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I have been approached my a reputable person in the community about the United First Financial Money Merge Account method. I have read the numerous posts on here, but I still am having trouble deciphering this product or the ways of doing it myself. I want to be more knowledgeable about this product. It seems to me that for the ease of this program it could possibly be worth it. I do know the cost is $3,000. I am thinking I am crazy for this.
So the details I understand are...
I do not change my mortgage with the current provider. I will need to get a HELOC from my bank that lets me pay interest only.

Current Mortgage balance: 138,000 at 5.75% for 28 more years
Current monthly payment is $1115 for which we then pay $100 extra towards principal.
We take home around 5,000 a month from salary before bills.

With this program, by depositing money into our HELOC and paying bills at the correct time of the month, and by paying $100 extra we should have our house paid off in 12.5 years. ($500 a month would allow us to pay it off in 8.8 years) For the first scenario I would be saving $85,000 in interest over the 12 years.

With not having the time to do this on my own, would this work for us? If not, I want to be able to explain to this person why I should not do this and be able to explain why not.

Thank you!!
oh yeah... when explained to me, the names Donald Trump, Richard Branson, that National Bank of Scotland were just some of the names that have used this idea


Edit by Moderator: Thank you for your participation. Please note that there is also discussion about this topic Here.

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Interestingly they have also posted a glowing coverage from NBC3 news. Did they pay this guy to cover them - he cant sto... (more)

lifescool111 (Jan. 12, 2012 @ 10:06p) |

Happened to log into my throwaway email account I used to give to UFirst agents for the first time in over a year. Foun... (more)

cphansen (Aug. 17, 2012 @ 1:07a) |

Nm

SUCKISSTAPLES (Aug. 17, 2012 @ 1:36a) |

EDIT 7/19/08:

New name, even worse scam
In an effort to escape the growing wave of bad publicity, the "inventive minds" behind UFF have rebranded themselves and have introduced a "new" product to con people. Complete with "factorial math" and religious references, The Jubilee Project is being launched - same con, more victims. Please, just stay away (Note the new name is intended to "break the google index that have enabled threads like this one to show up as #5 in google when someone searches on United First. The hope is that the Jubilee Project will be clean from threads like ours that show up when people do google research



Added for the benefit of google indexing scam Jubilee Project UFF United First Financial, Money Merge, Scam, MMA, scam, U1st, U1stnational, United First National, UFirst
The bottom line (summarized by ellory):

  • If you want to get rid of your mortgage sooner, prepay it yourself
  • If you need a budget / financial tool, use something like Quicken or MS Money for 2% of the price ($70)
  • If you want to use the same exact software for a much smaller monthly fee, get Money Desktop"
  • If you need motivation and discipline, get someone to help you with that ($3,500 buys a whole lot of counseling)
  • At $3500 MMA / UFF is very expensive. Its sales force is highly motivated to get you to buy an inferior product to get their $2500 commission per sale (referenced off their own MLM website). And it is expensive in three ways:

    • The initial $3500 cost
    • The roll over of the $3500 into your mortgage, causing you to pay interest on $3500 over the entire lifetime of your mortgage
    • The subpar performance you get by borrowing interest at a higher rate (HELOC) to reduce a loan at a lower rate (mortgage)



Kiplinger's says: "Don't Fall for UFirst"

Long awaited... and the news for U1st is not good. The news for us? Exactly the points we have made. And I'll take a Kiplinger's review, any day, over the infomercial trade mags that UFF has issue them "awards"

Don't Fall for This Mortgage Pitch
Prepay your home loan yourself and skip the $3,500 software fee.
By Pat Mertz Esswein, Associate Editor
From Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine, May 2008

You may have received e-mails touting a system that promises to help you pay off your mortgage early. This mortgage-acceleration package -- which includes a software program -- relies heavily on the use of a home-equity line of credit. The software analyzes your financial data to reveal when and how much extra you should prepay.

The Money Merge Account system, sold by United First Financial, costs $3,500. For the price, you may also receive a recruiting pitch. United First is a multilevel marketer that encourages salespeople to bring others aboard, passing the profit up the food chain.

With or without expensive software, the fact is that the more discretionary income you can commit to prepayment, the quicker the mortgage becomes history. We suggest you keep your $3,500 and do it yourself without having to fend off a pushy salesperson.

For example, divide your monthly payment by 12 and pay that much extra each month. Doing so would allow a homeowner with a $230,000 mortgage at 6% to cut about 5.5 years off a 30-year mortgage (see our How Advantageous are Extra Payments? calculator).

Is prepaying your mortgage even a good idea? That depends on whether you have better things to do with spare cash. You could create a reserve fund so that you don't have to borrow in an emergency or stash the money in a tax-deferred college- or retirement-savings account.

Salespeople challenge whether you'll follow through on your own -- as if spending $3,500 for software will ensure that you'll use it. Tell that to couch potatoes whose high-end exercise equipment gathers dust.



