Mortgage rates pushed further into the 7% range as the Federal Reserve seems unlikely to reverse its restrictive policy stance anytime soon, according to Freddie Mac.

The average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 7.22% for the week ending May 2, according to Freddie Mac’s latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey. That’s an increase from the previous week when it averaged 7.17%. A year ago, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 6.39%. 

The average rate for a 15-year mortgage was 6.47%, up from 6.44% last week and up from  5.76% last year.

On Wednesday, the Fed announced it would maintain the federal funds rate at 5.25% to 5.5%, where rates have held steady since last July. Fed officials have said in past meetings that they anticipated rate cuts for 2024 but need more confidence that inflation is heading toward the 2% target rate. Fed Chair Jerome Powell reiterated this sentiment on Wednesday and said it would likely take longer for the central bank to gain this confidence when speaking with reporters.

The delay in rate cuts means mortgage rates will likely stay high longer. With no ease in sight, affordability will continue to be a challenge for homebuyers, who also contend with high home prices. 

“The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage increased for the fifth consecutive week as we enter the heart of Spring Homebuying Season,” Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist Sam Khater said. “On average, more than one-third of home sales for the entire year occur between March and June. With two months left of this historically busy period, potential homebuyers will likely not see relief from rising rates anytime soon.”

If you are ready to shop for the best rate on a new mortgage, consider visiting an online marketplace like Credible to compare rates and get preapproved with multiple lenders at once.


How higher rates are impacting housing

Homebuyers are looking for ways to lower their costs as high mortgage rates persist. Recently, there have been an increase in proptech solutions, down payment assistance and even rate buydowns, Percy.AI Founder and CEO Charles Williams said. 

“Homebuyers are looking to use whatever incentives they can score,” Williams said. “We expect some of these initiatives to remain even after rates start heading down meaningfully, which is unlikely this year.”

Buyers have also increasingly turned to adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) for a discount. Compared to more traditional mortgage products, ARMs offer lower initial interest rates before adjusting to higher rates in the future. 

“With affordability remaining a challenge, more prospective buyers are turning to adjustable-rate mortgages to lower their monthly payments in the short-term,” Bob Broeksmit, the Mortgage Bankers Association president and CEO, said. “The ARM share of applications last week reached 7.8% – the highest level this year.”

If you’re looking to become a homeowner, you could still find the best mortgage rates by shopping around. Visit Credible to compare your options without affecting your credit score.


Home prices increase

Buyers waiting for relief from high home prices will have to wait longer. Home prices are now 6.4% above their level last year, up from the 6% increase registered in January, according to the latest S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller national home price index report.  

Fannie Mae readjusted its home price projection and forecasts upward, forecasting prices to increase 4.8% annually in 2024 and 1.5% in 2025.

“Buyers are mainly waiting to see if prices go down, too, to balance things out,” Williams said. “That is not likely to happen soon. So, buyers who can afford a home are buying, but only if they can outcompete in this crazy market.”

One way to use your home’s equity is through a cash-out refinance to help you pay down debt or fund home improvement projects. Visit Credible to find your personalized interest rate without affecting your credit score. 


Have a finance-related question, but don’t know who to ask? Email The Credible Money Expert at [email protected] and your question might be answered by Credible in our Money Expert column.


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Home buyer affordability worsened in April, in a month when consumers encountered the combined effects of surging interest rates and atypical price hikes.

The median monthly payment for new home loans climbed up 2.5% between March and April to $2,256 from $2,201, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. Compared to April 2023, when the median came in at $2,112, the monthly amount finished 6.8% higher. 

The uptick in monthly costs came during a period when 30-year mortgage rates accelerated to their highest levels since late 2023. An unusual increase in monthly home prices for the time of year also applied pressure on affordability, according to the latest Corelogic S&P Case-Shiller Index, even as annual growth held steady.  

“Home buyer affordability conditions declined further as mortgage rates remained above 7% in April, sidelining many prospective buyers from entering the housing market,” said Edward Seiler, MBA’s associate vice president, housing economics, and executive director, Research Institute for Housing America, in a press release.

“In addition to lower mortgage rates, more housing inventory is desperately needed in markets throughout the country this summer to alleviate these tough affordability conditions.”

The MBA’s monthly Purchase Applications Payments Index, which measures affordability based on monthly housing costs relative to income, finished April higher by 1.5% with a score of 176.8  compared to the previous month’s 174.2. A bump in earned wages helped offset some of the impact of prices and interest rates, MBA said. An increase in the PAPI indicates declining borrower affordability. 

“Continued home price resiliency amid surging borrowing costs highlights headwinds for the housing market reflected in slow sales activity, namely affordability challenges for potential homebuyers as cost of homeownership continue to skyrocket,” said Corelogic Chief Economist Selma Hepp in a statement last week.  

The latest data, though, does not measure the effect of more recent interest rate movements, which trended downward in May. While volatile mortgage rates have contributed to the sluggish and uncertain housing market, several housing researchers, including MBA economists,  anticipate some stability and relief to come by year’s end. 

“Buyers are maintaining the wait-and-see approach in anticipation of lower rates,” Hepp said. 

Monthly payment amounts increased across the board among groups and price tiers measured by MBA. For new loans with monthly payments in the lowest 25%, the median increased to $1,537 in April  from $1,488 in March, up by 3.3%.

Meanwhile, borrowers for newly built constructions saw payments rise to $2,604 from $2,556, a 1.9% increase.

Among loan types, payments for Federal Housing Administration-backed mortgages increased 3% month-to-month to $1,955 from $1,898. Compared to April 2023, the median surged 11.7% from $1,750.

Conventional borrowers saw median payments rise 2.2% to $2,272 from $2,222 in March. On a year-over-year basis, the amount was 4.7% higher from $2,170 in April 2023.

Western states topped the list, with the highest PAPI readings, or  the worst levels of affordability. Idaho came in with a score of 267.2, followed by Nevada and Arizona at 264.9 and 236.4, respectively. 

On the other end of the spectrum, Alaska ranked highest when it came to affordability, with a a PAPI reading of 131.6. It was followed by Louisiana at 134.1 and Connecticut at 134.2.


