Picking up Nickels

Thursday, December 11, 2014

December 2014 Financial Asset Roundup

Here are my current financial assets as of the market close on December 10th, 2014:


Asset Nov
2014
Dec
2014
Change
Checking 927 2,089 1,162
Money Market 47,836 48,279 443
Savings Bonds 92,887 93,019 132
Treasury Bills 0 0 0
CDs 63,599 63,775 176
Brokerage 129,429 130,288 859
401k 134,862 131,870 -2,992
Roth IRA 100,398 99,881 -517
SEP IRA 483,832 480,718 -3,114
529 Savings 113,690 114,452 762



Total Assets $1,167,460 $1,164,371 -$3,089
   
 
-0.26%


The S&P 500 had been strong since the last update before a recent slide down 0.59%:

(chart courtesy of yahoo.com)

On the jobs front, the unemployment rate for November remained at 5.8% (making 2014 the best year for job gains since 1999). Oil prices have continued their slide from $78 to about $60, which has been a pretty nice dose of relief on American pocketbooks.

On the financial front, my next domino to fall is a Penfed 3.5% APY 5 year CD maturing in January. There haven't been any hints of a Penfed end of year deal like the Penfed 3.04% APY 5 year CD offering from last year, so I'm figuring to use some of that cash to make final 2014 Federal and state estimated tax payments and have actually considered throwing the rest of the money at my mortgage principal if a better opportunity doesn't present itself.

Other than that, I'm prepping for an all-nighter this weekend as a client migrates a critical production environment to new hardware with disaster recovery capabilities. I'm certainly going to be ready for the Christmas holiday once that work is finally complete. :p

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

November 2014 Financial Asset Roundup

Here are my current financial assets as of the market close on November 10th, 2014:


Asset Oct
2014
Nov
2014
Change
Checking 1,486 927 -559
Money Market 58,778 47,836 -10,942
Savings Bonds 92,718 92,887 169
Treasury Bills 0 0 0
CDs 53,422 63,599 10,177
Brokerage 121,278 129,429 8,151
401k 130,255 134,862 4,607
Roth IRA 88,203 100,398 12,195
SEP IRA 449,397 483,832 34,435
529 Savings 109,450 113,690 4,240



Total Assets $1,104,987 $1,167,460 $62,473
   
 
5.65%


The S&P 500 has been on fire over the past few days while rising to record highs, up 8.72% since the last update:

(chart courtesy of yahoo.com)

On the jobs front, the unemployment rate for October fell once again to 5.8% (the lowest since 2008) continuing the strong job growth we've seen in 2014. Oil prices have continued their slide from $85 to below $78, and I have finally paid less than $3 per gallon for both heating oil and gasoline for the first time since November 2010! American politics have also taken an interesting turn with the Republicans taking majority control of the U.S. Senate. Time will tell if this will be a positive or negative development for our country.

On the financial front, my assets have reached a new all time high, surpassing the previous high from September. My E-LOAN 1.10% APY 1 year CD matured with no issues and I've used those proceeds to open a Penfed 1.21% APY 1 year CD. I also made full 2014 Roth IRA contributions for myself and Mrs. Frugalson and took an equity distribution from my S Corporation to partially offset the cost.

Other than that, I need to assess our YTD income tax withholding and see if the changes to our payroll deductions will keep us from writing the IRS a fat check (with potential penalty) when our 2014 tax returns are due. Good times. :)

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

October 2014 Financial Asset Roundup

Here are my current financial assets as of the market close on October 13th, 2014:


Asset Sep
2014
Oct
2014
Change
Checking 453 1,486 1,033
Money Market 47,386 58,778 11,392
Savings Bonds 92,609 92,718 109
Treasury Bills 0 0 0
CDs 63,355 53,422 -9,933
Brokerage 128,662 121,278 -7,384
401k 143,064 130,255 -12,809
Roth IRA 94,214 88,203 -6,011
SEP IRA 477,049 449,397 -27,652
529 Savings 111,291 109,450 -1,841



