Picking up Nickels

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

September 2012 Financial Asset Roundup

I'll never forget where I was eleven years ago. I was listening to the radio while doing some work for clients in my home office when a news flash broke in to the broadcast to report that a plane had crashed into one of the towers at the World Trade Center in New York City. The initial report led me to believe that this was a tragic accident and an isolated incident, and I wondered how something like that could happen with all of the technical advances available to us in this day and age. Then a second plane crashed into the other tower at the World Trade Center, and it finally dawned on me that the USA was under attack. As I turned on the TV for more information on this inconceivable event, I was horrified to see one tower fall followed by the other. Thousands of people were dead, many more had to flee the scene in a sea of humanity covered by the dust and debris that blanketed the area. Questions raced through my mind. Why? Who would do this? What kind of world will my toddler inherit when such an attack on us and our way of life is possible? Some of those questions have been answered in the ensuing years, but I will never forget how our lives changed on 9/11/2001.

Now, on to more ho-hum things. Here are my current financial assets as of the market close on September 10th, 2012:

Asset Aug 2012 Sep 2012 Change
Checking 791 332 -459
Money Market 45,036 57,591 12,555
Savings Bonds 66,744 66,926 182
Treasury Bills 0 0 0
CDs 68,714 55,875 -12,839
Brokerage 105,433 114,079 8,646
401k 103,014 105,857 2,843
Roth IRA 58,208 59,418 1,210
SEP IRA 311,852 317,830 5,978
529 Savings 68,944 70,889 1,945
Total Assets $828,736 $848,797 $20,061
      2.42%



The S&P 500 has continued an upward trend, rising 1.65% since the last update:

(chart courtesy of msn.com)

On the jobs front, the unemployment rate for August fell to 8.1%, although the typical accompanying bad news tagged along for the ride as a reported 368,000 people stopped looking for work. Oil prices have ticked up to around $97 and one wonders if the impact of Hurricane Isaac will continue to inflate prices in the short term.

On the financial front, I was pleasantly surprised to see that my asset levels have once again reached an all time high, surpassing the previous peak from last month. It's kind of a scary thought (and I don't want to jinx myself), but the milestone of being a "paper millionaire" actually seems to be within reach. I find it amazing that I could add an additional $400k to my bottom line since September 2006 in spite of the economic slowdown, the loss of my largest client, and ever increasing costs for food, energy, and healthcare.

The only other point worth mentioning is that Mrs. Frugalson has officially returned to the workforce for the first time since Bill Clinton resided at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Along with her salary, she will be eligible for employer-provided healthcare and dental insurance, which is something we haven't seen around these parts for quite some time. As someone who has been beating the drum about frighteningly high annual health care cost increases since the early days of this blog, this is an amazing development that will save my family thousands of dollars every year. To say that I am thrilled is a gross understatement. :) We will end up with far better coverage for a fraction of the cost (to us, anyway) with much smaller (and sometimes zero) co-payments. I suppose a health care premium price increase post for 2012 is in order, although I'll have to think about an appropriate format as we transition away from my S Corp's health insurance plan.

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