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For the most part, the current week is sorely lacking in the sort of scheduled economic data and events that typically contribute to exciting movement in the interest rate world.  This morning’s report on the services sector offered one of the only potential exceptions.  For those looking for at least a little excitement, the data did not disappoint.  For those hoping that excitement would be positive, it’s a different story.

S&P Global’s service sector PMI rose to the highest levels in exactly a year, and that effectively matched the highest level in more than 2 years.  Underlying details showed the highest prices in 18 months.  None of the above was good news for interest rates.  Traders immediately sent bond yields higher.

Mortgage lenders base their rates on trading levels in the bond market.  The average lender hadn’t yet published rates for the day when the S&P data came out.  Those lenders simply began the day at noticeably higher rates about an hour later. Several lenders had already released rates before the data.  Most of that group ended up “repricing” to higher levels not too long after the economic data.

In the big picture, 2-week highs for mortgage rates don’t mean much.  The range has been fairly narrow over that time.  We’ll have to wait for the first half of June for the most important data and events.  That’s when the real excitement is most likely to play out, for better or worse.


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Hedging, TPO, ROV, Fee Collection Tools; STRATMOR on Bank Strengths; Training and Webinars

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Hedging, TPO, ROV, Fee Collection Tools; STRATMOR on Bank Strengths; Training and Webinars


Thu, May 23 2024, 11:45 AM

Some people say, “You’re crazy to stay in residential lending in this environment, and it’s not going to improve dramatically in the near future.” No, this is crazy. Owners of vendors and lenders who are barely eking by, or losing money quarter after quarter, aside, there is plenty of sanity remaining. Given what I heard in Manhattan, we can expect many, many offerings of 2nd mortgage programs and HELOCs from investors and therefore the lenders that sell to them, given the amount of equity that’s out there. LOs know that these are homes, not houses, and many owners focus on their life there at that address and need to be shown how a 2nd may make sense. But if your client wants to treat house prices like shares of stock, here’s a zip code map showing price appreciation in this part of the business cycle. Speaking of business cycles, Bill Dallas has been through a few, and joins The Big Picture today at 3PM ET to discuss Rohit Chopra firing a missile across the bow of the credit reporting agencies, the evolving post-NAR settlement landscape, and more. (Found here, this week’s podcasts are Sponsored by Truv. Truv lets applicants verify income, employment, assets, insurance, and switch direct deposits. Unlock the power of open finance, with Truv. Today’s has an interview with Experian’s Ken Tromer and Jamie Norris on helping mortgage companies optimize their business expenses and protect prospects using Experian Verify and Power Profile Plus.)

Lender and Broker Services and Products

Operations Masterclass for lenders looking to drive change in their organizations: Do you want to know how the pros, category 1 operations leaders, implement new technologies? This is your event. From Vision to Reality: Driving Large Scale Transformation with Change Experts. Join Liz Short (CEO of Short Solutions and former SVP at Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation), Misti Snow (Founder of GRITT and former SVP at loanDepot), and Kristin Broadley (Founder of Excelerate Advisors and former VP at Rocket Mortgage) along with Richard Grieser (VP of Marketing at Truv), as they share a framework with tangible paybooks for success, and apply it to Truv’s cutting edge income and employment verifications platform as a real world example. May 29 at 1pm CT. All attendees will receive an exclusive Change Management Playbook to download after the live webinar! Start driving transformational change today! Register here.

“Are you a lender seeking to help customers realize the dream of homeownership and grow your business? Partner with Ameris Bank for your warehouse lending needs, and we’ll ensure you receive the resources, support, and service you need to close loans and grow your business. In fact, our warehouse customers have one-on-one access to specialty treasury management professionals who offer tailored financial solutions for their business. With Warehouse lines of credit ranging from $1.5 million to $150 million, we offer competitive interest rates, low fees and industry-leading technology to our customers. Contact Jill Gainer or Jessica Lapresi to learn why their clients trust Ameris Bank for their Warehouse lending needs and how we can help your business grow in today’s market.”

“Approximately 200 originators have turned to MAXEX for better liquidity on Agency-eligible NOO, second homes and high balance loans. Avoid costly LLPAs. Trade it mandatory bulk or best-efforts flow. Get competitive bids from FIVE leading non-agency buyers with ONE contract and ONE set of guidelines. Get access to another premium buyer this summer, available exclusively through MAXEX. Visit us at to learn more.”

Walking around Times Square this week for the MBA Secondary conference, one thing was very clear: the guys selling knock-off purses have a better payment collection system than most lenders. Fortunately, Fee Chaser lets lenders collect appraisals, credit reports, or any other fee with a click of a button. Borrower gets a text message, pays on their device, and the LOS is updated immediately. Give your borrowers the 5th Avenue treatment with Fee Chaser.

On May 1, 2024, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, along with the FHFA, announced new requirements for reconsiderations of value (ROVs). The requirements help educate the borrower on the right to appeal an appraisal and how to do it. They also help create uniform industry-wide expectations for how to manage ROVs. Watch this complimentary webinar hosted by ICE to hear directly from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac about their implementation of these new ROV requirements, followed by a demo of ICE’s ValidateROV, a new solution that can help lenders address these changes. *Check with your compliance or legal department for information on complying with applicable law.

Correspondent and Broker Products

“Elevate your non-QM investments with Planet’s expert asset management and commercial servicing offerings. If you’re an investor in non-QM, Residential Transition Loans (RTL/fix-and-flip), DSCR, multifamily, or Single-Family Rentals (SFR), seize the opportunity to meet with us at IMN’s 5th Annual Non-QM Forum June 13-14 in Dana Point, CA. Discover how Planet’s specialized platform and veteran advisors can help you maximize returns by reducing risk, providing real-time insights, and maximizing recovery, all at competitive pricing. Don’t miss out on this chance to gain a strategic edge. Contact Jim DePalma, Samantha Manfer, or Caitlin Moynihan or (585) 512-1030. Let’s connect in Dana Point and elevate your non-QM portfolios.”

