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Living without money

Is it possible? Can you live in our society today without money? I researched it! To be fair, I didn’t try it out. It is one step too far for me, but we can learn from the principles. Through various websites I read article from writers who live or have lived without money. However, that is by no means easy. We spend money in a number of categories. Below is a list of the possible solutions in each category.

Living

You could of course get by with a tent and a sleeping bag… but you have to be really motivated and hardcore. Cashless living is a lot more difficult if you want a roof over your head. On a blog I found an example of someone who lived without money and who had a house. He paid the rent of nomadic travelers who came to stay with him in while traveling and donated towards the rent. These people often also brought food that they shared.

If you want to live cashless but have a (substantial) starting capital, you can choose to buy a house without a mortgage (or, for example, a tiny house or caravan) and live in it.

Services

If you live in a house and not in a tent or your sleeping bag, then a number of things are important. Electricity and gas, and for me also internet. Carolien Hoogland says in her TedTalk that she has lived without money for a year. She wrote a letter to the energy company requesting to receive “free” power and gas for a year. In return, she researched better marketing around green electricity and shared this with the energy supplier. The energy company agreed, and so they managed not to spend money for a whole year on electricity. With a little creativity, even that is possible! Dare to ask.

Food

A basic necessity of life is food. You can of course grow your own food. After a start-up period of buying seeds (or growing vegetables by cuttings and using seeds from vegetables from the supermarket) and soil and possibly pots, you can then grow your own food and harvest your seeds for the following year. You do need space for this. You can also pass by restaurants and ask for leftover food that would otherwise be thrown away. You could also go dumpster diving (getting food from waste bins at the supermarket) or ask at the market at closing time if there is anything unsaleable that would otherwise be thrown away. If you want to eat for free you can be less picky. You eat what you find or what you get. You can also organize a potluck. Then you invite people to eat with you and everyone brings something.

Taxes

In the Netherlands it is very difficult to not pay taxes. That is not surprising. Many essential things are paid from the tax money. We all use services payed by taxes on a daily basis.

Don’t want to pay tax after all? You can have yourself made sovereign, then you are supposedly stateless and you no longer have to pay taxes. You can no longer get a passport and driver’s license, you are not allowed to work and you are not entitled to allowances and benefits. Issues such as receiving care if you do not have health insurance and are not officially a resident of the Netherlands are difficult topics. Not paying tax is therefore very difficult in practice. I certainly wouldn’t recommend it.

Clothes

I think clothing is the least difficult part of this list. Clothing is donated by almost all of us. If people know about your cashless living project, you can ask them to think about you before donating clothes. If you are skilled with the sewing machine, you can make your own clothes if you get something that does not fit properly. The only thing people often wear until it breaks are socks and underwear. Here, too, it must be possible to get your hands on for free. Think of asking for a supply for your birthday.

Transport

The bicycle is free and so is walking. Do you have to be further away? Hitchhiking is not common in the Netherlands, but you can go a long way. Carpooling can also be an option. Do you have to be on time? That may be more difficult. If you live without money and do not have a job that requires you to arrive on time, the need for motorized transport is a lot less.

Others

How about all the other stuff? People donate well-functioning things all the time. Let your network know what you are looking for and chances are you will get what you need. I myself regularly accept things from people who have to get rid of it. I have already received a tumble dryer, bookcase and sofa. Absolutely for free! If you search for free stuff in your area on your version of craigslist, probably it is full of all kinds of other things that people want to get rid of.

And if you need something that normally needs money in return, you may be able to barter or work and get paid-in-kind.

What lessons can we take from living without money and still remain normal.

You live more with the community that exists or that you create around you if you decide to live without money. You depend on people but on the other hand you live more freely than ever. At least, that’s what the people who do it themselves or have done for a while say. If you do this for a while, I think it will change your view of money. You become more creative and settle for less.

As far as I am concerned, what we can get out of this is that not everything always has to cost money. I don’t think I could live without money. I don’t have that ambition either. I do know that I could make do with less. Let’s face it, a lot of things we spend money on are not necessary. All that is really necessary are housing, food and certain services such as electricity, water, gas, internet and some insurance, and even all these points can be disputed and negotiated and saved.

