February 2012 Financial Asset Roundup
|Asset||Jan 2012||Feb 2012||Change|
The S&P 500 has continued the upward swing since the last update, rising 4.62% during that time:
(chart courtesy of msn.com)
On the jobs front, the unemployment rate for January fell once again dropping to 8.3%, the lowest level since February 2009. Oil prices have remained flat at around $102 per barrel, although gasoline prices are starting to rise with the everlasting turmoil in the Middle East and the coming increase in gasoline consumption that arrives along with the warmer weather.
On the financial front, my asset levels have once again reached an all time high, surpassing the previous high from May 2011 and hopefully the improving job market will spark some long term optimism in the stock market. I purchased $10,000 worth of Series I Savings Bonds at treasurydirect.gov in late January and will receive any Federal tax refund I may be due via the paper I Bond "loophole". I also made my full 2011 SEP IRA contribution for my S Corp last week, although that contribution is not yet reflected in the above numbers since the check hasn't cleared yet. And finally, my S Corp tax returns are ready to be filed and I have everything I need to file my personal returns except for 1099 forms from Vanguard and E*Trade.
And finally, I'm scheduled to have surgery tomorrow to repair a ruptured tendon in my arm. I'm very nervous about the surgery and the long recovery time, but I realize that I need to get this done so that I can resume my normal activities like exercising and performing handyman duties around the house. Fortunately, this injury shouldn't impact my work life very much because I'm an IT professional who sits at a computer all day, but the costs to my bottom line due to this injury will still be pretty significant. The first financial hit has been the various healthcare costs I've already been dealing with (emergency room/hospital, MRI, physician, medications, etc.) despite the pretty good HMO coverage we have, which was followed up by all of the tasks I will have to now pay others to do (car maintenance, snow removal, yard work, home repair, etc.). Another gotcha is not being able to actively manage my grocery shopping strategy for a while, and we will be trying out the Peapod grocery delivery service to get us through the initial period of my recovery which will keep us fed but at a higher price than I am used to paying. With Mrs. Frugalson already being buried alive by the last few months of her grad school work, my injury came at a terrible time (is there ever a good time?) and it is going to cost us some of our cash cushion to get through this. I will be a happy camper once the summer comes and my injury and my wife's school work will hopefully be things that we will laugh about.