Mother, why do we work?

When I was young, I didn’t ask much questions concerning work life. The average Belgian guy goes to school, learns a profession or goes to university and starts his career. At the age of 60-something, you retire and enjoy life. Along the way, most people start a family, buy a house and do some travelling or other entertainment. It’s what we are indoctrinated at home and learn at school. There’s just no other way to live.

Concerning me, coming from a normal middle-class family, I never thought it could be any different. Study well, get a nice degree with a decent income and save for a house. Tralalala, boring. Working for 45 years, enjoy your last “good” years and then become a needy, old grandpa. Would you sign up for this kind of life?

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That was until I got to know the concept of FIRE. At the first glance, I was amazed about the possibilities of early retirement. The power of compounding interest, especially at an early age, is endless. I didn’t need much persuasion, I was immediately a strong supporter of the DGI strategy. I added a bit of value investing myself (based on Graham, Buffett), to prevent me from overpaying and only pay a price that I am happy to pay. The strategy became real.

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But now, why do we work? For the money, at least the majority of the people. We sell our skills and time, and in return we ask money. The money is used to cover our cost of living, going from the bare need expenses to outrageous luxury. Over the years, our standards have become higher, we always want more. If we don’t, we don’t consider ourselves happy. It’s not only about security, safety or survival anymore. Spending becomes some kind of social status, a competition we don’t like losing.

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Who wouldn’t like to go for a late night swim with a panoramic view on NYC?

Money has never been the ultimate goal to me, although it is the currency used to reach the ultimate goal: freedom and fulfillment. The freedom to choose what paths you walk in life, the freedom of not having to work a boring job to cover your yearly expenses, the freedom of choice. It’s something I heavily lack right now. My life is tight scheduled and doesn’t have much room for own input. This should better in 1-1,5 years, but that’s another subject.

Fullfillment on the other hand, is something that continues on the path of freedom according to me. Once we have freedom, we can start working at our inner fullfillment. To me, fullfillment comes from accomplishing your personal goals, the things that really interest you. Whether they are work or non-work related, doesn’t matter. By selling your time on a daily basis to your employer, we accept the opportunity cost of not being able to invest the time in something that really matters to us. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t say people should hate work. Ideally, our job is our hobby.

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Unfortunately, this isn’t the case for most people. I would for instance love to have my own investment vehicle and own a couple of businesses, but this is not the case. A) I don’t have enough money and B) I lack knowledge.
I would also love to learn spanish, travel the world, shake the hand of Buffett himself, visit companies all over the world, obtain a helicopter pilot certificate… which isn’t possible right now due to lack in time and money.

When I chose the way I would go, I admit money was a big factor. It has given me financial success, reaching €100k at age 21. It has also given me frustration, lack of me-time, opportunity cost of learning other things, social compromises… Eventually, everybody has his own ups and downs in the job, as long as the end-balance is positive, we shouldn’t regret anything. I chose to give up a couple of years of my life living a life other people don’t want, in order to live the rest of my life as other people can’t.

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This whole money thing seems pretty obvious, although I don’t like the psychological factor of it. Being an employee, we only make the business owners wealthier or better long-term. I have always preferred ‘owning’ things, and this isn’t different with businesses. Ideally, other people work for you. Many people choose the life as employee out of fear, the fear of not succeeding themselves or the fear of not having an income. I’d rather take the shot, blame myself for failure and keep trying. I prefer the fast lane as ERE formulates it.

