Coffee heat rising

Not bankrupt after all?

Despite the extreme market volatility and the various grim economic prognoses, so far my December investment statements come bearing news nowhere near as hideous as expected.

My big IRA went up by $2,000 last month. The Vanguard funds rose $5,000 in December. TIAA-CREF, in the past highly sensitive to recession, went up $40 over the past quarter. I haven’t received the quarterly report for the Fidelity funds in my 403(b), but the same guys who run my IRA and advised me how to invest in Vanguard also told me what to do with my contributions to Fidelity, and so I’m hoping that statement will show about the same results.

Though I’m certainly not getting rich here (or even keeping up with inflation), at least I’m not losing money. Given the situation, that’s pretty good.

Interesting what these guys have invested in. Hmmm…they’ve stashed a fair amount in cash: 45 grand in the money market, another ten grand in cash reserves. But we remain invested in American Express, Bank of America, Berkshire Hathaway, Caterpillar (need lots of tractors, presumably, in Iraq and Afghanistan)…ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil, Occidental Petroleum (they like oil)…General Electric (they like energy overall). And get this: they like junk food: McDonald’s, Yum Brands.

Awww…lookit this photo: junk food is good for young love! Doesn’t that warm the cockles of your capitalist heart?

They’ve dumped some stuff…Seagate gone. Actually, they’ve dumped a lot of stuff: this statement is signficantly shorter than it has been in the past. Fewer stocks, more mutual funds. And I’ve never seen them move so much into cash holdings.

Well, my shirt may be slightly frayed, but at least I still have a shirt. This is not the time that I would like to retire, perforce by layoff. However, if it happens, apparently I won’t starve.