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t-bills

October 9th, 2013 at 09:57 pm

I haven't invested in 4 week t-bills in many years, ever since 2008. Why invest at 0%? But I have followed them, if nothing else to show that I'd do a better job finding money on the sidewalk. I looked at the 4 week t-bills today, and the Tuesday auction yielded .350%. Quite a jump from 0.

To play along, here: http://www.treasurydirect.gov/RI/OFBills

Looks like not everybody has faith that Congress will get it together and not raise the debt ceiling next week.

so do you like me or not?

March 4th, 2012 at 06:54 pm

You be the judge...

Friday: Unless you bring $100K to us,

Text is you aren't worth it and Link is http://www.marketplace.org/topics/business/chase-slips
you aren't worth it. This from Chase Bank.

Saturday: From my mailbox, a little blue envelope that apparently states that I would get $125 if I signed up for Chase checking.

Hmm. Well which is it? Yeah, I can bring a 100K for you, but at $125 and no interest, you aren't worth it.

BECU ATM going away

March 3rd, 2012 at 06:58 pm

You might remember that I jumped ship from Chase to the credit union because the credit union had a banking node and 2 ATMs in my neighborhood grocery store. Banking node and 1 ATM left in early December for Northgate. As I got money at the ATM left over, I read the sticker. The ATM left over will go away on the 22nd.

Bummer. I can still get money at the point of sale at the grocery store, and I can deposit money at the branch downtown. Or I can displace - I can count the money in the tip box, and transfer that to savings, and spend the original.

Still - the ever shifting sands that is banking and credit union-ing is getting to me. You have branches that go away, and you have mergers between a bank you like (ING) and a bank you don't (Cap One), so suddenly you have savings in a place you hate.

No wonder people spend - the more you have saved, the more the money moves beyond your control irk you.

credit union doings

December 20th, 2011 at 09:14 pm

Had a late lunch el desko and decided after to run an errand - get a little bit of money from the downtown branch of the CU.

Quite the line, even at 2pm on a Tuesday.

That's kind of the way its going. The neighborhood branch in the Safeway has now gone - they did leave one ATM which now routinely has a big line in front of it. And now the checkouts also run short on twenties.

The things we do to avoid big banks. Adjustments have to be made.

done with the heavy lifting

December 3rd, 2011 at 06:35 pm

I'm almost done with the deciding about who to give and what to get them for Xmas, and with the exception of one item, I am done with shopping for the hardest recipient: MIL. Since she now has a Nook, I aimed for a couple of BN gift cards hidden in a homemade cheese-based gift basket. Collection phase is over, wrapping, packing and shipping remains.

Noticed that two of my dividend stocks WEC and SYY are raising their dividend. WEC especially is nice - 6 cent per share increase. To cheer me up because stock prices are so volatile, I totaled the dividend payments I would get if I stopped now and decided not to re-invest. $260.

Last night I lost my ATM card at the grocery store. Today I appeared at the credit union, bright eyed and managed to get a new card in about 15 minutes. I'll miss that (the CU at the grocery store is leaving as of Monday). I rarely lose stuff, so it was fortunate I got it all over with. I mentioned their move and the guy who got me the new card told me that they will keep one of the two ATMs, but will remove it as soon as another bank or CU goes into that space.

Finished the first week w/o our boss, who is on maternity leave. One down, twenty five more to go.

the next issue

November 9th, 2011 at 08:40 pm

I got a note from my credit union yesterday. They are moving their neighborhood banking center and ATM from the Safeway. Now I normally don't care much about the banking center - I use direct deposit and another banking center downtown is what I use for snafus - but I'm not very happy about the ATMs going.

Oh, and every time I think "I should get a financial planner", well, karma delivers the reason

Text is why and Link is http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/45221933/ns/business-us_business/#.TrtUzHJIjMw
why. Geez, I think I can screw up by myself and for free.

Treasury Direct doings

October 22nd, 2011 at 07:22 pm

Not much happening on any of the financial fronts, but if you have some Ibonds or an electronic account with Treasury Direct, I note that they are

Text is changing their logins and Link is http://www.treasurydirect.gov/indiv/myaccount/changes_treasurydirect.htm
changing their logins - soon there won't be a need for that secret code card.

Its the damn downside of investments. If you have diversity, you tend to have diverse websites, and you have diverse passwords. I'm getting old and website account maintanence of any form is not exciting. In this case, I'd prefer to kill a tree.

I've sometimes wondered...

July 22nd, 2011 at 08:33 pm

what the 30s were like. In the next few months, I worry that we'll all find out.

I got the checks I ordered. Nice. I'm being dinged $40 as a late payment from the landlord and I'm not sure why. I've found that the credit union's bill pay can be useful, but its slow, and doubly slow when the receiver doesn't seem to handle the EFT well. Far faster to write a check, date it, and stop by the landlord. Not to say that I'm completely reverting back to primitive, I'm just bowing to the best way depending on the payee.

