Monday, December 23, 2013

Five Books to Inspire you for 2014

"Today a reader, tomorrow a leader" - Margaret Fuller

This quote has always struck me as a quote directed towards children - but learning doesn't stop when you receive your degree - learning is a lifetime experience.  In today's world, you must continue to learn to be the best in your field.  


A simple and inexpensive way to improve in your field of business is to read a book relative to your industry and find ways to gain YOUR competitive advantage. Here are 5 of Amazon's Best Sellers in Business to help you get inspired for 2014!

#5. Contagious: Why Things Catch On. Wharton marketing professor Jonah Berger has spent the last decade answering the question, "What makes things popular?" Most people think advertising. Not so, according to Berger, it's word of mouth. The trick is how to boost awareness without coming off as self-serving. Whether you need to spark something viral with a product, a person, or an idea, look no further than Contagious.

#4. Eleven Rings: The Soul of Success. Head coach of the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers, Phil Jackson has won more championships than any coach in the history of professional sports. More importantly, according to Eleven Rings, he coached from a place of deep values. Being tagged as the "Zen master" coach, he developed a new approach to leadership based on freedom, authenticity, and selfless teamwork. Unique in the ultra-competitive world of professional sports, this method is equally needed in the business world today.

#3. Playing to Win: How Strategy Really Works. A.G. Lafley, CEO of Procter & Gamble, co-authors with strategic adviser Roger L. Martin to outline the strategy P&G used to double sales, quadruple profits, and increase market value by more than $100 billion during Lafley's tenure between 2000-2009. Leaders in any organization will learn the essential elements for business success: where to play and how to win, while implementing five essential strategic choices. The ideas in this book can help you turn a brand around or make a great one even better.

#2. Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success. Wharton's youngest tenured professor, Adam Grant, Ph.D., reveals his pioneering research on how focus on the traditional "indicators" of success like passion, hard work, talent, and luck don't play the role we once thought. Grant shows how three interaction styles in the office have a surprising impact on success. Praised by bestselling authors such as Dan Pink, Robert Cialdini, Seth Godin, and more, Give and Take promises an approach to success that could transform any organization.

#1. Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead. Sheryl Sandberg, CEO of Facebook, is ranked on Fortune's list of the 50 Most Powerful Women in Business and Time's 100 Most Influential People in the World. Lean In expands on her now famous TEDTalk (viewed over 2 million times) where she described how women unintentionally hold themselves back, and offers solutions to empower women to achieve their full potential. Called an "inspiring call to action and a blueprint for individual growth," Lean In is an important conversation-changer for women in business.

I am excited for the promise that 2014 holds.  I hope that you will be inspired to grab one of these books or another great book from your industry and unlock the potential for your business.  I look forward to a year of family, friendship and great business relationships!

I would love the opportunity to help you manage your Lake of the Ozarks Mortgage Loan or refinance.  Give me a call at (573) 746-7211 or send me an email at mlasson@fsbfinancial.com with any questions you may have!!

For Lake area news, resources and tips on financial services, please 


Michael Lasson
Sr. Residential Mortgage Lender

2265 Bagnell Dam Blvd, Suite B
PO Box 1449
Lake Ozark, MO 65049
Direct:  (573) 746-7211
NMLS #: 493712


Monday, December 16, 2013

The True Value of Time

"I once asked a five-year-old what he would take with him if he were going to Heaven. He replied, ‘I would take my parents because I think that up there they would have more time with me.’... 'nuff said." - Art Linkletter, TV Host

Time is a treasured commodity made more valuable because it is usually in short supply. When a day, an hour, or even one second passes, it cannot be returned. It is fixed. And it is finite.

What might seem to be stating the obvious is really a profound concept worth our reflection during hectic holidays. This season, regardless of which holiday you celebrate or if you celebrate any at all, remind yourself that the family, friends, and even coworkers and clients gathered around you probably crave your attention much more than any other gift.

The key is to consciously honor the person or event, to stay connected during your experience. This is all that "being in the moment" means, and it makes moments last. Consider setting aside a few hours for coffee with a friend. If you have kids, make a plan to take each one for their own special outing. Reserve some time each workday to call your favorite clients and colleagues, check-in, and personally wish them a happy holiday.

Our "to-do list" is always right where we left it, our schedule can remain the paragon of organization, and success will eagerly await our return! But somehow the importance of these things will seem somewhat diminished and somehow less important when first we realize how precious, how priceless, our time really is to others.

Feel free to pass these tips along to your team, clients, and colleagues!


