O’Leary tips his hand

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TV personality Kevin O’Leary may be tipping his hand as to what exactly his new mortgage business will focus on.

 “The whole reason I am doing it is to get people locked in,” O’Leary said during a segment on CBC’s Lang & O’Leary Exchange focused on the pros and cons of renting versus owning a home.  That’s “precisely why I started O’Leary Mortgages is because we sell fixed rate mortgages, it won’t vary.”

O’Leary intrigued and worried some mortgage professionals earlier this month when he released a cryptic video announcing his plans to launch O’Leary Mortgages. It fails to detail whether he intends to become a lender or a brokerage head.  

His comments about offering fixed mortgages still leave that question unanswered at the same time they have attracted some broker objections. O'Leary Mortgages is set to launch late this month.

“This is a mission for me,” O’Leary said. “There will be thousands of people with variable mortgages that will be slaughtered…with fixed mortgages they’ll have five years of knowing what they’ll exactly pay.”

The strategy, however, doesn’t work every time, according to Steve Garganis, a broker for The Mortgage Centre, in Oakville, Ont., who wrote in his blog that over 80 per cent of his clients are either on or have been in variable rate mortgages.

Although Garganis would not recommend a variable rate mortgage for most new mortgages today because fixed rates are at near historical lows, he maintains that the case for persuading a client currently in a variable to move to fixed may be a difficult one to make.

 “This is where I am very concerned,” he writes. “We have a very well-known TV personality that comes out and says everyone should lock into a fixed-rate mortgage,” he wrote. “There is no one-size- fits-all mortgage; everyone is different and has different needs.”


  • Nick Hamblin Ideal/MI on 2012-11-14 7:11:00 AM

    More Bluster from Kevin but shows how little he really understands about the mortgage market , one word - convertible

  • Ontario Broker on 2012-11-14 7:47:22 AM

    Another "know it all" ready to be eaten by wolves.......Kevin you may be able to market but face facts, who in their right mind, knowing your love of money, would ant to borrow from you?

  • Rod on 2012-11-14 10:04:37 AM

    B-20, global economic turmoil,deficits out of control, and on and on and we want to focus on this? Really? Priorities are skewed!

  • AB Broker on 2012-11-15 5:54:46 AM

    I've been calling every client that I've ever brokered a variable rate mortgage for to have the following conversation: "Just calling to let you know that I'm watching market conditions very closely regarding when will be the optimal time for you to convert your variable rate to a fixed rate. We are not there yet, but it could possibly be as close as the next 3 months to a year. I just want you to know that I'm watching out for you, and I will be in touch with you when the time to convert is right." I know I'm far from the only broker right now having these conversations with my clients, because we truly have their best interests at heart.

    I respect Mr. O'leary as a business man, I agree with a lot of what he says, but I also know he is perfectly capable of using fear and intimidation to make a buck off people. I firmly believe that is his intention with his new lending venture, and I for one won't let my clients be fooled into locking in too early.

  • David Larock on 2012-11-14 5:17:29 AM

    I couldn't disagree more with Kevin O'Leary's opinion that borrowers with deeply discounted variable-rate mortgages will "get slaughtered" if they don't lock in right now, but the truth is that neither of us knows for sure.

    The difference between our approaches is that I readily acknowledge this fact and Kevin basically says that anyone who doesn’t do what he says is an idiot.

    In the advice business, strong, brash one-size-fits-all opinions have a way of catching up with you.

    Let's file that one away and check back in a few years to see if those who followed Kevin’s ‘gospel truth’ ended up being happy with his advice ... and best of luck with your new venture Kevin ...

  • Jerry on 2012-11-14 6:52:43 AM

    Kevin O'Leary also said that Obama was a one term president and would never win again. I don't put to much faith in his predictions or projections. He got rich off a kids learning company bought by Mattel in the 90's and it was the worst purchase of the companies history. His O'leary fund is also down. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/rob-magazine/kevin-oleary-hes-not-a-billionaire-he-just-plays-one-on-tv/article4564334/?page=all

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