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Information Arbitrage - the Heart of Most Decisions

I haven't posted much here about why I write, and I haven't promoted the CLA course in the Blog, but I wanted to share a few thoughts about a concept we use daily but don't often consider... 'information arbitrage'.

When I wrote Borrow Smart Repay Smart, I wasn't sure why I was writing it, but in the process of writing it I discovered that writing allowed me to discover what I knew. Sitting there quietly in the mornings with a laptop and a blank page, I wrote to discover 'what do I know that I can share?' and in that process I learned a great deal.

I decided to start this Blog for the same reason. I wanted to discover what I knew about what I was seeing and reading based on my 30 years experience in mortgage lending and personal investing. Sitting there with prompts that range from a chart to an article I'll start to type and share and discover what I know about that topic.

There is something called 'information arbitrage' that we do every day, whether we realize it or not. If you know how to do something, you tend to do that thing and not think about it. If you don't know how to do something, you face a question. How much time, energy and money will it take me to learn how to do this, and what could I do with that same time, energy and money doing what I already know how to do well? That decision making process is 'information arbitrage'.


ar·​bi·​trage | \ ˈär-bə-ˌträzh \

:the nearly simultaneous purchase and sale of securities or foreign exchange in different markets in order to profit from price discrepancies

You make these decisions throughout the day, but the investment is your time. If time is money, then time management is money management.

You want to make a social media post. You may know how to post, but do you know how to engage others, the best time of day to post, the best call to action statements? Can you learn that? Sure. If you take the time to learn it does it fulfill you in some way and what's the ROI (return on investment) doesn't matter? Maybe you take a course to learn how to do it well. Maybe you read google articles. Maybe you hire someone to do it for you. These are all 'information arbitrage' questions you are making consciously or unconsciously. You could walk to work far cheaper than you can drive, but is that the highest and best use of your time? I'll pay for the car in hopes the time I save walking is a better investment longer term.

If you are sick, your copay is a no-brainer compared to medical school right? You might start at WebMD first because that is easier and a better use of your time, energy and money, but if you are uncertain, your 'information arbitrage' is clear... go see your doctor.


Your prospects face this every day - do they learn online how to borrow, do they do the loan themselves via an online lender, or do they work with you (however you define yourself)? What's the best value of their time, energy and money? You have to make your 'information arbitrage' statement clear to your prospects... as EVERYONE is playing this same game when they make a decision.


In the Certified Liability Advisor designation course, I have taken 30 years of my life, and spent another few years plus pulling together some of the best of what I've learned - sharing it in a way that allows you to invest $1,500 to profit from my experience. It took me two years to write my book, and that's included, and you get coaching on how to integrate what you are learning with others. I was surprised the other day when a new loan officer emailed me that he thought 'the course seems expensive', but then again I realize I'm probably doing a poor job of explaining what you receive. $1,500 / 30 years = $50 a year. The sharing never stops as those who have been with me for a long time realize. I'm a voracious learner and an even bigger sharer! You are your coach until you find a coach.

TIP: For yourself, you have to ask is $1,500 likely to help me learn something from someone who's been doing this for 30 years, and what would it take for me to learn this in my own time, energy and money? If I learn it now, that knowledge has longer to compound over the rest of my career - which means it is worth more to me to learn it now. I really hope you'll profit from my experience, but I don't feel the price should be an obstacle for anyone. If you feel it is, please reach out to me and I'll find a way to make it affordable for you!

(example of something I learned writing my book) It has dramatically changed my perspective on personal investing. One idea, compounding over time can change the way your world unfolds.

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