In the Western world we live in such an abundance of luxury that we are no longer used to anything else. It is good to reflect on that from time to time. We pretty much all have everything we need to survive, and most of us have enough to live comfortably or even thrive, grow, and live meaningful lives. What a privilege!

By living more frugally and applying the philosophy of cashless living in different areas of your life, you are good for your wallet. That is good for your future self. If you have money on hand in the future by saving it now, you will be a bit freer and experience less stress. And if you are now used to spending less than you make, you will learn to be satisfied with less and you will not immediately have stress when things go downhill financially for a while.

By living with the things you already have, by exchanging more with each other instead of buying everything new and by being more creative with your resources, you also help our planet. And what really emerges as a benefit is the sense of community. You can rely on each other and you can trust that it will work out. People are more generous than you think!

I’m going to try not to spend money this month on things that aren’t needed. I don’t need clothes (note to self). I’m also working hard to grow a lot of my own food, even though my garden is small. This month I will review all fixed costs and switch to different providers where possible. Only the transport to and from work, I cannot change that much. I cannot carpool, take public transport or work from home due to working in a semi hard to reach place. I do drive 100km/h on the highway. That quickly saves 2 km per liter of petrol compared to 130 km/h. At the end of the month, I will let you know in my dear diary of april how it went. Who knows, maybe I want to keep this up longer!

Let me know if you could live without money in a comment!

Until next time!

Elske

Dear Diary

March 2021

Bitten by a tiny goat!

This month i cuddled little lambs, sown vegetables, baked bread and got a new window!

Books

I have read and listened to a number of books.

I spent all month on Kate Adkinson’s Life After Life book. What if it had turned out differently? What if you make a decision differently? This book took me with Ursula, a girl who was born in 1910. Every time she died, she took another life. Every time it turned out differently, until she changed the world. The book took me through the history of the second world war from both an English and a German perspective. Including the pleasant read, I also got a history lesson. I thought it was a nice book to read. A bit long-winded here and there, but the interesting philosophy made up for it.

I listened to “Animals can get the plague, and then?” By Esther Ouwehand. Clear explanation of why we have to drastically reduce the livestock population in the Netherlands. The next pandemic could just come from the Netherlands. Just like the Q fever and the bird flu, which also come from the Netherlands.

I also listened to the audiobook “Rich dad, poor dad” by Robert Kiyosaki. It’s about a boy with a father who has many degrees and diplomas but does not seem to make any financial progress. His best friend’s father has no degrees nor diplomas, starts his own business and becomes very rich. What can we learn from it? If you play not to lose, you will not win. If you play to win you will occasionally lose but the chances of winning are higher.

Learn and become financially intelligent. Make sure you put your money into things that will increase in value. If you start to earn more, don’t spend more but put the surplus aside in investments. Once you have more money, it is easier to make more of it quickly. More and more often you have the chance to double it if you have a starting amount. Work to learn and not work to earn. Make sure you learn as much as possible on the job. Take every opportunity to learn. Have you finished learning? Go to the next profession. Preferably something financial or as a salesman. In these types of jobs you learn to communicate, sell products and deal with setbacks / rejections.

Use 5% of your income every month to invest to increase your financial intelligence. For example buying (and reading) books, attending seminars or courses for example. He suggests to just keep working, but to ‘mind your own business’. Meaning to create your own side hustle and passive income. Get started today.

I listened to “Never too busy again, a clear mind in an overcrowded world” Tony Crabbe. This book provides tools to create more peace.

The audiobook “A new earth” by Eckhart Tholle impressed me. I really have to read this to get the full essence of it. The writer shows that much of what we do and the dissatisfaction in ourselves comes from our ego. When you are in the moment and let go of your ego, that creates “being.” Inner peace. Interesting but a bit woolly for my taste.

Expenses

This month I had a small single-glazed attic window replaced by a much larger one with double glass. I am going to finish the walls around it (one day), but the window will bring much better insulation and much more light to the attic. Beautiful!

