Last week I shared a view of the MMA dashboard. As Greg commented, we should be able to calculate the optimum initial transfer from HELOC to mortgage, using the sample numbers given. Well, a bit more simple arithmetic, and I have it. From the example cash flow, we simply strike a running balance showing the amount owed on the HELOC (now, why don’t they show that right on the dashboard?). The lowest HELOC balance is -3483.86 if we use the order of flow shown, but there are multiple transactions on the same day, and for HELOC calculations we should only look at end of day balances. For the month of July, I calculate the lowest balance (owed) to be -4359.27. So the conclusion is that the initial withdrawal be 4359.27 less than suggested, or only $2790.49.

Again, in the example from the UFirst video, the HELOC shuffle has you spend $41.57 (HELOC interest) to save $35.75 on the mortgage, for a net loss of $5.82 per month. A bit of real intelligence to this process, targeting a HELOC monthly low balance closer to zero, and you will actually save about $5, net. (Pause on this fact alone for a moment. Using UFF example numbers, adjusted to their benefit, you still only gain $5 per month. $60 per year saved for your $3500 “investment”)

What remains most remarkable to me is not that people so want to believe in some magic solution that they’ll pay $3500 for such trash, but that what is so obvious to me after a bit of simple arithmetic, is even open to discussion. No agent can go head to head with me and prove the value of this program as there is none. What’s worse though, is that the most basic aspect of their system, the first transaction to start the process, is incorrect. But, if you view the whole video, you’ll find that when over $7000 is sent to the mortgage, the “interest paid” (or on my spreadsheet “interest saved”) jumps a huge amount, over $30,000. They conveniently kip the fact that you are now paying off $7000 at 9% instead of 6%, pulling out a BS explanation of how that $7000 gets paid off in 7 months vs 30 years. Well, of course it does, it’s your money. Why not just borrow the $2700 and optimize your results? Why not ask the next agent trying to extract $3500 from you while not adding a penny to your net worth? As always, comments welcome.

Joe

Having played around with a very limited demo account (only 3 months of transactions shown), I can only say that logical calculations are above UFF. They have this option (promotional now, but may be charged for later) where you can set the “aggressiveness” of the MMA software. Least aggressive (1), fewer funds transfers at larger amounts, probably the default in the video you have seen. Most aggressive (6), more funds transfers at smaller amounts. When I played around with the slider (1-6), the MMA software showed all sorts of silly results. Sometimes the least “Interest Remaining” (the most right dashlet button on the top) was lowest at a 6. Other times it was lowest at a 4.

Doesn’t the software automatically “find the fastest way to zero” already? Now users have to choose between additional factors which could affect its ability to do that? BTW, the reason I think this “feature” is still listed as promotional is it is in fact very beta.