“Newrez Correspondent is thrilled to announce that Co-Issue has been added to our suite of delivery methods. If you are interested in Newrez’s Co-Issue program, please contact your Regional Sales Manager. In addition to Co-Issue, we have several other delivery methods and executions that will help you succeed in today’s market. We have also added Delegated Non-QM and Closed-end Home Equity products to enhance your product offering. Not approved? Sign up today! A big thank you to all of our clients, prospects and industry partners for spending your valuable time with our team at the National Secondary in NY. You can meet Tom Van Auken, Alex Weems and Chris Nobile at the upcoming 40th Regional Conferences of the MBAs in Atlantic City, NJ, June 4-7 at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino to discuss all that Newrez has to offer.”

STRATMOR on Banks Playing to Their Strengths

According to STRATMOR, there are several strategies banks and credit unions can work on right now that don’t directly relate to pricing discipline, cost cutting or operational efficiency, but that can move the dial in terms of gaining market share and improving profitability. Most revolve around improved execution of critical business development activities, rather than on new investments in technology or systems. In STRATMOR’s May InFocus article, “All Hands on Deck: Action Ideas for Banks Navigating This Tough Mortgage Market,” Principal Tom Finnegan outlines a roadmap for banks to leverage their strengths and regain their competitive edge. He offers recommendations for uncovering new leads and shares strategies for creating an improved operating model that will pay dividends both today and in future, more robust volume periods. To learn more about strategies for banks and credit unions, check out STRATMOR’s May Insights Report.

Training, Events, and Conferences

A good place for longer term conference planning is to start is here, and click on “Conference List” for in-person events in the future.

Today at 3PM ET, Rich Swerbinsky is interviewing industry vet Bill Dallas on The Big Picture.

Join MBA as they delve into the fundamentals and complexities of mortgage accounting. Anyone who desires to increase their knowledge of mortgage loan accounting will benefit from this session that is designed for business owners, executive management, accountants, and non-CPA accounting managers. Complete the full series, and you’ll have the information necessary to master mortgage accounting. Mortgage Accounting Webinar Series: Part IV: Hedge Accounting and GAAP Reporting today from 2:00 PM-3:30 PM.

Join Lisa Green from Atlantic Bay as she hosts Katherine Campbell Chief Marketing Officer from Shape Software for a session on “Adapting to AI.” May 23 at 11:00 EST. Discover how to embrace AI’s capabilities instead of viewing it as competition. Learn how to leverage AI to support sales, improve customer service, and streamline operational tasks. Explore the use of tools like CRMs and social media to boost lead generation.

Tomorrow we’ll see an episode of The Mortgage Collaborative’s Rundown covering current events in the mortgage market for 30 minutes starting at noon PT, 3PM ET, in “The Rundown”. Tomorrow’s co-host is Mike Pulver, the incoming NY MBA President and the SVP of Mortgage for GRB Bank.

Webinar: Surprise: First-time home buyers are on the rise. Here’s how to earn their business. Interest rates and housing inventory haven’t been hospitable for first-time buyers. Despite challenges, this segment made a notable jump in Q1 2024. What drove first-time buyers onto the property ladder, and how can lenders win their business? In this webinar, presented by Maxwell on May 29 at 1 p.m. CT, we’ll dig into Maxwell’s exclusive data to better understand today’s first-time buyers and explore how to cater to this valuable segment. Click here to save your seat (and if you can’t make the live event, you can still register for the on-demand recording!).

There’s the 2024 NRMLA Eastern Regional Meeting May 29th, 9:30 am – 5:30 pm. A representative from the CFPB’s Mortgage Markets division will address the 2024 Eastern Regional Meeting in Washington, DC on May 29 to discuss marketplace issues and trends that the CFPB is closely monitoring, and other initiatives related to reverse mortgages. In addition to the CFPB, you’ll hear from FHA, Ginnie Mae, Urban Institute, NRMLA’s legislative team, and other subject matter experts.

Looking for more in-depth commentary on weekly mortgage news? Register here for “Mortgage Matters: The Weekly Roundup” presented by Lenders One. Every Wednesday at 2:00 PM EST/11:00 AM PT join Robbie Chrisman and Justin Demola for a dive into a range of mortgage-related topics, including market trends, interest rate fluctuations, innovative mortgage products, and industry advancements.

Operations Masterclass for lenders looking to drive change in their organizations! Join Liz Short (CEO of Short Solutions and former SVP at Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation), Misti Snow (Founder of GRITT and former SVP at loanDepot), and Kristin Broadley (Founder of Excelerate Advisors and former VP at Rocket Mortgage) along with Richard Grieser (VP of Marketing at Truv), as they share a framework with tangible paybooks for success, and apply it to Truv’s cutting edge income and employment verifications platform as a real world example. May 29 at 1pm CT. Register here.

Webinar: Surprise: First-time home buyers are on the rise. Here’s how to earn their business. In this webinar, presented by Maxwell on May 29 at 1 p.m. CT, we’ll dig into Maxwell’s exclusive data to better understand today’s first-time buyers and explore how to cater to this valuable segment. Click here to save your seat (and if you can’t make the live event, you can still register for the on-demand recording!).

Register for American Banker’s webinar on Thursday, May 30, 2:00 p.m. ET / 11:00 a.m. PT. Executives from Plaid and American Bankers Association will discuss the impact open banking could have on the digital financial ecosystem, challenges and opportunities for small and medium sized financial institutions, and what they can be doing now to prepare.

Thursday the 30th will be another episode of The Big Picture at 3PM ET, Rich Swerbinsky is interviewing industry vet Sue Woodard from The STRATMOR Group.

Friday the 31st will see an episode of The Mortgage Collaborative’s Rundown with Melissa Langdale and me covering current events in the mortgage market for 30 minutes starting at noon PT, 3PM ET, in “The Rundown”.

