Picking up Nickels

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

January 2023 Financial Asset Roundup

Here are my current financial assets as of the market close on January 10th, 2023:

Asset Dec 2022 Jan 2023 Change

Checking 3,362 3,122 -240
Money Market 74,870 58,721 -16,149
Savings Bonds 219,086 220,956 1,870
Treasury Bills 55,000 60,000 5,000
CDs 43,384 43,489 105
Brokerage 277,450 294,626 17,176
401k 406,731 411,596 4,865
Roth IRA 226,217 227,189 972
SEP IRA 1,017,228 1,008,717 -8,511
529 Savings 163,568 163,568 0
Total Assets $2,486,896 $2,491,984 $5,088

The S&P 500 has pulled back, falling 1.79% (-2.08% YTD) since the last update. On the plus side, there was some positive news on the economy in late December where the third quarter GDP number was better than expected:

(chart courtesy of nasdaq.com)

On the jobs front, the unemployment rate for December fell to a historic low of 3.5%, with a better-than-expected 223,000 new jobs added. Oil prices are up somewhat to the $76 level (from $73). That translates to a local regular unleaded gasoline price of $2.99 (my first sub $3 purchase since 2021) and a heating oil price of $3.75 per gallon at my last fill-up.

On the financial front, I did the usual Fidelity 401k transaction (FSKAX) and Vanguard VTI purchase in my taxable brokerage account. I took the funds from my maturing 13 week T-Bills (3.415%) and put $20k into new ones with an investment rate of 4.522%. I've also been moving some cash from my Alliant Credit Union savings at 2.70% APY to the Vanguard Federal Money Market Fund (VMFXX) with a 4.21% 7 day yield in my Vanguard brokerage account.

An interesting last-minute 2022 development was the signing of the SECURE Act 2.0 on 12/29/22, which made several changes impacting retirement planning. One that I found particularly interesting was the ability to transfer up to $35,000 from a 529 college savings plan to a Roth IRA for the plan beneficiary. We're actually in the position where my children will finish their undergraduate studies with remaining 529 funds due to scholarships and the cost of the schools they chose to attend, which I assume is uncommon given the price of an education these days. My initial plan was to have these funds available for future graduate school expenses or the education of future grandchildren, but starting in 2024 we will have the option of using some of the excess college savings to fund several years' worth of Roth IRA contributions for my children. It's certainly a nice problem to have.

As for the rest, it's time to get started on 2022 business and personal tax returns and the corresponding solo 401k and Roth IRA contributions. Tomorrow is also the release date for the December 2022 Consumer Price Index (CPI-U) inflation data, which should give us a little more insight into how the new May 2023 I Bond rates are trending. I'm going to wait until the March 2023 CPI-U numbers come out 4/12/23 before making a final decision on an I Bond purchase, but will be keeping an eye on how inflation is trending until then.