April 2011 Financial Asset Roundup
|Asset||Mar 2011||Apr 2011||Change|
The S&P 500 has rebounded 2.27% since the last update despite the ongoing political unrest in the Middle East and the ever-worse earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster in Japan:
(chart courtesy of msn.com)
The unemployment rate for March improved once again as it fell to 8.8% as 216,000 jobs were gained. Oil prices have continued to rise during that time, gaining from about $101 per barrel to almost $110 per barrel. I paid $3.69 for a gallon of gasoline on Sunday (up from $3.43 one month ago) and wonder how high prices will go and what the impact on our rebounding economy will be.
On the financial front, my asset levels have continued to climb and have surpassed my all time high from February. One thing I will be keeping an eye on is the CPI-U number for March 2011, which is due to be released on Friday. Since inflation has been on the rise, May 2011 issue I Bonds could be an interesting place to put some cash once we get past the anemic 0.74% offered for bonds issued through the end of April. I've also finished my personal tax returns and already have my refund sitting in my checking account. With few attractive options for a landing spot for that money (other than I Bonds), I'm thinking of just throwing that cash toward my mortgage. I'm still not sure though... I also was shocked to find myself in the 15% federal tax bracket, with my reduced income impacting me a bit more than I initially figured. The worst part is that I had some room to pay 0% tax on dividends and capital gains that I missed out on. I guess I'll have to keep that in mind as 2011 progresses.
On the work front, I am keeping busy and am extremely pleased to have renewed my contract with my largest client for another year. I just need to keep the revenue coming in so I can fully fund my 2010 SEP IRA contributions and get the 2010 federal and state tax extensions squared away for my S Corp. Good times!