Then why did I decide to go with the army? While money was a factor, there was another big one too. Personal development & leaderskills. The formation I follow, prepares me to be a platoon commander. Child language: I am supposed to manage 30-50 people. This managing task isn’t only in  good circumstances, but also in more risky situations (some life threatening even, if we take it into the extreme). Having the opportunity to manage that amount of people at my age, is a gift. In my view, if one can manage people in shitty situations, good situations should be a walk in the park. Robert Kiyosaki, author of Rich dad poor dad, joined the army for the exact same reason. I only figured out this one lately. Did you know that Alex Gorsky (CEO of Johnson&Johnson) graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point? (This is an Officer formation). He spent six years in the United States Army, finishing his career with the rank of captain and earning the Ranger tab and Airborne wings. He served in Europe, the United States, and Panama. (source: wikipedia) Point is, even though life sucks sometimes (ok, pretty often), I should come out a better version of myself. These skills taught are hard to find through other instances/companies… and I am sure they will prove usefull in later life. I want to keep on learning and investing in myself.

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Have you ever made similar decisions? Did you ever choose to walk down a path which can only bare fruits in the long-term?

Results 2016 & Goals 2017

Time for an examination of how the portfolio has grown through 2016 and if I was able to accomplish all the goals set.

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Let’s start with a small recap of the original goals for 2016:

1. Invest a fresh €20,000 in the stock market to improve my dividend income and work my net worth towards €50,000.

–> Smashed it! I already hit the target with only my work income, but I decided to transfer cash savings to my broker account to invest too. I saw no point in having 30K+ in cash… 30,000 employees just laying still?!

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FYI, including dividend reinvestment, I poured €41,800 into the stock market.
Next year will be significantly less as this was due to a non-recurring event.

2. Put at least €10,000 out of the €20,000 in ‘iShares Core S&P 500 UCITS ETF – Acc’ (CSPX).

–> Failed miserably. Why? I invested all the money in individual stocks. I couldn’t restrain myself from seeing op
portunities in the market (and they didn’t turn out to be bad).

3. Clean my portfolio some more

–> Succeeded +/-. As I didn’t start with the same knowledge and strategy as know (actually pretty much no strategy), I had 3 stocks I didn’t want to hold for the long-term. I still have 2 of them in my portfolio, but the news surprised in a good way so I’ll be holding onto them longer to maximize gains and eventually sell.

4. Receive at least €1,000 in dividends

–> Kaboom!  €1088.76 in dividends were received. Next to this I received €244 intrest on a 8k bond. I also received some chump change intrest on my cash, but too small to be noticeable.

 
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5. Stay in shape

–> Accomplished.


I can be a happy man looking back to 2016. It has been a good year.


2017… Bring it on.

Goals?

2017 goals in letterpress wood type1. Invest €26,000 in the stock market. I expect income to be around €30,000 and expenses around €4,000. This will be a tough challenge.

2. At least €6,000 in an index tracker
(i.e. S&P500 or All-World)
. A lower target than 2016 has been set as I would like to reach
the target this year and gain more investments
with less time consuming characteristics.

3. Receive €2,250 in dividends. This doesn’t look very ambitious !but! the ever-greedy Belgian government decided to raise the withholding tax on dividends from 27% to 30%. Acquiring accumulating ETF’s don’t distribute dividends but I will count them as 2% dividend. Also, undervalued growth companies don’t distribute that much dividend (yet) but are set to grow dividends at a much faster pace than behemoths. I don’t only want the dividend, I want the growth as well. If this means I have to settle for a net 1,5% dividend yield, I’ll deal with it. Growth perspective has its price too.

4. Reach a net worth of €125,000. This will be made up of stocks, bonds, pension funds, saving accounts but excluding the pamper account. This is a prudent forecast as my current own net worth is around €98,000. I don’t calculate much stock appreciations as you can see.

5. Read at least 5 books about management, economy, finances, stock market…

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Have a good 2017!

Dividend Income November + Last Buy

Hi folks,

Let’s take a look at the dividends November brought me:

None

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No luck this month. Just as the August month, no dividends were received. Months with no dividend income aren’t fun, but it doesn’t really matter if the total year dividend stays on track. I’m not dependant on my passive income / month so time is at my side. Next year the ‘no-dividend-month’ problem should be solved by the way, as some of my recent buys will provide me with dividends in those months.

