Monthly updates

Monthly Update #36 (August 2021) – Another Great Loss

6 min read

Here we go again! Another month is history, and as the norm dictates it’s thus time to have a look at our finances in the Total Balance household.

August 2021 was a(nother) red month in terms of stocks/ETF growth, but worst of all I had to bury another grandparent.

My grandmother died at the age of 88.

It was sad and a bit unexpected, although her health had been declining steadily for years, nobody expected her to leave us the way she did. Two days in the hospital and off she went. We take comfort in knowing that she didn’t suffer (much). She was tired, frail, and had lived a long and good life up until her somewhat untimely death. Her husband died 7 years ago (right before our daughter was born), and he died from Alzheimers. Watching him wither away slowly in front of our eyes was an unpleasant experience for everyone (including himself) – but especially for my grandmother.

My grandmother was strong and clear-minded till the very end. This is obviously the preferred way to go (if you could chose). It’s times like these where you start to question your own beliefs. Is there a God? And if so, is there a heaven? I’ve now had to say goodbye to two of my grandparents within a year, and we tell our daughter that they are in a better place – in heaven maybe, where they get to hang out with all the people that they themselves has had to say goodbye to over the years. We don’t know if this is true, but this is what we tell our children. And maybe, sometimes also ourselves.

The month in review

For a couple of weeks finances doesn’t matter much. First you get the news and you’re shocked, but not surprised. The next couple of days/weeks is a rollercoaster of feelings. You mourn the dead, and remind yourself the importance of living. To get the most out of life. You dread the funeral, but also look forward to it, as you’ll get to say your final goodbye, and hopefully put a lid on the rollercoaster. Until next time. There’s always a next time…

My daughter doesn’t appear affected at all. To her she was just an old woman that we visited once in a while – and sometimes she would visit us. She asks the question that only children can ask:

 Who will be the next to die? Will it be you or mom?

We talk about how it usually works; The elders go first. Her grandmother (her mothers mom) or my other grandmother (my moms mom) are now the oldest in the family. Then her grandparents on her fathers side.

Her parents 3rd in line…

Shit that is a scary thought…

My grandmother (the one who died) was not a woman with a lot of dreams. She lived her life mainly in service of her husband and their 3 sons (like the norm for that generation). She was good at it, and she took great pride in her position in the family. I’ve had many great experiences with her though, and she was the classic grandmother type, in that she’d do anything for her grand kids. We’ve been very spoiled 🙂

With her death it’s the end of an era. She lived in a big house that my grandfather built more than 60 years ago. I’ve spent most of my childhood in- and around that house. We’d all love to come there, as it was the type of place where not much changed over the years. Same furniture, same kitchen, same toys and the same loving people. Saying goodbye to that place is almost as hard, as saying goodbye to the people who lived there. So many memories.

In the midst of everything, my daughter turned 7 years old. The birthday party had obviously been planned for months. Her birthday was on a Thursday, so we would have the party on the following Saturday.

My grandmother died the week before and my father and his wife arranged the funeral. Since it was still in the summer vacation period, the options for burial dates was limited. They were given the choice of THE Thursday or THE Saturday. How tragicomically is that?…

They picked the Saturday, as they didn’t think it would be cool to have the funeral on their grand daughters actual birthday. I think they made the right call there, but it would obviously mean that we would either have to cancel the birthday party or have a funeral and a birthday party on the same day.

Writing this I realize how crazy it was – but we DID have a funeral AND a birthday party on the same day. And we all survived (no pun intended!) 🙂

That was a pretty rough week(end) though! I don’t recommend it…

No major financial movements happened in the month of August. Thank God. (oops)

The Pretty graphs

I’m growing kind of tired of the Stocks page, so I’m considering just dropping it, as I don’t think it provides a whole lot of value (given the small amount of movements every month). Thoughts, anyone? 

