verse 14). Furthermore, King David said in Psalms, “Your decrees please me, they give me wise advise.” (Chapter 119 Verse 24). Like two of the wisest and most Godly men ever, You’ll do yourself a wonderful service if you always seek wise counsel.

Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation realizes that for both itself and it’s clients that it is imperative to always seek wise counsel. No matter how large we grow and how much we learn or experience we have, from time to time we will need to seek wise counsel. We take that to heart as we know it is imperative to best serve our clients and employees. Like it says in Proverbs, “A wise man will hear and increase in learning, and a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel.” (Chapter 1, Verse 5).

There are times in our lives and in business when even though we may have a good idea about something, we don’t have the answer. That is the time to find someone that is the expert in the area to help you make a decision.

That’s what we do at Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation whether it comes to compliance, legal matters, marketing, lead generation, and more we consult with the best in each instance. We want to make sure that we are performing and doing the best for both our borrowers, partners in business, and employees.

You can be rest assured if there is any question on what to do and we are not one-hundred percent sure – we will seek wise counsel.

Cary Michael Cox

Astros Win The World Series For Houston!

Astros Win The World Series For Houston!

The Houston Astros won the World Series and the hearts of Houstonians. Like any championship series in sports the Houston Astros and the Los Angles Dodgers were evenly matched. The Los Angles Dodgers of the National League finished the regular season with a league-leading one-hundred and three games won. On the other hCArand, the Houston Astros had won one-hundred and one games themselves.

Los Angeles had made it through the playoffs not even challenged. Houston though faced an elimination game in bot the Division-Series Championship, and again in the League Series Championship. Moreover, Houston had beaten the most two-storied franchises in the American League – the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees.

So if both team were evenly matched  what propelled Houston to victory? Simply they had something more inside to play for than the Dodgers. Remember the City of Houston had been recently struck by the worst and most costly natural-disaster in the history of the United States.

We’ve seen it happen over and over in the world of sports. A city is devastated by a tragedy and one of their sports teams goes on to win the title. They have a special purpose that the other team fortunately didn’t have to endure.

After September 11th 2001 it was the New York Yankees that went on to win the World Series. Then in August of 2005 Hurricane Katrina destroyed the city of New Orleans. That same year the New Orleans Saints go on to win their first ever Super Bowl. Finally, in April of 2013 there is a terrorist-bombing during the Boston Marathon. That year the Boston Red Sox win their first World Series Title in 2013 not having won it since 1918.

Now it was Houston’s turn! The Astros put the city on their back when they needed the most. They won three elimination games against the biggest names in baseball: New York, Boston, and Los Angeles. And on a beautiful November night in Los Angeles the Astros brought a World Series Championship to Houston!

Cary Michael Cox

Corruption – The Obama Administration Defines It

Corruption – The Obama Administration Defines It

Corruption as defined by Webster’s Dictionary, is dishonest or unlawful behavior especially by powerful people, such as politicians. Has there ever been a more corrupt time in American History than 2008-2016? The evidence says “no”. Every day it is becoming more and more evident that the Obama Administration was the most corrupt ever. Barrack Obama has constantly tried to sell to the citizenry that his administration was “scandal free”. That is just an outright lie – he and his administration define corruption. The facts will prove it.

Right out of the gate we had “Fast & Furious” where the government sold guns to cartel members that were later used to kill a US Border Patrol agent.

His Attorney General, Eric Holder, was held in contempt of Congress. The only cabinet-level appointee ever charged with contempt in American History.

The Obama-Care Scandal with the political payoffs to Senators, the billion-dollar website that didn’t work, Obama’s great lie of “You can keep your doctor”. The list on just Obama-Care could take up an entire post.

The IRS scandal where they admittedly singled-out conservative groups. They lied about having computer back-ups that would prove their dishonesty.

His Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, had a private-server in her basement where that contained some of the most top secret information in the government. She knowingly used the unsecured server to transmit this information. Both of these facts are criminal acts.

Benghazi, where they made up a story blaming an internet video to cover up the death of four brave Americans.

There are so many more to list. On the other hand, we need to look at the very recent scandals that are coming to light. These are the ones that actually may finally put Hillary Clinton behind bars. And if we are lucky Barrack Obama himself.

The first is the Uranium One scandal. Apparently his administration covered-up the fact that there was an on-going FBI investigation of the Russian company that he and Hillary Clinton wanted to sell twenty-percent of the United State’s uranium reserves.

The second, are the lies about who paid for the “Trump Dossier” and the FBI’s, Hillary Clinton’s, the Democratic National Committee, and Obama himself.

Finally, their lies, deceit, and denials are all coming out now – corruption cannot stay hidden forever – stay tuned!

Cary Michael Cox

Sam Houston Sworn in As First President of The Republic of Texas

Sam Houston Sworn in As First President of The Republic of Texas

Sam Houston on this day in history October 22nd, 1836 was sworn in as the first President of The Republic of Texas. People forget that Texas is the only state that was previously its’ own independent nation. They also forget that Sam Houston was instrumental in both creating and governing The Republic of Texas. Most just know him as the man for which the nation’s fourth-largest city is named.

General Sam Houston is most famous for leading the Texan Army against General Santa Anna at “The Battle of San Jacinto”. It was at this battle that The Republic of Texas won its’ independence from Mexico. That battle was the shortest most decisive in history.

Furthermore, he was a leader and a statesman. These are the reasons that he was elected the first president of The Republic of Texas. There were five temporary capitols for Texas before Sam Houston moved it to Houston. The five other cities were Washington On The Brazos, Harrisburg, Galveston, Velasco, and Columbia. The first, Washington on the Brazos is know as the “Cradle of Texas Independence”. The Texas Declaration of Independence was signed there. Eventually the second president of Texas moved the capitol to Austin, Texas.