See this excellent fatwallet explanation of how the scam works

See this excellent 3rd party explanation of why not to use "equity accelleration"






What UFF / MMA WON"T tell you. Get an analysis of how you can easily beat their plan - FOR FREE




Their "answer" is in their FAQ. Throw all your "idle cash" at your mortgage. i.e a prepayment. If you need the cash, borrow it back from your HELOC. No magic at all. And entirely dependent on you having cash to prepay your mortgage.

Ripped from UFF FAQs said:



How can homeowners pay their mortgage off early with little to no change in lifestyle and with out increasing minimum monthly payments?
A.

The Money Merge Account system and service is designed to work with a homeowners existing lifestyle. This system helps homeowners to reduce both the interest and time owing on their existing mortgage by repositioning their unused idle money which normally sits in their accounts and their regular monthly expense money until it is needed to pay expenses. When money is needed for expenses, it can be accessed through their Line of Credit. This system helps homeowners to strategically position their money where it provides much more financial benefit than sitting in a standard checking or savings account. Vast financial details programmed into the MMA software assist homeowners in some of the greatest time and interest savings possible.

The "vast financial details programmed into the software" equates to take all your cash and use it to prepay your mortgage principal. (Oh yeah, and pay UFF $3500 for that masterful insight)



Then for the sleight of hand, the remainder of the benefit is

2.Draw one month's mortgage payment plus "optional" free cash and send it to pay your mortgage one month early and prepay additional principle from HELOC
3. Deposit your paycheck back to the HELOC
4. Repeat monthly
5, If you have an emergency and need cash, draw down the HELOC

And the magic sophistication is a budget tool that takes your income and subtracts your expenses and tells you, how much more free cash you have to prepay principal.

I have to hand it to them. Very clever marketing and packaging. And just this side of legal.

Worth $3500 to say that you can save interest by taking all your cash and prepaying your mortgage? And use your HELOC for emergency. And adjust how much extra you should pay each month? Not to me



See MikeF's experience. He actually called UFF and had them create a plan for him (for free). Then compared it to what he could more easily do on his own. Doing it yourself beats UFF hands down




=================================

And, for this program that "originated in Australia" - the news is not good - it is under investigation by law enforcement and securities organizations for false, deceptive and misleading business practices

Consumer Action in Australia article on offset accounts. There are consumer complaints that are detailed in the report as well.

Oops Mortgage Accelerator under fire; Australian Securities and Investments Commission taking action against mortgage brokers.
US promoters are correct to say that this program was sold in Australia before it was ‚%u20AC%u0153discovered‚%u20ACĚ by US borrowers. However consumer organisations such as ours, and our national financial services regulator - Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) - concluded years ago that there were no savings to be made, and that promoters were engaged in unlawful conduct. Examples and charts showing massive savings have all been shown to include significant increases in payments being made to the mortgage (in addition to the funds deposited temporarily). Any savings made by depositing regular salary into the LOC amount to possibly a few hundred dollars per year, and unless the borrower has significant funds to deposit, these savings are less than the additional interest paid on the LOC - even if the LOC is quite small (say $50,000). Borrowers who pay any money for software, monitoring or other services, are often thousands of dollars worse off.

I don‚%u20AC%u2122t personally know anyone who has used a LOC in this way, apart from consumers who come to our agency for assistance.

Our regulator ASIC says, on its website:

‚%u20AC%u0153in reality there is no magic trick or secret type of loan that will let you own your home sooner. Substantial savings are only achieved by consistently making additional payments on your mortgage. You therefore need to be very careful when brokers claim that you can own your home sooner and make substantial savings by using a line of credit mortgage facility.‚%u20ACĚ

ASIC has taken action against mortgage brokers promoting this type of product, as well as companies providing calculators to consumers and brokers. This action has resulted in:

* The withdrawal of a LOC Calculator that was on over 100 websites;
* Changes being made to a ‚%u20AC%u0153Simulator‚%u20ACĚ Calculator
* Court orders (by consent) against a company promoting ‚%u20AC%u0153mortgage reduction‚%u20ACĚ, including orders that the company write to past customers advising they may have a right to claim loss or damage caused by misleading and deceptive conduct.

The misleading and deceptive conduct included showing clients comparisons between loans arranged by the company and standard loans, that represented that by switching loans they would save money and pay off their home loan sooner but failed to adequately explain that to obtain this benefit clients would need to make extra repayments.

Despite the action from the regulators above, there is still some promotion of this type of scheme, but much less than in the US.



07-144 Court finds major mortgage broker‚%u20AC%u2122s conduct misleading and deceptive

No credit for misleading loan calculators
We acted to close down loan calculators on more than 100 websites of Australian financial institutions, including banks, credit unions, other lenders and finance brokers. The calculators suggested that using a line of credit will result in the consumer paying off their home loan more quickly.


7-95 ASIC obtains injunctions against loan calculator operator

Thursday 12 April 2007


ASIC has obtained orders in the Supreme Court of Queensland today against Gold Coast company, Etracka Pty Ltd (Etracka), following concerns over a loan calculator licensed to mortgage brokers throughout Australia.

