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2019 Week 42 U.S. Economic Calendar

By | Economic Calendar

The week of October 14th, 2019 scheduled economic reports. Key reports are Retail sales and Fed beige book.

Monday, October 14th

  • Columbus Day

Tuesday, October 15th

  • Empire State manufacturing survey

Wednesday, October 16th

  • Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) mortgage purchase applications index
  • Retail sales
  • NAHB homebuilder survey
  • Fed beige book

Thursday, October 17th

  • Weekly unemployment claims
  • Housing Starts
  • Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization

Friday, October 18th

  • State Employment and Unemployment

5 Tips for National Savings Day

By | Financial Tips

Today is National Savings Day, which is a great opportunity to give you some pointers on how you can save money!

1. Budget

Budgeting your monthly finances is key to determining how much you can save per month. We recommend going by the 50/30/20 rule: 50% of take home pay for needs, 30% for wants, and 20% for savings. Budgeting can also keep yourself on track and hold yourself accountable with your spending.

2. 401(k) Match

If your company has a 401(k) match program, you’d be crazy not to utilize it. Let’s say your company provides up to a 4% match. If you contribute less than 4% of your pay to your 401(k), you’re missing out on free money. We recommend to at least put in as much as your company is willing to match. (Also, if you do have a 4% match and contribute that much, there’s effectively 8% of your pay to go towards your 20% savings goal!)

3. Save for Retirement ASAP

This one’s pretty simple. Start saving for your retirement as soon as you possibly can. If you put that money in a good spot, like a Paramount Bank High Yield Checking Account, you will see your money grow much more because of the extra time it is in the account. You need to have enough money saved up to sustain you for at least 20-25 years if you are planning on retiring at age 65.

4. Save Your Random Money

Whenever you sell something on eBay, win a contest or bet, get your tax return, get your bonus check, etc., put that in your savings account instead of blowing it on dumb stuff you don’t need!

5. 24 Hour Rule

Impulse buying is probably the leading cause for savings account neglect. Picture this: you are perusing Amazon looking at all of the cool stuff. You see something that catches your eye, and without even thinking about it, you throw it in your cart. Hopefully you have some excess funds pay the credit card bill later, but most likely, that money would be put to better use in your savings account or other investment. Next time you find yourself in this situation, utilize the 24 Hour Rule. Wait a day and sleep on it before you buy that cool new gadget!

2019 Week 41 U.S. Economic Calendar

By | Economic Calendar

The week of October 7th, 2019 scheduled economic reports. Key reports are Consumer Price Index and FOMC minutes.

Monday, October 7th

  • Consumer credit

Tuesday, October 8th

  • NFIB small business index
  • Producer price index
  • Fed Chair Jerome Powell to speak

Wednesday, October 9th

  • Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) mortgage purchase applications index
  • FOMC Minutes
  • Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey

Thursday, October 10th

  • Weekly unemployment claims
  • Consumer Price Index

Friday, October 11th

  • Consumer sentiment index

2019 Week 40 U.S. Economic Calendar

By | Economic Calendar

The week of September 30th, 2019 scheduled economic reports. Key reports are jobs, manufacturing, and trade.

Monday, September 30th

  • Fed Survey of Manufacturing Activity

Tuesday, October 1st

  • Manufacturing Index

Wednesday, October 2nd

  • Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) mortgage purchase applications index
  • ADP Employment Report

Thursday, October 3rd

  • Weekly unemployment claims

Friday, October 4th

  • Jobs Report
  • Trade Report

Slow Cooked Cranberry Roast

By | Favorite Recipes

Everybody loves a quick and easy to prepare slow cooked meal! Add the optional fresh onion and cayenne pepper for a more layered, savory taste.

Prep time: 15 m | Cook time: 8 h  | Ready in: 8 h 15 m

Ingredients:

  • 1 ounce packet dry onion soup mix
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3lb beef chuck roast
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 16 ounce can jellied cranberry sauce
  • 1/4 cup of chopped onion (optional)
  • teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)

Directions:

  1. Place aluminum foil inside slow cooker for easy cleanup.
  2. Place onion soup mix and butter in slow cooker.
  3. Optional: sprinkle cayenne pepper in slow cooker
  4. Optional: chop onion and place in slow cooker.
  5. Place roast in slow cooker with cranberry sauce on top.
  6. Cover and cook 8 hours on low.
  7. Remove roast and set aside.
  8. Set slow cooker to high.
  9. Add flour and whisk into a thick gravy.
  10. Serve roast with gravy on top and enjoy!