The check patterns were fun - if I wanted a Scooby Doo checks, or Cruella De Vil, well, I know where to go. But the safest is the classiest. Imagine writing a mortgage check on the Scooby Doos. Smile

Am back at 167, and I'm making progress on the database. It seems unstable lately - it bombed out on me several times today.

paper checks

July 15th, 2011 at 08:53 pm

Yeah, I broke down and ordered a box of paper checks for my credit union account. I can transfer about 95% of my transactions using bill pay, but somehow its just so satisfying to give a person a paper check. Write it give it to them and its done, versus sending it, making sure the other person clicks on the link blah blah blah.

As I was waiting for my name to be called to order the box, I idly watched the ATM line. How come when I get to the machine, it takes thirty seconds, and it takes the guy ahead of me five minutes? ATM performance anxiety, me thinks.

Also got a check from Bank of Montreal for a fractional share as my old bank stock went away. Turns out that yes, the new bank stock is a full Drp, and one can optional cash payments (can pay in US dollars), so I went in and signed up for dividend reinvestment.

Capital One won

June 16th, 2011 at 10:50 pm

ING is being sold to Capital One. We'll see what that means in the next few weeks.

just when I got my money in the spots I like ...

June 12th, 2011 at 06:57 pm

Turns out that the US branch of ING (ING is a Dutch bank) is

Text is on the verge of being bought and Link is http://money.msn.com/business-news/article.aspx?feed=AP&date=20110610&id=13757039
on the verge of being bought, supposedly by either GE or Capital One.

I don't know what that means for me, but I'm fairly sure that 1% interest rate on a highly liquid "checking" (I put that in quotes because you need a very high balance) account is not in the cards.

Sucks, and I'll hold on until the timetable is published (SEC supposedly won't let you secretly sell) but its time to relook.

firmly in the 21st century

May 28th, 2011 at 10:07 pm

Well, I had an entry yesterday but my Firefox burped and the site ate it and it was gone. Let me summarize:

I moved my checking from Chase to a local credit union, and was asked whether I needed checks. Since I am 49, I was taken aback - you mean people don't use checks. Turns out that I only have 4 places that I use checks regularly ... so I've become one of those people who don't use checks. I set up two bill pays, two more to go should I need them. I feel like I'm the 21st century.

I will have to go back to monitoring my spending - I've had to dip into my savings twice this month. Its one thing if its inflation or bad luck or I spent a bit on some fun, but its another thing if there's a mindless leak that I can do something about.

So far in the two last weeks I spent on two out-to-eat lunches, one with a woman I met on the Vietnam tour (to be honest I didn't think I made any friends), the other with screenwriter friend and partner of lawyer friend; money on net rice papers that were a lattice instead of solid (those were $1.49 per package, so not a bank breaker), some on pork sausage, ginger, rhubarb, and other groceries to make cha gio; the sewer water garbage bill; to take one class in garden mosaic art; paint, brushes, sandpaper to artistically 'distress' the picture frames I got at the neighborhood yard sale - so so far, I've spent on needs, social, and fun that I'm going to implement. No mindless leak has appeared yet.

Two days ago I began to harvest some baby lettuces that I've been growing in a two foot bowl with wheels. This year I was clever - I planted the lettuces in a big "X", so that no matter when I got around to weeding and harvesting, I knew what's in my pot. Last year I planted randomly, and what happened is that the lettuces sprouted randomly, along with the weeds. It was okay for a few weeks, but then the weeds got the better of me. Planting the "X" means that I can also plant another "X" between the older "X" for a later harvest.

happy Mother's Day

May 8th, 2011 at 08:48 pm

Happy Mother's Day, or perhaps Happy Mothers' Day. I'll go generic since me mum died in 2003.

Some doings on the fiscal front for the small money. I've still have to remember that I bank at the credit union instead of my bank. Just yesterday when I planned my day I plan to hit the bank then... no, no scratch that, hit the credit union in the Safeway.

The interest rate on both checking and saving is 6% on the first $500, 0.1% on anything above it. It means that I have to figure out when to slice off some savings when it gets to be $1000 or so. ($500 @ 6%, $500 @ about 0% ... 3% is about my target). This time around I had $300 that I put into my Sysco (SYY) drip.

The variable interest rate on the I-bonds for these next 6 months is 4.6%.

Small money making small money. It feels as slow as being on a pumpkin pulled by gerbils, still every little bit of money is making something.

Right now I'm immersed in portfolio construction. Best book I've read so far is The Perfect Portfolio by Leland Hevner. Its interesting because it gives one a real nuts and bolts view of constructing a core and specialty investment portfolio. The Kiplinger book on portfolio construction reads like the same ol' same ol'.