These orders follow allegations by ASIC that the information provided by the company‚%u20AC%u2122s Express Simulator calculator was false, misleading or deceptive or likely to mislead or deceive.

The Express Simulator is currently accessible to members of the general public via a number of mortgage brokers' websites. It is also accessible via a website operated and controlled by Etracka located at www.etracka.com

The Court ordered that Etracka add a warning to Steps 1 and 4 of the Express Simulator, and to the Simulation Express Report which is subsequently emailed to the user of the calculator. This warning will now advise users that if they have not elected to make an additional monthly repayment into the Non-transactional Loan (which is as high as reasonably possible having regard to the user‚%u20AC%u2122s financial circumstances and the terms and conditions of their loan), the calculator will not provide a reliable comparison between a Non-transactional Loan and a Transactional Loan used in accordance with the eTracka Strategy.

The Court also ordered that Etracka send corrective notices to its members, clients, and licensees, and users of the Express Simulator calculator within seven days.


And there's plenty more

If you'd like to have your analysis posted here, you can email it to
ktk44122@yahoo.com
Kamalktk has created a throwaway email account just for receiving this.
Post here when you email Kamalktk, as he will not check this throwaway account otherwise. Once received your personal informaiton will be scrubbed if it's not already, and the analysis will be posted for FWF to view.


Here are two youtube videos explaining how the software works and why it will undeperform simple DIY prepayments.
Video #1
Video #2

Financial guru Dave Ramsey goes head to head with a MMA representative ( 6.6 meg mp3)

More on what others are saying
kamalktk said: Go Tracy

"She is the author of Expert Fraud Investigation and Essentials of Corporate Fraud and more than 100 articles on fraud featured in industry publications." So she knows fraud when she sees it.


cphansen said:

They have 40 BBB complaints. I've advised on a couple of those. Everyone should know that UFirst does not refund unsatisfied customers, UFirst does not provide customer support by email (so you can't easily track your frustrations with the company), the MMA provides no way to print the results of your online sessions, and your user agreement forbids you to take screenshots of your MMA sessions, making it nearly impossible to prove your complaints when the software screws up (which it does).

UFirst has ~50,000 MMA clients. A more telling statistic is they have ~70,000 registered agents. Most agents don't have a single sale, and judging by the last 12 months of sales, they aren't going to get that first sale, either:

Jan 3,473
Feb 2,177
Mar 2,428
Apr 2,058
May 1,353
Jun 1,092
Jul 849
Aug 710
Sept 583
Oct (no data)
Nov 369
Dec 278

If you're wondering why there is almost no "buzz" about the MMA anymore, it's because there are almost no sales of the MMA anymore.
Thanks for visiting FatWallet.com. Join for free to remove this ad.

rated:
Search for offset mortgage or mortgage accelerators. There are several old threads here covering them. Here are a few:

link 1

link 2

link 3

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I could add about 5 more links to that, but it does not answer one of my questions. If I am going to save that much money, and I don't have the time to figure out a schedule of when to transfer funds to and from a HELOC, is it worth buying into this program to schedule it for me.

rated:
The truth is out there

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I have a MMA account and I just love it. Watch this www.alifechanger.com (4 min. NBC News Video)

Moderator Comment: This account (bcdond) has been suspended for affiliation with United First Financial. — Sep. 25, 2007 @ 4:08pm
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bcdond said: I have a MMA account and I just love it. Watch this www.alifechanger.com (4 min. NBC News Video)

Here we go again, just WATCH the # of new members who signup to say "this is great"...this is nothing more than the NEXT MLM SCAM preying on the ignorant

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Visualbang, im going to explain it to you, so please read this long post....

visualbang said: ICurrent Mortgage balance: 138,000 at 5.75% for 28 more years
Current monthly payment is $1115 for which we then pay $100 extra towards principal.
We take home around 5,000 a month from salary before bills.

With this program, by depositing money into our HELOC and paying bills at the correct time of the month, and by paying $100 extra we should have our house paid off in 12.5 years. ($500 a month would allow us to pay it off in 8.8 years) For the first scenario I would be saving $85,000 in interest over the 12 years.


FIRST let me point out what I see as an obvious error with what you posted above...you say your payment is $1115 per month and you add $100, so you pay $1215 each month...but guess what? there is NO WAY a 30 year 5.75% fixed rate loan for about $140k is $1115 per month! Its more like $850-900/month, and you can use various mortgage calculators on the net to prove it.

NOW The reason your payment is $1115 is very likely because your taxes and insurance are included with your mortgage payment. And What I bet this SCAM "FRIEND" is doing is saying put $1215 amount towards the mortgage (which is really making a $350-400/month additional principal payment), and IGNORING your tax and insurance impounds.

Also, I bet he is assuming you keep a fairly large amount of savings in the bank, which would be kept in this account instead, reducing average daily balance.

