Monthly updates

Monthly Update #35 (July 2021) – The Summer Slumper

6 min read

Here we go again, folks!

Another month is in the history books, and it’s thus time to look back at how our Total Balance has fared.

We had 3 weeks off in July, and we spent the majority of it in Denmark, and luckily we were fairly lucky with the weather (you never know about the Danish weather!). My daughter and I took  a weekend trip to Sweden to visit one of her friends in their summer house. It turned out to be a great weekend. The views were spectacular and the best part of it was: It was free! (Well, the ferry there cost a little). I’ve never really thought of Sweden as a holiday destination, but this place was great (see pics below).

I didn’t really follow the financial markets at all in July, but apparently I missed a minor storm, which I don’t mind at all 🙂 (missing it that is!)

The month in review

Vacation time is always reflection time, and we did do quite a bit of that.

I continue to struggle a lot with my motivation (for anything), and before we went on vacation I started seeing a therapist.

Apparently, my main problem is that I spend way too much time ruminating around in my own brain, and this leads to an unhealthy psyche. It sounds about right! My therapist has me reading a couple of books on “metacognitive therapy”. So far I’m positive (but still ruminating a lot – like way too much, no doubt). We’ll see how that pan out.

In an attempt to “lighten my mood” and general spirit, I’ve changed my diet a bit, so I now eat as little meat as possible, and generally try to avoid any red meat altogether. I’ve long suffered from a tendency to inflammation in my joints, and since I’ve cut down on my meat consumption and upped my daily dosis of Omega-3, I definitely feel a change for the better, so I will continue on the less meat path and see where it goes.

Meanwhile, the level of my disliking of my current job/career goes up and down. Right now I’m in a place where I feel I can live with it (for now), but tomorrow I might feel like quitting on the spot. I’ve been thinking that a career change is going to be inevitable, but as of right now I have no idea what I should pursue instead of IT. I’ve concluded that I better finish my therapy, before making any rash career decisions. Also, it’s really hard to find another job outside of IT that pays as good as my current job 😛 But I feel like the money is less important – my happiness and sanity has to be my main focus going forward.

Since the beginning of the year I have felt like my current “FIRE lifestyle” (it’s not really a FIRE lifestyle to be honest…) is not exactly adding to my happiness. It seems that constantly attempting to delay gratification has a price. So I’ve decided that I might be taking a FIRE pause for a couple of months, where I stop focusing on saving, and just focus on living and being happy. I’m thinking it could be 2-3 months from the beginning of next year – maybe sooner, depending on how I feel when autumn arrives. It’s August and I’m already dreading the arrival of winter…I hate the winter. Anyway, no need to take the sorrows in advance! Something great might come of autumn, who knows?! 😛

In other (slightly related) news, I think I’ve concluded that I’m going to make a slight change to my (our) investment strategy. I haven’t sold (or bought) anything yet, but I might be cashing in some (or all?) of my stocks/ETFs to purchase some more….real estate 🙂

The reason for doing this would be that I’d like to have investments that could possibly also bring me some form of physical enjoyment. I’d like to mix business with pleasure basically.

There are a couple of different possibilities that I’m considering, and we did actually put in a bid on a summer house that we would rent out the majority of the year, but still use ourselves for some weeks during the summer (and maybe also winter).

The reason why I like this idea is because we would be making about 8%/year on our money – even more if you count the leverage – AND we’d save money on our own summer holiday rentals.

So far we have not been able to agree on the price with the seller though, so this particular deal might fall through – but I’m confident that something else might pop up instead if this one falls through. I’m trusting the Universe on this one 😉 If it’s meant to be it’ll happen – if not, something else (and better?) will probably happen instead 🙂

Anyway, our portfolio didn’t see much movement in July, and passive income was pretty average – so not much to report here.

As promised, some scenic shots from our Swedish getaway:

The Pretty graphs

Slow and steady – again the most interesting part is happening on the last page (Net Worth). It has grown significantly and steadily over the last couple of years. It’s nice to see 🙂

The boring income statement

Platform Invested Transactions Last month Current value Monthly income
Commodities
GOLD (Coins) € 5,333 € 0 € 5,500 € 5,500
€ 5,500 € 5,500
Stocks (Dividend portfolio)
Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS) € 1,000 € 0 € 1,303 € 1,295 € 11
PROREIT (PRV.UN) € 2,018 € 0 € 4,043 € 4,045 € 17
Shaw Communications (SJR) € 2,000 € 0 € 3,084 € 3,115 € 7
Toronto Dominion Bank € 1,000 € 0 € 954 € 935 € 0
TransAlta Renewables (RNW) € 2,000 € 0 € 2,709 € 2,740 € 8
€ 12,093 € 12,130 € 43
Stocks (Indices)
iShares Global Clean Energy (IQQH) € 6,667 € 7,194 € 7,159 € 0
iShares MSCI World Min Volatility (IQQ0) € 6,667 € 7,009 € 7,296 € 0
€ 14,203 € 14,455 € 0
Properties
The-Many (Brickshare) € 15,999 € 0 € 16,034 € 16,034 € 0
Property #1 € 68,667 € 0 € 68,667 € 68,667 € 0
Fundbricks € 1,333 € 0 € 1,333 € 1,333 € 0
€ 86,034 € 86,034 € 0
Cash
Bank #1 cash (main savings) € 1,000 -€ 3,467 -€ 2,467
Bank #2 Opportunity money € 0 0
Broker account (CAD, EUR, DKK) € 43 € 249 € 292
-€ 3,218 -€ 2,175
 
Total balance € 114,612 € 115,944

No major changes to report this month – all in all a pretty quiet average month. I suppose this is what you want as a long term investor 🙂

Still a bit of leverage left (that I used to purchase another property with The-Many a while ago), but it should be gone in a couple of months, if everything goes according to the plan.

The Classic Growth Chart

As always, I include the Classic growth chart for tracking purpose.

The graph format doesn’t really support the low-income/low savings months 😛 (This is intentional! it’s supposed to discourage me from having them! HAHA). For now I think it’s ok, but I’m preparing a complete revamp of the classic growth chart. I might need to split the Total Balance progress and the income/savings in two graphs to make it more clear what’s going on…But for now you’ll have to live with this one 🙂

In conclusion (TL;DR)

Another quiet month with average passive income and not much to report in terms of growth. However, all the numbers are green, so that’s always something to celebrate 😛

We’re considering moving out of stocks/ETFs (again) and putting the money to use in some sort of vacation home (we would rent it out and make some cash), but nothing is final yet, so for now no changes has been made in the stock/ETF allocation.

We took some much needed time off in June, and enjoyed the nice summer weather on the northern hemisphere. My wife is starting to long for the south, and I’m sensing that another winter-trip to a warm destination is in my future, provided that the stupid pandemic will allow it! We’ll see…

See you again next month – and thanks for reading 🙂

How did you do this month?!

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