Sam Houston was the only southern governor once Texas became a state  to oppose secession from the union. That was a decision that costs him the governorship. It also shows why he was a great statesman as he was a man of principle. He was instrumental in the annexation of Texas and became the first United States Senator from the state.

Sam Houston has political experience from being the governor of Tennessee before moving to Texas. He is the only person to ever be governor of two states. In addition, he is the only person to be both a president of a nation and governor of a state.

Texans owe a lot of their course through history to Sam Houston.

Cary Michael Cox


Speed to Respond – Core Value # 5

Speed to Respond – Core Value # 5

Speed to Respond is the primary reason that Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation has achieved so much success and growth. It starts at the top and flows through every facet and person at the company. As they say “speed kills” and it why Fairway is killing the competition.

Management is quick to respond to “The Street” or the branch/loan officer level. Management includes the following: operations, underwriting, legal, compliance, pricing, closing & funding. When they respond quickly to “The Street” they in turn can respond quickly to their clients and referral sources. These are the life-blood of any mortgage organization and deserve a fast response.

Everything at Fairway Independent Mortgage is set-up to the mantra of “Speed to Respond”. Above all else is that Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation does not believe in excessive layers of management. Those layers just slow the process down of getting an answer or result for a client or team-member quickly. Loan officers have a direct line to their branch manager. In turn the branch manager has direct access to whatever person, department, or executive they need to get a response and answer quickly.

Another unique quality about Fairway Independent Mortgage is that they hire the very best at each position and they only do that one position. This prevents a cross-up n lines of communication. Moreover, it empowers everyone in the company to know that they work with the best and their sole focus is to be the best at what they do. Additionally, it truly defines “positive synergy”.

Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation is an an employ-owned private company or ESOP. This type of structure gives it even more advantages to act quickly. Because the company is employee owned Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation is not “beholden” to Wall Steer analysts. This independence allows Fairway as a company to make changes quicker than the competition in an ever-changing mortgage market. In addition, Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation can make long-term decisions that perhaps would negatively effect “quarterly” earnings, while on the other hand the benefits will be ten-fold in the future.

The “Speed to Respond insures that Fairway Independent Mortgage is built to deliver mortgages to the marketplace fast!

Cary Michael Cox


Refinance – When Does it Make Sense

Refinance – When Does it Make Sense

Refinance – when does it make sense?

Here are some good rules of thumb from our blog located at

When considering refinancing your home with Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation – The Kelso Group, it is important to determine what goals you have for your short-term and long-term finances. When you refinance, you pay off your current mortgage loan with a new mortgage loan that has rates and terms that should better suit your overall financial needs.

There are many ways that refinancing your home mortgage loan could benefit you:

  • Reduce your interest rate – If your home is currently financed at a higher-than-market rate, you may be able to reduce your interest rate and overall interest costs by financing at a lower rate. Over time, this could save you a great deal of money!
  • Extend terms to lower monthly payment – You may be able to extend the repayment time of your loan, which will also lower the monthly payment. If you are looking to improve your cash flow, this may be a good option for you. Just keep in mind that you will be making payments on your home for a longer period of time.
  • Build equity faster – You may also be able to shorten the term of your mortgage, which could reduce your interest rate and/or overall interest expense. By moving to a 15-year fixed rate, you might be able to pay off your home sooner without increasing your monthly payment by much.
  • Change from variable to fixed rate – You may be able to reduce your monthly payment by changing from a variable-rate to fixed-rate loan. This may help free you from the potentially expensive interest rate/payment fluctuations that can occur in a volatile real estate market by locking in a low, fixed interest rate.

The bottom line is that there are many ways to save money and benefit from refinancing!

Cary Michael Cox

Smart Phones – Are They Hurting Your Child’s Learning Ability?

Smart Phones – Are They Hurting Your Child’s Learning Ability?

Smart phones – they are ubiquitous. I tell my wife that our son once he learns to drive won’t be able to go anywhere without his cell phone. That is because he never looks up from it in the car to see where we are going. He’ll need Google Maps to go anywhere, and if the battery runs out or his phone dies, he’ll be “lost”.

When it comes to school kids today use cell phones to look up information to write reports and work problems. But would they be able to find the answer without their smart phones?

So the question lingers do smart phones really make us smarter?

A study at my Alma Matter The University of Texas has research showing that smart phones may actually make us dumber. Here is an article on it from :

Looks like the word “smartphone” may be a misnomer. Sure the phone may be smart, but just having it around makes us dumber, according to a study of nearly 800 phone users conducted by the University of Texas at Austin. 

Researchers at the university’s McCombs School of Business asked participants to take a series of computer-based tests that needed their full concentration. Before they began the tests, geared to measure “the brain’s ability to hold and process data at any given time,” people in the study were randomly asked to either place their phone facedown on the desk, in their pocket or in another room. All were told to mute the sound. 

The study found that people with their phones in another room “significantly outperformed” those who had their phones on the desk, and did slightly better than those who had their phones in a pocket. 

“Your conscious mind isn’t thinking about your smartphone, but that process — the process of requiring yourself to not think about something — uses up some of your limited cognitive resources,” said McCombs Assistant Professor Adrian Ward, who headed the experiment. “It’s a brain drain.”

Researchers found just having a phone within view or easy reach reduces a person’s ability to focus and perform tasks, because our brain’s are actively working to not pick up the phone. “The mere presence of their smartphones was enough to reduce their cognitive capacity,” Ward said.

Sound like the research has vindicated my opinion on our son and his smart phone – maybe we should just call them cell phones!

Cary Michael Cox