As Ive explained in several threads, using the math (see here), how YOU WILL NOT save money moving to a higher rate loan, and you WONT reduce your mortgage just by using a HELOC and your monthly paycheck proceeds, unless you make HUGE additional principal payments!

Do you trust a huckster with a computer program saying that you will save $$ if you give them $3000 vs. people with nothing to gain by telling you its a fraud??


visualbang said: I could add about 5 more links to that, but it does not answer one of my questions. If I am going to save that much money, and I don't have the time to figure out a schedule of when to transfer funds to and from a HELOC, is it worth buying into this program to schedule it for me.A software program wont magically do anything to save you money... a computer software program telling you when to pay your bills isnt going to magically reduce your mortgage by 20 years unless you are making LARGE principal prepayments.

Hopefully this is the last time I need to post about this SCAM GARBAGE

rated:
Not really...I will be glad to show you my numbers...I have saved 5000 since Feb. and I have already rec. 300 back from my Cash Back card.I think people would rather hear from a satisfied customer than someone who has never tried the product.

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You have to be brain damaged to believe that a loan at a higher rate will cost less than a loan at a lower rate. Go back to 3rd grade arithmetic, and this time, don't cut class.

Anyone who falls for this nonsense, fails the IQ test.

rated:
I know you think you are right...there are some things you do not understand about the product and what it does. If I knew what you did I would feel the same way but if you would like to talk I am sure I can show you some of the things you are missing. Besides your comments would carry more weight if you tried the product...found out it did not work...then got your money back from the guarantee the company offers. Don't you think? The fact remains that I have saved alot of money following the program.


SUCKISSTAPLES said: Visualbang, im going to explain it to you, so please read this long post....

visualbang said: ICurrent Mortgage balance: 138,000 at 5.75% for 28 more years
Current monthly payment is $1115 for which we then pay $100 extra towards principal.
We take home around 5,000 a month from salary before bills.

With this program, by depositing money into our HELOC and paying bills at the correct time of the month, and by paying $100 extra we should have our house paid off in 12.5 years. ($500 a month would allow us to pay it off in 8.8 years) For the first scenario I would be saving $85,000 in interest over the 12 years.


FIRST let me point out what I see as an obvious error with what you posted above...you say your payment is $1115 per month and you add $100, so you pay $1215 each month...but guess what? there is NO WAY a 30 year 5.75% fixed rate loan for about $140k is $1115 per month! Its more like $850-900/month, and you can use various mortgage calculators on the net to prove it.

NOW The reason your payment is $1115 is very likely because your taxes and insurance are included with your mortgage payment. And What I bet this SCAM "FRIEND" is doing is saying put $1215 amount towards the mortgage (which is really making a $350-400/month additional principal payment), and IGNORING your tax and insurance impounds.

Also, I bet he is assuming you keep a fairly large amount of savings in the bank, which would be kept in this account instead, reducing average daily balance.

As Ive explained in several threads, using the math (see here), how YOU WILL NOT save money moving to a higher rate loan, and you WONT reduce your mortgage just by using a HELOC and your monthly paycheck proceeds, unless you make HUGE additional principal payments!

Do you trust a huckster with a computer program saying that you will save $$ if you give them $3000 vs. people with nothing to gain by telling you its a fraud??


visualbang said: I could add about 5 more links to that, but it does not answer one of my questions. If I am going to save that much money, and I don't have the time to figure out a schedule of when to transfer funds to and from a HELOC, is it worth buying into this program to schedule it for me.A software program wont magically do anything to save you money... a computer software program telling you when to pay your bills isnt going to magically reduce your mortgage by 20 years unless you are making LARGE principal prepayments.

Hopefully this is the last time I need to post about this SCAM GARBAGE

rated:
WalStMonky said: You have to be brain damaged to believe that a loan at a higher rate will cost less than a loan at a lower rate. Go back to 3rd grade arithmetic, and this time, don't cut class.

Anyone who falls for this nonsense, fails the IQ test.


I can show you just how it works if you really want to know. It's not magic it's just math. If you meet with me and you are right then you can tell everyone that you proved me wrong and more people will listen.

rated:
Math is not 2+2=3. Your product is a scam, and your promotion has been reported to the moderator. Hopefully you won't be able to scam too many feeble minded idiots in the meantime.

rated:
The math simply does not work. Rather than leaving all of your extra money in your "offset mortgage" bank account, you'd be better off over the long run putting your extra money in a stock account and once you have enough in your stock account to pay off your mortgage, then you'd have the choice of paying it off or the smarter choice would be to leave it in the stock account. Who wants to pay off thier 6% mortgage anyways, when you would be averaging 8+% in a stock account? Do the math.

Your priorities should be like this:

1. Get the matching on your 401K
2. Fully fund your Roth
3. Max out your 401K to the IRS limit
4. Fund personal stock account with anything additional

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bcdond said: I can show you just how it works if you really want to know. It's not magic it's just math. If you meet with me and you are right then you can tell everyone that you proved me wrong and more people will listen.Show the math here then. Oops, is this another one of those "complex" math?

isn't nice of this guy to spend time learn so much double talk just to show how satsfied a customer he is? How nice...

