Picking up Nickels

Sunday, October 12, 2008

October 2008 Financial Asset Roundup

Here are my current financial assets as of the market close on October 10th, 2008:

Asset September 2008 October 2008 Change
Checking 295 409 114
Money Market 21,306 21,514 208
Savings Bonds 14,851 14,899 48
Treasury Bills 0 0 0
CDs 105,183 107,639 2,456
Brokerage 106,937 88,753 -18,184
401k 87,639 63,201 -24,438
Roth IRA 28,964 21,127 -7,837
SEP IRA 172,301 131,142 -41,159
529 Savings 36,951 29,731 -7,220
Credit Card 0% Balance Transfers 0 0 0
Total Assets $574,427 $478,415 -$96,012 (-16.71%)

Ouch! The S&P 500 index has been at a receiving end of a major smackdown over the past ten days or so (down 28.16% since my last update!), and is now down to levels we haven't seen since 2003:

(chart courtesy of msn.com)

While fear and uncertainty has pretty much slammed the entire world, one of the few positives has been the corresponding fall in oil prices to below $80 per barrel, which could provide a little relief for pinched consumers of gasoline and home heating oil.

Moneywise, I plan on staying the course with the investments in my retirement accounts, just like I did after the tech bubble popped in 2000. I've advocated locking in CD rates now since rates are still attractive while banks are desperate for cash, but I am not confident that these rates will be around long. Following my own advice, I rolled my maturing E-LOAN 5.75% APY 2 year CD into a E-LOAN 5.25% APY 5 year CD.

One event of note to savers is the release of the September 2008 Consumer Price Index (CPI-U) inflation data on Thursday, October 16th, which will give us the rate of return for October 2008 issue I Bonds the next 12 month period. Even with a 0% premium over the rate of inflation, they could still be an attractive (and safe) place to put cash for the next year or so.


  • Nothing in Treasury bonds? You're going to need liquidity for the coming fall.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10/14/08, 4:37 AM  

  • Despite their inherent safety, I don't really find the anemic sub 1% yield on non-TIPS Treasuries to be that appealing. It seems like a million years ago since August 2007 when I put cash in T-Bills yielding 5%+...

    By Blogger Frugal Frugalson, at 10/14/08, 7:54 AM  

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