I also made some expenses at the hardware store (paint, brushes, rollers, etc.) and I bought more clothes than I need. All clothing is second-hand.  If that makes it less bad 😉

Garden

In March, the garden starts to come back to life. I spotted the first insects and the first green buds appear on the bushes and trees.

I have sown tomato, cauliflower, broccoli, basil and wild strawberry on the windowsill and outside the first plants of snow peas, winter peas and sugar snap are already standing proudly. The onions are already getting green and the potato is in the ground. The arugula and radish are already on the rise. Everything is still very early and the warm and cold days follow each other, as is only possible in March.

In April there will be a lot more in the windowsill and in the garden. I can’t wait!

What have you been doing in the past month?

Elske

Don’t overthink it.

What is the fine line between Analysis Paralysis and Extinct by Instinct?

Analysis paralysis is when the fear of either making an error or forgoing a superior solution, outweighs the realistic expectation or potential value of success in a decision made in a timely manner. This imbalance results in suppressed decision-making in an unconscious effort to preserve existing options. Also known as overthinking.

This happens all the time with regards to investing. In the stock market it’s never the perfect time to step in or to get out. You will never be at the lowest to step in and never at the highest to get out. But as warren buffet says, time in the market beats timing the market. It is better to just begin before it is 100% right then to wait and miss out. Don’t be paralyzed by analysis.

On the other hand though… on the contrary is extinct by instinct. It means to make an incorrect decision in haste without detailed or with little analysis. Such decisions can be detrimental as much as the analysis paralysis. So, here’s a little advise. Only invest money you can afford to lose. Invest in stuff you know something about and are appropriate for your level of risk. If you have money left to invest, read up on what you want to invest in and go for it. Don’t overdo the research but don’t make rushed decisions. Never listen to a random guy on the internet. It’s weird how people blindly follow advice from an unprofessional internet stranger when it comes to investing but are not willing to listen to a financial advisor or make own decisions. (Hi, I’m an internet stranger as well, don’t take my advice too serious, make your own decisions 😉 )

Don’t fall for overcomplicated explanations. You don’t look dumb if you don’t invest in stuff you have little understanding of. If you understand what you are doing, the risk is so much lower and the chances of a high return of investment are increasing. So your best bet is to stay there. Expand your knowledge before expanding your investments into unknown territory.

Best of luck!

Elske

Side Hustle ideas you can do from home in 2021

The idea of Simple with Money is to earn enough money to live off of passive income forever. A.k.a. living  financially free. To live financially free you need money to work for you and make you income. Money makes money, so the more you can put in your investments to make more money, the faster you are financially free. Here are some ideas in different categories to make more money.

Renting out stuff

  • Rent out a room or your house on Airbnb.
  • Get a roommate.
  • Rent out your car on a car lending platform.
  • Rent out your ladder, drill land hammer.
  • Rent out anything people are willing to pay you for.

Second job from your computer

  • Print on demand shop. For inspiration follow Wholesale Ted on Youtube.
  • Start a dropshipping webshop.
  • Create an online course and sell it.
  • Start a YouTube Channel and generate income through ads, sponsorship and affiliate marketing.
  • Create a blog for the same benefits.
  • Create a podcast for the same benefits.
  • Translate texts.
  • Hire yourself as a personal assistant.
  • Fill out online surveys.
  • Offer coaching or consulting.

Part time job ideas

  • Be a cohost to someone on AirBnB with no time to check in and clean.
  • Become an Uberdriver.
  • Become a local guide in your area.
  • Hire yourself as a babysitter.
  • Hire yourself as a pet sitter.
  • Hire yourself as a house sitter.
  • Become a dog walker.
  • Sell your creative work on Etsy.
  • Go mystery shopping.
  • Clean houses or do maintenance on house or garden.
  • Teach music if you play an instrument or know how to sing or DJ.

