Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Penny Power 2012: How My Change Jar Stacked Up and Where It's Going

Another January 1st, another iteration of my annual tradition: count up the jar of loose, found change I've been collecting all year and figure out what the best use of it is among my various investments and/or implied yield from eliminating debt. This is how it all turned out last year.
Just a few days before now, I got a new change jar:

...and thanks to this jar, I already know how much is in it without dumping out the coins and counting them up:

Kind of ruins my little tradition, but oh well. It's a neat change jar (or at least the lid is neat). 

$11.47, not much to work with. That's ok though because the point of this has never been to get huge amounts of cash, just the little bits of value that people carelessly leave laying on the ground. I like to say, it's not worth much, but it's not worth nothing.

Funny side note about this: when I was attending Washington State U., I noticed that you could always tell that it was a new semester by the frequency of finding coins on the ground around campus. At the start of each semester, financial aid cash was flowing through student's hands like water, and the sidewalks would be littered with coins (sometimes even $20 bills, though I suspect that had more to do with the aftermath of a bar crawl than anything else). Everyone was flush, so everyone was careless. As the semester wore on, the coins became fewer and fewer until there were literally none to be found anywhere.

I digress. So last year I selected a credit card balance to be the recipient of my 2011 Penny Power jar funds, which gave me an implied annual yield (savings on future interest) of 18%. 
This year, I'm dumping this small sum into my Forex account, which is with Oanda. $11.47 certainly is not a great deal to work with in Forex (or any investment, for that matter), but with the way Oanda does things, it can be worked with. I'll be adding it into my existing account anyway, not trading the sum by itself, so it's just some more fuel for the fire. Currently I have that fire burning to the tune of a 66% overall account gain as I type this (mostly thanks to a Yen short I have on, since the Japanese are once again demonstrating their commitment to destroying their own currency). There's no guarantee that I can keep that up, but among the alternatives available to me, this one is the most appealing right now (especially since tonight the U.S. House of Representatives has approved the latest tax code band-aid ending the so-called fiscal cliff farce; now my "risk-on" USD short trades, particularly some daily high interest yielders, are sailing comfortably into the black).

Onward into 2013 and more free money collecting! If the sidewalks and parking lots have not much-to-nothing to give to me, then as per my old informal Washington State U. student cash flow economic indicator that I described above, I'll have another small piece of my own evidence that an Obama economy is a sucky economy!

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