The High Road: Today gives poor appraisal advice

While sipping my second cup of coffee the other day, something I heard on the Today show had me sputtering in disbelief.  What a mess!

Okay, I exaggerate, but MSNBC financial analyst Vera Gibbons was providing poor advice to homeowners on how to get a fair appraisal when selling or refinancing their residence.

To be fair, television demands brevity, but some of her comments struck me as uninformed or disingenuous.

With respect to folks refinancing with the same lender that directly holds the mortgage, Gibbons basically urged pleading with the loan officer to choose an appraiser who is skilled, competent and state certified.

Correctly, she notes that “you can’t go out and pick your appraiser.”  Seemingly skeptical of her counsel, she does creditably say that homeowners may have just “a little bit of say.”

So far, so good.

But Gibbons then remarks Continue reading

Thursday’s roller-coaster ride was no amusement

Thursday was one of those days that will go down in stock market history.

I was working at my desk and, as I frequently do, had a TV tuned to MSNBC yesterday afternoon.  So I witnessed the horrifying plunge of the Dow Jones Industrial Average by nearly 1,000 points and then it’s partial recovery in second and minutes.

Although I’m no economist, I don’t see why it would be foolhardy of me to make one prediction for when the New York Stock Exchange closes today:

The Dow will be lower than at the opening. Continue reading