Recent acquisition:

In my last post Pedal To The Metal, I mentioned that I took a first position in Belgian-based brewer AB Inbev, consisting of 18 stocks.
Last week, I bought another 12 stocks of the beverages behemoth for a total sum of €1.163. This brings my total position in the company on 30 shares and it adds a modest net €30,24 to my annual dividend income.

Concerning the fair value of the company, I would estimate it around €110-115 on current earnings and reports. So, as long as it trades under the €100 mark /share, I consider it a decent buy. I’m buying in smaller chunks at the moment to make sure if the price would drop more, I’m able to buy bigger. I really like the AB Inbev company, but I don’t own that much shares (yet). I’m also very happy 3G Capital is supporting the SAB Miller – AB Inbev deal to make sure the costs of a combined company are cut and synergies are maximized.

ab-inbev

Furthermore, I’m looking forward to the effect of the Fed’s intrest rate decision on Wednesday for which I’ll try to get my cash position a bit higher so I can comfortably buy some more shares in case of a dip.

How about your dividends and recent buys?

Pedal To The Metal

Hello,

A lot has been going on since my last post, although it hasn’t been that long.
Due to the presidential elections, I had been piling up some cash in case blood would be running on the streets (with Trump), but still expected Hillary to win.

The night of the elections, I woke up in the very early morning (Belgian time) and checked my phone to see who was winning. It was Trump!!! What a nightmare! Most investors were expecting a serious sell-off in case Trump would go to the White House. I decided to go in big and load up my guns. I got out of bed and transferred €7,000 from my cash savings account towards my investment platform. 

When the final votes were counted, and it became clear Trump won the presidency, I was expecting to see a lot of red numbers flying around. With more than €10k cash lying idle, I could go bargain hunting.

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However, the big sell-off stayed out and at the end of the day, we even saw green numbers?! Pharmacy & banks did very well, although infrastructure and consumer goods had a rougher time. 

So what did I do? I loaded up some infrastructure and consumer goods companies. Most companies fell more than 10-15% due to the new president. In my opinion this is oversold and the results won’t turn out to be that bad. Donald’s character will be tempered a bit and I don’t expect more than a small struggle for those sectors due to possible new regulations.

I went in full force and last Tuesday when consumer & infra were heavily down, I bought big, on some other days I took more normal positions. I won’t go in detail, just a brief explanation on why I initiated them.

So let’s take a look at what positions I opened or strengthened. FYI some shares I bought in two times, but I will give the average total buy price including purchase fee. For the dividend calculations, I will already take in account the higher tax on dividends due to the lovely Belgian government (from 27% –> 30%)

First buy: National Grid: 300 shares at a total price of €3376. What’s not to like about a monopoly position in infrastructure worth almost €40 billion? They have been taking several hits and are trading around a more than fair P/E. Nice dividend increases and exposure to pound & dollar. Annual forward dividend: €91,01.

national-gri

Next, I have been following the tobacco industry since mid-september and was eager to pick-up shares at a reduced price. I bought 3 tobacco companies in total.

Second: Imperial Brands, 75 shares for a total price of €3085. They have taken a hit due to their year results, negatively affected by one-time losses with financial swaps. Nonetheless their current P/E is pretty low and they own a strong business. Annual forward dividend: €94,62.

cohiba

Third position: British American Tobacco, 30 shares at a total price of €1497. Very high margins, strong brands, successful in upcoming vapor/e-cigarette market and willing to buy-out the rest of outstanding Reynolds American shares at a fair price. Acceptable P/E for a company with very nice growth prospects. Annual forward dividend: €37,85.

