Monthly updates

Monthly Update #21 (May 2020) – The Resurrection

12 min read

May is probably my favorite month of the year. Not just because it’s my birthday month, but because it marks the end of spring and the arrival of summer. We’ve already hit 20 degrees (celcius) here in Denmark and the weather has improved drastically from the (typically still) cold and wet month of April.

BUT this time around it’s not only the weather and my mood that has improved – also the financial markets appear to have stabilized (against all odds and logic). I even received a little chunk of passive income this month – from several different sources. It’s not exactly setting any records, but given the passive income drought I’ve found myself in for the last couple of months, it’s nice to finally (again) see some € in my bank account.

The avid reader might also have noticed that the blog boasts a new look this month! As the dedicated FIRE enthusiast that I am, I opted to spend some of my birthday money (from my mother in law), and splurged on a new WP Theme. So far I’m really liking the new look. I hope my readers feel the same? πŸ˜‰

The month in review

It has been an eventful month on many levels!

My daughter started her new school-life and the transition from the daycare has gone surprisingly smooth. She still has playdates with her old daycare friends, and now also with her new school friends. She seems very happy about the new surroundings and her parents are just thrilled that it all went fairly smooth. As a parent there’s nothing more important than seeing your kids thrive, and we’re confident that our daughter will get a first class education at her new school – not just in terms of knowledge, but also in terms of “personal well-being”. It’s a small private school located 8km from our house (she will be able to bike to school when she gets older) right on the edge of a large forest. They use the outdoors and the forest every day, so she will get to connect with nature on a daily basis (which she was also used to from her daycare).

Our new traffic patterns (my daughters school is on the way to my work) has improved the outlook in terms of living with only 1 car (we have 2 today). However, car-spotting is ingraved in my bones, so now that the lease on my car is up this month, naturally I have spent some time scouting the options for my next vehicle.

I love to look at cars, I love to drive cars and I love to talk about cars! So I think I will save the details for a CAR-post (coming soon!), but long story short: I tried a new Plugin Hybrid, loved it – almost bought it on the spot. Looked at old(er) cars, considered leasing a new/used car and contemplated the odds of me actually biking to work. Decided biking wasn’t going to happen, UNLESS I had one of these:

– SO, the moment I got home from the dealership, after having tried that Plugin Hybrid car (it was a Ford Kuga, if you must know) I had an accute case of G.A.S. (Gear Acquisition Syndrome) and decided to put down a deposit on the Podbike. Figured it was time to put my money where my mouth is! The retail price is not yet final (they expect somewhere in the €5.000-€6.000 range), as the production version isn’t completed yet, but I’ve now put down €300 towards the final product. Production is expected to start in Q4-2020, but I highly doubt that’s going to happen, so I’ll be happy if I could get it in Q1-2021.

That’s great Nick, but what are you going to do until then?!

I’m glad you ask! I’ve decided to go FULLY Electric (none of that Hybrid shit!). I’ve signed a 3 month rental on a small electric car (Renault Zoe). It was cheap (cheaper than my current lease – a lot actually), and it will get the job done (move me from A-B).

But NICK!? What are you gonna do after those 3 months are up then?!

Ah, yes. That question will remain unanswered for a little while! We’ll just have to see, wont we?! πŸ˜› (Read: I have no fucking clue)

In the interest of FULL dislosure; while I had G.A.S. (Gear Acquisition Syndrome) I also acquired a new Smart Watch, as my old one was loosing lines in the display (it was 3.5 years old). Naturally I spent a lot of time researching which exact model to get. I couldn’t find one that I loved, so I did something that’s quite unheard of; I bought the exact same model as the one I already had (I chose a different color though, I’m not a complete idiot…)! It cost me €105. It was brand new, still in the sealed box. I felt a little bit like it was christmas when it arrived. The joy wouldn’t last though. It turns out that buying a 5-year old Smart Watch from a company that doesn’t exist anymore (it was acquired by Fitbit back in 2018) wasn’t the best idea I ever got (who could have guessed?!). There’s something wrong with the gyro in my new watch, so it doesn’t count my steps very accurately (not that the old one did that either, but it was a lot better than my new one!).

Oh well, it still tells time and shows me notifications from my phone, so I still like it – I just don’t LOVE it right now πŸ˜› Did I mention that it holds a charge for 45 days? Still the (2nd) best Smart Watch I’ve ever owned!

