Picking up Nickels

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

February 2015 Financial Asset Roundup

Here are my current financial assets as of the market close on February 10th, 2015:


Asset Jan
2015
Feb
2015
Change
Checking 1,102 2,164 1,062
Money Market 58,336 48,693 -9,643
Savings Bonds 93,164 93,340 176
Treasury Bills 0 0 0
CDs 49,679 49,838 159
Brokerage 135,458 137,206 1,748
401k 129,374 134,184 4,810
Roth IRA 99,479 102,110 2,631
SEP IRA 482,116 493,787 11,671
529 Savings 115,944 118,059 2,115



Total Assets $1,164,652 $1,179,381 $14,729
   
 
1.26%


The S&P 500 is up again since the last update with continued volatility, rising 1.16% during that time:

(chart courtesy of yahoo.com)

On the jobs front, the unemployment rate for January rose slightly to 5.7%, although hiring was very strong with 257,000 new jobs created. Oil prices are up a bit from $47 to a whisker below $50, yet I've recently paid the lowest price for heating oil ($2.40/gal) since May 2010 and gasoline ($1.899/gal) since February 2009.

On the financial front, my assets have once again reached a new all time high, surpassing the previous high from November. I also used the remaining cash from my Penfed 3.5% APY 5 year CD that matured last month to make a mortgage prepayment due to a lack of better options for the money.

As for the non-financial, we are currently dealing with several feet of snow that the sky gods have blessed us with over the past 2.5 weeks and I'm hoping that the roof at the Frugalson compound is up to the task! I've also started the ball rolling on my 2014 S Corp tax returns and final 2014 SEP IRA contribution.

Monday, January 12, 2015

January 2015 Financial Asset Roundup

Here are my current financial assets as of the market close on January 9th, 2015:


Asset Dec
2014
Jan
2015
Change
Checking 2,089 1102 -987
Money Market 48,279 58,336 10,057
Savings Bonds 93,019 93,164 145
Treasury Bills 0 0 0
CDs 63,775 49,679 -14,096
Brokerage 130,288 135,458 5,170
401k 131,870 129,374 -2,496
Roth IRA 99,881 99,479 -402
SEP IRA 480,718 482,116 1,398
529 Savings 114,452 115,944 1,492



Total Assets $1,164,371 $1,164,652 $281
   
 
0.02%


The S&P 500 had been up a bit since the last update despite some volatility, rising 0.92% during that time:

(chart courtesy of yahoo.com)

On the jobs front, the unemployment rate for December fell to 5.6%, solidifying 2014 as the best year for job growth since 1999. Oil prices have continued to fall from $60 to about $47, with a Saudi Prince stating that $100 oil may be gone for good. I'm wondering if I'll actually get to see my gasoline and heating oil costs fall below $2 per gallon for the first time in almost six years. :)

On the financial front, my Penfed 3.5% APY 5 year CD matured earlier this month. I used some of that cash to make 2014 Federal and state estimated tax payments and with few other options I will probably use the rest of the balance for mortgage prepayment. Unfortunately, I have another Penfed 3.5% APY 5 year CD ready to mature in March, and I'll probably end up using some of that cash for a 2015 Series I savings bond purchase.

As for the rest, my next task is to focus on 2014 corporate and personal tax return prep. Hopefully the estimated tax payments I just made will help keep any surprises to a minimum. ;)

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). :)