Picking up Nickels

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

January 2010 Financial Asset Roundup

Here are my current financial assets as of the market close on January 11th, 2010:

Asset Dec 2009 Jan 2010 Change
Checking 10,637 371 -10,266
Money Market 45,489 40,663 -4,826
Savings Bonds 25,865 25,955 90
Treasury Bills 0 0 0
CDs 100,520 111,797 11,277
Brokerage 85,538 86,592 1,054
401k 84,117 87,861 3,744
Roth IRA 33,966 40,337 6,371
SEP IRA 191,917 199,268 7,351
529 Savings 41,070 42,478 1,408
Total Assets $619,119 $635,322 $16,203

The Santa Claus Rally has continued into 2010 as S&P 500 index rose 3.67% since the last update:

(chart courtesy of msn.com)

The unemployment rate remained at 10% for December, but the payroll number for November was revised to a net gain of 4,000 jobs, the first increase in almost two years. The price for crude oil has been trending up since last month, but it has eased a bit to about $81 per barrel as warmer weather is expected.

As for money moves, I had a small 1 year @ 2.90% APY CD mature at Patelco Credit Union earlier this month and moved that cash along with some money sitting in money market accounts to a Penfed 5 year @ 3.50% APY CD. I can also yet again claim that I've eclipsed my previous peak in financial assets for the fourth month in a row.

My next area of focus is tax time. During the first quarter this year I'll need to get my 2009 S Corp taxes, SEP IRA contribution, and reporting nailed down followed up with my personal tax returns. Once that is done I'll get to find out if my largest client is interested in renewing our contract in Q2. :)

Monday, January 04, 2010

Penfed "high yield" January CD promotion

Pentagon Federal Credit Union is once again offering very competitive long term CD rates to start the new year. Kudos to The Bank Deals Blog for being on top of this yet again. It's not quite like the 6.25% APY Penfed offering of three years ago (has it really been that long?), but the new rates are among the best currently available:

  • 3-Year: 3.00% APY
  • 4-Year: 3.25% APY
  • 5-Year: 3.50% APY
  • 7-Year: 3.75% APY (down from 4.00% APY in December 2009)

On New Year's Day I put some cash into Penfed 5 year CDs. While the rate isn't wonderful, it's a reasonable parking place for now considering the financial strength of Penfed, federal deposit insurance (via NCUA), and a pretty reasonable six month dividend penalty for early withdrawal. Please note that these rates could disappear at any time, so I would grab these CDs ASAP if you're so inclined.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Merry New Year!

Happy New Year and welcome to 2010! The stock market roller coaster, job losses, plummeting real estate values, and economic uncertainty of the past 12+ months made 2009 a lousy year for many of us.

Here's to the hope that 2010 will be much better on all of those fronts and then some (particularly if you are on a train and disguised as an exchange student from Cameroon):