Capital Markets

“The base rate generator allows you to be more efficient on your lock desk, particularly with hedgeable production. You can auto-lock anything that’s priced to that hedgeable product that you’re powering with your backend execution.” In this latest video, MCT’s CAO, Chris Anderson, describes how the Base Rate Generator allows mortgage lenders to directly inform their front-end rate sheet pricing with their back-end capital markets executions. By combining live agency API connections, co-issue executions, aggregator pricing, and custom TBA indications, the MCT Base Rate Generator allows mortgage lenders to improve margin management and competitive performance. Originators interested in learning more about the industry-first features included in Base Rate Generator should register for the upcoming webinar on June 4th.

The Minutes from the May FOMC meeting released yesterday showed that policymakers are still expecting inflation to return to target, but at a slower pace than previously thought. On aggregate, the minutes were deemed hawkish after ‘various’ Fed officials mentioned the willingness to tighten policy further should risks to the outlook materialize in causing such action. However, Fed Chairman Powell said last week that he does not anticipate that a rate hike will be the next policy move.

No surprise here, but higher mortgage rates are pouring cold water on the resale market. Existing home sales dipped for the second consecutive month in April, down both 1.9 percent month-over-month and year-over-year to 4.14 million, corresponding with an increase in the 30-year fixed rate over the months prior. The median existing-home sales price grew 5.7 percent from a year ago to a new April-record $407,600, the tenth consecutive month of year-over-year price gains. The inventory of unsold existing homes climbed 9 percent from one month ago to 1.21 million at the end of April, or the equivalent of 3.5 months’ supply at the current monthly sales pace. Sales activity was much stronger amongst homes priced $1 million or more, with inventory up 34 percent year-over-year and sales up 40 percent year-over-year. This gives some validity to the theory that pent-up demand will be unleashed when more inventory for lower-priced homes becomes available.

The Chicago Fed National Activity Index for April and weekly jobless claims (215k, about as expected… slight drop in continuing claims to 1.794 million) kicked off today’s calendar. Later today brings S&P Global flash PMIs, new home sales for April, KC Fed manufacturing for May, Treasury announcing month-end supply (consisting of 2-year, 5-year and 7-year notes, a Treasury auction or $16 billion reopened 10-year TIPS, Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey, and remarks from Atlanta Fed President Bostic. We begin Thursday with Agency MBS prices hardly different than Wednesday’s close, the 10-year yielding 4.41 after closing yesterday at 4.43 percent, and the 2-year at 4.86.

 Download our mobile app to get alerts for Rob Chrisman’s Commentary.


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Sleepy Bonds Rudely Roused by Surprisingly Strong Econ Data

Thu, May 23 2024, 4:17 PM

Surprisingly Strong Surge in Services PMI Tests The Range

Perhaps fate was tempted by our persistent focus on this week’s absence of big ticket market movers.  Or perhaps this is simply the biggest possible reaction to one of the week’s only potential market movers coming in MUCH higher than expected.  After all, the mantra has been that nothing that happens inside a range of 4.34 to 4.50 in 10yr Treasury yields is interesting.  While that remains true in the bigger picture, today’s reaction to the S&P Global Services PMI data was about as interesting as an uninteresting thing can be, causing an immediate spike from 4.42+ to 4.49+.  While the size of the beat is certainly surprising (54.8 vs 51.3 f’cast), the market reaction to such an event is logical.

    • Jobless Claims
      • 215k vs 220k f’cast, 223k prev
    • Chi Fed Activity Index
      • -0.23 vs +0.125 f’cast, 0.15 prev
    • S&P Services Global PMI
      • 54.8 vs 51.3 f’cast, 51.3 prev
    • New Home Sales
      • 634k vs 680k f’cast, 665k prev

08:35 AM

Mostly flat overnight and little-changed after data.  MBS up 1 tick (.03) and 10yr down 0.8bps at 4.415

10:33 AM

Sharply weaker after PMI data.  MBS down just over a quarter point.  10yr up 7.1bps at 4.496

02:35 PM

continuing modest recovery after AM weakness with MBS down 7 ticks (.23) and 10yr up 0.5 bps at 4.474

03:28 PM

Unchanged From the previous update at the 3pm CME close.

 Download our mobile app to get alerts for MBS Commentary and streaming MBS and Treasury prices.


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Sage Home Loans is reportedly in settlement talks with victims of a data breach, who sued the lender after a hack just five months ago. 

The incident in December compromised the personal identifiable information of 27,746 customers, the mortgage company said in a disclosure to the Indiana Attorney General’s office. An unidentified hacker gained access to the company’s network on Dec. 5 and obtained sensitive data on Dec. 19, in what Sage suggested was ransomware attack. 

Two affected consumers accused the lender of negligence in separate lawsuits in February and March. The lawsuits are similar to complaints which have followed cybersecurity incidents at other lenders, but unlike other cases one could be rapidly approaching a resolution. 

Attorneys for both Sage and a former home loan customer in a South Carolina federal court case filed a joint notice earlier this month suggesting the sides were in settlement talks. 

“This motion is made for good cause, as the parties have been actively engaged (in) complex settlement negotiations with the possibility of early resolution for the putative class,” wrote attorneys for both parties. 

Sage, formerly known as Lenox Financial Mortgage Corp. was granted a June 3 deadline for an update. The company didn’t respond to requests for comment Monday, while attorneys didn’t immediately respond to inquiries Tuesday morning. 

The lender, based in Fort Mill, South Carolina outside of Charlotte, has 49 mortgage loan originators across 8 branches nationwide, according to consumer Nationwide Multistate Licensing System records. Data from S&P Global show Sage originated $145 million in mortgage loan volume last year.

The firm’s public data breach notices to state attorneys general offices reveal few details about the attack. It locked down its network and reset account passwords once the breach was discovered. 

Sage also offered identity theft protection services for 12 to 24 months, which included a $1 million insurance reimbursement policy. The deadline to enroll expired May 2. 

The South Carolina lawsuit, filed by Massachusetts resident Patricia Burnelle, seeks damages in excess of $5 million. Demands include for Sage to delete prospective class members’ PII, if the company can’t provide reasonable justification to keep it, and for the lender to maintain enhanced cybersecurity controls. 

Sage has yet to respond to the second complaint in a California federal court. 