Our Pension is making a serious break for it. The Net Worth page is the page I most enjoy making/looking at every month. How about you, dear reader? Any thoughts about this? Good/bad? Indifferent? 😛

The boring income statement

Platform Invested Transactions Last month Current value Monthly income
GOLD (Coins) € 5,333 € 0 € 5,500 € 5,500
€ 5,500 € 5,500
Stocks (Dividend portfolio)
Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS) € 1,000 € 0 € 1,295 € 1,245 € 0
PROREIT (PRV.UN) € 2,018 € 0 € 4,045 € 4,042 € 17
Shaw Communications (SJR) € 2,000 € 0 € 3,115 € 3,150 € 7
Toronto Dominion Bank € 1,000 € 0 € 935 € 888 € 0
TransAlta Renewables (RNW) € 2,000 € 0 € 2,740 € 2,517 € 8
€ 12,130 € 11,842 € 32
Stocks (Indices)
iShares Global Clean Energy (IQQH) € 6,667 € 7,159 € 7,168 € 0
iShares MSCI World Min Volatility (IQQ0) € 6,667 € 7,296 € 7,357 € 0
€ 14,455 € 14,525 € 0
The-Many (Brickshare) € 15,999 € 0 € 16,034 € 16,034 € 8
Property #1 € 68,667 € 0 € 68,667 € 68,667 € 0
Fundbricks € 1,333 € 0 € 1,333 € 1,333 € 0
€ 86,034 € 86,034 € 8
Bank #1 cash (main savings) € 1,000 -€ 2,467 -€ 1,467
Bank #2 Opportunity money € 43 € 0 € 43
Broker account (CAD, EUR, DKK) € 32 € 292 € 324
-€ 2,175 -€ 1,100
Total balance € 115,944 € 116,801

We received a little bit of income from The-Many this month, but nothing that’s going to affect our FIRE date that’s for sure!

I’ve recovered a little cash from my crowdlending adventures (and it seems more is to come), so I’ve started to play around with a bit of Crypto in Revolut.

They have a pretty massive spread when you exchange currency to crypto, but it seems very fast and easy to get going. So I’ve decided to put everything I can recover from crowdlending into Crypto. Just for fun 😛 We’ll see how that adventure is going to pan out…

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)

A rollercoaster month on many levels. Returns were crap and I had to bury another grand parent (my grandmother) – on the same day that we held my daughters 7th birthday. What a week(end) that was!

We received dividends from the usual suspects, but also a little bit from The-Many (properties).

I recovered a wee bit of cash from Crowdestor and Mintos, and decided to put them to work in crypto, using the Revolut app. So far I like it, but the spread to exchange between EUR<->Crypto in the Revolut app is quite big, so I don’t necessarily recommend it – but it’s very easy to get started 🙂

That’s it for this month!

Thanks for reading (this far) and see you next month 🙂


3 thoughts on “Monthly Update #36 (August 2021) – Another Great Loss

  1. Sorry for your loss Nick. I too lost my Italian grandmother in August, my last grandparent! It had been a long time coming though, she was approaching her late 90s. Alzheimers is a terrible disease, my Grandfather died of it when I was 12, I have horrible memories of it and fear of getting it myself. I’m thankful to be aiming for an early retirement just in case.

    I like your charts, they add a professional flare to your witty and humorous writing style! I especially like how it pops into action as you scroll down the page 😀

    To your question about the net worth page…. Where the buggery is it!? I looked through your menu, is it this one? I even went as far as to ctrl + alt + f and search for the word “net worth” but nothing came up.

    1. Thanks, man! Losing people you love just sucks. There’s no other way to put it. But It’s part of life, so we gotta make the most of it, right?

      Aren’t you supposed to be a computer wiz kid!? 😛 The infogram has 3 pages, and the net worth is page-3 🙂

  2. I am sorry for your loss Nick.

    The stock portfolio section maybe worth spending time updating if you want to get more serious in dividends? Are the index fund distributing? If not I would personally just do a dividend stocks portfolio showing your companies on a donut chart. As you are getting into crypto, perhaps another idea could be to do a combination which would compare returns on gold, crypto, stocks, property,…?

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