With so much "MLM" like talk I feel like I need a shower.

I doubt we can convince the OP, math or logic ain't his strong suit, just search his prior posts.

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lostdude said: bcdond said: I can show you just how it works if you really want to know. It's not magic it's just math. If you meet with me and you are right then you can tell everyone that you proved me wrong and more people will listen.Show the math here then. Oops, is this another one of those "complex" math?

isn't nice of this guy to spend time learn so much double talk just to show how satsfied a customer he is? How nice...

With so much "MLM" like talk I feel like I need a shower.

I doubt we can convince the OP, math or logic ain't his strong suit, just search his prior posts.


The fact still remains their is no one here or anywhere that has tried the product that has said it does not work. Your understanding of the product is not accurate so your conclusions will be inaccurate. I will tell you this much though...with the info you have your conclusions are are right!!! But there is some additional info you need then you might see what I see and you can save the kind of money I am saving. There is no need to get ugly or be rude just take an honest look at all the info and then come to your conclusions. wouldn't that be better?

rated:
VirginiaBob said: The math simply does not work. Rather than leaving all of your extra money in your "offset mortgage" bank account, you'd be better off over the long run putting your extra money in a stock account and once you have enough in your stock account to pay off your mortgage, then you'd have the choice of paying it off or the smarter choice would be to leave it in the stock account. Who wants to pay off thier 6% mortgage anyways, when you would be averaging 8+% in a stock account? Do the math.

Your priorities should be like this:

1. Get the matching on your 401K
2. Fully fund your Roth
3. Max out your 401K to the IRS limit
4. Fund personal stock account with anything additional


The guy that first promoted the 401k met with the same type of opposition. I think we are all glad he did not listen to his critics.

rated:
bcdond said: The fact still remains their is no one here or anywhere that has tried the product that has said it does not work. Your understanding of the product is not accurate so your conclusions will be inaccurate. I will tell you this much though...with the info you have your conclusions are are right!!! But there is some additional info you need then you might see what I see and you can save the kind of money I am saving. There is no need to get ugly or be rude just take an honest look at all the info and then come to your conclusions. wouldn't that be better?Do I need to know this secret handshake to know this moneysaving secret? You are not the first shill to post about how wonderful it is and it turns out they are just "really dumb people (TM)" after they post their "secret" You may not be such a person but if you have any good info, post it here.

This is not some anti-itch cream for god sake, math will show if it works or not.

rated:
bcdond said:

The guy that first promoted the 401k met with the same type of opposition. I think we are all glad he did not listen to his critics.


The guy who first promoted pyramid schemes and nigerian lotteries also met with the same type of opposition. The difference in these and a 401K is the math.

rated:
Doh! I figured it out! How could I have been so dense?!? It really is simple math...you collect commissions from lining up suckers to buy into this scam, and that pays your mortgage down much much faster than if you didn't get the commissions!! But wait...do I have to sign up for the money merge account myself? I could line up suckers to earn commissions, and pay off a motgage+HELOC+HY checking account combo much faster than using the scam for my own mortgage...

Do I win a prize for figuring out the secret?

rated:
bcdond said: The fact still remains their is no one here or anywhere that has tried the product that has said it does not work.
classic sign of a cult.

rated:
I want my prize!

rated:
To the OP (who is probably a troll just setting up an example to help promote this crappy product), why on earth do you want to pay off a 5.75% mortgage with a tax deduction early??? Go fund your 401k to the IRS max, a Roth IRA, a Roth for your spouse (if you have one), a 529 for your kids up to your state's allowable tax deduction (if you have kids and a state tax deduction), open a brokerage account, or a money market accont, or even an ING account. Don't pay an extra dime to that mortgage, maximize that low, fixed rate for as LONG as you can!!!!

P.S. You can start by taking that $3k or whatever you were going to spend on that retarded MMA software and invest that first in any of the places I recommended above!

rated:
You won't find the truth about MMA's, United First Financial or anything of the sort by looking here. All you find are the same polarized opinions that seem to characterize every message board on a controversial topic. There are lovers of the product and there are haters of the product and both will overlook the shortcomings of their points of view.

For what's it worth, I am not a user of the program, nor will I ever be. I am of the "get a big mortgage and keep it" school of thought. For me, that works because I have the discipline to make it work with my financial plans. Bottom line, I like the cheap money and in my financial situation there is no real risk to taking advantage of it.

For others, though, this might not be the case. Perhaps others, for reasons emotional, psychological and financial, would prefer to pay off their home quickly. To them I say "bravo". They are as much taking charge of their financial futures as I am. Different style, but that's OK. My plan fits my values, their plan fits theirs.

