The Highest Good

HECM sales present opportunities to respond with virtue

“Summum Bonum”

“Summum Bonum”. The highest good was a phrase Rome’s famed orator Cicero was inclined to recite before his audiences. The greatest good or the sum of all that benefits your fellow man/woman. It’s a phase every HECM (reverse mortgage) professional should keep in mind when approaching every potential borrower.

The highest good is also embodied as the Stoic definition of virtue. The stoic tradition held that virtue is composed of wisdom, courage, temperance, and justice.

Applying these principles lets see how each could fit into our interactions as a reverse mortgage professional.


  • Am I overwhelming the homeowner with information?
  • Are they looking for a quick fix?
  • What is their communication style and am I using it?


  • Am I willing to be direct about their current financial situation?
  • Am I willing to make less money do to the right thing?
  • Am I willing to discuss any property issues?


  • Are ethics at the forefront of how we interact in this loan transaction?
  • Am I showing sensitivity to their needs, hopes, and previous disappointments?
  • Am I willing to slow down my pace in the interest of them holding firm to the information being presented?


  • If they were my grandparents how would I proceed?
  • Did someone else try to deceive or rip them off?
  • Do my words and actions reflect the value of honesty?

1 comment

The Positive Realist October 7, 2019 at 11:24 pm

Stoicism is one of the many philosophies that opposed the preaching of the Apostle Paul in proclaiming the Gospel of Christ throughout Greece particularly in Athens. So it is interesting to see the teaching of Stoicism being emphasized as it is here and in several other vlogs on this website. Google does a very interesting job in presenting some of the differences between the two.

This is not an attack just a simple statement of facts. Being positive but realistic requires one to go beyond the wealth of good teachings to look at the body of such teachings in their relationship to foundation of one’s core beliefs and although interesting, it is hard to appreciate the body of Stoicism when compared to believing into Christ especially in light of the practice of Paul in living Christ.

Again this is not an attack on a person and what that person is seeing but rather an expression of one’s own faith.


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