Miscellaneous

  • Isolate your house and put solar panels on the roof
  • Put your money in an ETF.
  • Sell unused stuff.
  • Negotiate your salary.
  • Flipping. Flipping is buying something cheap and selling it at a profit. Either car flipping, house flipping, LP flipping, designer handbag flipping, thrift store flipping, book flipping. Anything you can get your hands on cheap and know how to sell at a profit.
  • Get a library subscription and read all the books on finance, economy, investing and the stock market.
  • Build a vegetable garden and grow your own food (great hobby!).
  • Consider peer to peer lending.

Allright, I know they won’t all be suitable to you. They are not all suitable to me either. Also the list is far from complete. I still hope I gave you some inspiration on ways to make money. Let me know if you are making money on the side and how you do it. Let’s learn from each other!

Till next time,

Elske

I am not a Financial advisor nor am I YOUR financial advisor. I am not a trained financial professional. This blog is for entertainment purposes only.

But I love my job!

This is for people who love their jobs and could not imagine a life without working.

The FIRE movement (financial independent, retired early) is all about retiring early. People of the FIRE movement are trying to get financially ahead so much that they don’t have the need to work for money ever again. You can do this either by saving up a large amount of money to live of the returns or by lowering your expenses by a lot. Quickest is to do both.

On FIRE

You really don’t want to stop working? Do you love your job and really don’t feel the need to be financially free? I still think you should consider getting financially free. The feeling of going to work because you want to versus because you need to is a world of a difference. Besides that, who knows how great your work is in 20 or 30 or 40 years from now. How will you feel physically, mentally and emotionally in many years from now? What will the company you work for look like in that amount of years, or will it even exist? Will your job be taken by robots and machines? Will a normal workweek be 4 days a week or 7?  Saving for a rainy day, even if you love your job is never a bad idea.

I want you to think today about the feeling of wanting to work instead of needing to work. Really feel it, how do you feel? Is your job still as awesome? Do you want to go there and spend your precious time at work while you could be doing everything you want instead? Is it worth it to wake up by your alarm before you are actually done sleeping? How about commuting in a traffic jam?

If you still love your job: Congratulations! I salute you and I envy you. I have never loved a job that much that it felt like the most enjoyable thing I could imagine doing 40 hours a week. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t think there is something wrong with working and having a job. It is just that the freedom of getting to work instead of having to work makes all the difference. And besides. The freedom you get from working for example 3 days a week instead of 5 already makes a lot of difference. And you can pursue your dreams in the time freed. Or not, and live a leisurely and content life just at a slower pace than the rushed busy people around you.

I don’t think anybody on their deathbed has ever said: ‘Well, I wish I had spent more time working and less time with my kids, that would have been great’. Or: ‘I was thinking about buying that 73th pair of jeans that looked exactly like the 72 perfectly fine pairs already in my stuffed closet and I didn’t buy it. That is the biggest regret I have’.

Having money/investments/passive income will give you the freedom to be flexible. If you have debt you are basically a slave to the lender, and you will feel like you are never really ‘done’ working or feel flexible to work a little less when other things become more important.

The more money stays in your pocket (works for you in passive income!) the more freedom you will experience. And the feeling of working because you can and want to gives so much peace of mind.

Are you planning on retiring early? And have you ever heard of the FIRE movement before?

Let me know in the comments!

Till next time,

Elske

I am not a Financial advisor nor am I YOUR financial advisor. I am not a trained financial professional. This blog is for entertainment purposes only.

On monthly bills and utilities

I tell you to go and invest and save up for an emergency fund and I give advice about investment strategies. But life is expensive, I get that and I agree. It is hard to have some money left at the end of the month. I like to share some tips to keep the utilities and monthly bills as low as possible. There are more than just these tips, the list is not complete. Also you are probably already doing a lot of there. Hopefully it is of help anyway.

