Forecast for the Week
Just one economic report is ahead this week. Plus, the minutes from the Fed’s September meeting will be closely watched.
- Look for the Federal Open Market Committee September Meeting Minutes on Wednesday. With little economic data being released this week, investors will closely dissect the minutes for any hints as to where interest rates are headed.
- As usual on Thursday, Weekly Initial Jobless Claims will be released. They continue to hover near pre-recession lows.
Remember: Weak economic news normally causes money to flow out of Stocks and into Bonds, helping Bonds and home loan rates improve, while strong economic news normally has the opposite result. The chart below shows Mortgage Backed Securities (MBS), which are the type of Bond on which home loan rates are based.
When you see these Bond prices moving higher, it means home loan rates are improving—and when they are moving lower, home loan rates are getting worse.
To go one step further—a red “candle” means that MBS worsened during the day, while a green “candle” means MBS improved during the day. Depending on how dramatic the changes were on any given day, this can cause rate changes throughout the day, as well as on the rate sheets we start with each morning.
As you can see in the chart below, the markets have been volatile but home loan rates remain near their best levels in the last year. I’ll continue to monitor them closely.
Chart: Fannie Mae 4.0% Mortgage Bond (Friday October 3, 2014)
The Mortgage Market Guide View…
7 Tips to Tame an Unruly Inbox
Email is a fast, effective form of communication, but sometimes the volume of messages in our inboxes can be overwhelming. Here are seven tips that can help:
Create specific, descriptive subject lines. Clear subject lines serve a purpose. They allow people to quickly skim emails and identify a message. For example, the subject line “Monday’s Meeting” can be improved to “Agenda for 10/13 Sales Meeting.”
Define action protocols for subject lines. Help readers understand the action required after receiving a message. Define key terms, and begin subject lines with them: “FYI third quarter sales up,” “APPROVE Customer Appreciation budget,” or “REVIEW first draft of annual report.”
Manage your inbox immediately. Fifty percent of email can be deleted once read, so read and delete. Respond immediately to easy-to-answer messages. If an email requires future action, create a task and remove it from your inbox. If you receive information for an appointment, paste the contents in your calendar. Finally, flag messages that require follow up and make sure you get to them.
Declutter. Unsubscribe to newsletters, social media notifications and promotional emails that do not add value.
Pick up the phone. A quick call can replace a long email thread. Plus, it strengthens relationships with that voice-to-voice connection.
Clear it out. At the end of each week, schedule 20 minutes to go through your inbox and clear it out. Sort your inbox by “From” and locate chunks of emails to delete (like social media notifications or sales promotions from a store).
Set boundaries. In today’s hyper connected world, email might seem daunting because we don’t allow ourselves to be removed from it. Don’t check emails before going to bed. Or, set an email-free time for each day.
As always, please feel free to pass these tips along to your team, colleagues and clients—and begin your subject line with FYI!
Sources: forbes.com, businessknowhow.com, leanoffices.com, office.microsoft.com
Economic Calendar for the Week of October 6 – October 10
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