I would love the opportunity to help you manage your Lake of the Ozarks Mortgage Loan or refinance.  Give me a call at (573) 746-7211 or send me an email at mlasson@fsbfinancial.com with any questions you may have!!

For Lake area news, resources and tips on financial services, please 


Michael Lasson
Sr. Residential Mortgage Lender

2265 Bagnell Dam Blvd, Suite B
PO Box 1449
Lake Ozark, MO 65049
Direct:  (573) 746-7211
NMLS #: 493712

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Unemployment Rate Falls to a 5-year Low of 7 Percent

"Tomorrow is often the busiest day of the week." Spanish Proverb. And it sure seemed that way with last week's busy economic calendar, as Friday's Jobs Report capped off a week filled with data. Here are the highlights. 

The highly anticipated November Jobs Report revealed that employers created 203,000 jobs last month, above the 188,000 expected. The Unemployment Rate fell to a 5-year low of 7 percent while the Labor Force Participation Rate (LFPR) managed to tick up to 63.0 percent, though it is still at lows not seen since the late 1970s. The LFPR is a measure of how many people are looking for work. All in all this was a good report, but the labor market is not out of the woods yet. 

Also of significance, the second reading of third quarter Gross Domestic Product (GDP) rose by 3.6 percent, above expectations and the best level in a year and a half. But a closer look shows the gains coming from a large buildup in inventories. This is important to note because a buildup in inventories could cause goods to stay on the shelf and not materialize into sales, which could set the stage for a disappointing read in the fourth quarter. 

In housing news, research firm CoreLogic reported that home prices, including distressed sales, rose by 12.5 percent in October 2013 compared to October 2012. This marks the twentieth month of year-over-year home price gains. In addition, New Home Sales for September fell but October's New Home Sales surged 26 percent, coming in above expectations. Both reports were delayed due to the government shutdown. 

What does this mean for home loan rates? Remember that the Fed has been purchasing $85 billion in Bonds and Treasuries each month to stimulate the economy and housing market. The Fed has said that its decision regarding when to taper these purchases will be dependent on economic data. Whether data has been strong enough for the Fed to begin tapering these purchases after its meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee on December 17-18 remains to be seen. Either way, the timing of the Fed's decision will definitely impact home loan rates heading into 2014 and it's why economic data in the coming weeks will be important to monitor. 

The bottom line is that now remains a great time to consider a home purchase or refinance as home loan rates remain attractive compared to historical levels. Let me know if I can answer any questions at all for you or your clients. 

I would love the opportunity to help you manage your Lake of the Ozarks Mortgage Loan or refinance.  Give me a call at (573) 746-7211 or send me an email at mlasson@fsbfinancial.com with any questions you may have!!

For Lake area news, resources and tips on financial services, please 


Michael Lasson
Sr. Residential Mortgage Lender

2265 Bagnell Dam Blvd, Suite B
PO Box 1449
Lake Ozark, MO 65049
Direct:  (573) 746-7211

Monday, December 2, 2013

Stay Up To Date and PRODUCTIVE with the Latest 2013 Flu Information

From time to time, I offer some productivity tips - I do this because productivity is a critical factor in your financial stability.  Managing you time and your money is the key to financial success.  This time of year, one of the biggest impacts on your productivity is your health.  American's spend approximately $4 billion on over-the-counter cold and flu remedies... and that doesn't event take into account the productivity that is lost in the workplace, doctor's visits or a prescription from your doctor!  

I think we can all agree, the last thing you need during the hectic holiday season and end-of-business-year is to get the flu!  Here are a few ways to stay up-to-date on the latest flu information: 

Flu Near You is a free site, and the brainchild of Boston Children's Hospital. When someone reports symptoms the map registers a "pin." Then you simply click on that pin to learn more about the symptoms or severity of the case in the specified area. You can also register to find out when flu cases are reported near you, and participate to help others learn more about the spread of the flu.

Flu Tracker is a free app for Android users that uses up-to-the-minute data from the Centers for Disease Control and Google Flu Vaccine Finder. 

Fight The Flu and CDC Influenza are for iPhone users and feature similar tracking of flu virus around the country, with special sections on prevention and minimizing a flu virus should you get it accidentally. 

Here's to a happy and flu-free holiday season! And don't forget to share this health-boosting information with your team, clients, and colleagues.


I would love the opportunity to help you manage your Lake of the Ozarks Mortgage Loan or refinance.  Give me a call at (573) 746-7211 or send me an email at mlasson@fsbfinancial.com with any questions you may have!!