  • Check at your bank if the interest rate on your mortgage can get lower. Ask for rent reduction at the landlord (traded for cleaning the communal space for example).
  • Compare the price of electricity to other providers and switch to the cheapest.
  • Compare the price of all your insurances and switch. For example house, life, travel, care, liability, legal assistance etc.
  • Cancel all non-essential insurances. Like phone, all risk for your older car, travel insurance if you are not traveling etc.
  • Change your car insurance if you pay for mileage. If you commute less due to working from home, it can be lowered.
  • Change internet providers.
  • Cancel your cable tv all together. Paying for commercials is old fashioned.
  • Choose one streaming service. Having Netflix, Disney plus, Prime and Hulu is a bit much. A lot of shows are available for free and there are better ways of spending your time than watching tv.
  • Turn off the heating at least an hour before bedtime.
  • Insulate your house. Check for available subsidies.
  • Be frugal with electricity.
  • Buy a sim lock free phone and take on a sim-only subscription. A phone can be used 3-4 years. Count your profit.

That’s it. It is my list. What do you think I missed. Can I save on other things than are on this list? Please let me know!

Till next time,

Elske

I am not a Financial advisor nor am I YOUR financial advisor. I am not a trained financial professional. This blog is for entertainment purposes only.

Cognitive dissonance

Research has shown that we would not become lazy and would not work less if we received free money in the form of the basic income. You can read more about this in the book “Utopia for realists”. It is contrary to our view that failure to work should be punished by being poor and that that is the only way to motivate people to work. It also says that opening the borders to so-called “prospectors” has economic benefits. These are economic refugees who are not fleeing a political situation or war, but poverty. They flee to pursue a better job and a better life. Everyone would benefit. That is contrary to the view that most people hold.

This is an example of cognitive dissonance. The definition is as follows: Cognitive dissonance is a psychological term for the unpleasant tension that arises when learning about facts or beliefs that are contrary to one’s own belief or opinion, or behavior that is contrary to one’s own beliefs, values ​​and norms .

What you will do when you experience cognitive dissonance is justify things to yourself. It is abundantly clear that smoking is unhealthy. “Yes, but I have to die of something anyway.” Or: “I love animals very much” while you eat meat every day. When experiencing cognitive dissonance, we can enter into this conflict with ourselves in two ways. We can change our thinking or belief or we can change our actions. In the examples above, the smoker adjusts his beliefs (It’s okay because I have to die of something anyway) and if you decide to stop eating meat then you adjust your actions.

For me, some cognitive dissonances have to do with money. For example, a belief that I always had is that you should be very frugal. Now I sometimes think differently about it. Sometimes it is good to spend money. For example, so that something increases in value. Think of a renovation in your home or a training so that you become more valuable for an employer or your own company which you expand. Or to be generous to friends or family. Not something that increases in value moneywise, but it does increase your wellbeing and that of said friend or family member!

In terms of budget, I can choose between transforming what is now a storage attic with a loft ladder into a spacious bedroom with a fixed staircase, or renovating the whole kitchen. At first glance, remodeling the kitchen seems like a good idea. I can be found there every day and this will drastically improve the appearance of the house. The kitchen is still very functional, but there are no built-in appliances and the pipes run over the wall instead of neatly milled away. Still, I opted for an attic renovation. The kitchen hardly adds to the value of the house. Extra square meters and a bedroom, on the other hand, do count. When I see similar houses for sale in the area, I see that houses that have replaced the loft ladder for a fixed staircase can add at least 20% to the house price Easily double of what I spend on it. Houses with a new kitchen but a loft ladder are not higher in value than my house with old kitchen. The choice is then suddenly made quickly. What would you do in my case?

Nice to drive this one for free right!

Also, I always thought that cars, for example, are always a waste of your money. Recently a video of Graham Stephan appeared. He bought a car for over $ 300,000 !! He expects to be able to drive it and sell the car at a profit in a few years. Sounds too good to be true, but it is possible (especially if you buy a very rare, expensive car). At the moment this also works with, for example, campers, I am eager to do that myself. On the one hand, I think I’m not going to spend thousands of euros on a camper. It is much cheaper to go on holiday by car and rent an AirBnB. But if I do buy a camper and sell it again in a few years for about the same amount or even at a profit, it might not even matter that much. Especially if I can rent out the camper when I am not using it myself. Maybe it won’t work out like I hope though…

Another example. Before I bought a car, I did everything by bicycle and public transport. Since I have a car, I regularly do small distances, that are easily doable by bike, by car, while my firm conviction was always to use the car only for distances that cannot be done by bicycle. In my head I make all these excuses like well, it is not such good weather anyway, I have a heavy bag with me, so I can get to my destination faster, etc. Here I have adjusted my thinking and beliefs so that it suits me better. Not too bright! Soon I will turn into one of Mr. Money Mustaches car clowns!

