Picking up Nickels

Monday, February 13, 2017

February 2017 Financial Asset Roundup

Here are my current financial assets as of the market close on February 10th, 2017:


Asset Jan
2017
Feb
2017
Change
Checking 1,325 2,086 761
Money Market 77,483 68,804 -8,679
Savings Bonds 119,920 130,022 10,102
Treasury Bills 0 0 0
CDs 39,887 40,000 113
Brokerage 126,657 132,265 5,608
401k 134,610 138,607 3,997
Roth IRA 117,047 119,715 2,668
SEP IRA 593,032 605,331 12,299
529 Savings 147,842 149,998 2,156



Total Assets $1,357,803 $1,386,828 $29,025
   
 
2.14%


The S&P 500 has been on a nice run since the last update, rising 2.08% during that time:

(chart courtesy of google.com)

On the jobs front, the unemployment rate for January rose to 4.8% with 227,000 new jobs created. Oil prices are up a couple of bucks to the $53 level, with no noticeable change locally in gasoline and heating oil prices.

On the financial front, my asset levels have once again reached an all-time high, breaking the previous high from January 2017. I'm also still on track to make my final 2016 Roth IRA and SEP IRA contributions before my S Corp and personal income tax returns are filed.

Other than that, we've been dealing with several blasts of snow over the past few days. The young Frugalsons had two school days cancelled last week followed up by a two hour delay this morning. I am officially ready for Spring. :)

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

January 2017 Financial Asset Roundup

Here are my current financial assets as of the market close on January 10th, 2017:


Asset Dec
2016
Jan
2017
Change
Checking 3,233 1,325 -1,908
Money Market 71,474 77,483 6,009
Savings Bonds 119,837 119,920 83
Treasury Bills 0 0 0
CDs 39,775 39,887 112
Brokerage 130,105 126,657 -3,448
401k 132,317 134,610 2,293
Roth IRA 115,940 117,047 1,107
SEP IRA 589,199 593,032 3,833
529 Savings 145,714 147,842 2,128



Total Assets $1,347,594 $1,357,803 $10,209
   
 
0.76%


Happy 2017! It's hard to believe that another year has come and gone. On to the good stuff...

The S&P 500 has been relatively flat since the last update, rising up 0.53% during that time:

(chart courtesy of google.com)

On the jobs front, the unemployment rate for December rose slightly to 4.7% with a "slightly disappointing" 156,000 new jobs created. Oil prices are down a bit to the $51 level, although the gradual rise in prices last year led to my late December heating oil delivery eclipsing the $2 per gallon level ($2.04) for the first time since late 2015.

On the financial front, my asset levels have once again reached an all-time high, breaking the previous high from December 2016. I'm also planning on making my 2017 Series I savings bond purchase later this month, since the 2.76% rate for the first six month period is the highest it has been in quite some time. I'm also planning on making final 2016 Roth IRA and SEP IRA contributions before my S Corp and personal income tax returns are filed.

Other than that , I'm currently slogging my way through the mid-winter doldrums. The weather has been strange lately with a 5° temp and a foot of snow on the ground when I started the car yesterday morning to 56° and lots of melted snow puddling up everywhere this afternoon.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

December 2016 Financial Asset Roundup

Here are my current financial assets as of the market close on December 12th, 2016:


Asset Nov
2016
Dec
2016
Change
Checking 1,529 3,233 1,704
Money Market 82,686 71,474 -11,212
Savings Bonds 109,745 119,837 10,092
Treasury Bills 0 0 0
CDs 39,666 39,775 109
Brokerage 126,233 130,105 3,872
401k 130,210 132,317 2,107
Roth IRA 112,082 115,940 3,858
SEP IRA 565,452 589,199 23,747
529 Savings 143,590 145,714 2,124



Total Assets $1,311,193 $1,347,594 $36,401
   
 
2.78%


The S&P 500 has been on a strong run, up 4.13% since the last update:

(chart courtesy of google.com)

On the jobs front, the unemployment rate for November fell to 4.6% with 178,000 new jobs created, the lowest rate since August 2007. Oil prices are up to the $53 level, near 2016 highs as oil producers agreed to reduce output.

On the financial front, my asset levels have reached an all-time high, breaking the previous high from September of this year. I also made my 2016 Series I savings bond purchase, with a 2017 purchase likely to follow in January. Finally, I'll close out 2016 financially by taking a final distribution from my S Corp.

As for the rest, I'm hoping for an enjoyable holiday season to wrap up 2016. Once 2017 hits it will be time to get to work on fun stuff like 2016 tax returns and Roth IRA contributions.

Friday, November 11, 2016

November 2016 Financial Asset Roundup

Here are my current financial assets as of the market close on November 10th, 2016:


Asset Oct
2016
Nov
2016
Change
Checking 1,244 1,529 285
Money Market 82,260 82,686 426
Savings Bonds 109,663 109,745 82
Treasury Bills 0 0 0
CDs 39,555 39,666 111
Brokerage 123,083 126,233 3,150
401k 131,906 130,210 -1,696
Roth IRA 111,871 112,082 211
SEP IRA 560,487 565,452 4,965
529 Savings 143,297 143,590 293



Total Assets $1,303,366 $1,311,193 $7,827
   
 
0.60%


Despite some volatility courtesy of the US Presidential election, the S&P 500 is up 1.44% since the last update:

(chart courtesy of google.com)

On the jobs front, the unemployment rate for October dropped to 4.9% with 161,000 new jobs created. Oil prices have dropped to the $44 level, which was reflected in my recent heating oil delivery priced at $1.95 per gallon.