For Lake area news, resources and tips on financial services, please 


Michael Lasson
Sr. Residential Mortgage Lender

2265 Bagnell Dam Blvd, Suite B
PO Box 1449
Lake Ozark, MO 65049
Direct:  (573) 746-7211
Cell: (573) 216-7258

Fax:(573) 693-9141
NMLS #: 493712




Monday, November 25, 2013

8 Ways to Save Money & Get Organized for Black Friday!

It's almost time for BLACK FRIDAY and if you intend to get out and fight the crowd then this blog is for you!!  

Black Friday is a great day for saving money but it can be difficult to know if you are getting the best deal and the day can turn into a financial disaster if you don't do your homework and set some guidelines for yourself.   Here are a few tips to help you get organized, save money and maintain some level of sanity during the chaos!

  1. Set a budget.  Do not allow yourself to venture out on Black Friday without some guidelines of how much you will spend.  Balance your checkbook, transfer your holiday savings and know your limits!
  2. Arrange trade lists with friends.  You cannot be in two places at once...but chances are that you have a friend that will be in one of the two stores that you need to shop.   Arrange a trade-off so that both of you can get the items you are looking for.
  3. Get a babysitter.  Get a babysitter.  Get a babysitter.  Avoid the stress of getting your child in and out of the car, standing in lines and the chaos of Black Friday by having a friend or family member watch your child.  
  4. Use social media for additional savings - many of your favorite stores will offer additional coupons just for following them via social media!
  5. Read the fine print to know exactly when and where your best deals are located.
  6. Black Friday Apps will help you find the deals you are looking for and allow you to shop while you stand in line!
  7. Plan your Black Friday Shopping to help you get more done and reduce anxiety.  Determine which stores you need to hit first for the best deals.
  8. Enjoy the day!  Although there are many great deals available, keep in mind there will be many more to come in the next few weeks.  Maintain the attitude of Gratitude that you celebrated on Thursday as you head out on Black Friday!
Good luck and happy holiday shopping!

I would love the opportunity to help you manage your Lake of the Ozarks Mortgage Loan or refinance.  Give me a call at (573) 746-7211 or send me an email at mlasson@fsbfinancial.com with any questions you may have!!

For Lake area news, resources and tips on financial services, please 


Michael Lasson
Sr. Residential Mortgage Lender

2265 Bagnell Dam Blvd, Suite B
PO Box 1449
Lake Ozark, MO 65049
Direct:  (573) 746-7211
Cell: (573) 216-7258

Fax:(573) 693-9141
NMLS #: 493712



Monday, November 18, 2013

4 Gift Ideas for Busy Business People during the Hectic Holiday Season

Black Friday is just around the corner and after that, the busy holiday season.  Just because others are fighting over the "next big thing" on the shelf, doesn't mean shopping has to be hectic OR expensive.

Instead of racking your brain at the last minute, trying to find that perfect gift to express your appreciation, just try these easy-to-get, inexpensive, but always appreciated gift ideas.

  • Gift Cards Aren't Generic. Anyone who says a gift card is too impersonal has obviously never received one. It doesn't get any more personal than giving someone the opportunity to pick out a gift they will want and use. Gift cards are always well received, and nowadays, offer hundreds of options. Find them at your local grocery or big-box retailer.
  • Chocolate Crazy. Diehard chocolate lovers swoon at the sight of a Godiva label and Godiva.com offers several gift selections for under $25.  It's not only a delicious product, but receiving chocolate in a little gold box is nearly as iconic as receiving jewelry in a little blue one!
  • Tickets for Two. For movie fanatics who can't get enough, free tickets are an ideal gift. Combine this with idea number one above, and you've got the perfect "dinner and a movie" evening--and one very appreciative recipient.
  • A Case for Baskets. Putting together a gift basket for someone allows you to tailor the gift precisely to the interests of the person who's receiving it--limitless themes and items will fit practically any budget.

Good luck and happy holiday shopping!

I would love the opportunity to help you manage your Lake of the Ozarks Mortgage Loan or refinance.  Give me a call at (573) 746-7211 or send me an email at mlasson@fsbfinancial.com with any questions you may have!!

For Lake area news, resources and tips on financial services, please 


Michael Lasson
Sr. Residential Mortgage Lender

2265 Bagnell Dam Blvd, Suite B
PO Box 1449
Lake Ozark, MO 65049
Direct:  (573) 746-7211
Cell: (573) 216-7258

Fax:(573) 693-9141
NMLS #: 493712


Monday, November 11, 2013

Good News Comes to Those Who Wait

That was certainly true last week, when the delayed Jobs Report for October came in better than expected. Read on for details.

