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February 23, 2010

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My investments are very boring these days. I don't trade & everything is at Fidelity.
51.67% invested in CDs ---------- Average yield to maturity 4.56% tax deferred - maturities 2010 - 2019.
48.33% invested in Muni Bonds - Average yield to maturity 4.96% tax exempt --- maturities 2010 - 2022.

Be careful, I read somewhere that the credit card companies and the mint have caught on to people buying coins and redepositing them for the reward points. So they are now treating any purchased coins via credit cards as cash advances. I would look into that.

http://articles.sfgate.com/2009-12-14/business/17224372_1_mint-cards-coins

Robert --

We'll see. The site says the charges "may" be treated that way. I figure that if they are, at least I would have something interesting to write about. :-)

By the way, I DO distribute the coins into the system -- which is the intent of the program -- I do not take them back to my bank for deposit.

Yeah, its nice you give them out as gifts. Its a shame that people took such advantage of the program. Unfortunately, alot of people will get hit with the cash advance fees unknowingly.

I am playing move my money game from a previously high interest rate savings account to other liquid investment vehicles such as high-yield checking and CDs with my credit union.

More of the same for me. My biggest "challenge" right now is maintaining my 50/50 value ratio between pre- and post-tax investment; my post-tax investments are doing better than my pre-tax ones, so I need to shift a little bit here and there to maintain the ratio. My currencies are out of whack with the rest of the portfolio, but I'm holding off on doing any currency moves until we find out what the IMF is up to and how the Eurozone handles the PIGS crisis'. (PIGS = Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain, btw.)

I suppose a unique financial thing I'm doing right now would be researching the costs of building vs buying a cabin to determine if I should build a cabin foundation this year. And I just helped some friends put together their very first budget with an automatic savings plan :)

Nothing too exciting here. I'm going to convert some traditional IRAs soon and I'm debating whether to move my Roth IRA from ShareBuilder to TD Ameritrade, where my traditional IRA is held. I'm also in the process of simplying/re-allocating our retirement accounts.

I've decided that I want to teach the Beginners Motorcycle Safety courses for the state of Illinois, which after training (paid for by the state), will pay about $350 for about 10 hours of work (on the weekends or in the evenings). Besides being something I really want to do, I get paid for it, AND I get a deduction from my insurance company. Sign me up!

Stephen --

That's a GREAT idea!!! Good for you!!

I'm about 75% in guaranteed accounts earning about 4%. The rest is split into 8 funds of differin types large mid small growth value and foreign. My own personal hedge fund if you will.

@
FMF I love the coins thing. 30 years ago a friend returned the $5 I lent her. She gave silver dollars. No, not the pure ones, just ordinary mix alloy. I still have them. I have never quite been able to part with them. BTW, I wwanted to give my grand daughters some silver dollars but after checking 5 banks, nobody had any. I even tried the Fed reserve in town. Couldn't get in the door. Everyone sent be to coin dealers. Any ideas where the big dollar coins can be gotten?

PS They liked the golden color dollar coins.

We're pretty much maintaining our current track. Here's what changed financially in the past month:

1. My husband invested another $1000 in our Scottrade account (mostly Pepsi I think) right after that big Friday fall a couple of weeks ago.

2. I threw in another $1000 to our current Roth IRA at the same time.

3. I moved our emergency fund from ING to Smarty Pig to take advantage of the 2% interest rate.

4. We're also waiting for a few more papers in the mail for our taxes...we have an early March appointment with our CPA.

5. My husband just wrapped up the reffing season of basketball...he's at home more until football starts again. That just means he has more time for grad classes and Curling (yes, my Texan hubby has taken up Curling...you know, the sport on ice)

6. We're only 4 months away from our last grad school bill, yay!

PS Now I'm looking into those coins as gift ideas...I loved interesting coins as a kid!

Robert and FMF -

I got my $500 in gold dollar coins yesterday and the purchase was recorded as a credit card purchase and not as a cash advance.

@FMF/Robert/Stoihi

Where are you getting these coins?

BillV,
The silver eagles are all being sold to the gullible as numismatic items....
a way to add an enormous markup to an item that was meant to be just a way
to enable people to own an ounce of silver. There will never be any rarity
to coins that are all SOLD as rarities fresh out of the mint.

BillV,

From the usmint.gov (Circulating $1 Coin Direct Ship Program).

1. Recently paid off a $25000 loan with a $438/month payment by fast-tracking $1200/month.

2. Saving to pay off a small $3000 student loan to pay for a semester of my master's program before a scholarship kicked in. Its the only debt we have for the degree and when its gone we will be completely debt free across the board.

3. Use $2000/month of savings (after debt paid off) evenly split between emergency/reserve fund and other savings goals (wife's Roth, new car, travel)

4. Continue fully funding my TSP and Roth every month.

1. I recently converted our traditional IRAs to Roths
2. I am continually moving small chunks of our various savings accounts (house, car, emergency) into Smarty Pig from other online banks. I am keeping the amounts in the $1-2k range so that when we need some money I do not have to close the whole goal and start it over, thereby losing a few days of interest.
3. Trying where to decide where to go to grad school (accepted to one, still waiting on the second, only applied to 2) and hoping for some sort of fellowship

Next up is trying to figure out the finances for grad school (we make too much and are too good at saving to get anything need based), where my wife and I will live while I am in grad school, where my wife is going to work when we move back to the States for grad school, etc. Just the little stuff.

@stoihi/harm
Thanks. Is that for both the gold coins FMF is talking about as well as silver dollars.

BillV --

I get my gold dollar coins from the US Mint, if that's what you're asking.

BillV,

The gold dollar coins only. I do not know where you can get silver dollars from.

FMF,

I would be curious to know what percentage allocations you are going for in your investments at this time. As I am trying to figure that out myself. You know, what is a good allocation and all that? I do realize that it would be individual specific but would love to know your ideas.

Thanks.

Jimmy --

I'm still working on the specifics, but I'll have the majority in stocks -- just need to decide the US/international split.

Cool. Thanks for the response.

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