Hello good folks and trusty followers!
Here’s your favorite wacky writer, with another addition to the (long) list of Monthly Update posts!
This is number 25 in a row, and as always some interesting stuff happened during the month! And naturally, as always I’m gonna share it with you all! Cause that’s just me; I love to share 😛
Last month was my blogs 2nd birthday. In this post I (among other things) confessed to wanting to expand the reach of my blog. So, did I?
To be honest, I was actually a bit surprised myself by this development!
The way I work when I write, is basically that I have a few rough ideas about “where I’m going” when I start a post, but I never quite know where it’s going to end (not entirely true, sometimes I do! HAHA). And in this case, my 2nd birthday post took a day or two to write, and at the end of it I was just writing whatever “came to mind” at the time of writing.
Since I’ve been in a bit of a “slump” lately (blogging wise), I was actually a bit surprised myself that I at that moment felt like I wanted to “do more”. Sometimes you just need to get the ball rolling. Push yourself a little “over the edge”. In this case I’m happy to report that it appear to have worked!
The Month in review
So, what happened after I released the birthday post?
I want to continue expanding the blog, and it’s pretty clear by now that if I want to expand my reach, I need to expand my audience. I haven’t decided on a strategy for this yet, but I’m sure opportunities is going to present themselves, if I’m open to them.
This was my exact words. Two hours after releasing the post I received an E-mail from a guy, looking for “partnerships”. An opportunity came knocking!
This is not the first time this has happened, and as I prepared to politely turn him down, just like I did with all the others, I decided to look a little into his “product”. Unlike the previous offers I had received for “partnerships”, I actually sort of liked this product. I could see myself using it. Yet, I decided to politely turn him down – for now. But I’m still considering it…
Feeling like the “cosmic energy” was somehow in my corner, I decided to take another action…
Before I can reveal what I did, I need to fill you in on a little backstory (sorry, I just have to! Bear with me here 😛 ).
Earlier in the month I had watched the documentary The Social Dilemma on Netflix together with my wife. (And when I say together I mean that we started to watch it together, and she then fell asleep halfway through, like she always does 😛 ). It’s a documentary about how the social media platforms are specifically designed to fuck with your brain.
I had done it before, but this time I felt different. I deleted my Facebook and Linkedin app from my phone (those are the only two I use – never used any of “the others”).
I haven’t used them since (I wish! HAAAAHA!). Facebook remains deleted from my phone, but after a few weeks I “re-enabled” Linkedin, as I wanted to reach out to a few of my former colleagues – so strictly for “professional reasons”…Yeah right Nick, you’re a SoMe junkie – admit it!
Let me put it like this: I’m always keeping my eyes open for “interesting opportunities” on the job front, and Linkedin enables me to keep track of my network. I’ll admit that the “mindless continuous scrolling” is something that I wouldn’t mind living without, and Facebook had become just that. Linkedin is somewhat similar, but I feel the content is more “relevant” than what I was being presented with at Facebook. I miss certain aspects of Facebook (like interacting with friends and events/groups), but I think I’m going to keep it disabled for a while. My friends can reach me on Messenger or WhatsApp if they need me 😉
Are we gonna be getting to the point of this story anytime soon, Nick?!
Sorry! Long story short (too late!):
Feeling encouraged to try to DO something to extend the reach of the blog (and maybe due to being deprived from my former SoMe addictions for two weeks) I joined Twitter 💣
Yes. Something I swore would never happen has in fact happened…
I am now in fact a Twitter Twat…
The first couple of days I absolutely dreaded it. I believe Twitter is the embodiment of everything that is wrong with society today! Everyone screaming for attention. Short, angry spurts. Full of pocket philosophy. Everyone being experts. Everyone having something they want to sell you. No depth. No substance. Just “like hunting” all day long…
After a few hours I was ready to delete the App again. But I didn’t. I decided to give it a fair chance. See where it could go.
Still not loving it, but I’m starting to see the potential. I’ll keep you updated on the progress 😉
Anyway, after having waited for 4 months for a payout from FastInvest, I finally received the last of my money from the platform. I had €30,17 left in the account. There’s now a withdrawal fee of €1,50 (they didn’t have this before they started having “cash flow” issues). So my total came out to €28,67. Every month I waited to get my payout, I got an e-mail from FastInvest ensuring me that my money was on the way, and that they would pay me a “delayed payout bonus”. Well that amounted to €0.84 and was added to the platform AFTER my withdrawal was completed… Nice one, FastInvest! Worthless.
Anyway, since I already wrote off these funds, I decided to spend them. So I bought a “book” on how to maximize the value of Twitter. Cost me €20. Not sure it was worth it, but it was somewhat insightful and gave me a few ideas about how to grow my account. We’ll see how that pan out… 😉
On another note! After realizing that Property #2 wasn’t going to happen anytime soon (I don’t have enough cash), I decided to add another dividend stock to my portfolio (while we wait…I guess… 😛 ). I was feeling annoyed by my current low levels of passive monthly income, so I found a stock that I felt would fit well in my portfolio, since I was looking for something “different” with a green touch.
Enter: TransAlta Renewables Inc. (RNW). It’s a Canadian utility company, who operate Hydro, Wind, Gas and Solar plants across Canada (and Australia). They currently have a dividend yield of 5.57% and they payout monthly. I already received my first payout this month. YAY! I’m not really sure the dividend ratio is sustainable, but at least the company is aiming to only be operating 100% renewable energy plants by 2023. Gas isn’t considered renewable, so I assume they’re going to beef up substantially in Wind and Solar.