We defenitiley don’t want to be looking like this!

What you should pay attention to is when, for example, you have saved a lot of money by not making an expensive purchase that you wanted to make, and then purchase something else that you actually do not need. This way you reward yourself for your frugal behavior. This also works with very healthy and little food all day because you are on a diet and then reward yourself with a filled cake in the evening for keeping it up all day. These are forms of rewards that do not work in your favor.

In his book “The four-hour work week” by Timothy Ferriss, he also goes through a number of cognitive dissonances than we are all familiar with. We are so convinced that to get rich or make money at all, you have to work hard. We cannot imagine running a successful business in four hours a week. He says you don’t have to work 40 hours a week or more to run a thriving business. It can also be done in 4 hours. He then works 4 hours a week and regularly takes four weeks of vacation o top of it. This is diametrically opposed to the idea of ​​an hourly invoice and the hourly wage.

Can you give any more examples of cognitive dissonance?

Until next time!

Elske

I am not a Financial advisor nor am I YOUR financial advisor. I am not a trained financial professional. This blog is for entertainment purposes only.

Predicting the future in a crystal ball

The stock market is shaking. Big players like Tesla and Apple have seen a big dip this past week. The stock exchange is a rollercoaster. Like always, a lot of people are making predictions. ‘A big crash is coming!’, ‘The whole monetary system is collapsing!’, ‘Interest rates can’t get lower, what will happen next?’. All these panic headlines. I tried to find out what the buzz is about. Here is what I found.

The stock exchange is a rollercoaster. You’ll get hurt if you step out early.

Corona.

The world economy took a big hit because of the pandemic. A lot of stimuli have entered the economy. The money presses have been pressing new money like crazy to keep ahead of the economic disasters created by lockdowns. With the extra money pumped into the economy, a higher inflation arises. That is undesirable. The aim is to keep inflation under 2% annually.

Super debt cycle.

Some economists say we are ending a super debt cycle. Once every 50-75 years there is the end of a super debt cycle. This occurs when central banks keep the interest rates low. It is done to make it easy to take out loans and make it less desirable to save. It is artificial growth of the economy based on loans. Interest rates are historically low both on your savings account as on a mortgage and on government bonds. Stocks in general are going up without any sort of big crashes for a while.

Tight monetary policy is coming. Defying inflation with low interest rates is not working. What is happening then is the central banks will increase interest rates. The artificial growth will slow down. It will get harder to take on a loan and that will decrease spending. The interest rates on bonds and savings accounts will go up so saving and investing in bonds will become more interesting. Saving and investing in bonds is less risky than investing in the stock market. Therefore money will be taken out of the stock market and put into savings and bond. By decreasing the demand on stocks, the prices will go down.

When will saving become more interesting than investing?

What if you have 100 dollars. You can exchange them to a 50/50% change that it will become 0 or 1000 dollars. What do you do? Changes are you are going to say I will take my change and hope to make it 1000 dollars. Now do the same thing but with 500 dollars. There is a 50/50% change of it becoming 0 or 1000 dollars. What do you do? My best guess is that you will keep the 500. The guaranteed 500 is better than the 50/50 change of 1000. This is how investing in the stock market is. The return on investments was so low on savings and bonds that a lot of people took a shot on the stock market. The risk of losing your stakes is bigger, but the changes of a high return are also greater. The near zero interest rates and growing inflation you lose money if you keep it at your savings account. The upcoming higher interest rates will also create a higher interest rate on your savings. Expectations are that a large group of people will redeem their stocks and put them back on the savings account. The stock market will go down. I think this will only happen as the interest rates will be as high as 3-4%. The average return of investments on stocks is around 7-8%. Where do you think the tipping point will be?