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Fourth position: Altria Group, 15 shares at €897. I know, small position but I didn’t want to switch any more euros to dollars right now because of the weak euro. I still had some dollars lying idle so I put them at work. Why Altria? It’s not undervalued, no indeed it’s not. In fact it’s trading around a P/E of 21. Yet, this company has strong financials, it is the parent company of Philip Morris and holds a 9.6% stake in brewer AB Inbev. I doubted to go with PM at first as it yields more, but Altria has more chance/possibilities to create shareholder return over the years and a higher dividend growth rate, as PM has a payout ratio of more than 90%. I expect this company to outperform the index and if the dollar wouldn’t be this strong, I would have bought more. Maybe in a couple of months, weeks, who knows… Annual forward dividend: €20,54.

altria-marlboro-cigarettes

So far for the tobacco industry, with these 3 positions I cover a very high percentage of (e-) cigarette brands, cigars… Every time I see people smoke I don’t get fed up anymore because they’re killing their lungs, I relax and let my wallet be filled.

Fifth buy: Nestlé SA, 20 shares at the Swiss stock exchange, for a total of €1307. Big love for this company… I’ve known it since I were a little kiddo. Who doesn’t love Nesquik? Annual forward dividend: €19,13. Swiss withholding tax sucks, but the company is too strong not to have in my portfolio. Time will make up for this lower yielding stock.

nestle-banner-copy

Sixth buy: strenghtening my Unilever position by 50 shares, total price €1854. The second time I buy into this stock, raising my total position to 110 shares. They were a couple of percentage points down compared to my first position so decided to load some more up of this high-quality business. I will keep on doing this if the price stays at this level when my new paycheck comes in. Already regretting I didn’t buy more. Hope I didn’t jinx it! Annual forward dividend: €44,80.

unilever-world

Seventh buy: God does this ever stop? Nope not yet, stay with me.
Verizon Communications, 40 shares at a total price of €1897. This American based telcom is a big, fat, paycheck-writer. Trading at a P/E of 13, it seemed a good time to load up some VZ. Annual forward dividend: €51,87.

verizon-wireless-plans-wallpaper

Eight and last buy: the almighty, beer & beverages conglomerate, AB Inbev, 18 shares at €1745. Facing some headwinds right now due to a falling Mexican peso but the shares have lost more than 15% since then, which is more than fair enough in my eyes. Beer, awesome investment if you ask me ;). Annual forward dividend: €45,36. One of my personal favorite stocks due to its Belgian roots.

ab-inbev

Another part of the good news show: Peugeot and Allergan are gonna start paying dividend. For Peugeot I expect to receive €21, Allergan €9,43. These non expected events nicely boost my forward annual dividend income, nice!

If I add up all the dividends of my acquisitions, including the start-to-pay dividend stocks, my dividend next year should be raised by a whopping €435,61, with a total dividend forecast of €1835. This is like a 13th month of pay for me without lifting a finger. Gotta love dividends. Fun fact: every day I wake up, I receive €5,03 for breathing. 

Last days were certainly one of the best of my life, buying stocks like socks. Another thing off the bucket list :D. Reading 10k’s and seeing my dividend income going up with a nitro boost. Awesome.

A little bit more sad: my cash savings decreased like hell. Oh really? No shit Sherlock. I still have €5,500 in immediately accessible cash. I might drop this to €3,000 for the benefit of investing, but I would need a damn good reason. Psst, Unilever?  The odds that I go under the €3,000 mark are pretty small as I want to be able to have some cash in case of an emergency. Car repair, accident…

What about your last acquisitions? Had fun as well? Can’t wait untill my new paycheck comes in and my tax refund, yay!, already have some stocks in mind. Do you guys care about ethical investing (no tobacco companies, brewers…)?

 

 

Dividend income Sep-Oct + New buys

Hello folks,

A quick update on how the dividend has been hitting my bank account the last 2 months and which buys I have made.