I also bought a lawn mower robot…(We named him b0b – like the minion)…G.A.S you know…It takes a little time to wear off! (haha)

Anyway back to the point here! As I mentioned initially, I also made some money this month!!! YEAH, BABY!

ReInvest24 finally managed to sell the property that I had invested in, and this gave me a payout of €71. Not bad, from a €500 investment. That’s a return of 14%. I was tempted to re-invest the money, but didn’t like any of the the projects that was funding at the time (a development loan and an office building), so I withdrew all of my money from the platform. I might return one day, but right now I feel like the money is safer in my bank account.

Brickshare paid a small dividend of €11 (post tax). From an investement of €1.333 that’s pretty pathetic to be honest, but I suppose anything is better than nothing at this point. I trust the investment in the long run though, and I didn’t enter Brickshare for the dividends. I’m invested in a single project (NV) and so far I’m happy with it. It will take a couple of years before we’ll know for sure, whether it was worth it or not. Time will tell!

My new (re-acquired) REIT paid out €16 (post tax) as promised. I bought it expecting a dividend of around €25 per month, but because of the current situation they opted to lower the dividend in order to protect their liquidity while they secure as much rent from their tenants as possible. According to their latest statement, rent collection for May was 90.4%, which I suppose is respectable. I will expect the business to survive, even if this level should drop to 80%. Any further than that will require them to cut the dividends further. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen πŸ˜‰

Meanwhile the stock value is on a steep incline. It’s up 32% since I bought it. Kinda makes me wish I had bought some more, but isn’t that always the case when an asset appreciates more than expected? πŸ˜‰ I’m happy with the shares I’ve got so far. I hope the dividend will return to “normal” once the whole pandemic situation stabilize a bit more. €25x12x20 is €6000. Just about enough to buy myself a Podbike! (maybe!) πŸ˜›

For the first time in 5 months I managed to scrape together a passive income in triple digits! €114 precisely. Not a fortune, but better than nothing!

Crowdestor has announced that a lot of their borrowers is starting to pay interest again, so as it stands right now I should see around €10 of income from Crowdestor in June. I also have a loan repayment and I’m seriously considering re-investing it on the platform, as I believe Crowdestor is a solid trustworthy company (please don’t hold that statement against me, if it turns out not to be the case down the road πŸ˜› ).

TFGCrowd continue to operate like clockwork. They’ve started a bunch of “invoice-financing” projects, which I wouldn’t touch with a firepoker. Maybe that’s just me being suspecious, but it seems awfully convenient to “pivot” into a new segment as soon as cashflow is needed. I can’t say anything for sure, but I do not trust them, although they haven’t really given me any reason not to. Withdrawals work like a clockwork, and they haven’t missed a payment yet…

WisefundΒ is still “dead in the water”. They’ve attempted the same approach as Crowdestor (make individual agreements with borrowers), but I’ve so far to see any interest on the platform, since the pandemic broke out…I will give them the benefit of the doubt, but I consider my capital at HIGH risk of disappearing.

Mintos operate like always. No change there. I still trust them enough to keep my money on the platform. For now.

Meanwhile, my GOLD holdings continue to soar. I’m quite content with that development, but don’t plan to write-up the value in my books just yet (I don’t like the fluctuations).

 

The pretty graphs

The crowdlending tendancy is pretty clear. I’ve been withdrawing money from this asset class for 6 months now. Although it kinda looks like it, I actually haven’t decided to leave crowdlending altogether. I’d still like to have about €1.000 on 10 different platforms, but they need to be TRUSTWORTHY, obviously πŸ˜‰ So far I don’t trust that many platforms with my cash, so I think the 10 platforms is gonna take a while to reach again. We shall see!

May was a good month in terms of passive income, all things considered. I don’t expect next month to be quite as eventful, unfortunately.

But LOOK at that Net Worth chart (Page 3). My Pension has now FULLY recovered (and then some) from the massive drop in February/March.Β This is a little mind-blowing to be honest, and it just goes to show you how unpredictable the stock market can be. Nobody can say what’s going to happen next. Will it continue to climb, or will we see another drop?! NOBODY KNOWS! This is why i don’t do stocks πŸ˜› I’m trying my best to look the other way, and let the market be the market. I have another 25-30 years before I’m going to access my pension, so I’m sure it’ll be OK by then, regardless of what the market does next…

Full disclosure though, I have timed the market a little bit (I know, I’m a terrible person! Shame on me!), as I’ve actually adjusted my allocation on my Pension twice since the market drop. I had about 45% in cash when the year began and I’m now down to about 30%. Naturally, I’m now pondering whether it’s time to move more back OUT again, but that’s a story for another time πŸ˜› (I’ll probably stay in though).