Gold standard and cryptocurrency.

Then there is this point. Our complete monetary system is based on the dollar. The value of the dollar was directly linked to gold. Other currencies were linked to the dollar. In 1971 the dollar was detached from gold but it is still linked to the other currencies. Since a couple of years there is a new player on the market that’s winning terrain. Cryptocurrency. Nowadays it is possible to use your cryptocurrency as collateral for loans. You no longer have to go to the bank if you need money. You can also grant your cryptocurrency to someone who needs money on websites such as blockfi. Someone who needs money pays interest, you receive interest. If your crypto increases in value and you exchange it for dollars again, that also adds up. That way you can create a whole new monetary system in which government and banks are completely sidelined. No one can see into the future, so I am not going to say in advance whether this is the new monetary system. It is interesting though.

Buy the dip.

Conclusion

There are infinitely more factors that determine the economy. No one is able to predict this time and time again. Despite the uncertain times we find ourselves in and the crisis that will sooner or later come anyway, I will stick to my investment strategy. By always keeping savings and bonds in my portfolio, my portfolio remains slightly more stable than the volatile stock market. Because of my share in investments, my portfolio grows faster than inflation. The risk is that I will get (much) less return for a while during the inevitable coming crisis. Research has shown time and again that if you have a widespread portfolio, it is better to stay invested than try to time the market. The chance that you will achieve more returns is almost 100%. Time in the market beats the timing of the market, Warren Buffet said.

Would you adapt your strategy to a crisis?

Till next time,

Elske

I am not a Financial advisor nor am I YOUR financial advisor. I am not a trained financial professional. This blog is for entertainment purposes only.

Daytrading

These days there is a lot of news about investing. Daytrading in particular is gaining popularity. Daytrading is buying and selling of stocks daily or multiple times a day. You try and time the market, buy low and sell higher later on. People who make a decent amount of money on this tell everybody that wants to hear. They make it sound so easy to make money that you feel like a fool for not doing it. In my opinion, even though the chances of high returns with daytrading, it is like gambling. There has been a lot in the news on cryptocurrency and GameStop stocks for example. A lot of people made great amounts of money and a lot of people lost great amounts of money. The winning and the losing are both part of the gambling. The higher the returns can be, the higher the risk. You hear nobody when they lose an embarrassing amount of money. People who lose a lot of money or that even went into debt for it have a higher change of getting anxiety and depression. We want to avoid all.

To be quite honest, I got on board too. On top of the hype I bought GameStop stocks and a couple of years ago I had some bitcoin and ethereum as well. The crypto doubled and then halved and I sold. When GameStop was all dropping it was not so exciting anymore. Then the whole controversy around the disabled buy button was big I just wanted to be out. I waited a couple of days until the numbers were a little less red and sold all. At a loss that is. Luckily for me I didn’t put a ton of money in and I didn’t sell my other investments for it. I played according to my own investment rules. I can only imagine having sleepless nights and anxiety if I put all my investments on it and lost it overnight. My hard-earned money evaporating over night because of an impulse I couldn’t resist. The horror!

On Reddit I read a good counter argument on why you should take more risk. If you have a lot of money, a 7% return is pretty good and you can be satisfied with it. But if you are left with pennies at the end of the month, 7% is not at all that much. It is more attractive to double your money overnight than to see it grow slowly. Good argument! Although I think if you don’t have spare money, it is even more important to be a bit more conservative. If you live frugal and have to work long and hard for your cash you really don’t want to lose.

Besides, research shows that people who have actively managed investments, get more or less the same returns as people who put it in a passive fund or ETF. An ETF is an Exchange Traded Fund or a basket full of stocks following a certain index. For example the S&P500. It contains stocks of the 500 best performing companies in the US measured on their market capitalization. The biggest companies have a bigger share than the smaller ones. If you put your money in the ETF of the S&P500, you are investing in 500 different companies at once. The combination of the good spread and therefore less risk, and the low fees because there is no middle manager trading your stocks, makes that ETFs almost always outperform the active managed funds. This is the path that takes longer and is less exciting than daytrading. In my opinion it is the right path.