First, let’s take a look at what fruits September and October bared us:

Royal Dutch Shell: €49,51
HSBC: €40,59
Euronav: €35,77
Vanguard S&P500 ETF: €9,24
Melexis: €56,94
Wal-Mart: €11,79
IBM: €7,82
Gilead Sciences: €14,58

Total Dividend Income September + October: €226,24

quote-do-you-know-the-only-thing-that-gives-me-pleasure-it-s-to-see-my-dividends-coming-in-john-d-rockefeller-156314

In overall I’m pretty happy with my dividend income the past 2 months. We can notice big checks from RD Shell, banking company HSBC and Belgian-based Melexis (sensors for cars).
These 2 months surely compensated for the no-dividend August month. In the end, it’s the total dividend per year that counts. After making the sum of all months YTD, I received a dividend total of €915,84. Almost at the €1000 dividend mark in my first full year of investing. Yippee-ki-yay!

die-hard-yippee-ki-yay-motherfucker_design

So far for the dividend income. Which stocks did I buy last month?

First, I decided to take advantage of the recent dip of Novartis to add another 10 shares to my position, raising to a total of 50 shares. It cost me a little under €700. The small amount is due to the fact that I start having a rather big position in Novartis. I also changed my ADR’s into the real Swiss stocks as it turned out there was no benefit of holding the American for a smaller tax on the dividend. These extra 10 shares add €12,81 to my annual dividend income. Not much, but it stills yields around 1,85% net which is not bad for a Swiss stock.

Secondly, I bought 60 shares of the well-known Unilever PLC for a total of €2324. Unilever’s stock price is experiencing some headwinds which are a perfect opportunity for me to start building a position. The shares will yield around 2,40% net. This buy raises my next year’s dividend by a solid €53,76. If the shares would decline further, I would buy again.

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In total I invested around €3000 in the stock market since half September with a total dividend increase of €66,57.

I decided to transfer some money from my savings towards my investment account, which made it possible to invest a bit more. It considers €9000 in total which I will be investing the next months, spread in time. The reason I transferred savings goes back to the financial meeting some weeks ago. While I was talking to other people, one guy pointed out that I still have too much cash in the bank. I gave it some thought and I think he was right. By the time I might think about needing some money, it still takes 2-3 years so in the meantime it can work nicely for me and give me capital increases.

For now, I still have €5000 in cash begging me to invest. Next months I will build or strengthen positions. It turned out Apple didn’t go down since my last post, so I will remain patient untill it becomes a bit cheaper again. Currently I have my eye on Nestlé, AT&T, Verizon and IBM. I intend to take positions in them in the long haul. With my new paycheck strolling in, I hope to raise the cash position to €6250. This surely gives me some buying power.

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To conclude, I’m happy with the recent dividend checks and I hope my recent acquisitions turn out into a long-term value play with ever raising dividends :D.

What about your recent buys?

A 21-year old’s financial explaining struggle

Hello folks

Yesterday I enjoyed a nice FIRE meeting, having the opportunity to talk with like-minded people. As I haven’t met any people spontaneously in real life that share the same ideas about DGI as me, it’s hard to talk and conversate about it. But hey, which 21-year old is gonna care about his financial future, or who even has already some means to do it?

I consider myself in an extremely lucky position, no student debts or loans, hitting a 6-figure net worth turning 21. This stash is due to the fact that I have been working since I turned 18.

So what about the struggle? Some of my friends know I’m intrested in the financial markets and stuff, but that’s literally it. They don’t care themselves to invest for their future or have no knowledge nor the interest. Earlier on I tried to talk about it more to them than I do know, because it felt like bringing water to the ocean.

water-zee
Even when I try talking with my parents about FIRE and DGI, things go pretty heavy. I tell them I invest for my retirement because I do not plan to work untill I’m 65 (best case). I calculated a bit and I should be able to retire at 35 maintaining my current investment ratio. If I would continue untill I’m 40, it would put me in a luxury position. I don’t get the point why people would trust the government to take care of their pension. I rather do things myself so I only rely on myself to accomplish them. Having this told to my parents, they started boulder-laughing. “You’re 21 and already thinking about retiring at 35?!?!”.
Sad but true story. Why working your ass off untill you die? Why trusting the government on such important things? Those decisions are a complete life-changer, take care of them yourself. It feels like spinning the wheel of fortune and hoping for a nice outcome. wheel-of-fortune