2019 Week 39 U.S. Economic Calendar

By | Economic Calendar

The week of September 23rd, 2019 scheduled economic reports. Key reports are home sales, GDP, and inflation.

Monday, September 23rd

  • Chicago Fed National Activity Index

Tuesday, September 24th

  • Case-Shiller House Price Index
  • National Voter Registration Day

Wednesday, September 25th

  • Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) mortgage purchase applications index
  • New home sales

Thursday, September 26th

  • Weekly unemployment claims
  • GDP
  • Fed manufacturing survey

Friday, September 27th

  • Inflation
  • Consumer sentiment index

Fun Facts About the 1904 World’s Fair

By | Good Reads
Our headquarters is located in St. Louis, and we thought it would be fun to give you some facts about the World’s Fair that was held there in 1904!

 

  • Many of the buildings for the fair were built with plaster of Paris, but if you visit Forest Park, you can see some of the structures that have stood the test of time:

St. Louis Art Museum –  slam.org

Palace of Fine Arts – Now the St. Louis Art Museum

World’s Fair Pavilion – Located in Forest Park

The lake in Forest Park & its surrounding architecture

Flight Cage – Located at the St. Louis Zoo

 

Flight Cage – stlzoo.org

  • The fair was set to be in 1903 to commemorate the centennial of the Louisiana Purchase, but had to be postponed until 1904.
  • Legend has it that the ice cream cone was invented during the fair. The story goes that an ice cream vendor ran out of dishes for his product. A Syrian pastry vendor, named Ernest Hamwi, was in the booth next to the ice cream vendor and had an idea. He curled one of his waffle-like pastries into a cone, let it cool, and then had the ice cream vendor place a scoop of ice cream on top. Voila, the ice cream cone was invented!
  • A Ferris Wheel is being built next to St. Louis’ Union Station right now to commemorate the World’s Fair.

If you would like to learn more about the St. Louis World’s Fair, visit the Missouri History Museum in Forest Park, St. Louis!

This National Suicide Prevention Week, Get Headstrong

By | Good Reads

Keeping our veterans safe once they make it home

This week, September 8-14, is National Suicide Prevention Week. As a military veteran, that cause is near and dear to my heart.

The statistics surrounding the mental health epidemic of military veterans are well defined. Among the states that report, there are 22 veteran suicides a day. With states like Texas, which houses a large number of veterans, opting to not report, that number is probably higher.

With the possibility of the US pulling thousands of troops from Afghanistan on the near horizon, the mental health of our military is topical and important to discuss. Especially this week.

Today I’d like to take up a minute of your time to highlight one of my favorite projects tackling veteran mental health – Headstrong.

If you visit Headstrong’s website, which I strongly suggest doing, you’ll see a (in my opinion) shocking stat on their homepage: “For every soldier we have lost in combat, 25-30 take their own lives.”

 

Continue reading

2019 Week 38 U.S. Economic Calendar

By | Economic Calendar

The week of September 16th, 2019 scheduled economic reports. Key reports are FOMC Fed Funds decision and housing starts and sales.

Monday, September 16th

  • Empire state index

Tuesday, September 17th

  • NAHB homebuilder survey
  • Industrial production

Wednesday, September 18th

  • FOMC Announcement & Forecasts
  • Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) mortgage purchase applications index
  • Housing Starts

Thursday, September 19th

  • Weekly unemployment claims
  • Existing Home Sales
  • Fed manufacturing survey

2019 Week 37 U.S. Economic Calendar

By | Economic Calendar

The week of September 9th, 2019 scheduled economic reports. Key reports are inflation and retail sales.

Monday. September 9th

  • Consumer Credit

Tuesday, September 10th

  • BLS Job openings data

Wednesday, September 11th

  • Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) mortgage purchase applications index

Thursday, September 12th

  • Consumer Price Index
  • Weekly unemployment claims
  • European Central Bank policy meeting

Friday, September 13th

  • Retail sales
  • Consumer sentiment index

Pretzels & Beer Cheese for The Big Game

By | Favorite Recipes

It’s football time. Let’s make something to snack on while your team battles it out on the gridiron.

