Picking up Nickels

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

June 2017 Financial Asset Roundup

Here are my current financial assets as of the market close on June 12th, 2017:


Asset May
2017
Jun
2017
Change
Checking 1,226 2,606 1,380
Money Market 66,564 63,105 -3,459
Savings Bonds 135,590 135,847 257
Treasury Bills 0 0 0
CDs 41,100 41,215 115
Brokerage 143,934 143,285 -649
401k 148,323 150,536 2,213
Roth IRA 130,547 132,389 1,842
SEP IRA 630,848 645,805 14,957
529 Savings 155,797 158,384 2,587



Total Assets $1,453,929 $1,473,172 $19,243
   
 
1.32%


The S&P 500 has continued to rise since the last update, up 1.24% during that time:

(chart courtesy of google.com)

On the jobs front, the unemployment rate for May fell to 4.3%, matching the low near the beginning of the post tech-bubble recession in May 2001. Oil prices have dropped a bit to the $46 level, which could signal continuing low gas prices for the summer driving season. It's amazing to me that the S&P 500 is up ~13.5% since the 2016 Presidential election on November 8th despite the many stumbles of President Trump. Despite the political turmoil, t has certainly been a nice time to be an investor!

On the financial front, my asset levels have reached an all-time high for the SEVENTH month in a row, breaking the previous high from May 2017. After a busy May, I anticipate all things financial will be pretty quiet for the foreseeable future. Then again, Penfed may come out with surprise CD deal any time now (then again, maybe not :p).

As for the non-financial, we're working on our second heat wave of the year and we finally have a non-green pool to swim in.The young Frugalsons will be done with school for the year next week, so we'll have a couple of tired and hungry teens to deal with over the next couple of months. Good times...

Thursday, May 11, 2017

May 2017 Financial Asset Roundup

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


Asset Apr
2017
May
2017
Change
Checking 1,705 1,226 -479
Money Market 61,079 66,564 5,485
Savings Bonds 130,331 135,590 5,259
Treasury Bills 0 0 0
CDs 40,216 41,100 884
Brokerage 139,653 143,934 4,281
401k 142,141 148,323 6,182
Roth IRA 127,500 130,547 3,047
SEP IRA 620,363 630,848 10,485
529 Savings 153,421 155,797 2,376



Total Assets $1,416,409 $1,453,929 $37,520
   
 
2.65%


The S&P 500 has been on a nice run since the last update, rising 1.80% during that time:

(chart courtesy of google.com)

On the jobs front, the unemployment rate for April fell to 4.4%, matching the previous low from May 2007. Oil prices have fallen back below the $50 level to $48, which apparently has OPEC saying "Please don't pump so much oil!".

On the financial front, my asset levels have reached an all-time high for the SIXTH month in a row, breaking the previous high from April 2017. I've had a lot of financial activity since the last update, starting with the maturing of a Penfed 1.51% APY 15 month CD and moving that cash into a Penfed 1.46% APY 15 month CD. I also added some more paper Series I savings bonds to my stash courtesy of my 2016 Federal personal tax refund. Finally I made my initial 2017 SEP IRA contribution and took a distribution from my S Corp since I've officially closed the books on 2016.

As for the non-financial, Spring has finally sprung around here. Things are turning green and we're getting our yard cleaned up in anticipation of warmer weather. The young Frugalsons will be done with their school year next month and we're another year closer to our oldest heading off to college and putting some of those 529 savings to use.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

March CPI-U numbers released: April 2017 issue I Bonds are a buy

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released the March 2017 Consumer Price Index (CPI-U) inflation data last week, which increased by 0.08% last month.

As always, now (along with the release of the September CPI-U) 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 April 2017 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 September 2016 (241.428) and March 2017 (243.801) (courtesy of inflationdata.com), we can calculate the variable rate for the second 6 month period for April 2017 issue I Bonds.


That means these bonds would earn a composite rate of 2.76% (using 0% fixed & 1.38 variable) for the first 6 months and 1.96% (using 0% fixed & 0.98% variable) for the second 6 months. Based on this, April 2017 issue I Bonds are a strong buy when compared to something like the 12 month CD @ 1.50% APY currently being offered by Connexus Credit Union.

I already maxed out my 2017 annual I Bond allotment in January and have already received the bulk of my April 2017 issue paper I Bonds from my Federal tax refund, so I'm pretty much all in at this point. :)

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

April 2017 Financial Asset Roundup

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


Asset Mar
2017
Apr
2017
Change
Checking 1,788 1,705 -83
Money Market 66,397 61,079 -5,318
Savings Bonds 130,175 130,331 156
Treasury Bills 0 0 0
CDs 40,103 40,216 113
Brokerage 137,322 139,653 2,331
401k 139,556 142,141 2,585
Roth IRA 121,541 127,500 5,959
SEP IRA 620,304 620,363 59
529 Savings 151,176 153,421 2,245



Total Assets $1,408,362 $1,416,409 $8,047
   
 
0.57%


The S&P 500 has pulled back a bit since the last update, falling 0.65% during that time:

(chart courtesy of google.com)

On the jobs front, the unemployment rate for March fell to 4.5%, the lowest it has been since the 4.4% number in May 2007. Oil prices have picked up to the $53 level, apparently with a little help from the US missile launch in Syria last week.

On the financial front, my asset levels have reached an all-time high for the fourth fifth month in a row, breaking the previous high from March 2017. My 2016 personal tax returns and Roth IRA contribution are complete and the bulk of my Federal income tax refund will be in the form of paper Series I savings bonds. I'll likely make an initial 2017 SEP IRA contribution before the next update and am considering taking a distribution from my S Corp now that the dust has finally settled on 2016.

As for the non-financial, I'm very pleased to have extended my contract with my largest client! I'm looking forward to having another successful year with such a great customer. :)

Monday, March 13, 2017

March 2017 Financial Asset Roundup

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


Asset Feb
2017
Mar
2017
Change
Checking 2,086 1,788 -298
Money Market 68,804 66,397 -2,407
Savings Bonds 130,022 130,175 153
Treasury Bills 0 0 0
CDs 40,000 40,103 103
Brokerage 132,265 137,322 5,057
401k 138,607 139,556 949
Roth IRA 119,715 121,541 1,826
SEP IRA 605,331 620,304 14,973
529 Savings 149,998 151,176 1,178



Total Assets $1,386,828 $1,408,362 $21,534
   
 
1.55%


The S&P 500 has continued to rise since the last update, increasing 2.44% during that time:

(chart courtesy of google.com)

On the jobs front, the unemployment rate for February fell to 4.7% with a strong 235,000 new jobs created. Oil prices have dropped to the $48 level, with local gasoline prices slightly above the $2 level.

On the financial front, my asset levels have once again reached an all-time high for the fourth month in a row, breaking the previous high from February 2017. I have made my final 2016 SEP IRA contribution and my S Corp tax returns are complete. I'm very close to doing the same with my 2016 personal returns and corresponding Roth IRA contribution. As usual, any Federal income tax refund due will be used to purchase up to $5,000 worth of paper Series I savings bonds.

As for the non-financial, we're looking at another potential blizzard starting tomorrow morning. With the mess/damage/power outages this storm may bring, it's hard to believe that Spring officially begins in one week. :(

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.