Monthly updates

Monthly Update #39 (November 2021) – The drought continues

12 min read

Hello dear readers, good folk, friends and future self!

Christmas is almost upon us, and soon it’ll be time to say goodbye to yet another year. And what a year it has been!

Before we do that though, we’re gonna take a look at the November 2021 financials, here at the Total Balance household.

I’ve started my new job on the 1st of December, and so far I’m really enjoying it. It’s always tough on your body and soul to start a new work life. New people to meet and new ways of working to learn. It’s been a couple of weeks now and I already feel like I belong, so I have no regrets so far!

But before I get ahead of myself, lets take a look at how it all went down, in the month of November!

The month in review

I’ll be honest with you guys! I don’t remember a whole lot of what happened in November. It all seems a little blurry to me! HAHA

So I guess this update is a good way for me to try and remember what actually happened!

I’ve held 5 different positions with 5 different companies for the past 10 years. – So you would think that switching jobs for me is fairly easy (but it never really is).

I held my previous job for 3 years and while I had gotten fed up with the culture, the work ethics and the work itself, it’s never easy saying goodbye to good colleagues. There always seem to be that ONE guy that you don’t mind saying goodbye to though, but in general I liked my colleagues.

However, I do remember feeling relieved that I was about to move on. You get a different perspective on the job, when you know that it has an end-date, so I actually kind of enjoyed the last month of my (now) previous job. I was keeping busy, closing my last tasks and handing over the ones that I couldn’t finish in time for my exit. People are also generally friendly towards you when they know you are leaving.

I had 1 casual conversation with my boss before I left, other than that I didn’t speak with him for the entire month. He was nice about it (they always are – I think it’s mandatory or something 😛 ) wishing me good luck and everything, but I know that having people leave the company after only 3 years is never a good sign. – And I know that management knows that too. I wasn’t the only one leaving at the end of November – we were two people in the same office who quit for similar reasons. Another one had left 1 month earlier. I felt bad for the people we left behind, but you can’t really let that influence your decision.

After I made the decision to leave (I think it was back in August/September) I applied for a position with a company with a completely different profile – and not least, in a completely different sector. So I’ve now left the financial sector in favor of the GREEN ENERGY sector. I’ve actually made that same move once before, and somehow ended BACK in the financial sector again (after only 1 year). I can’t say for sure (you never know), but I don’t think I will be returning anytime soon.

I like the process of finding a new job (apparently). I work in IT, and the companies are desperate to hire good people. I don’t see myself as a brilliant IT guy or anything, I’m fairly average if I’m completely honest, but apparently I write good applications and present well in Interviews. I have a good education (“only” on bachelor level though – you don’t need higher than that in Denmark to get good paying jobs) and I have certifications within several Microsoft Technologies (some of which I acquired while at my previous job).

So I’ve learned over time to only apply for jobs that really speak to me (I have a pretty good application:interview ratio). I’ve turned down job offers several times before and also turned down offers for a 2nd or 3rd interview because my gut just wasn’t feeling it. But in later years, once I’ve “passed” those stupid intelligence- and personality tests that every HR department seems to love, and that job offer reaches your mailbox – it’s hard to say no (provided that the compensation package is desirable). This time around, I did say no (thanks) though. The salary just wasn’t good enough. So they came back with another offer (slightly better). I turned that one down too and then wrote them the number that I wanted. They eventually caved in. At this stage in the negotiations, never accept the first offer. This is my experience 😉

The financial sector is known to pay their employees very well, so it’s very typical to forfeit some of your fat salary when you leave the sector. This is also the case for my new job, but I’m only losing a bit on the pension contributions and then I lost 2 weeks of vacation (went from 7 weeks to 5 weeks). It was the same case last time I left the financial sector, so I was ok with it. I’m planning to try to regain 1 week of vacation when it’s time for the yearly salary negotiations (in June). But for now I’m just happy that I seem to have regained my “spark” for the work that I used to love, but somehow fell out of love with while working in the wrong companies (or so it seems anyway). It’s important for me to keep busy and feel like I contribute with something every day, and that the company’s “mission” align with my own values. I feel that I’ve found that in my new employer. From experience I know that I’m still in the “honeymoon” phase though – but that’s ok. I will just enjoy it for now, and hope that it’s going to last a while 😎

Nexo App – Interests earned

ANYWAY, I think we also need to touch upon the new kid on the block?! – CRYPTO

The portfolio didn’t see a lot of exciting additions this month (as I’m still awaiting my first paycheck from my new job), but I have opened an account with a new Crypto bank called Nexo. It’s a lot like Celsius, but Nexo is based in Europe (Celsius is US-based), so I figured it was a good addition to the roster.

So far I kind of prefer the interface of Celsius, but Nexo actually compound daily (Celsius is weekly) and it’s nice to see those “dividends” roll in every day.

Just like all the other crypto banks they of course boast that they have millions in collateral for all the crypto deposited on the platform. I don’t think that’s worth a whole lot if the shit hits the fan, so I consider it similar to the buyback guarantee on Mintos; Worthless.

Don’t put any crypto in ANY kind of online wallet, unless you’re prepared to lose it all to either hackers, script kiddies or just plain ol’ embezzlement. I’m not saying that Nexo or Celsius is going to steal your money – but I can’t guarantee you that they won’t, so you will not be getting an affil link from me (been there, done that 😛 ).

Nexo is currently paying 6% interest on ETH (they pay you an extra 2%, if you earn the interest in their native coin, Nexo). I think that’s quite decent. Celsius is currently only paying 5.35% on ETH, but unlike Nexo, Celsius actually displays the rate in the app. I haven’t found a way to see the rates in the Nexo app – you have to visit their website. That’s a little annoying to be honest…

Anyway, I now hold my crypto holdings in 3 different wallets, and my current crypto holdings is a result of a $1000 purchase of BTC back in 2017. They’ve now grown to more than 3x my initial investment, and I’ve since exchanged it to mainly ETH.