Once again my home equity and my pension are almost on par. It’s a bit uncanny, but I’m hoping that my pension eventually leaves my equity in the dust…

The boring income statement

Platform Invested Deposits/withdrawals Last month Current value Bonus/fees Monthly income
Crowdlending
Crowdestate € 100 -€ 305 € 491 € 100 € 0 € 0
Crowdestor € 1.110 -€ 40 € 1.197 € 1.197 € 0 € 0
Mintos € 900 € 0 € 1.088 € 1.098 € 0 € 10
ReInvest24 € 0 -€ 618 € 547 € 0 € 0 € 71
TFGCrowd € 400 € 0 € 411 € 417 € 0 € 6
Wisefund € 475 € 0 € 510 € 510 € 0 € 0
€ 2.985 -€ 963 € 4.244 € 3.322 € 0 € 87
Commodities
GOLD (Coins) € 5.333 € 5.333 € 0 € 5.333 € 0 € 0
Stocks
PROREIT (PRV.UN) € 2.018 € 2.035 € 0 € 2.100 € 0 € 16
Properties
Brickshare € 1.333 € 0 € 1.333 € 1.333 € 0 € 11
Property #1 € 68.667 € 0 € 68.667 € 68.667 € 0
€ 70.000
Cash
Bank #1 cash (main savings) € 0 € 427 € 401 € 828
Portfolio Leverage € 0 € 600 -€ 600 € 0
Bank #2 Opportunity money € 0 € 963 € 0 € 963
Total balance € 81.478 € 82.546

For the first time in almost 1 year I have no leverage deployed (I used it to purchase Property #1). I now have some cash in my pocket once again. It feels good, but having a small amount of leverage is a great motivator for me to SAVE more, so I will most likely be redeploying it again, when I find Property #2 πŸ˜‰

My REIT has taken off again, and is now up more than 30% since I bought it. Needless to say, I’m not unhappy about that development, but I have promised myself to hang on to it until it reaches at least 100% (it was down more than 50% from its ATH when I bought it). There’s no saying if it will ever reach those levels again (I believe it will though), so for now I’m happy with the monthly dividend.

 

The Classic growth chart

As always i include the “Classic growth chart” in my update, mainly for tracking purposes. But I really like to look at the progress over time. It’s definitely moving in the right direction πŸ˜‰

2020 boasts a new look for the Classic Growth Chart. It’s getting increasingly difficult to display the progress month by month in a clearly visible manner, so eventually I’m gonna have to switch to a quarterly view (and eventually, yearly of course). But for now I think I can manage to squeeze in another month or two in the chart. It’s so damn satisfying to look at my progress. Of course now my target is getting away from me, which is really annoyingΒ 🙁Β (I will catch up eventually though!Β 😛Β ).

In conclusion

May 2020 left an overall positive impression on me! I hope the summer will have more months like these.

At the end of June 2020, we will take delivery of our new electric vehicle (Renault Zoe), which we’ve “borrowed” for 3 months. It’s about €200 cheaper/month than the car I have now, and it will also be cheaper to run, as electricity is cheaper than gas! So in short: It’s good for the environment and good for our financials. That’s what I call a win-win πŸ˜€

Anyway, I added €1.000 to my savings this month and received €114 from 3 different passive income sources. Not too shabby!

See you next month πŸ˜‰

Oh, one last thing: How do you guys like the new look on the blog?

10 thoughts on “Monthly Update #21 (May 2020) – The Resurrection

  1. That bike, car, thing, is COOL!

    When I saw it stand up I was in awe πŸ˜€ Very brave putting a deposit down before you’ve seen the final product. It seems like the Tesla of bikes.

    I purchased a Fenix 5 as a company expense a couple of years ago, really happy with that watch; although I sometimes reel when thinking of the price of it.

  2. I like the new look too πŸ™‚

    And what a goodmonth may have been for you! – it’s nice to read something with a positive vibe for once, with a virus, a tradewar, riots and financial instabilities going on.

