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 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 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 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?
Here are some good rules of thumb from our blog located at http://www.fairwaykelsogroup.com/the-benefits-of-refinancing/
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 – 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 CNET.com :
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
Number One ranking for Fairway Independent Mortgage for the fourth year in a row! “Mortgage Executive Magazine” came out with their annual rankings this past week. Fairway Independent Mortgage was voted the “Best Mortgage Company” for where to work industry wide. That has to be a huge part of why Fairway Independent Mortgage has grown from 3000 to over 5800 employees in just the last year.
Our CEO Steve Jacobson stresses “consistent & persistent” – being number one the last four years codifies this philosophy. Creating an environment to be number one is a result of Fairway’s adherence to their “Core Values”. These include:
Humility First, Foster Growth & Knowledge, Have Fun, Create An Amazing Experience, Speed to Respond, Seek Wise Counsel, Respect/Listen/Stay Balanced, Committed to Serve, Consistent Honest Communication, & Family Focused.
Most companies have core values, the difference is that Fairway Independent Mortgage Company Lives them. That’s why we can consistently be number one. We maintain an “ethos” that we will treat every client – “Professionally, Respectfully, Honestly, & Fairly”.
The other reason is our philosophy that “mortgages are what we do, not who we are”. We believe in the “human-touch”. People seeking a mortgage are not a “transaction” to us, they are human relationship that we want to nourish and serve. When we do that with each and every client we create an experience that benefits both the client and the employees working on the mortgage loan.
On the other hand, another reason for the continued success is Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation’s commitment to give back to the community. We have our own foundation The American Warrior Initiative. This organization is self-funded by Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation and it’s employees. It helps veterans in need. American Warrior Initiative also trains realtors how best to work with members of the military and veterans.
Most of all we are humbled by being recognized as the best place to work in our industry and are here to serve you.
Cary Michael Cox
Core Value Number Four is “Creating An Amazing Experience For You!” Not only do we want to provide you with the best product and rate for your situation. We want to make your experience so wonderful that you will always refer those you care about to us.
One key way we do that is our “Speed to Respond”, and that starts with our communication with you. Whether it is a phone cal, text, or e-mail we will always respond almost immediately. We are here to serve you, and the best way to do that is to communicate quickly, efficiently, and thoroughly.
We also have systems in place to make sure that your loan is processed and underwritten quickly. We do that by hiring the best people at each position and let them concentrate on their job only. Our loan officers only originate loans, our processors only process loans, underwriters only underwrite loans, and closers sole job is to close the loan.
You get the picture, by letting our teammates do only what they do best we create efficiency throughout the entire mortgage process. This efficiency allows us to offer the quickest loan approvals and closings in the industry.
When it comes to communication our proprietary CRM system, “Motivator” not only keeps you up to date during the loan process, it keeps both realtors up to date as well. When milestones are reached an e-mail is sent to you to let you know where we are in the process and what action items if any you need to take.
We also have personal touch-points with you our client during the mortgage process. We send you thank you notes with scratch-off lotto tickets, Starbucks gift cards, cookies, and more. Once we close your loan we provide you with a closing gift as well to show our appreciation.
Post-Closing you are provided with your own ‘Servicing Concierge” for the life of your loan. We want to make sure you have a live-person to contact should you have any questions on things like first-payment date or escrow balances.
Again our goal is to create such an “Amazing Experience” that you and those you care about become a “Client For Life”!
Cary Michael Cox
Memorial Day – back when I was born it was always May 30th not the last Monday in May. May 30th is also my birthday which is now known as “Traditional” Memorial Day, since the government made the changes to ensure a three-day weekend to start the summer.
I’ve always wondered if one of the reasons for my strong patriotism along with the love of our country and respect for the military sacrifices so many have made has to do with me being born on this day. Regardless of the reason I feel all Americans need to remember the reason for this holiday. It is so much more than just the “Start of Summer”.
According to History.com Memorial Day originated in the years following The Civil War. Memorial Day is a day in which many visit cemeteries to remember our fallen. Others go to parades to honor the fallen and those that fought along side of them.
It has been said in The Bible, John Chapter 15, Verse 13 “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” Now comprehend how many have made that ultimate sacrifice for you, your family, your friends, and your fellow countrymen. The number is staggering.
The number of Americans that have paid the ultimate price is over 1.3 million per militaryfactory.com. And this does not include the millions more that have suffered both physical and mental disabilities. Unfortunately these numbers are only through 2012 and don’t include the many others that were killed in action since then. That’s an astounding sacrifice that has been made by people you didn’t even know.
As a birthday present to me I ask that while you are enjoying a long weekend with family and friends – that you take a moment of silence to pray for the fallen and reflect that without their sacrifice you would not be where you are today.
How do we keep from others having to pay the ultimate price? I leave you with this –
It has been said that if the children of the world’s politicians were the first into battle war would not exist.
Cary Michael Cox
Term Limits – it seems they are brought up every election cycle. And yes I have heard it over and over from the opposition. That we have term limits built-in through elections. Let’s be real, that is a complete fallacy due to the built-in advantages of the incumbent candidate. These advantages include:
- All the direct mail that an incumbent can send throughout the year to their constituents for free.
- Almost instant access to the media via press conferences and interviews on radio and television.
- Name recognition from the aforementioned above bullet-points.
These built-in advantages are just too much to overcome for all except a very-well financed or wealthy candidate. The research proves this point. According to Politfact.com even though Congress has only a 11% approval rating, 94.6% of them are re-elected. That’s proof beyond a shadow of a doubt that incumbents have a grossly un-fair advantage over the challenger.
Though the above is a problem. The much larger problem and even great reason for term limits is the inefficiency of running for office every two years for Congress and Senate along with every four years for the presidency. Due to this inefficiency we only get a 50% productivity out of our elected official due to their spending half of their time running for re-election. Could you imagine if companies were run in this manner – we’d be in a depression. Though I think it is obvious we are in a “Political Depression” due to our current system of electing our national politicians.
Thus, I have come up with an easy and brilliant solution to get our government working efficiently again without members of congress living off the people for a lifetime. This idea will put the power where it belongs back in the hands of the people. Being elected was never about a lifetime appointment.
Here is my simple solution:
- House of Representatives terms are for four years not two. One person cannot be elected for more than three terms.
- The Senate would remain at six year terms with a maximum of two terms and they would again be appointed by the state governors and not elected.
- The Office of President and Vice President would be for one six-year term.
That insures that no one in Congress can “run for life”. It means that they won’t have to worry about elections every two years. And finally the President can act in the best interest of the country without ever worrying about re-election.
Like most of the best things in life – Short & Simple.
Cary Michael Cox