Will I eventually retire at 35? I don’t think so, I have a nice job and growth opportunities. But what I do want, is the freedom to choose. I would rather continue investing and getting the numbers up. This way I would 1) be able to provide for my family 2) take care of friends. I love to travel and I like to do this with friends, so why not pay it for them if I’m pretty comfy myself? Or contribute more to charity? Why stop at the limit of only maintaining the family’s standard? Why not go the extra mile? The future will provide answers. The extra mile is never crowded.

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Another thing I just can’t understand is the fact people don’t know shit about their personal finances. People work 5-6 days a week for money, so why not letting your money work for you? If I ask my parents about how much they save, they have no clue. Neither do they have an idea about how much their savings yield on different bank accounts. I just don’t get it. By taking one afternoon the time to check those things, you could save up a lot of free time in the future. Switching money between accounts to have a higher intrest rate or invest more, can easily save up more than 100 euros/dollars a year. Imagine having an extra day off every year (and still getting the same pay), because you managed to get your finances on track.

In general I just don’t understand how people can be so negligible regarding their finances and not caring at all. Especially if I try to explain them some financial things, they’re looking at me like: You’re only 21, what the hell would you know? I don’t know much, but I do know that my snowball is starting to roll down a very long hill. Who knows it might turn into an avalanche?

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Do you encounter similar challenges too in your daily life?

Recent stock buys (+ analysis): August + September

As the stock market has mostly been going up in August, it was a little harder to find undervalued stocks at first sight. Yet, after some more profounded research, I decided to go with 2 companies out of many: Gilead Sciences Inc. and Walt Disney Co. .

My first choice was to strengthen my position in Gilead Sciences by 15 shares at $78. This brings my total position in GILD up to 50 shares in total. The net current annual dividend income from these extra 15 shares should be around €15,62.

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This was the 3rd time I bought myself into GILD. Why? The stock has been struggling for more than a year now. The last 5 years, the stock price has quadrupled. Thanks to their 2 multibillion dollar treatments Harvoni and Sovaldi, their earnings have skyrocketed. Unfortunately, due to more competition in the hepatitis C market and declining sales, the stock has fallen out of favor to most investors. This is what intrests me.

GILD trades at less than 7 times earnings and yields around 2,4% in dividend with a payout rate of only 15%.  This means there’s a lot of room left for future increases or investments. Their cash flow is huge and their operation margin is over 50%. The company has been very busy buying back shares the latest years. In January 2016, the company authorized a share buyback of $12 billion. This is more than 10% of the company’s total worth. Some analysts criticize Gilead for not using the cash for other purposes such as acquisitions. As I think the GILD stock is undervalued, so the share buyback is a good move. If they keep buying and reduce the share count untill my 50 shares, it would even be better.

However, acquisitions are a necessity, especially in that sector. Overpaying billions for a company in a bid war, is just a bad strategical move. They made fair offer for Medivation, but Pfizer outbid them by almost 70%. Recently CEO John F. Milligan stated that Gilead is waiting patiently to acquire new companies when the time comes. With more than $25 billion in cash (and equivalents), they surely have some buying power.

In my view, Gilead is losing some battles but will end up winning the war. The shares at their current price reflect a lot of negativity and few good perspectives. They still have a rather big pipeline in development and some alliances with smaller companies. These potential next big hitters are completely forgotten in the price of the stock.

According to me, if Gilead could acquire some strategical companies and keep growing (even at a slower pace), long-term value will be achieved.