    A questin to your choice of REIT: why have you chosen PROREIT (PRV.UN) before other REITΒ΄s? – not that there is anything wrong with PROREIT, but i would like to know your thougts behind your choise πŸ™‚

    1. Hi John, thanks! I’m glad you like the new look!

      I chose PROREIT for several reasons:
      1) It’s Canadian – not US based
      2) It pays a NICE monthly dividend
      3) The management seem fairly capable at what they do
      4) Their properties are fairly well diversified
      5) They focus on β€œvalue” cities with great growth potential
      6) 8% of their properties are government tenants (they typically pay their bills on time)
      7) They reacted fast and swiftly in adjusting the dividend (Down) when the pandemic hit, which tells me that they are able to make the tough choices
      8) I believe more in the CAD in the long run than the USD (but thats purely based off of a feeling. I dont have actual knowledge to back that claim)
      9) The majority of their retail stores (which constitutes 23.5% of their Tenant base) are necessity based stores

      So far I’m very happy with PROREIT and kinda wish I had bought some more when I had the chance πŸ˜›

      1. Thanks for a fulfilling answer!

        I looked them up too, and found that 23,5 was retail too, but didn’t find the necessity part – that definitely makes it a way better case imho. Maybe i will even spend a few on this one :b

  3. Congrats on the Zoe, we also just leased one and I’m very happy with it so far. How do you plan to charge it? Doesn’t seem worth it to get a wallbox for a lease and the none-home chargers are pretty pricey without a subscription. Also could you publish savings rate?

    1. Hi Johan,

      nice! I’m only getting the 22kwh model (the old one), so I plan to charge it with the “emergency cable” (mormor kabel) for those 3 months, but ideally I would want a wallbox at home. I’m looking at preparing my installation for it at least…It’s not cheap! :S I don’t want an EON or a Clever subscription, as I simply won’t be able to use it enough for it to be economically viable. I will just have to pay 2kr/kwh from my own power installation πŸ˜‰ And I prefer to own my own wall charger. I’m looking at this one: https://thecharger.dk/easee-home-ladestation-22kw-32a-type-2

      I don’t track my savings rate, as I don’t feel it’s a metric worth following (for me). Depending on how you calculate it, I’m somewhere in the 15-35% range. I wrote about it here: https://totalbalance.blog/show-me-your-budget-and-ill-tell-you-who-you-are/
      Whether I save 15% or 25% is not going to change anything dramatically for me, so a high(er) savings rate is not a goal for me per say.
      Does that make sense? πŸ™‚

      1. Yeah I was thinking about charging with the emergency cable, but I feel like its too much risk and might end up costing me a lot more than installing a wallbox. I agree that the subscription model is not fit for zoe use. My plan is to use a local clever charge point until I know what my usage is and if it is much more than 80 kwh a month I will get the wallbox.

        I remember that post, I also commented in it πŸ™‚

        1. I’ve bought material for about DKK 5.000 to create a dedicated power outlet that’s ready to hookup a Wall charger (Need a Type B hpfi and a 3x16A Group – and then a Long ass thick ass cable πŸ˜› ). I dont plan to buy the wallbox for the Zoe, but simply use a CEE plug with a shuko adapter. That way I Can use the emergency cable to charge the Zoe safely and (fairly cost efficient). If I then choose to buy a β€œreal” Electric car, I Can always install the Wall charger (at the end of the Long ass thick ass cable). The 5000kr does not include the installation, but I have a friend(ly) electrician who can do it for me

  4. Nice look, I like the new template, Nick πŸ™‚

    Congrats on that passive income this month. My passive income has dropped a lot lately and I will keep it like that as I plan to invest in world accumulators mainly. That will make me average and maybe I won’t need to blog to keep me on track any more, who knows? I actually didn’t need before I suppose but it was engaging.

    Glad to see that Reivenst24 investment played out well. I am invested in the office building. It looked great before, now not really!

    Got good vibes from Crowdestor too. Just noticed we only have two platforms in common now and probably none at some point hehe.

    Glad to see you are opting for the electric car!

    Delayed happy birthday!

    Cheers!

    1. Thanks, Tony! I know it can be hard to keep the motivation up, when the passive income levels go down πŸ˜›
      You’re doing great, though! Keep up the good work! πŸ˜‰

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