Prep time: 15 m | Ready in: 30 m

Ingredients:

Pretzels

  • 1 can Pillsbury™ Refrigerated Breadsticks
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Pretzel salt

Beer Cheese

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sage
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2/3 cup lager beer (We suggest against using light beer. Try a lager that is heavier, but not too hoppy.)
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 8 oz shredded cheddar and/or Gouda cheese

Directions:

Pretzels

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Place parchment paper on baking sheet OR lightly oil baking sheet
  3. Melt 2 tablespoons butter
  4. Unroll breadsticks and fold all of them into pretzel shape (or don’t, it all tastes the same…)
  5. Place pretzels on baking sheet.
  6. Brush with melted butter
  7. Sprinkle with pretzel salt.
  8. Bake 12-14 minutes until golden brown.

Beer Cheese

  1. Put a saucepan on the stove and set to medium heat.
  2. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in pan.
  3. Combine beer and heavy cream in separate container.
  4. Add flour to saucepan slowly and whisk to make a roux.
  5. Add onion powder, sage, ground mustard, salt, and black pepper to the pan.
  6. Cook for 1-2 minutes. Whisk lightly to maintain consistency.
  7. Slowly pour beer and heavy cream into pan and whisk to create a gravy-like consistency. Add more beer to thin consistency.
  8. Add shredded cheese and mix until melted.
  9. Serve immediately with pretzels and enjoy!

2019 Week 36 U.S. Economic Calendar

By | Economic Calendar

The week of September 2nd, 2019 scheduled economic reports. Key reports are Fed Beige Book and Friday’s jobs report.

Tuesday, September 3rd

  • ISM manufacturing index

Wednesday, September 4th

  • Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) mortgage purchase applications index
  • Fed beige book

Thursday, September 5th

  • ADP Employment Report
  • Weekly unemployment claims

Friday, September 6th

  • Jobs report

Veterans Have More Options to Buy a Home Than Anybody Else

By | Good Reads, Mortgage Tips

Serving in the military has made me who I am today. I’m always going to be grateful for the experiences and lessons I took away from my time in the service. That said, and as I’ve mentioned in a previous article, the financial education taught in the military is subpar. If I had been more knowledgeable back then, I would have been far more successful much earlier in my life.

Service members aren’t given the explicit opportunity to know that they have the opportunity to set up a real estate portfolio, one that is unavailable to every other American.

One of the many benefits of serving in the military in the United States are the many programs specifically designed to help veterans afford and buy a new home.

Read on here. 

My Advice to Millennial Home Buyers

By | Good Reads, Mortgage Tips

The generation we refer to as millennials are 23-38 years old, are entering the prime income-earning years of their lives, and are quickly becoming the largest home-buying demographic in America.

This is a generation that has become accustomed to sensationalism and has grown numb to panic-inducing headlines and attention-seeking publications. They are used to seeing headlines blow the statistics out of proportion, or make them feel like it’s them vs the world.All this feeds into the stereotypes that we know and detest.

In the digital age, it’s a good idea to know what you’re up against, and where to get the facts straight, especially for those smart enough to invest time and money into homeownership. The good news is: the housing market isn’t nearly as bad as people are trying to make you believe, though it has changed quite a bit since the days mom and dad bought your childhood home.

My company, Paramount Bank, is determined to help first-time home buyers find their way through the maze of sensationalism and misleading headlines. What are the facts that will help you in your goal to invest in a home?

Read on here.

2019 Week 35 U.S. Economic Calendar

By | Economic Calendar

The week of August 26th, 2019 scheduled economic reports. Key reports are home values/prices and GDP.

Monday, August 26th

  • Durable Goods Orders
  • Survey of Manufacturing Activity

Tuesday, August 27th

  • Case-Shiller House Price Index

Wednesday, August 28th

  • Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) mortgage purchase applications index

Thursday, August 29th

  • Q2 GDP
  • Weekly unemployment claims

Friday, August 30th

  • Consumer sentiment index
  • Labor Day weekend!

Paramount Bank Hosts VAHome Realtor Certification Course in Seattle Area

By | News and Updates, Paramount in the Community

Paramount Bank’s Tiffanie Bice and Todd Jones hosted another certification course for real estate agents in the Seattle area on August 5th and 6th.

The course is an opportunity to certify professionals in the real estate industry for serving veterans in the housing market. If you’d like to attend one of these courses in the future, contact customercare@paramountbank.com.

Like Fidelity National Title – WA and Paramount Bank on Facebook to stay updated on events!

Homemade Waffles

By | Favorite Recipes

Everybody loves a good waffle on a Sunday morning…

Tomorrow is National Waffle Day, so we thought we’d share a great homemade waffle recipe. It makes 8 waffles and only takes 20 minutes to prepare and cook! It always tastes better when you make it yourself and it can be fun too.