A quick resolution would be uncommon among mortgage companies who’ve been hit with a plethora of data breach complaints in the past few years. Many cases stemming from data breaches at prominent industry firms in the past two years remain unresolved, and any settlements are largely undisclosed. 


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Mutual funds provide a collection of many investments in a single basket, while stocks allow you to own shares in individual companies.

Either type of asset can help you reach your investing goals — and of course it’s possible to own mutual funds shares as well as stocks. But there are advantages and disadvantages to mutual funds vs. stocks.

Key Points

•   Mutual funds offer a diversified portfolio in a single investment, whereas stocks are shares in individual companies.

•   Mutual funds can be actively or passively managed, with some tracking market indexes.

•   Stocks provide direct ownership in a company, offering potential for higher returns and greater risk.

•   Mutual funds are managed by professionals, making them a good option for those who prefer not to manage their investments.

•   The choice between mutual funds and stocks depends on individual financial goals, risk tolerance, and investment strategy.

What’s the Difference Between Mutual Funds and Stocks?

The biggest difference between a mutual fund and a stock lies in what you own: a mutual fund is a type of pooled investment fund, and a stock refers to shares of ownership in a single company.

Mutual funds can hold multiple investments in a single vehicle (e.g. stocks, bonds, or other assets). Sometimes a mutual fund can hold a mix of stocks, bonds, and short-term debt; these are called blended funds.

Different Types of Mutual Funds

Another difference between mutual funds vs. stocks: Mutual funds can be structured in a variety of ways. Often, a mutual fund manager is responsible for choosing the investments the fund holds, according to the fund’s objectives and investment strategy. But not all funds are actively managed funds; some are passively managed and track a market index (see bleow).

Some types of mutual funds include:

•   Equity funds: These funds can hold the stocks of hundreds of companies. An equity fund typically has a specific focus, e.g. large-cap companies, tech companies, and so on.

•   Bond funds: These provide access to various types of bonds. Similar to equity funds, bond funds can offer exposure to different sectors, e.g. green bonds, short-term bonds, corporate bonds, etc.

•   Target-date funds: Often used in retirement plans, target-date funds use algorithms to adjust their holdings over time to become more conservative.

•   Index funds: Index funds are designed to track or mirror a specific market index, e.g. the S&P 500, the Russell 2000, and so on. These are considered passive vehicles vs. mutual funds that are led by a team of portfolio managers.

•   Exchange-traded funds (ETFs): ETFs are similar to mutual funds in that they hold a variety of different securities, but shares of these funds trade throughout the day on an exchange similar to stocks.

What Are Stocks?

Simply put, a stock represents an ownership share in a single company. There’s no fund manager here; you decide which stocks you want to buy or which ones you want to sell, often using a brokerage account. You might buy 10 shares of one company, 50 shares of a second, and 100 shares of a third — it’s up to you.

Just as there are different types of mutual funds, there are different types of stocks that reflect the underlying company. For example, your portfolio might include:

•   Value stocks: Companies that are trading lower than their potential value, based on fundamentals.

•   Growth stocks: Companies with a track record of steady growth.

•   Dividend stocks: Companies that payout a portion of their earnings to shareholders in the form of dividends. Note that value stocks often pay dividends, but growth stocks tend to reinvest their profits (per their name) toward growth and expansion.

Here’s another way to think of the differences between mutual funds and stocks. If a mutual fund is a carton of eggs, a stock is one egg in that carton.

💡 Quick Tip: Did you know that opening a brokerage account typically doesn’t come with any setup costs? Often, the only requirement to open a brokerage account — aside from providing personal details — is making an initial deposit.

Get up to $1,000 in stock when you fund a new Active Invest account.*

Access stock trading, options, auto investing, IRAs, and more. Get started in just a few minutes.

*Customer must fund their Active Invest account with at least $25 within 30 days of opening the account. Probability of customer receiving $1,000 is 0.028%. See full terms and conditions.

Pros and Cons of Mutual Funds

Investing in mutual funds can be a good option for beginners who are ready to wade into the market but aren’t savvy about individual stocks just yet. There are, however, some downsides to keep in mind.

Pros Cons
Diversification is simplified Some funds may underperform
Easy access to the markets Higher minimum investments
May be cheaper than stocks Not all funds are low-cost

Pros of Mutual Funds:

•   Mutual funds make portfolio diversification easier. Diversifying your portfolio can help manage risk. When you buy a mutual fund, you get immediate diversification since the fund may hold a variety of securities or alternative investments.

•   Someone else makes the decisions. Choosing the right investments for a portfolio can be complicated for many investors, but a mutual fund takes care of the selection process. In the case of an active fund, the fund manager is in charge of buying or selling investments within the fund. A passive fund tracks an index, as mentioned above. Either way, all you have to do is invest your money.

•   Costs may be lower. When you invest in mutual funds, you’ll pay what’s called an expense ratio. This is a fee that represents the cost of owning the fund annually. While some funds are more expensive than others, there are plenty of low-cost options which means you get to keep more of your investment earnings.

Cons of Mutual Funds:

•   Performance isn’t guaranteed. While some actively managed mutual funds attempt to beat the market, others are structured to match the performance of an index. The main thing to know, however, is that results are never guaranteed, and your fund investments may fall short of expectations.

•   Minimum investments may be high. Some mutual funds have a low barrier to entry, and you can get started with a relatively small amount of money, especially if you invest via automatic deposits. Others, however, may require you to have a high minimum investment requirement (e.g. $5,000), which could be challenging if you’re a beginner. With stocks, on the other hand, it’s possible to buy fractional shares with as little as $1.

•   Potentially higher costs. Mutual fund expense ratios can vary widely, and some can be much more expensive than others. In general, active funds charge higher fees. In addition, some brokerages charge load fees to buy or sell funds which can add to your overall costs. It’s important to understand what you’re paying for your investments, as fees can eat into returns over time.

Pros and Cons of Individual Stocks

Investing in stocks might appeal to you if you’d like more control over where your money goes. But just as with mutual funds, there are some potential drawbacks to consider.