Total Assets $1,158,083 $1,104,987 -$53,096
   
 
-4.58%


The S&P 500 has been under fire over the past few days, falling 6.06% since the last update:

(chart courtesy of yahoo.com)

On the jobs front, the unemployment rate for September fell to 5.9% (the lowest since 2008) with a better than expected 248,000 new jobs being created. Oil prices have continued their slide to fall below $85, although the price drop has been driven by concerns about the global economy. I haven't paid less than $3 for a gallon of gas or heating oil since November 2010, so hopefully the short term relief on energy costs will help offset the paper losses my investments are incurring.

On the financial front, I had my E-LOAN 1.10% APY 1 year CD mature over the weekend and hope that my money will not end up in limbo due to the E-Loan ACH problems reported at fatwallet.com. Once that money materializes, I'm leaning toward stashing it in a Penfed 1.21% APY 1 year CD. I'm also about ready to make my 2014 Roth IRA contribution and may take an equity distribution from my S Corporation to help offset the cost.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

September 2014 Financial Asset Roundup

Today marks the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks and I still have vivid memories of spending the day in a state of shock those thirteen years ago. It's also hard to believe that the moody teenager living under my roof was a toddler in diapers at the time. Where does the time go?

Here are my current financial assets as of the market close on September 10th, 2014:


Asset Aug
2014
Sep
2014
Change
Checking 1,310 453 -857
Money Market 45,525 47,386 1,861
Savings Bonds 92,483 92,609 126
Treasury Bills 0 0 0
CDs 63,188 63,355 167
Brokerage 125,671 128,662 2,991
401k 141,121 143,064 1,943
Roth IRA 91,923 94,214 2,291
SEP IRA 460,694 477,049 16,355
529 Savings 109,305 111,291 1,986



Total Assets $1,131,220 $1,158,083 $26,863
   
 
2.37%



The S&P 500 has once again hit all time highs over the past month, rising 3.03% since the last update:

(chart courtesy of msn.com)

On the jobs front, the unemployment rate for August fell back to 6.1%, although the drama at Market Basket was cited as a reason for lackluster job growth. Oil prices have continued to drop and fell below $91.

On the financial front, my assets have surpassed their previous all time high from July. Although the rising stock market was the main driver of that growth, a portion of the gain is attributed to a partial 2014 SEP IRA contribution I made after my August Payroll date. I also have a E-LOAN 1.10% APY 1 year CD due to mature soon and as a result I will likely put some cash in a Penfed 1.06% APY 1 year CD before the end of the month.

For the non-financial, the biggest change around here is the start of the school year. While I do miss the young Frugalsons while they're at school, it is awfully quiet around here during the day. :)

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

August 2014 Financial Asset Roundup

Here are my current financial assets as of the market close on August 11th, 2014:


Asset Jul
2014
Aug
2014
Change
Checking 3,272 1,310 -1,962
Money Market 45,359 45,525 166
Savings Bonds 92,381 92,483 102
Treasury Bills 0 0 0
CDs 62,998 63,188 190
Brokerage 126,614 125,671 -943
401k 143,923 141,121 -2,802
Roth IRA 93,123 91,923 -1,200
SEP IRA 465,187 460,694 -4,493
529 Savings 108,996 109,305 309



Total Assets $1,141,853 $1,131,220 -$10,633
   
 
-0.93%


The S&P 500 has fallen from all time highs over the past month, down 1.41% since the last update:

(chart courtesy of msn.com)


First, this month marks the 8th anniversary of this blog! I realize that my efforts have basically evolved over time into a personal financial status update, but I like the fact that it forces me to take a good accounting of my savings and investments on a regular basis. If nothing else, it certainly is rewarding to see that the value of my assets has almost tripled since August 2006 as I've stayed the course despite a meltdown of the housing market and financial sector, a recession, and a sloooow economic recovery. Now, on to the show!

