October 2011 Financial Asset Roundup
|Asset||Sep 2011||Oct 2011||Change|
The S&P 500 volatility has continued since the last update, rising 3.52% during that time:
(chart courtesy of msn.com)
On the jobs front, the unemployment rate for September remained at 9.1% although hiring was stronger than expected. Oil prices have once again remained somewhat flat, falling slightly from about $86 per barrel to around $85 per barrel. And of course, financial uncertainty continues around the world with the European debt crisis and the "Occupy"protests across the country.
On the financial front, I had a 4 year Penfed CD @6.00% APY mature at the end of September and put $5k of that idle cash toward some Series I savings bonds at treasurydirect.gov. On a related note, we're also due to get the September 2011 Consumer Price Index (CPI-U) inflation data next week which should shed some light on Series I savings bond purchases starting in November. I've also been keeping an eye on the Procter & Gamble (PG) stock price, since I'll be looking to sell my position before the end of the year to take advantage of the 0% tax on dividends and capital gains.
On the borrowing front, I bit the bullet and am attempting to refinance my existing 30 year home mortgage to a 15 year @ 3.125% at a small regional credit union. The process has actually progressed pretty quickly, although I've come to find out that applying for the loan on the credit union web site has actually been less efficient and more convoluted than contacting their mortgage originator directly. Oh well, being self employed I was fully expecting a process akin to a full body cavity search anyway. :) Oh, and one more thing... I have taken the plunge and pre-ordered an iPhone 4s from Verizon to replace my ancient 4+ year old LG phone. It's probably a bit weird for someone with a technical background like mine to just be getting a smartphone now, but my dread of a higher phone bill has been offset by the increase in functionality and productivity that I'm hoping to gain.