A common criticism is that to participate in an MMA program, you will spend $3500 for what amounts to a fancy calculator. This is true, but if a "fancy calculator" is what it takes to keep you motivated, on-track and in charge of your situation, $3500 is a small price to pay. I'd never do it myself, but that's just me. Doesn't mean there isn't merit to it. I paid Merrill Lynch $2500 for a "financial plan" that is, to this day, sitting on my shelf collecting dust. I think I read it once. Most expensive book I ever read!

Another criticism is that "the math doesn't work". Well, you know what, I did the analysis, and you are right. Some of the rationale given isn't exactly correct, but the math, strictly speaking, doesn't work. But personal finance isn't all about math. It's as much about praxeology as it is about numbers. And it participating in an MMA program causes one to act to take charge of his financial life, well, so be it. The individual is better off for it.

So, is a balanced perspective welcome here at fatwallet.com?

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ThirdJoker said: I paid Merrill Lynch $2500 for a "financial plan" that is, to this day, sitting on my shelf collecting dust. I think I read it once. Most expensive book I ever read!
Aren't you supposed to be a financial advisor?

Balanced? What's next? Equal time for Flat Earth Society? You know what, to some people's the Earth is flat.

There are some very good analysis in the earlier threads.

You won't find the truth about MMA's, United First Financial or anything of the sort by looking here. All you find are the same polarized opinions that seem to characterize every message board on a controversial topic. There are lovers of the product and there are haters of the product and both will overlook the shortcomings of their points of view.Again, this isn't some anti-itch cream or "grow your part" larger product. If someone want to pay off their mortgage sooner, write a check. But that's not the issue being discussed here, are you confused?

rated:
Systems like the one OP mentions are overpriced and marketed in misleading ways.

The system "works" as follows:

1) A home equity line of credit is established (these used to carry interest rates LOWER than your home loan, now they are substantially higher)
2) Income is paid into your HELOC and if the HELOC has a surplus that surplus is paid towards your home mortgage.
3) Expenses (paid via checks typically) are paid with a loan from your HELOC

The excess of your income over your expenses results in additional paydown of your mortgage. If you have a spell of more expenses than income you end up paying interest on your HELOC at a rate that is going to be much higher than your home loan.

If you consistently spend more than you make you not only won't pay off your home early you'll watch your debt load grow.

If you consistently spend less than you make you will see your mortgage balance decrease.

For that you pay $3500, I'll give you a simple, free version. Direct deposit your paycheck to a savings account that earns interest, make your mortgage payments as late as you can without incurring a late fee (typically the 15th of the months instead of the 1st) spend less and make an additional payment towards the principle as close to the end of the month with your excess savings. An even better approach is to leave your low interest fixed rate mortgage alone and simply toss some money into an investment account every month, preferably one that isn't invested in individual stocks that someone pitched you on some message board.

There is a reason these "systems" are sold at seminars, they need a smooth talking salesman to separate you from $3500 for something that is better suited for a $19.95 paperback book.

The majority of people who foolishly fork over $3500 for these systems aren't going to stick with it much longer than they stuck with their health club membership. Their excitement will wane about as quickly as their enthusism over the overpriced timeshare they bought. The reason their excitement will wane is because people who blow $3500 on systems like this aren't good at spending less than they make.

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lostdude said: ThirdJoker said: I paid Merrill Lynch $2500 for a "financial plan" that is, to this day, sitting on my shelf collecting dust. I think I read it once. Most expensive book I ever read!
Aren't you supposed to be a financial advisor?

Balanced? What's next? Equal time for Flat Earth Society? You know what, to some people's the Earth is flat.

There are some very good analysis in the earlier threads.

You won't find the truth about MMA's, United First Financial or anything of the sort by looking here. All you find are the same polarized opinions that seem to characterize every message board on a controversial topic. There are lovers of the product and there are haters of the product and both will overlook the shortcomings of their points of view.Again, this isn't some anti-itch cream or "grow your part" larger product. If someone want to pay off their mortgage sooner, write a check. But that's not the issue being discussed here, are you confused?


I am...the Merrill Lynch plan I refer to was purchased a long long time ago when I was in a different line of work. To some people the earth is flat. And I say, hey, if that works for them in their life, so be it. It doesn't make a damn bit of difference if the earth is really round. If a "flat earth" concept is someone's reality, well, so be it. As I intimated earlier, philosophically, mathematically, I don't think that the MMA programs are "the best". But if it is what gets someone on the path to financial success, so be it.

I don't have an alarm clock in my room. Always hated them. they don't work for me. Instead, I have a nice grinder/coffee maker in the outer area of my master bathroom. So at 6:30am, the grinder does its thing and the sound of that, along with the smell of coffee wafting through the air wakes me up. Now I know, I know, it's a coffee maker, not an alarm clock. I'm not supposed to use it that way. Alarm clocks are "better". They have a snooze feature. They can wake me up to music. Whatever, whatever, etc. But the coffee maker is the best solution for me. And that is all that matters.

I don't see the point in having a philosophical discussion about weather these MMA's are "good" or "bad", "smart" or "stupid", because at a practical level, the philosophical debate just doesn't matter. Maybe I am confused. I thought the idea was to discuss things on a practical level. I guess I should have chosen my words more appropriately when I said "balanced perspective". So is the "practical perspective" welcome here at fatwallet.com?