On the financial front, this month is the time to make my Series I savings bond purchase. After maxing out my 2016 limit in a couple of weeks I will probably follow that up with another purchase in early 2017 due to the attractive 2.76% composite rate for the first six months. I also typically make Roth IRA contributions for myself and Mrs. Frugalson by now, but I have decided to hold off on contributing until our 2016 personal income tax returns are complete. While it is a nice problem to have, I do have to keep an eye on the Roth IRA contribution limits since my wife returned to the workforce a few years ago.

On the non-financial front, the biggest thing on my mind are the plans for our country that our new President will move forward with. As of now, his potential impact the economy, taxes, the stock market, inflation, interest rates, our freedoms, etc. are a great unknown. My hope is that the great success I've been fortunate to have since I began this blog 10+ years ago will continue.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

September 2016 CPI-U numbers released: November 2016 I Bonds are a buy!

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released the September 2016 Consumer Price Index (CPI-U) inflation data this morning, which increased by 0.24% last month.

As always, now is one of the best times to consider purchasing I Bonds. The reason for this is that we now know what the rate of return for October 2016 I Bonds will be for both the first and second six month periods, which is important since I Bonds must be held for 12 months before they can be redeemed.

Using the CPI-U data from March 2016 (238.132) and September 2016 (241.428) (courtesy of inflationdata.com), we can calculate the variable rate for the second 6 month period for October 2016 issue I Bonds.


That means these bonds would earn the current anemic rate of 0.26% (using 0.10% fixed & 0.08% variable) for the first 6 months and 2.86% (combined 0.10% fixed & 1.38% variable) for the second 6 months. It goes without saying that it makes sense to wait until November to make the purchase to avoid six months of 0.26% interest. Even though we only know the interest rate for the first six months of November 2016 Series I savings bonds, a minimum composite rate of 2.76% (assuming a 0% fixed portion) is market beating when compared to short term investments like the 1 year CD @ 1.30% APY currently being offered at Everbank.

I will personally be buying the maximum amount from treasurydirect.gov in November since I haven't made any online I Bond purchases so far 2016. In fact, a 2.76% rate is so attractive in this environment that I will probably purchase even more in January 2017.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

October 2016 Financial Asset Roundup

Here are my current financial assets as of the market close on October 11th, 2016:


Asset Sep
2016
Oct
2016
Change
Checking 1,123 1,244 121
Money Market 82,348 82,260 -88
Savings Bonds 109,538 109,663 125
Treasury Bills 0 0 0
CDs 39,447 39,555 108
Brokerage 128,940 123,083 -5,857
401k 133,788 131,906 -1,882
Roth IRA 112,682 111,871 -811
SEP IRA 564,930 560,487 -4,443
529 Savings 142,986 143,297 311



Total Assets $1,315,782 $1,303,366 -$12,416
   
 
-0.94%


The S&P 500 continued to fall since the last update, dropping 1.03% during that time:

(chart courtesy of yahoo.com)

On the jobs front, the unemployment rate for September rose slightly to 5.0% with 156,000 new jobs were created. Oil prices have continued to rise to the $51 level as OPEC has agreed to production cuts.

On the financial front, it is almost time to decide on a Series I savings bond purchase. The September CPI-U inflation numbers are due out next week, and the data should validate the position that waiting until November to make the purchase is the way to go.

On the non-financial front, thankfully there isn't much to report. The weather is changing (A/C is off, heat is on) and I have been taking advantage of the cool Fall weather to try to get my lawn whipped into shape for next year. Winter is coming!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

September 2016 Financial Asset Roundup

Here are my current financial assets as of the market close on September 12th, 2016:


Asset Aug
2016
Sep
2016
Change
Checking 4,931 1,123 -3,808
Money Market 74,471 82,348 7,877
Savings Bonds 109,382 109,538 156
Treasury Bills 0 0 0
CDs 39,336 39,447 111
Brokerage 132,403 128,940 -3,463
401k 133,082 133,788 706
Roth IRA 112,957 112,682 -275
SEP IRA 561,443 564,930 3,487
529 Savings 142,190 142,986 796



Total Assets $1,310,195 $1,315,782 $5,587
   
 
0.43%


The S&P 500 fell slightly since the last update, losing 0.76% during that time:

(chart courtesy of yahoo.com)

On the jobs front, the unemployment rate for August remained at 4.9%. However, "only" 151,000 new jobs were created, which is less impressive than the 255,000 number from the previous month. Oil prices are up a bit to the $45 level, and I continue to see regular unleaded gasoline sold locally below the $2 per gallon price point.

On the financial front, my asset level has reached a new all time high for the fifth month in a row, eclipsing the previous high from last month. Of course, that was made possible by the 2016 SEP IRA contribution and the distribution I took from my S Corporation since the last update. I don't anticipate any other moves in the near term though.

On the non-financial front, the young Frugalsons are back in school once again! This blog has been around long enough to see them make their way from elementary school to high school. Soon enough they will be out there on their own. :)