Pros Cons
High return potential Higher risk
Greater flexibility More difficult to diversify
Low costs More time-consuming

Pros of Individual Stocks:

•   Potentially earn higher returns. Owning individual stocks could lead to better results in your portfolio compared with mutual funds. It’s important to remember, however, that not all stocks offer the same rate of return, and performance of any stock (or any investment) is never guaranteed.

•   You’re in control. Investing in stocks means you have total control of what to buy and sell, and when to make trades. You’re not relying on a fund manager to make decisions for you. That’s something you might appreciate if you prefer a DIY or active approach to investing.

•   Trading costs may be low. When you buy and sell stocks, your brokerage can charge a commission fee each time. However, more brokerages are moving to a $0 commission-fee model for stock trades which can cut your investing costs down dramatically.

Cons of Individual Stocks:

•   Stocks are volatile. Mutual funds are often viewed as being less risky than stocks since you’re diversified across a range of securities. If you’re putting a large chunk of your portfolio into a smaller pool of stocks or just one company, you could be at risk of a major loss if volatility hits that part of the market.

•   Diversification is harder. When you invest in individual stocks, you may have to buy more of them to create a diversified portfolio. With a mutual fund, you don’t have to do that since you’re getting exposure to multiple investments in one fund.

•   Stock trading can be time intensive. Taking a buy-and-hold approach to stocks means you don’t have to pay as much attention to your portfolio. You can buy stocks, and then hang onto them for the long term. However, if you’re more interested in active trading then you’ll need to spend more of your day keeping up with stock trends and monitoring the markets so you don’t miss any opportunities to make gains.

💡 Quick Tip: Before opening an investment account, know your investment objectives, time horizon, and risk tolerance. These fundamentals will help keep your strategy on track and with the aim of meeting your goals.

Choosing Between Mutual Funds and Stocks

There’s no rule that says you must choose between mutual funds vs. stocks. Deciding which one to invest in can depend on your time horizon for investing, risk tolerance, and goals. And you might decide that both make sense in your portfolio.

Here’s a simple breakdown of how to compare the two when deciding where to invest.

Consider mutual funds if you… Consider stocks if you…
Want a simple way to build a portfolio under the guidance of an experienced fund manager who knows the market. Prefer to have more control of which companies you invest in, and when you buy or sell those investments.
Are more comfortable with the idea of generating returns over time vs. chasing the highest rewards of the moment. Want to leverage investments to produce the highest returns possible, even if it means taking a little more risk in your portfolio.
Don’t have the time or inclination to spend hours researching different investments or conducting in-depth market analyses. Are comfortable researching stocks on your own, and understand how to apply different types of technical analysis to evaluate them.

The Takeaway

Investing is one way to build wealth, but both mutual funds and stocks can help investors realize their financial goals — but in different ways. Weighing the pros and cons of mutual funds vs. stocks as well as your personal preferences for investing can help you decide how to build a portfolio that meets your needs.

Ready to expand your portfolio’s growth potential? Alternative investments, traditionally available to high-net-worth individuals, are accessible to everyday investors on SoFi’s easy-to-use platform. Investments in commodities, real estate, venture capital, and more are now within reach. Alternative investments can be high risk, so it’s important to consider your portfolio goals and risk tolerance to determine if they’re right for you.

Invest in alts to take your portfolio beyond stocks and bonds.


Which is riskier, stocks or mutual funds?

Both stocks and mutual funds expose investors to the risk of loss, though the degree of risk can vary by investment. Mutual funds may help to distribute risk thanks to a diverse mix of underlying investments, while individual stocks can concentrate risk. However, it’s important to remember that you can lose money with either.

Which investment is best for beginners, mutual funds or stocks?

Mutual funds can be a good place for beginning investors to get started since they offer basic diversification. The key to choosing a mutual fund as a beginner is to consider the underlying investments in light of your own asset allocation, the fund’s track record, and the fees you’ll pay.

Are mutual funds worth it?

Mutual funds can be a worthwhile investment because they provide a cost-effective way to access a range of sectors that may align with your goals. For example, if you want to invest in big companies in the U.S., you can buy shares of a large-cap fund. If you want to invest in the environment, you can invest in a green bond fund or green tech equity fund.

Photo credit: iStock/Eva-Katalin

An investor should consider the investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses of the Fund carefully before investing. This and other important information are contained in the Fund’s prospectus. For a current prospectus, please click the Prospectus link on the Fund’s respective page. The prospectus should be read carefully prior to investing.
Alternative investments, including funds that invest in alternative investments, are risky and may not be suitable for all investors. Alternative investments often employ leveraging and other speculative practices that increase an investor’s risk of loss to include complete loss of investment, often charge high fees, and can be highly illiquid and volatile. Alternative investments may lack diversification, involve complex tax structures and have delays in reporting important tax information. Registered and unregistered alternative investments are not subject to the same regulatory requirements as mutual funds.
Please note that Interval Funds are illiquid instruments, hence the ability to trade on your timeline may be restricted. Investors should review the fee schedule for Interval Funds via the prospectus.

SoFi Invest®
SoFi Invest encompasses two distinct companies, with various products and services offered to investors as described below:
Individual customer accounts may be subject to the terms applicable to one or more of these platforms.

1) Automated Investing and advisory services are provided by SoFi Wealth LLC, an SEC-registered investment adviser (“SoFi Wealth“). Brokerage services are provided to SoFi Wealth LLC by SoFi Securities LLC.

2) Active Investing and brokerage services are provided by SoFi Securities LLC, Member FINRA ( Clearing and custody of all securities are provided by APEX Clearing Corporation.

For additional disclosures related to the SoFi Invest platforms described above please visit

Neither the Investment Advisor Representatives of SoFi Wealth, nor the Registered Representatives of SoFi Securities are compensated for the sale of any product or service sold through any SoFi Invest platform.

Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs): Investors should carefully consider the information contained in the prospectus, which contains the Fund’s investment objectives, risks, charges, expenses, and other relevant information. You may obtain a prospectus from the Fund company’s website or by email customer service at [email protected]. Please read the prospectus carefully prior to investing.