On the jobs front, the unemployment rate for July rose to 6.2% with 209,000 jobs added. Oil prices continued the downward trend over the past month and fell below the $100 barrier to about $97.

On the financial front, I'm pretty much in the dog days of summer as I wait to make a 2014 SEP IRA contribution after my August Payroll. I do have some dry powder in my money market accounts if an appealing place to put some money presents itself, but I'm not terribly confident that any interesting opportunities will pop up any time soon.

For the non-financial, I have been watching my electric bills increase by 10-15% over last year as our new pool filter and central A/C have been running quite a bit over the past couple of months. I am curious about what our bills would look like during a heat wave, but I'm certainly not going to complain about a dearth of hot and humid 90° days this year. Other than that, the young Frugalsons will be back to school soon and I am enjoying the fact that I am not in the process of installing a new pool or central A/C or buying a new car any time soon (I hope). :)

Friday, July 11, 2014

July 2014 Financial Asset Roundup

Here are my current financial assets as of the market close on July 10th, 2014:


Asset Jun
2014
Jul
2014
Change
Checking 770 3,272 2,502
Money Market 46,651 45,359 -1,292
Savings Bonds 92,271 92,381 110
Treasury Bills 0 0 0
CDs 62,825 62,998 173
Brokerage 131,017 126,614 -4,403
401k 144,521 143,923 -598
Roth IRA 92,659 93,123 464
SEP IRA 462,102 465,187 3,085
529 Savings 107,645 108,996 1,351



Total Assets $1,140,461 $1,141,853 $1,392
   
 
0.12%


The S&P 500 has continued to hover near all time highs over the past month, rising 0.71% since the last update:

(chart courtesy of msn.com)

On the jobs front, the unemployment rate for June fell to 6.1% with 288,000 jobs added. I think the best thing about this number was that people weren't saying, "Yeah unemployment went down, BUT..." for a change. :) To add to the positivity, oil prices are actually down somewhat to about $101 over the past month.

On the financial front, my assets have surpassed their previous all time high from June by a whisker and continue to march toward the $1.2M threshold. My next money move will likely be to make an additional 2014 SEP IRA contribution after my August payroll. I'll also be keeping an eye on Penfed for decent CD deals, but I'm not holding my breath on that front.

For the non-financial, I just ordered a new mountain bike to replace the fossil that I have been riding for a looooong time. I look forward to using it when we head up to Vermont for a brief vacation later this month:


Wednesday, June 11, 2014

June 2014 Financial Asset Roundup

Here are my current financial assets as of the market close on June 10th, 2014:


Asset May
2014
Jun
2014
Change
Checking 3,783 770 -3,013
Money Market 47,499 46,651 -848
Savings Bonds 92,177 92,271 94
Treasury Bills 0 0 0
CDs 62,648 62,825 177
Brokerage 123,884 131,017 7,133
401k 140,026 144,521 4,495
Roth IRA 89,526 92,659 3,133
SEP IRA 445,471 462,102 16,631
529 Savings 104,960 107,645 2,685



Total Assets $1,109,974 $1,140,461 $30,487
   
 
2.75%


The S&P 500 has to near all time highs over the past month, rising 3.85% since the last update:

(chart courtesy of msn.com)

On the jobs front, the unemployment rate for May remained flat at 6.3% while all of the jobs lost during the recession have finally been recovered. Oil prices remained fairly flat at about $104 over the past month.

On the financial front, my assets have once again surpassed their previous all time high from May and are closing in on the $1.2M threshold. I don't have any pending money moves at the moment, but it will be interesting to see what the stock market will do throughout 2014. Right now the S&P 500 is up about 5.5% for the year and I imagine we'd need some very positive economic news for the index to move much higher.

For the non-financial, I'm currently suffering through the green pollen season we're having in the Northeast (achoo!). Also, the next big event on the horizon is the young Frugalsons being done with the school year in a couple of weeks. I'm sure they'll miss school very much as they enjoy 2+ months of fun in the sun. ;)