According to my now updated investment strategy I plan to allocate about 10% of my Total Balance towards crypto. However, I’m currently not in a hurry to add more, so I plan to buy some more coins when the cash reserves will allow me to 😛 I was planning to buy LUNA, but it seems the ship has sailed on that one already! Celsius is paying 8.86% on DOT (Polkadot), and Nexo is paying 13%(!) on DOT, so I think I might add some extra DOT at one point…

I was almost certain that my growth would be negative this month, as my stock holdings has been on a downhill trend most of November, but because of my fairly diverse holdings I managed to land almost “break even” with a small negative growth of -€26 (if we add the passive income, it was a green month). I like the green months a lot better, but I know that statistically we’re going to get a few red months every year, so I just have to shake it off and hope for next month to be better!

On top of that I did manage to scrape in the highest monthly passive income in more than a year! YAY! €79. Still not that impressive (aiming at €100+), but I’ll tick that off as a win for the year (and the month) regardless! 😛

I’m hoping that December will see a payout from Fundbricks (my last crowdlending venture), which would bring me over €100 for the month, but I’m not 100% confident that it will happen (though they say so), so we’ll have to wait and see!


The pwetty graphs

Our net worth is rapidly approaching €800.000, thanks to a new valuation of our home (I’ve added only the conservative valuation). It looks as though our best investment to date is thus our home. It will be interesting to see what happens with the housing market (and the interest) in the coming years. Anyway, as long as we’re living here our equity is of little importance to be honest.

It’s also a bit uncanny how my wifes pension and our Total Balance seems to be racing neck-and-neck! I don’t mind, but I am hoping that our Total Balance is going to eventually outperform her pension – but she’s been doing pretty great for the last couple of years (she does nothing, her pension provider is investing everything for her).

Our investments this month saw the most action in the crypto space – I’m expecting this to be very volatile, as our allotment towards this asset class grows over time. Fun times ahead!… (maybe)


The Booooring 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 € 1.345 € 1.382 € 12
PROREIT (PRV.UN) € 2.018 € 0 € 4.047 € 3.714 € 17
Shaw Communications (SJR) € 2.000 € 0 € 3.143 € 3.254 € 7
Toronto Dominion Bank € 1.000 € 0 € 1.012 € 1.064 € 0
TransAlta Renewables (RNW) € 2.000 € 0 € 2.441 € 2.449 € 8
€ 11.988 € 11.863 € 44
Stocks (Indices)
iShares Global Clean Energy (IQQH) € 6.667 € 7.526 € 7.189 € 28
iShares MSCI World Min Volatility (IQQ0) € 6.667 € 6.996 € 7.419 € 0
€ 14.522 € 14.608 € 28
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
Celsius (ADA, BTC, DOT, ETH) € 1.189 € 1.202 € 6
Nexo (ETH) € 0 € 996 € 1
€ 2.198 € 7
Bank #1 cash (main savings) € 0 -€ 267 -€ 267
Bank #2 Opportunity money € 0 € 0 € 0
Broker account (CAD, EUR, DKK) € 72 € 388 € 460
€ 121 € 193
Total balance € 119.354 € 120.396

Thanks to the addition of Crypto and my dividend portfolio I’m scraping in a tiny plus this month, even though I didn’t have any cash to add to my savings (cash holdings are still negative).

My REIT has been in a downwards spiral for a couple of months now, but luckily I have other holdings to even out the loss. I’m hoping it’ll regain some of its strength again eventually 🙂 It’s paying out €17 every month regardless, so I’m going to hold on to it for a long time! (Maybe even FOREVER?! 😛 ).

I finally crossed €120K, so I’m now more than 30% of the way towards my Total Balance goal!


The Classic Growth chart

As always I include the Classic Growth Chart for tracking purpose.

Another month of no savings – but I did add some crypto, which has been stored in my “off the books” account for a couple of years, so instead of adding it as savings, I’ve added it as gains (since it technically is gains – I purchased $1000 worth of crypto some years ago, and I’m now holding more than 3x that). Which means that we’re now starting to see that gap between what I have invested and the current Total Balance, which is really nice. EVENTUALLY the yield (the top dottet-area of the graph) should outgrow the deposits, right?… 🙂

I’m afraid that December is going to be another low-savings month (Christmas and all!), so I’m putting my trust in the new year to deliver something great!

One thing is clear by now; I’m not going to reach my yearly target of €135.000 that’s for sure. Oh well, better luck next time (it was a pretty far out target anyway). €120.000 is still a nice number to surpass I think. On this long journey some years is bound to be better than others, and so far 2021 has been a year without any major surprises (good or bad), and with half-decent returns. I would settle for another 10 of those  😀


In conclusion (TL;DR)

I spent most of November being busy at my old job (preparing for my new job) and have now settled in nicely in my new job. Strangely it didn’t take that long for me to “feel at home”. I take that as a good sign that I made the right move! 🙂

I had a little time to open up a new Crypto (bank) wallet, and welcomed Nexo to the roster, where I store some of my crypto (only ETH at the moment, at a 6% APR). So far I prefer the Celsius app, but the rates are better with Nexo, so I guess I can live with the somewhat “old school” app.

I’m hoping for a strong finish to the year, but it seems highly unlikely that December is going to look much different from November (at the time of writing this at least 😛 ).

All in all I’m looking forward to enter the new year! I have high hopes that it’s going to be a GREAT one 🙂

Thanks for reading this far, and see you in the new year!

(And thanks to Tony, for reminding me that it was time to finish the November update! It’s good to have friends in the community who can check up on you! 😛 )

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