For a more thoroughly analysis of the GILD stock, I would refer you to http://seekingalpha.com/article/4004410-gilead-sciences-snooze-lose
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The other buy I made was The Walt Disney Co. I bought 14 shares of $93 which should add another €11,40 to my annual dividend income. Not a high amount, due to Disney’s dividend policy. Yet this doesn’t bother me, since Disney’s IPO they were able to make an average yearly return of 18%, including dividend reinvestments. Knowing it seems like a Hercules’ task to outperform this, it’s better to let Disney use the earnings to raise future profits and return capital to their shareholders this way. Trading at a P/E of 16,5 which is not so common for a similar company, it looks like a good addition to my portfolio.

Of course the bad stock performance has had its reasons. Investors have been worried that the ESPN Channel is losing customers. However, Disney is taking action to keep their growth on track. They recently built a huge new theme park in Shanghai which should bring in some nice cash and reported more than 1 million visitors the first 2 months.

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Also, they took a stake in BAMTech, a streaming network, for about 33% equalling $1 billion. They have also made a deal with Netflix to broadcast more Disney movies. These actions should help compensating the losses of customers at ESPN.

Eventually, what’s not to like about the good old Mickey Mouse behemoth? Some bad news causing a lower stock price, perfect buy opportunity according to me.

So far my latest buys in the almighty stock market…

Currently I am looking to buy shares of Apple or IBM… depending on the share price when my new paycheck comes in. I hope Apple has some lack in their earnings report so the stock price goes down a little more.

What are your thoughts on the mentioned stocks?

The €100,000 milestone: Check!

Time goes by, we work, do our daily activities, earn money and sometimes we just forget about how things are advancing. Last month, I suddenly realized I hit one of the most memorable milestones in my investing career. The €100,000 net worth mark.
€103,000 to be exactly.

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How did I suddenly reach that mark? As my portfolio says, I only have €47,500 invested in stocks. Well…

  • Stocks: €47,500
  • Personal savings + emergency fund: €21,500
  • Bonds & Obligations: €8,00023018853-Piggy-bank-wearing-sunglasses-with-money-sign--Stock-Photo-pig
  • Retirement & tax plan: €4,500
  • Parents piggy bank: €21,500 

–> Total net worth: €103,000

 

Let’s put every section under the scope.
My stocks are pretty clear, the paycheck almost completely goes there. My precious babies :D.

Personal savings: I am not a fan of putting money in the bank without it working for you. Although, sometimes, you need a soft pillow to fall on if necessary. Future doesn’t look too bad for me, so it might not be necessary. But, I have another point of view on this. My current dividend growth strategy consists of buying each month stocks that look undervalued in my opinion. Now, what if the markets go down for a longer time? What if we witness a major stock market crash like the one in 2002 or 2008? I would only be able to buy for let’s say €1,500 a month. So, the real advantage for me would then be to transfer the money and start buying big. Let’s call it some kind of crash insurance. When there’s blood on the streets…

Bonds & Obligations: When I was 16 years old, my dad bought some obligations with my spare money. These yield around 3,2% net a year. These expire in August 2018 and with that money I will most likely buy stocks too. I am not a fan of obligations and don’t plan to buy any myself. Dads make mistakes too, you know :D.

Retirement and tax plan: Belgian people have the possibility to do some kind of retirement saving plan, which leads to less taxes to pay. More concretely, I invest a small €2,000 yearly which are put on a seperate account. These deposits make sure I have to pay €500-€600 less taxes a year. Pretty nice return on investment. Of course this has some disadvantages too, like paying taxes on the end amount when you finally retire. This is a bit too much offroad to go more in detail.

 

kids-for-cash

Parents piggy bank: Say what?! In Belgium, some parents decide to save up a small amount of money each month to put it on a seperate bank account in benefit of their kid(s). Knowing this started when I was born, this piled up to a nice sum of €21,500. Normally this plan will continue untill I am 24 years old, but if really necessary I can access it. It feels a bit like dividends coming from the parents every month.