Shares of ETFs must be bought and sold at market price, which can vary significantly from the Fund’s net asset value (NAV). Investment returns are subject to market volatility and shares may be worth more or less their original value when redeemed. The diversification of an ETF will not protect against loss. An ETF may not achieve its stated investment objective. Rebalancing and other activities within the fund may be subject to tax consequences.

Investment Risk: Diversification can help reduce some investment risk. It cannot guarantee profit, or fully protect in a down market.

Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.



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Portfolio ARM; Market Intelligence, VOE Tools; Bank of England & RESPA; CFPB Ruling Interview

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Portfolio ARM; Market Intelligence, VOE Tools; Bank of England & RESPA; CFPB Ruling Interview


1 Hour, 47 Min ago

Greetings from the Arch MI meeting room space! Heard in the hallways here at the MBA’s Secondary conference in Manhattan: “Our loan officers are telling their clients, ‘Yeah, the best time to buy a house was five years ago. The second-best time is… now.’” People’s memories are short, no one writes about how our industry helped millions of people during the pandemic, and the mainstream press is always looking for sensationalism. The latest example is “zombie mortgages”: 2nd mortgages taken out during 2008-2010 and that haven’t been paid. And we’re to blame? UWM’s DPA program, purportedly tied to Freddie, has garnered some interest. There’s another saying: the stock market is not the economy. But last week the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above 40,000 for the first time in history. Apparently, investors have confidence the Federal Reserve will get inflation under control without throwing the country into a recession. Should we attribute this to the policies advanced by President Joe Biden and Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen? Some will. On an annualized basis, during the Trump Administration the Dow rose 11.8 percent, Barack Obama (+12.1 percent) and Bill Clinton (+15.9 percent). (Found here, this week’s podcasts are Sponsored by Truv. Truv lets applicants verify income, employment, assets, insurance, and switch direct deposits. Unlock the power of open finance, with Truv. Today’s features an interview with attorney Jay Beitel on the Supreme Court finding the funding of the CFPB constitutional.)

Lender and Broker Software, Products, and Services

“The first ever pizza delivery took place in 1889, when famous pizza chef Raffaele Esposito treated Italy’s King Umberto and Queen Margherita to a legendary slice. Now, almost 15 percent of all restaurant meals eaten in the U.S. are delivered. Evaluating gig income from sources such as DoorDash, Postmates, Uber and Lyft are imperative to qualifying more applicants. Argyle provides direct-source verification of income and employment (VOIE) covering 90 percent of the U.S. workforce, including more than 25 of the largest #gigeconomy employers. Lenders can trust they are getting the most complete data possible at verification, accounting for all income a borrower has at their disposal. Discover all the gig workers Argyle covers today.”

Want to know how to pick up an extra partner deal a month? With MMI’s cutting-edge mortgage transaction data feeding into Bonzo’s next-gen SMS and email automation platform, the path to unlocking an extra agent deal or two will be clear. Discover the three steps you can take to win in today’s market with MMI and Bonzo in their latest playbook. MMI and Bonzo users employ this set of simple strategies that any producer can follow. Easily find the right agents to talk to, seamlessly create targeted SMS and email campaigns, reach out at the relevant moment, and do it all without spending half your day on your laptop. Take a minute to see how it’s done. Download the playbook here and find out what you’ve been missing without the dynamic duo of MMI and Bonzo in your life.

Webinar: Surprise: First-time home buyers are on the rise. Here’s how to earn their business. Interest rates and housing inventory haven’t been hospitable for first-time buyers. Despite challenges, this segment made a notable jump in Q1 2024. What drove first-time buyers onto the property ladder, and how can lenders win their business? In this webinar, presented by Maxwell in partnership with HousingWire on May 29 at 1 p.m. CT, we’ll dig into Maxwell’s exclusive data to better understand today’s first-time buyers and explore how to cater to this valuable segment. Click here to save your seat (and if you can’t make the live event, you can still register for the on-demand recording!).

Broker and Correspondent Products

“NexBank Wholesale & Correspondent now offers 1- and 3-year Portfolio ARMs and $2,500 VLIP credit on HomeReady and Home Possible. Why partner with NexBank? Competitive pricing and products, and a streamlined experience: NexBank makes it easy for you to do business, has pricing that gives you the competitive edge, and offers a wide variety of products – Agency, FHA and VA, plus competitive portfolio Jumbo and Non-QM. We offer low-down payment and expanded financing options, HomeReady Home Possible $2,500 credit to use towards a down payment or closing costs for qualified borrowers. Wholesale Lender since 2008: Highly experienced and dedicated team understands the challenges that clients face and opportunities that help you succeed. 100 percent dedicated to Wholesale Lending: NexBank doesn’t compete with our clients for retail originations or refinancing business. We’re solely focused on building long-term relationships with our TPO clients and helping them grow their businesses. Contact us. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender. NMLS672886.”

The Bank of England, Veterans, RESPA, FCRA, and HMDA

Lenders and vendors should always find penalties educational. (Though some liken the situation to a herd of zebras in Africa watching one of their own be pulled down by lions.)

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) announces a settlement with Bank of England, England, Arkansas, for violations of Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act (Section 5), the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), and the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA). The bank has stipulated to the issuance of an Order to Pay Civil Money Penalty (CMP) in the amount of $1.5 million. (Type in “Bank of England.”)

In addition, nine former employees of the Bank of England have stipulated to individual enforcement actions. Based on the FDIC’s findings, the bank made $1.9 million in remediation to over 900 harmed consumers.

“’Veterans and their families who were deceived into refinancing their VA loans were overcharged and did not receive the loan products promised, resulting in significant consumer harm,’ said FDIC Division of Depositor and Consumer Protection Director Mark Pearce. ‘This announcement demonstrates FDIC’s commitment to ensuring consumers are treated fairly, and that those responsible, including the bank and individuals employed by the bank, are held accountable for their illegal actions.’

“Section 5 prohibits banks from engaging in unfair or deceptive acts or practices. The FDIC determined that the bank, through one of its loan production offices (LPOs), violated Section 5 by misrepresenting to consumers that they would be able to skip multiple loan payments when refinancing a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) mortgage loan. The FDIC also determined that loan officers’ or LPO’s misrepresented to consumers their relationship with the VA.

