Thursday, August 15, 2013

Brace Yourself To Be Kicked In The Fannie

Interesting discussions abound every week during our regular Rotary meeting. The diversity both in our members and our guests makes for a wide variety of views and varying levels of passion about any given topic. With so much going on in the country and world today there is an endless stream of talking points to spur impassioned dialogues.

Our guest this week, Matthew D. Weglarz, brought to the forefront one such topic when he discussed the ever changing lending market and the possible implications if Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are allowed to fold. Most notable of the probable outcomes would be the privatization of the mortgage industry and the subsequent elimination of terms extending beyond 15 years. This would be in addition to the increased interest rates that would reflect levels that haven’t been seen in over 30 years. Of course, these are suppositions at this point and like many events in the past we won’t know the true outcome until it happens as there are too many variables to fully comprehend.

Matt, who works for Merrill Lynch Wealth Management and serves as Vice President and Resident Manager for the Philadelphia and South Jersey Regions, was very concise in his outlining the current situation that exists in the lending industry but also touched upon his own journey that shapes the way he conducts himself and treats others. The journey that lead him to his current position was not one that is commonly heard of in the executive ranks of his industry.

It is the understanding on a personal and professional level of the highs and lows that exist in life and the extremes in means that exist in society that makes Matt particularly effective in not just helping people make the right decisions but also to give perspective to the raw numbers. Many people are great with numbers but it takes a certain kind of person to see the humanity in the arithmetic. It is something that we each have inside of us, something that Matt has obviously tapped into, and something that we should all keep in mind when we go about our work.

Look for the humanity in what may seem emotionless; find the flex in the immutable; challenge what is accepted as the norm; strive to achieve greater and greater things in life. Don’t just see these as ideas, see them for what they are… actions. We can see these actions in the lives of others, in people like Matt, and know that it can be done because it has been done. If you want to serve others know how to serve yourself as well.