 
Knowing that I just turned 21 years old, I am very happy that I reach this memorable milestone so early. Of course this is thanks to the fact that I started getting a salary since I were 18.

Kidsparty

Dividend Report YTD2016

Hello fellow dividend investors,

Let’s take a look at the dividend income I received since January 1st 2016. Some pretty important information: I only started investing in August 2015, so don’t expect massive dividend income numbers (yet).

Afbeelding1

Looking at the graph, we notice 2 things: February and August don’t bring in dividends. Although I like seeing dividends hitting my bank account, I’m not gonna buy stocks only because they would pay me in February or August.
On the other hand, May is like Christmas for me. Netting me around €375, it really is a motivating month to keep on investing. The rest of the months are all quite similar, bringing in around €70 each.

January:
Solvay: €51,63
Wal-Mart: €11,56

February: /

March:
Royal Dutch Shell: €50,29
IBM: €7,25
Gilead Sciences: €4,00

April:
Vanguard S&P500 ETF: €9,27
Melexis: €26,28
Wal-Mart: €11,79
Novartis Inc.: €23,22

May:
BASF: €38,97
Ageas SA: €54,20
Sofina SA: €32,22
Solvay: €101,97
Euronav: €52,75
Intervest Offices & Warehouses: €93,62

June:
Vanguard S&P500 ETF: €7,99
Royal Dutch Shell: €47,38
Wal-Mart: €11,78
IBM: €7,82
Gilead Sciences: €4,37

July:
HSBC: €41,24

August: /

Total dividend income YTD: €689,60

8712470-truck-with-money

For as far as I see my passive income so far, I can’t complain. I set the personal goal to receive €1,000 in dividends the first full year of dividend investing. I don’t know if I’m gonna hit that goal, time shall tell me. I think there’s a chance I can make it.

During the year, buying new stocks, I created extra income that will come in next year. Most European stocks only pay dividend once a year so I missed a couple of them. According to my calculations, I should be able to get €1,275 in dividend income next year if I would stop investing now. Of course I will keep on buying stocks to the amount will keep going up :).

How is your dividend income going so far?

Should I buy a house?

Hey everyone

A question that has been spooking through my head since almost a year now is to buy a house.

buy-a-house-300x225

This is probably one of the biggest investments people ever make in their life. That’s why I want to think and overthink very well about it. I’ll briefly explain my situation:

I’m turning 21 soon and I study in Brussels. I still live with my parents. Starting next year, my working hours will be 07h30 untill 16h00, working/studying 5 days a week. Due to the very bad traffic hours, going back and forth home every day isn’t an option. This would mean spending 3 hours every day in the car + it would cost me on average 16 euro a day to do the double trip.

Peak_hour_traffic_in_melbourne

Now there are 2 options left: first is stay in the school every day, just like before. However I prefer to have a strict limit between work and home. Last 3 years I already spent 5 days a week at my very small room in the school and the weekends are damn short. I feel like I don’t have a control anymore over my personal life as everything I have to fix or settle at home has to happen in a short 2 day range.

Other option is that I would buy an appartment or house in the neighbourhood of my school and my future job place ( which is 90% sure). This way I could go home everyday to my own place and have a more ‘normal’ life.

ideas-to-help-you-deal-with-your-individual_1

Now my financial situation:

My complete net worth in August will be around 100,000 euro. From this there is 40,000 euro fixed in shares, which I don’t intend to sell in any case. I love my shares :D.

 

I earn 1,700 euro net a month right now. 2 years from now, my net monthly job income will be around 2,100 euro. I also want to keep on investing on a decent rate.

Now my question is, do you guys think it’s a good idea to buy something already? How about your costs of owning a house/app? How much do you need /month for the basic stuff such as electricity, water, gas, internet… In my point of view, renting means losing money if I have to do it alone (better to split it with someone but not a possibility yet).
Any tips?