“Section 8(a) of RESPA prohibits giving or accepting a thing of value in exchange for the referral of settlement service business. RESPA was enacted to enable consumers to better understand the home purchase and settlement process and, where possible, to reduce settlement costs. The FDIC determined the bank entered into certain co-marketing arrangements and marketing service agreements in which the bank and real estate brokers agreed to market their services together using online platforms. Further, the bank also entered into desk rental agreements whereby the bank rented space from realtors and entered into agreements with online/digital platforms for lead generation.

“These arrangements and agreements resulted in the payment of fees by the bank to real estate brokers and online/digital platforms for their referrals of mortgage loan business, in violation of REPSA. Lastly, the FDIC determined the bank brokered certain reverse mortgage loans where broker fees made to the bank constituted things of value provided in return for loan referrals in violation of RESPA Section 8.

“The FDIC also determined that the bank failed to provide consumers with firm offers of credit and required disclosures as required by the FCRA, and the bank failed to report accurate data on its 2021 loan application register in violation of HMDA.

“In addition to the settlement with the bank, the FDIC also announces settlements with nine former employees of one of the bank’s LPOs for violations of Section 5 associated with deceptive and unfair practices involving VA refinance loans by: (1) luring consumers to apply for mortgage loans with low, unavailable loan prices that would not be honored and then subsequently increasing the price before closing the loan; (2) misrepresenting that consumers could skip two months of their mortgage payments; and (3) misrepresenting the LPO’s affiliation with the VA. These nine settlements include, but are not limited to, the following: Ryan Qarana, Assistant Branch Manager: Stipulated to a Prohibition Order and Order to Pay CMP in the amount of $100,000 for violations of Section 5 and engaging or participating in unsafe or unsound practices; Jasmine Jonna, Sales Manager: Stipulated to a Prohibition Order and Order to Pay CMP in the amount of $12,000 for violations of Section 5 and engaging in unsafe or unsound practices; Zack Jabro, Branch Manager: Stipulated to an Order to Pay CMP in the amount of $110,000 for engaging in unsafe and unsound practices.

“In addition to the CMP, the FDIC issued a Consent Order that requires the bank to take affirmative steps to ensure a Compliance Management System that effectively identifies, addresses, monitors, and controls consumer protection.”

Any questions about adhering to regulations? Talk to an attorney.

Capital Markets

In the ongoing battle against inflation, recent data has shown signs of progress but also lingering challenges for the Federal Reserve. Despite efforts to curb inflationary pressures through higher borrowing costs, reaching the Fed’s 2 percent inflation target remains elusive. A slight easing in the core consumer price index in April provided some relief, along with stagnant retail sales indicating cautious consumer behavior.

Yet, interest rate cuts are likely delayed due to persistent inflation surprises, particularly in service prices and fuel costs driven by global tensions. The Fed at its most recent meeting announced a slowdown in the reduction of its balance sheet, a move signaling a shift towards less restrictive monetary policy. However, inflationary expectations remain a concern, with Fed Chair Jerome Powell noting the surprise uptick in inflation and signaling a stance of maintaining current interest rates rather than raising them.

Outside of consumer and producer price inflation stats, there were plenty of non-inflationary economic releases last week that continue to help shape the overall economic narrative. Housing starts were disappointing, reflecting the impact of rising mortgage rates on buyer sentiment and construction activity. Despite a surge in multifamily developments, single-family starts declined, exacerbating worries about inventory. Unit labor costs suggested inflationary pressures from the job market are easing. Industrial production remained flat, with manufacturing output declining, indicating a slowdown in economic activity. Retail sales reflected slower GDP growth projections for 2024. Put it all together and the economic outlook remains uncertain, with inflationary pressures and monetary policy adjustments shaping future prospects.

This week’s calendar contains much less first tier economic data than last week with updates on Fed surveys, flash S&P Global PMIs, housing-related data, durable goods orders, and Michigan sentiment before the early close ahead of the Memorial Day weekend. The minutes from the April 30/May 1 FOMC meeting will also be released on Wednesday. Regarding MBS, Class D 48-hours is today. And speaking of today, the calendar is all about Fed speakers without any economic releases of note. We begin the week with Agency MBS prices unchanged from Friday, the 10-year yielding 4.41 after closing last week at 4.42 percent, and the 2-year at 4.82 percent.


A 49-state licensed mortgage lender with a large servicing and strong capital base is seeking to expand retail footprint by partnering with large production teams or regional mortgage banks interested in a capital partnership. The goal of the relationship is to leverage back-office mortgage functions (e.g., secondary, technology, compliance, operations, and licensing) to provide you with long-term production growth opportunities. By partnering with us, you can utilize our mature systems to add loan officers and scale your operations across the US. If you are a strong retail loan origination team feeling constrained by layers of management, or an independent mortgage lender looking for new options for your team, we offer a compelling alternative to standard “branch” offerings. Confidential and serious inquiries can email Anjelica Nixt.

Movement Mortgage is dedicated to serving the veteran community! The Top 10 purchase lender will host its first-ever VA Summit on June 5, exclusively available to Movement loan officers. The event will feature keynote speakers, panels of expert VA home loan focused LOs, and more. Attendees will gain firsthand knowledge and insights into serving the veteran community. In addition to the VA Summit, Movement continues to support veterans in other ways as well, including through GraceWorks grants. These grants address the basic needs of veterans, from medical care to mental health initiatives. Most recently, the company has given grants to vital organizations like the EOD Warrior Foundation and Home Base. For more information on Movement’s VA initiatives, please visit

(Hey, if you know someone who’s out of work, Ginnie Mae is hiring. Also, resumes can be posted for free at and employers can view them for a nominal charge for several months.)

U.S. Bank announced that John Hummel has been appointed to lead the East Market for Retail Home Lending. Hummel previously led the correspondent and Housing Finance Agency (HFA) business at U.S. Bank, a top 10 mortgage loan originator by volume. John will lead a team of 750 sales managers and mortgage loan originators that have grown the region to produce $7 billion in originations. Congratulations!

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