Picking up Nickels

Monday, August 12, 2013

August 2013 Financial Asset Roundup

Here are my current financial assets as of the market close on August 9th, 2013:

Asset Jul
Checking 3,001 9,683 6,682
Money Market 41,957 32,538 -9,419
Savings Bonds 81,002 81,139 137
Treasury Bills 0 0 0
CDs 82,071 82,312 241
Brokerage 101,979 102,397 418
401k 120,332 124,584 4,252
Roth IRA 73,408 75,515 2,107
SEP IRA 375,337 385,923 10,586
529 Savings 86,086 88,888 2,802

Total Assets $965,173 $982,979 $17,806

The S&P 500 hit all time highs over the past month, up 2.35% since the last update:

(chart courtesy of msn.com)

On the jobs front, the unemployment rate for July fell to 7.4% yet was once again considered "disappointing" by some of the talking heads out there. Oil prices have been relatively flat over the past month (around $106), and hopefully we have the highest prices of the year behind us.

This month marks the 7th anniversary of this blog, which I started in August 2006. If you are reading this, I'd like to take this opportunity to thank you for stopping by. While I miss the era of 6% CDs and 5% savings accounts common back then, I have to admit that seeing my assets grow 123% since that time has really validated for me the approach I take to saving, investing, and spending. I can only imagine how I would feel if my assets grew at a similar rate over the next seven years and I was sitting on assets worth more than two million dollars in 2020!

On the financial front, the obvious place to start is that my assets have surpassed their previous all time high from May. However, the biggest issue looming is that there isn't much progress with Mrs. Frugalson's employment situation. Her salary and employer-provided health insurance have been a major boon for us over the past year, so hopefully we'll get some closure on that front pretty soon. I'm also having some issues determining how and if the poorly planned and implemented MA state computer services tax will impact my S Corp. Apparently there is a fine line between providing "technical services" as I do and "modifying" software (which is subject to a 6.25% sales tax) as spelled out in the legislation. Note to lawmakers: making the cost of my services more expensive is not the way to encourage small business growth and hiring. Please clarify and/or repeal this job-killer before other states take advantage of your folly!

As for the personal stuff, we had a nice family vacation in Maine a couple of weeks ago that turned out to be the calm before the storm. Since then, Mrs. Frugalson has spent a small fortune (evidenced by my large checking account balance) having a swimming pool installed at our home (i.e. "poolageddon"). I had a fun-filled weekend trying to clean up the mess that the Bobcat the pool installers used left in my yard. Unfortunately, I still have quite a bit more cleanup to take care of. I'm also looking getting a new car to replace my 15-year old Nissan, and I intend to start looking into getting central air conditioning installed in my home next month. On a lighter note, that kind of cash outlay should at least take care of any concerns I may have about what to do with the proceeds from some CDs that will mature over the next few months. :)