The Jobs Report for October revealed that employers added 204,000 new jobs, well above the 100,000 expected. In addition, the number of job creations for August and September was revised higher by 60,000. The Unemployment Rate ticked up to 7.3 percent from 7.2 percent and was in line with estimates. The Labor Force Participation Rate (LFPR), a measure of how many people are looking for work, fell to 62.8 from 63.2 and remains at 35-year lows. It's important to note that in a recovery, the LFPR should be moving higher, not lower. Overall this was a good report on the surface, but there are still hurdles to jump in the coming months.

In other key news, the first of three readings on third quarter Gross Domestic Product (GDP) showed that the U.S. economy expanded by 2.8 percent, up from the second quarter reading of 2.5 percent and well above expectations. The rise was due in part to a buildup in inventories, a pickup in trade, and increased spending by state and local governments.

However within the report, consumer spending--the main driver of the U.S. economy--fell to a paltry 1.5 percent, the slowest rate in three years. This is one reason the strong Jobs Report was significant: If consumers aren't confident about their jobs or are out of work or underemployed, spending will continue to be soft. That would not a good sign for the U.S. economy going forward.

What does this mean for home loan rates?  Is it a good time to buy a home at Lake of the Ozarks? The Fed's current Quantitative Easing program continues to help keep home loan rates attractive. Remember that the Fed has been purchasing $85 billion in Bonds and Treasuries each month to stimulate the economy and housing market. The Fed has said that its decision regarding when to taper these purchases will be dependent on economic data. If economic data in the coming weeks is strong, like the Jobs Report was, the Fed could discuss tapering its purchases in its December meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee. This could have a big impact on home loan rates heading into 2014.

The bottom line is that Lake of the Ozarks home loan rates remain attractive compared to historical levels and now remains a great time to consider a home purchase or refinance. Let me know if I can answer any questions at all for you or your clients.

I would love the opportunity to help you manage your Lake of the Ozarks Mortgage Loan or refinance.  Give me a call at (573) 746-7211 or send me an email at mlasson@fsbfinancial.com with any questions you may have!!

For Lake area news, resources and tips on financial services, please 


Michael Lasson
Sr. Residential Mortgage Lender

2265 Bagnell Dam Blvd, Suite B
PO Box 1449
Lake Ozark, MO 65049
Direct:  (573) 746-7211
Cell: (573) 216-7258

Fax:(573) 693-9141
NMLS #: 493712


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

10 Ways to Ensure an Easy Process when Applying for a Home Mortgage Loan

Are you considering purchasing a Lake of the Ozarks Home?  If so, applying for your mortgage loan is one of the next steps to finding your dream home.  Applying for a mortgage loan is an ongoing process and there are a few things that will help you through the processs. 

Check out these "10 Commandments" and consider implementing them to ensure that your loan process will go smoothly!!

The Borrow's Ten Commandments
  1. Thou shall postpone any career moves until after your closing.  If at all possible, try not to make a career move during the time between your mortgage application and the closing on the home you are purchasing. One of the factors mortgage companies consider is the length of the present employment; they are partial to stability.
  2. Thou shalt not apply for new credit.  Why not? Because applying for new credit changes what is called “debt-to-income ratios” (the relationship of your income to your debt). This could impact your ability to qualify for your mortgage loan and may initiate a new round of paperwork. 
  3. Thou shalt not incur new debt such as purchasing or leasing a new vehicle. This should go under the general heading of “no new debt.” As with any debt, this will change your “debt-to-income ratios” and may cause you not to qualify for your mortgage.
  4. Thou shalt not charge up your credit card balances.
  5. Thou shalt not make a very large deposit or withdrawal from your bank account.
  6. Thou shalt not change your mind after locking a rate.
  7. Thou shalt not co-sign for someone else’s loan.
  8. Thou shalt not spend your down payment money.
  9. Keep holy thy closing date and paperwork.  Please try to schedule vacations for AFTER your closing date. If you have started packing for a move, remember to keep out any bank statements,  tax returns, or other important paperwork. 
  10. Thou shalt not file for divorce prior to closing.  I know this is a sensitive subject, but filing for divorce affects your marital status in a court of law and this change of status may sometimes complicate the process when paperwork is being finalized.
If you have questions about any of the “Borrower’s Ten Commandments,” please give me a call at 573-746-7211.