Actively managed funds usually cost between 1-2% in managing funds. This price is fixed, even if the manager is doing worse than the index fund. Research shows it is nearly impossible to beat the market in the long run. And this is for people who studied to do this and who are doing this as their occupation. If you do it yourself, chances of outperforming the market is even harder.

Let’s make a calculation shall we. Ok, so you have 10.000 euros and you put them in an index fund and on average you get a 7% return. You leave them untouched for 30 years. Without putting even one euro extra in, after 30 years you will have 71.142,57 euro. With service fees of 0,1% for passive investments you have a return of 6,9% per year. After 30 years this is 69.239,42 euros. It’s a difference of 1906,15 or 2,67% and not 0,1%.

With the service fees of an active manager of 2% annually and an equal return of 7%, after 30 years you will have 41.161,36 euros. It’s a 29.981,21 euro difference or 42,14%!!! The costs that only seemed 2% per year are astronomically higher and the amount at the end is so much smaller.

I made a spreadsheet below.

So we calculated the difference between passive and active funds. I’m not doing the same for daytrading. It is unpredictable. You take a lot more risk when doing it, it will cost you more time and the transaction fees are higher than with passive trading. Hopefully you see the difference now between daytrading, active investing and passive investing.

Have you ever invested in cryptocurrency or index funds? Let me know in the comments!

Till next time,

Elske

I am not a Financial advisor nor am I YOUR financial advisor. I am not a trained financial professional. This blog is for entertainment purposes only.

Dear Diary,

February 2021.

In the Dear Diary series I recap on what I did, read, spent and so on in the past month.

In terms of weather, February was extreme. I was ice skating on the lake, together with thousands of other people who enjoyed the winter weather. Just a week later it was so sunny and warm you could go outside without a jacket! I enjoyed it with walks in nature with friends. I almost forgot we were skating and making snowman just 7 days prior. Both extremes were fun for free except some gas to drive to the lake.

Also the 14th was Valentines. Since lockdown we had nowhere to go on a date so we made a date night at home. It included picking up food from our favorite restaurant, a lot of candles and nice music on the background. We both dressed up as if we would to go to a really fancy restaurant. It was awesome.

I read ‘Everything is F*cked, a book about hope’ by Mark Manson. It was way harder to read than the other book I read last month and I only got halfway until the library wanted it back. I will borrow it again to read the rest.

Then I read Utopia for Realists by Rutger Bregman. It has some controversial ideas. It’s basically a book full of arguments why we should give everybody free money. A full book review on it here (link).

For audiobooks I listened to Il sogno della machina da cucire by Bianca Pitzorno. The dutch translation that is… (De stof in haar handen). My Italian is not that great 😉 it was a nice historical fiction about a young woman fighting for her own independence in a world dominated by men. I enjoyed it while gardening.

Spending was on point this month, except a dentist bill that threw a spanner in the works. Also I went to the construction market three times but it stayed under 200 in total. Not bad for the construction market. We all know that adds up very quickly.

And the most exciting thing happened! I bought a worm hotel! Yes you read that correctly. I am the type of person that gets thrilled over a worm hotel! Before I held my worms in a stack of buckets with holes in them but I wanted to provide them with something better, and easier to handle for me too. The top will be full of flowers, I’ll update on that next month.

My love for gardening makes me want to add a new category to the dear diaries series. From now on I like to add a ‘What’s happening in the garden?’ I love growing my own fruits and vegetables. In wintertime there is not so much to do but as we approach march and had a couple of sunny days, I get excited to go gardening again.

My Cavolo nero and Swiss chard are thriving and have survived wintertime. Strawberry is getting back from hibernation and my garlic is doing hella fine. Rest of the garden is still empty or in hibernation.

How was your February?

Till next time,

Elske 

I am not a Financial advisor nor am I YOUR financial advisor. I am not a trained financial professional. This blog is for entertainment purposes only.