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups milk

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 large eggs, separated, plus 2 additional egg whites

1 stick (8 tablespoons) salted butter, melted, plus softened butter, for serving

Warm syrup, for serving

Directions:

  1. Preheat the waffle iron to the regular setting.
  2. Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, vanilla and 2 egg yolks. Pour over the dry ingredients and very gently stir until halfway combined. Pour in the melted butter and continue mixing very gently until combined.
  3. In a separate bowl using a whisk (or a mixer), beat the 4 egg whites until stiff. Slowly fold them into the batter, stopping short of mixing them all the way through.
  4. Scoop the batter into your waffle iron in batches and cook according to its directions (lean toward the waffles being a little deep golden and crisp!). Serve immediately with softened butter and warm syrup.

To watch a video of this recipe, click here.

Recipe by Ree Drummond from foodnetwork.com

Paramount Bank Annual Mortgage Check-Up

By | Mortgage Tips

10 minutes could save you thousands!

If you haven’t been paying attention to the markets or even set your mortgage payments on auto-pilot with a “set it and forget it” mentality, you could be missing out on mortgage strategies that better align with your goals in 2019 and beyond. There are opportunities to enhance cash-flow by lowering your monthly payment by reducing your interest rate with a refinance.

Here are some key questions to ask:

1. Could refinancing help monthly cash-flow?
2. What is the total cost of refinancing?

That’s why we use the Paramount Bank Annual Mortgage Check-Up to ensure your financial goals are in sync with your mortgage. Too often, we help homeowners who could’ve refinanced to a lower interest rate or shorter term, but waited too long to take advantage of the market or loan products such as HARP.

Property values continue to rise nationally, for the most part, while interest rates have remained historically low. This means that with the Paramount Bank Annual Mortgage Check-Up, there could be multiple ways refinancing could help you:

  • Leverage your equity for home improvements, or help pay for back to school and tuition expenses
  • Lower your monthly payment and interest rate
  • Eliminate expensive mortgage insurance
  • Consolidate debt such as home equity lines of credit or high interest rate credit card debt
  • Refinance to a fixed rate mortgage

Assistance from your Paramount mortgage banker who has handled hundreds of mortgage check-ups can help align your mortgage strategy with your financial objectives.

If you’re in the market to purchase, refinance, take cash-out, or simply want to find a way to lower your monthly mortgage payment, it may be a great time to look at options.

Paramount Bank provides annual evaluations at no cost to you. Don’t go another year without contacting your Paramount Bank loan officer to review your current home loan, talk about your goals, and provide a complete analysis of all current market options!

Back to School

By | Good Reads

As Labor Day weekend rapidly approaches, calling summer to a close, parents and students start preparing to head back to school. From preschool to college aged students, there is a lot of work to do to get ready.

Check out the tips and resource that can help make sure you are ready to make the transition to the new school year a success.

  • Get in a routine: Make mindful at-home routines for sleep patterns, meals, and study time.
  • Use a calendar: Get everyone’s milestones, activities, and schedule on the board using a shared digital calendar or smartphone app.
  • Get involved: Identify volunteer opportunities in the community and your child’s school.
  • Connect with your child’s teachers: Attend orientation and engage your child’s educator regarding activities and expectations for the school year.

Would you like to know more about how to guide your child towards success in school? This U.S. Department of Education publication answers questions frequently asked by parents of school-aged children such as:

  • Preparing your child for school
  • Monitoring school work
  • working with educators effectively
  • ensuring that your child’s school is safe and drug-free

https://www2.ed.gov/parents/academic/help/questions/questions.pdf

The Modern Home Loan Customer is Demanding Two Things

By | Good Reads

The home loan process can be summed up in a few words; stressful, long, slow, complicated and confusing for most home buyers and owners.

According to a Homes.com study that surveyed 2,000 homeowners, 40% of Americans say that buying a home is the most stressful event in their lifetimes. Also, American families aren’t moving as much as they used to. Where they used to trade up into a bigger home, or invest in a second house for retirement, now home buyers are buying once and sticking with that purchase as a forever home. This is a reality of the housing market today, and makes a home purchase even more important than ever, since it might be the only one they ever make.

The stress of the home loan process comes from not fully understanding the process, or a company not actually helping them through the steps of buying a home. Even though a family might score a really good interest rate, there might be other things in the process of the loan application or in buying a home that makes the whole situation unmanageable and stressful. What people need isn’t just a simplified loan application, they need a bank and an ally that helps them understand the entire situation and where a home fits into their lives. They’re not getting that today.

What can we do to change that?

Read on here.

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