I have (had) a fair amount of cash sitting at Virtualbank. Part of it is earmarked for paying off my 0% credit card balance in January. The rest is savings. I’ve been using it to purchase I Bonds for a month now and plan to continue on that path at least until the new rates are announced in May of 2006. Virtualbank is paying 3.55% which by today’s standards kind of sucks…
So I’ve decided to move some money around to increase my return. Here’s the plan:
- Move the bulk of the 0% balance and a few extra thousand to my HSBC account (currently paying 4%). Their transfers are a little slower than Virtualbank but the additional interest more than makes for the couple of days they take advantage of my float.
- Since Virtualbank is already set up with TreasuryDirect I’ve decided to leave enough cash there to complete the funding of my I Bond purchase through April 2006. At that point I’ll re-evaluate whether I Bonds are still the right choice for my early retirement cash flow funds.
- In order to get some additional gain out of the above funds I’ve decided to purchase some 28-day Treasury Bills. Thanks to Jonathan at MyMoneyBlog for the idea. I’ve scheduled the purchase and will be earning just under 4% for the next 28 days. I’ve left enough in the Virtualbank account for the next round of I Bonds at the end of this month.
- I’ve also funded my risk-capital brokerage account @ Ameritrade. I’ve had the account for several years but haven’t traded in close to a year as I needed the cash for the other expenses we’ve shelled out this year. Since we’re relatively stable for now I think it’s time to reward myself with a little play money… 🙂 I’ll post about this account as I find ideas and execute on them over the next several months.
- I’m going to explore other brokerage accounts as well. Ameritrade is fairly reasonable and allows me to trade on margin and write calls but they don’t allow bond trading. More on this later as I explore the world of Muni’s in order to reduce our future tax load.
All this activity has had my money in the ether for several days. Sort of annoys me that a transaction that should (and in reality does) take only a few seconds get stretched into days so my banks can make some money off of my funds……