For resources and tips on financial services, please 
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Michael Lasson
Sr. Residential Mortgage Lender

2140 Bagnell Dam Blvd, Suite 303B
Lake Ozark, MO 65049
Direct:  (573) 746-7211
Cell: (573) 216-7258

Fax:(573) 693-9141
Email:  mlasson@fsbfinancial.com
NMLS #: 493712

Monday, October 28, 2013

How did the Government Shutdown Effect Home Loan Rates??

Better late than never. With the government shutdown over, the Jobs Report for September was finally released--and the markets and home loan rates reacted.

The Labor Department reported that 148,000 new jobs were created in September, below the 183,000 expected. For July and August, the numbers were revised higher by a total of 9,000 jobs. The Labor Force Participation Rate, a measure of how many people are looking for work, was unchanged at 63.2 percent after falling in August to a 35-year low.

The Unemployment Rate hit a 5-year low in September, falling to 7.2 percent. This was fueled to some degree by workers entering retirement and those Americans opting out of the workforce in a stagnant job market. And in the latest Weekly Initial Jobless Claims Report, claims fell by 12,000 in the latest week but still came in above expectations. The bottom line is that we are simply not seeing any meaningful improvement in the labor market.

What did this mean for home loan rates? Remember that weak economic news normally causes investors to move their money into safe investments like Bonds. This includes Mortgage Bonds, to which home loan rates are tied. We saw that dynamic in the markets last week, as Bonds rallied after the weak Jobs Report was released, helping home loan rates reach their lowest levels in four months.

Also still helping Bonds and home loan rates is the Fed's current Quantitative Easing program, in which the Fed has been purchasing $85 billion in Bonds and Treasuries each month to stimulate the economy and housing market. With key economic reports delayed due to the shutdown--and with the September Jobs data weaker than expected--there is not much chance the Fed will taper its purchases at its meeting this week. This should help keep home loan rates attractive through the remainder of 2013.

The bottom line is that home loan rates remain attractive compared to historical levels and now remains a great time to consider a home purchase or refinance. Let me know if I can answer any questions at all for you or your clients.


I would love the opportunity to help you manage your Lake of the Ozarks Mortgage Loan or refinance.  Give me a call at (573) 746-7211 or send me an email at mlasson@fsbfinancial.com with any questions you may have!!

For Lake area news, resources and tips on financial services, please 

Michael Lasson
Sr. Residential Mortgage Lender

2265 Bagnell Dam Blvd, Suite B
PO Box 1449
Lake Ozark, MO 65049
Direct:  (573) 746-7211
Cell: (573) 216-7258

Fax:(573) 693-9141
NMLS #: 493712



Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Actions Speak Louder than Words...

That familiar phrase is especially true at the moment, as we wait for decisive action on both the government shutdown and the debt ceiling debate. Read on for details.

Economic reports continued to be delayed last week as both the Retail Sales Report and the wholesale inflation measuring Producer Price Index for September were not released due to the government shutdown. One report that was released was weekly Initial Jobless Claims, which jumped by 66,000 in the latest week to the highest level in six months. However, the Labor Department said that ongoing application processing problems in California and government shutdown related layoffs accounted for nearly two-thirds of the increase.

There was also some important housing news to note last week as research firm CoreLogic reported that foreclosure inventories in August dropped by 33 percent nationally compared to August 2012. This was the twenty-second consecutive month with a year-over-year decline. As of August 2013, the foreclosure inventory represented 2.4 percent of all homes with a mortgage, compared to 3.3 percent in August 2012.

The minutes from the Fed's September meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee were released, showing that all FOMC members except one want to see more evidence of sustainable economic progress before they trim their Bond purchases. Remember that the Fed has been purchasing $85 billion in Bonds and Treasuries each month to stimulate the economy and housing market. With key economic reports delayed due to the shutdown, there is not much chance the Fed will taper its purchases in the near future.

But the biggest news continues to be the ongoing debate regarding the debt ceiling. Reminder that the debt limit, currently at $16.7 trillion, is the total amount of money that the United States government is authorized to borrow to meet its existing legal obligations, including Social Security and Medicare benefits, military salaries, interest on the national debt, tax refunds, and other payments. If an agreement is not reached by the October 17 deadline and the U.S. defaults on its debt, the results could be catastrophic for our economy. This is a key story that needs decisive action in the days ahead.

The bottom line is that home loan rates remain attractive compared to historical levels and now remains a great time to consider Purchasing a Lake of the Ozarks Home or refinance. Let me know if I can answer any questions at all for you or your clients.