Picking up Nickels

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Cartoon: A humorous look at the Fed rate cut

I couldn't help but chuckle when I saw Dan Wasserman's cartoon in the Sunday Boston Globe:

I admit that this cartoon is obviously a gross simplification of how many subprime borrowers got into their current predicament. However, I do think that it is an interesting commentary on the impact of the 9/18 Fed rate cut on homeowners struggling to make mortgage payments and the predatory lenders that helped put them in that situation.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Deposit rates already falling after Fed rate cut

Well, it has begun.

ING Direct has already cut deposit rates. The Orange Savings Account rate has been cut from 4.50% to 4.30% APY, and the rates on the tiered Electric Orange checking account have also been cut:

  • 4.00% -> 3.50% APY for balances up to $50,000
  • 5.25% -> 4.90% APY for balances between $50,000 and $100,000
  • 5.30% -> 5.00% APY for balances of $100,000 or more
E-Loan has followed suit, dropping the 5.55% APY 3 month and 5 year CD rates that I locked in over the past few weeks to 5.35% and 5.30%, respectively.

I'm sure there are many more rate cuts out there, but it does appear that mortgage lenders IndymacBank and Countrywide Bank are continuing to offer market-leading rates on FDIC-insured CD accounts. Perhaps the liquidity problem isn't over just yet...

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Capital One Money Market $25 Signup Bonus through 11/30/07

Capital One Direct Banking has joined ING Direct by offering a $25 referral bonus for opening a High Yield Money Market Account.

Here's how it works:

Click on the link below to open a Capital One High Yield Money Market Account by 11/30/2007 and you will receive a $25 bonus (and I will get a $15 bonus). You'll get yourself a no fee, no minimum balance FDIC-insured savings account that is currently offering an APY of 4.40%.
To qualify for this bonus, you must use the link below:


When filling out the application at the Capital One web site, be sure to enter Offer Code AM3VHP8DF to get the $25 bonus.


Tuesday, September 11, 2007

September 2007 Financial Asset Roundup

Here are my current financial assets as of the market close on September 10th, 2007:

Asset August 2007 September 2007 Change
Checking 470 376 -94
Money Market 52,545 52,393 -152
Savings Bonds 4,575 4,591 16
Treasury Bills 9,000 0 -9,000
CDs 58,600 68,840 10,240
Brokerage 105,222 106,272 1,050
401k 100,019 100,389 370
Roth IRA 33,063 33,141 78
SEP IRA 172,515 176,087 3,572
529 Savings 34,868 35,479 611
Credit Card 0% Balance Transfers -19,075 -18,875 200
Total Assets $551,802 $558,693 $6,891 (1.2%)

As the "subprime slime" mortgage situation continues the S&P 500 index has slipped another 0.08% since my last update. My bottom line was still up a bit, although that number was buoyed by an additional 2007 SEP IRA contribution:

(chart courtesy of msn.com)

Other than the 5 year E-Loan CD @5.55% APY I opened three weeks ago, I haven't made any significant money moves over the past month. However, the rumblings of a
September 18th FOMC rate cut are making me strongly consider throwing some more cash into a 3 month E-Loan CD @5.55% APY before the FOMC meets next week.