Just once, I'd like to see someone float an unpopular idea and have a few "Hey, great, if it works for you, terrific!" responses. Everyone seems to act like they are selling their soul if they even hint that something contrary to their strategy just might work. I don't get it.

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Now for some hard math, which is where these plans wildly mislead people.

The hard math is that someone who takes home $5K/month and has a 6% mortgage, ignoring taxes, will "save" a massive $300/yr if they can manage to put the entire $5K against their mortgage at the 1st of the month and get it back at the end of each month to pay their bills.

That isn't going to pay your mortgage off years earlier but this is the smokescreen used by the promoters. It is what drives the complicated magic software and linked accounts.

The reality is that the rapid repayments touted by the promoters are only possible if people pay substantially more towards their mortgage each month, money that they used to spend or save elsewhere.

If you cut thru the marketing BS and the foggy testimonials for $3500 they teach you that if you spend more money on your mortgage and less on beer and eating out you can pay your mortgage off faster. Well smack my head Junior, that's gotta be worth $3500!

Oh, I forgot the part about if you can con some of your friends, neighbors or random strangers on the Internet to make the same dumb mistake of forking over $3500 you can earn a cut of their foolishness.

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ThirdJoker, I guess you would find it 'reasonable' to allow snake oil salesmen to sell sugar pills to cure pain and disease, since they 'work' for some people. Hey, the placebo effect is very real, so why not?

Your calling your 'middle ground' reasonable does not make it so. This is not an argument over which flavor of ice cream is the best. There are very specific claims being made with this product, which are demonstrably untrue. In fact, you have a better chance of curing your cancer with sugar pills than you do of saving money using this scam product.

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ThirdJoker said: Just once, I'd like to see someone float an unpopular idea and have a few "Hey, great, if it works for you, terrific!" responses. Everyone seems to act like they are selling their soul if they even hint that something contrary to their strategy just might work. I don't get it.

Hey, great if it works for you and doesn't cost $3500.

I don't mind if you pay down your mortgage earlier by putting more of your income towards your mortgage. Go for it. It might or might not be the ideal use of your money but it isn't a bad idea.

But if you want to encourage people to spend $3500 for a system that is nothing more than a complicated way of paying more of your income towards your mortgage then I'm going to say it is a bad approach.

Let me give you another example, I don't have a problem with you suggesting people use an automated coffee maker to wake themselves up instead of an alarm clock. It works for you and that is wonderful. But when you suggest people pay $3500 for that automated coffee maker as a substitute for an alarm clock I think your reasonable idea became unreasonable. Get an alarm clock or a cheaper coffee maker and put the $3480 in savings towards your mortgage.

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WalStMonky said: Doh! I figured it out! How could I have been so dense?!? It really is simple math...you collect commissions from lining up suckers to buy into this scam, and that pays your mortgage down much much faster than if you didn't get the commissions!! But wait...do I have to sign up for the money merge account myself? I could line up suckers to earn commissions, and pay off a motgage+HELOC+HY checking account combo much faster than using the scam for my own mortgage...

Do I win a prize for figuring out the secret?


Then how do explain my savings over the past four months. If it wasn't working shouldn't I know it by now?

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bcdond said: WalStMonky said: Doh! I figured it out! How could I have been so dense?!? It really is simple math...you collect commissions from lining up suckers to buy into this scam, and that pays your mortgage down much much faster than if you didn't get the commissions!! But wait...do I have to sign up for the money merge account myself? I could line up suckers to earn commissions, and pay off a motgage+HELOC+HY checking account combo much faster than using the scam for my own mortgage...

Do I win a prize for figuring out the secret?


Then how do explain my savings over the past four months. If it wasn't working shouldn't I know it by now?


If you have "savings" over the past four months it is because you spent less money than you earned.

Period.

You are welcome to explain it some other way, preferably with math and not a vague assertion.

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dweick said: ThirdJoker said: Just once, I'd like to see someone float an unpopular idea and have a few "Hey, great, if it works for you, terrific!" responses. Everyone seems to act like they are selling their soul if they even hint that something contrary to their strategy just might work. I don't get it.

Hey, great if it works for you and doesn't cost $3500.

I don't mind if you pay down your mortgage earlier by putting more of your income towards your mortgage. Go for it. It might or might not be the ideal use of your money but it isn't a bad idea.

But if you want to encourage people to spend $3500 for a system that is nothing more than a complicated way of paying more of your income towards your mortgage then I'm going to say it is a bad approach.

Let me give you another example, I don't have a problem with you suggesting people use an automated coffee maker to wake themselves up instead of an alarm clock. It works for you and that is wonderful. But when you suggest people pay $3500 for that automated coffee maker as a substitute for an alarm clock I think your reasonable idea became unreasonable. Get an alarm clock or a cheaper coffee maker and put the $3480 in savings towards your mortgage.