Last but not least, I finally got my new car last week (New Renault Zoe 52 kWh), and so far it’s a great improvement from the previous one! I’ll probably write a post about it, comparing the new Zoe to the old one (it’s been greatly improved). It’s still cheaper than my old Peugeot 308 diesel, so all in all I’m very satisfied with now being an EV “owner” (it’s a lease).
The pretty graphs
The crowdlending portfolio continues to drag its feet, and I now have multiple projects on multiple platforms that are late/defaulted. Even on Mintos I have €150 in defaulted loans. At this point I’ll be glad if I can recover 60-70% of my money from this adventure, but for now I’ll just let it play out, and slowly withdraw my money as it’s being repaid from the successful projects. Those projects still exist, and I feel like I kinda have to give TFGCrowd some props. – Not one delayed payment or one defaulted project so far. My last project is scheduled to exit in October, so I will be able to leave the platform with €0 in lost funds (hopefully). I’ve been tempted to re-invest a few times, as they now have projects with interest as high as 24%, and they’ve started doing Invoice Financing, most likely to increase their cash flow. I still don’t trust them, even though I actually do not have a reason not to. Withdrawals (still) happen almost instantaneously like a clockwork (often I receive the funds in my Revolut account within minutes!). Still, I recommend you think long and hard before you consider investing with TFGCrowd. Interest rates on projects at 24% should tell you a thing or two about the risk here…Invest at your own discretion 😉
My Net worth is now slowly creeping towards €500.000. I don’t think I will hit that target this year, but it will be very close. Maybe Q1-2021, if the markets remain relatively stable. My home equity and my pension continue to race neck and neck. I swear I’m not making up these numbers, They are within a €20 margin! It’s uncanny! I was hoping my pension would eventually take off, but due to the relative flat market development the last couple of months, it hasn’t moved much (besides my own monthly contributions, which pretty much equates to my mortgage contributions – again, purely coincidental, but a bit uncanny none the less).
The boring income statement
|Platform||Invested||Transactions||Last month||Current value||Monthly income|
|Crowdestate||€ 100||€ 0||€ 100||€ 100||€ 0|
|Crowdestor||€ 1.008||€ 0||€ 1.023||€ 1.038||€ 15|
|Fundbricks||€ 1.333||€ 0||€ 1.333||€ 1.333||€ 0|
|Mintos||€ 290||€ 0||€ 508||€ 511||€ 3|
|TFGCrowd||€ 100||€ 0||€ 102||€ 104||€ 2|
|Wisefund||€ 475||€ 0||€ 518||€ 523||€ 5|
|€ 3.306||€ 0||€ 3.584||€ 3.609||€ 25|
|GOLD (Coins)||€ 5.333||€ 0||€ 5.333||€ 5.333|
|€ 5.333||€ 5.333|
|Stocks (Dividend portfolio)|
|PROREIT (PRV.UN)||€ 2.018||€ 0||€ 2.131||€ 2.131||€ 16|
|TransAlta Renewables (RNW)||€ 2.000||€ 2.000||€ 0||€ 2.100||€ 8|
|€ 4.231||€ 24|
|The-Many (formerly Brickshare)||€ 1.333||€ 0||€ 1.333||€ 1.333|
|Property #1||€ 68.667||€ 0||€ 68.667||€ 68.667|
|€ 70.000||€ 70.000|
|Bank #1 cash (main savings)||€ 1.333||-€ 667||€ 3.127||€ 2.460|
|Bank #2 Opportunity money||€ 0||€ 0|
|Total balance||€ 84.175||€ 85.633|
Brickshare announced a rebranding this month, so they’re now called “The Many“. Not sure if I like it, but I see where they are going with it. They are moving into “other areas”, like eg. solar and wind, so BRICKshare might be a bit misleading, so I fully understand the need for a name-change. They’ve also updated the investor dashboard to include more details. All in all a very positive progress. I might consider investing in their new renewable energy projects, and I’m hoping that they will continue to bring interesting real estate projects to the platform, as I like the simplicity.
They’ve also introduced a secondary market function in your dashboard, where you can sell your shares in a project. It comes at a 1% fee, which is actually not bad, because the buyer is The-Many themselves, so you don’t have to wait for somebody to pick it up. You’ll be credited within 30 days.
The new kid on the block is TransAlta Renewables, and it would appear to be a beginning of a new (small) dividend stock portfolio…Not quite sure how that happened (haha), but I’ll be hanging on to it for now – maybe even add some more at one point, who knows?! 😛
I finally managed to add a decent chunk of cash to my savings again, and I’m hoping to continue the trend in the coming months (spoiler alert: October is going to be off the charts 😉 ).
The classic growth chart
As always, I include the Classic growth chart for tracking purposes:
Still currently trailing far behind my target atm, but October is going to be a massive savings month, as our government has decided to payout our frozen “vacation money” from last year, which wasn’t intended to be released until you retire. Due to the Covid-19 situation, the government has decided to release them now, in hopes that people will go out and spend them in our local stores. Well, the joke is on them, because we all know that I’m not going to spend them 😉
A pretty low-key month on the income front, but I managed to squeeze in some decent savings.
I also managed to procure myself a new car (lease for 3 years), which I’m very excited about. It’s cheaper to run than our old car and it feels great to be driving an EV!
I became a Twitter Twat, and I’m still unsure where that is going to take me/the blog. We shall see 😉
I also purchased a new dividend stock in the form of TransAlta Renewables, which I’m quite happy with for now. Perhaps my two dividend stocks constitute the beginning of a whole new era for me. Time will tell! 🙂
My Net worth is slowly approaching the magic halfway mark of €500.000. That’ll be a major milestone to celebrate once that happens (maybe not until Q1 next year though).
That’s it for this months update! Thanks for reading (this far). I hope to see you again next month 🙂
Comments/questions are welcome as always.