It's more than that. It is plain to see you have not seen a full presentation if you had you would not make the comments you are making. Don't jump to conclusions based on faulty info. This concept has been Nation wide for a year now, and three years of testing before that. Where are all the dissatisfied Customers. The company is growing at a rate of 1400 new clients per month. Surley there would be one person on all these forums that has a complaint. I have yet to find one.

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bcdond said:

Then how do explain my savings over the past four months. If it wasn't working shouldn't I know it by now?


Please mathematically post your savings and how you arrived to that figure. I'd bet that the putting that same money in a conservative mutual fund would give you even more savings.

You are going to have to first explain your savings to us, before we can explain things to you.

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bcdond said: It's more than that. It is plain to see you have not seen a full presentation if you had you would not make the comments you are making. Don't jump to conclusions based on faulty info. This concept has been Nation wide for a year now, and three years of testing before that. Where are all the dissatisfied Customers. The company is growing at a rate of 1400 new clients per month. Surley there would be one person on all these forums that has a complaint. I have yet to find one.Sniff, smell like MLM. Not surprised really, people are either too embarrssed to too stupid to know what they got into. You are a prime example, claim saving but don't have a slight clue on what these savings are. This is really getting tiresome.

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WalStMonky said: ThirdJoker, I guess you would find it 'reasonable' to allow snake oil salesmen to sell sugar pills to cure pain and disease, since they 'work' for some people. Hey, the placebo effect is very real, so why not?

To the extent that the "snake oil salesmen" are making exaggerated claims, no, of course not. But in my mind, yours is an inappropriate analogy. Rather than "snake oil salesman" I prefer to think of the MMA as herbal medicine, acupuncture or chiropractic care.

WalStMonky said: Your calling your 'middle ground' reasonable does not make it so. This is not an argument over which flavor of ice cream is the best. There are very specific claims being made with this product, which are demonstrably untrue.

Make no mistake, I am not calling anything a "middle ground". What I am saying is that anything that works to help or keep someone on the path to financial success has value. Yea, I know, $3500 is expensive. But price is what you pay, value is what you get. Who am I (or who are you) to determine that value for someone else? And maybe you don't need the discipline that the tool provides, but why bash other's use of it? Of course, we point out the pros and cons, but why bash it?

Again, to the extent that "demonstrably untrue claims are being made" I would lead the charge to sanction anyone participating in that. But the gray area, and there is a gray area, isn't where this battle should be fought.

WalStMonky said: ...In fact, you have a better chance of curing your cancer with sugar pills than you do of saving money using this scam product.

Mathematically, you are right. Praxeologically, you are not necessarily right. You may even be wrong.

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bcdond said: It's more than that. It is plain to see you have not seen a full presentation if you had you would not make the comments you are making. Don't jump to conclusions based on faulty info. You have been invited mutliple times to post the math that justifies your claims. Do so. Or stop complaining that people don't have the information.

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bcdond said: It's more than that. It is plain to see you have not seen a full presentation if you had you would not make the comments you are making. Don't jump to conclusions based on faulty info. This concept has been Nation wide for a year now, and three years of testing before that. Where are all the dissatisfied Customers. The company is growing at a rate of 1400 new clients per month. Surley there would be one person on all these forums that has a complaint. I have yet to find one.

Is this Amway?

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dweick said: ThirdJoker said: Just once, I'd like to see someone float an unpopular idea and have a few "Hey, great, if it works for you, terrific!" responses. Everyone seems to act like they are selling their soul if they even hint that something contrary to their strategy just might work. I don't get it.

Hey, great if it works for you and doesn't cost $3500.

I don't mind if you pay down your mortgage earlier by putting more of your income towards your mortgage. Go for it. It might or might not be the ideal use of your money but it isn't a bad idea.

But if you want to encourage people to spend $3500 for a system that is nothing more than a complicated way of paying more of your income towards your mortgage then I'm going to say it is a bad approach.

Let me give you another example, I don't have a problem with you suggesting people use an automated coffee maker to wake themselves up instead of an alarm clock. It works for you and that is wonderful. But when you suggest people pay $3500 for that automated coffee maker as a substitute for an alarm clock I think your reasonable idea became unreasonable. Get an alarm clock or a cheaper coffee maker and put the $3480 in savings towards your mortgage.


As I said in a previous post, price is what you pay, value is what you get. I am not going to judge the value to anyone but myself. My personal equation, MMA price = $3500, MMA value = $0. Easy decision for me.

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ThirdJoker said: To the extent that the "snake oil salesmen" are making exaggerated claims, no, of course not. But in my mind, yours is an inappropriate analogy. Rather than "snake oil salesman" I prefer to think of the MMA as herbal medicine, acupuncture or chiropractic care.Oh, pleassseeee..


Herbal, Acupunture, and certain Chiropractic practice has been shown scientifically to work.

Why not just hand me over the $3,500 and a big stick and I'll make sure you save enough $ to pay off your mortgage sooner?! Praxeologically!!!

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