Portfolio news – June/July additions

My latest additions are Dow chemical and Unilever, both were on the buy list for some time and with the new month coming both were bought. Apart from the obvious dividend payments they both are very well established in their markets. Dow has been paying out dividends for decades now and recently increased a buy back program. In the meantime they went ex dividend so the first dividends should roll in shortly.

Unilever has been on the list for a while now , solid and a bit boring company maybe.

The markets are never boring however and today proved it, lot’s of Greece stuff taking the markets down a notch. But that’s not too bad since you can buy stocks with a bit of a discount. Currently I am working on a nice way to show my portfolio on this site. Maybe I’ll start simple with just an overview. For now have a good day.

Rock Werchter 2015

Just got back from Rock Werchter, last year was the first time for me with some of my favourite bands of all time. Among them Metallica. This year the main head liner supposed to be the Foo Fighters until Dave Grohl decided to break a leg. No damage done, not for me at least. The first day started with the Eagles of death metal , just relaxing in the sun and listening. Very nice start of the day. Next up Royal blood. Lot’s of energy especially considering there are just 2 guys rocking. Very good show.

In the barn, Patti smith and her band perform ‘horses’, apparently her breakthrough album. I just know a couple of songs, but this is a rare opportunity to see the old gall rock it. My expectations were topped. If you get the change go see her. Florence and the machine was my absolute for the day. What an energetic show. Very nice sound as well. Enjoyed it a lot.

Faith no more was cool as well, we were standing with a few dedicated fans which was a lot of fun. Only problem was the sound quality , way too much bottom end. Nonetheless enjoyed the show.
Finally the Chemical brothers, which started out with Hey boy hey girl. Excellent start, too bad straight after that the energy took a dive. So after about 40 minutes we called it a day. Bit disappointing but maybe the show got better after we left. Excellent start of the festival. Ow and did I mention the sun.

Day two , went to see Kovacs, Ibeyi, Of monsters and men, Death cab for cutie, the cat empire , Balthazar, Alt-J, Roisin Murphy. Kovacs was very good, although the singer was a bit insecure because her in ear monitoring didn’t seem to work. And this being the first time on such a big stage must have a been a bit unnerving. She shouldn’t have been. Never having listened to the band before I think it was a really good performance.

Iberyi , which means twins in (I forgot what language), was excellent. The two girl really got the crowd going. Alt-J was very cool and very very packed in Klub C. Hot as hell as well. Roisin Murphy, she really is a bit strange. Changing lot’s of outfits. The singing and the music was very very good. Go see her. Sound quality was very good as well. The other bands I watched but didn’t stuck with me as much. One thing I learned is that The cat empire only needs to be on stage and that’s enough for the audience to start partying. Not really my kind of music but fun to watch anyway. Good second day as well, weather very nice again. Only thing is time flies.

After a good nights sleep it was time to relax and enjoy Leuven a bit. We walked around a bit and decided to have a few drinks and lunch and leave a bit later. This evening it’s the Prodigy which will consume some energy. We arrived late , around 6 and started with the war on drugs, relaxing in the sun and listening some good music. After that Noel Gallagher’s high flying birds, which got going when they played don’t look back in anger. Unfortunately it was the last song. Lenny Kravitz up next which was good , not special. A bit of a long intermezzo and it took a lot of time to get the audience going. Bang the Prodigy. Start to finish it was full throttle, very cool and got a lot of people starting little pits all over the place. Made the day. Very nice too see them again.
Only one day to go.

Fourth and final day. After a short night the day started out with a walk around Leuven and checking out some University buildings and wandering around the city trying to find some Geocaches. Always a fun way to see another part of the city. Last day brought The Vaccines, Circa waves, Alabama shakes, Ben harper and the innocent criminals, Kasabian, Maxi Jazz and the e type boys and Muse. Best band of the day Alabama shakes without a doubt, Muse rocked as well. Really liked The Vaccins as well.

Another very good episode of Rock Werchter. Good vibes and great music. What more do you want.

Dividend GE and Greece

Today I checked my portfolio and another little flow of Dividend came my way. General electric went ex dividend. Although it isn’t a huge amount of money. It’s a lot of fun watching it roll in.
Hopefully it will continue and I will be able to buy a lot more dividend paying shares as I go along.

I have been reading up on Greece and personally I don’t think this is going to end well, a lot is at stake but the Greek politicians got elected on the promise to lift the heavy burden of all the debt. The only way for them to get any credit from their voters is too be able to say. Look we postponed as long as we possible could and this is what we got out of it. Causing a lot of aggravation along the way.

Greece is small economically, but if they get away with it, what’s to say others won’t do the same. Given the time frame a solution must be reached. Problem is the damage has already been done. Let’s hope the Greeks get their country back on the road, and quickly. Before all the young people with brains live in western Europe.

McMafia

One thing I am planning to do more is reading, used to do that a lot, but over the past few years less and less. Which isn’t a good thing.

So I picked up a book I started reading a few years ago but never finished. McMafia by Misha Glenny.

McMafia

It covers the rapid rise of global crime after the fall of most of the communist regimes at the end of the eighties. The fast pace in which money started to move around the globe and the connections between the underworld and politicians , banks and other legal entities.

The book is very well written and travels the globe to tell the story from different continents. It’s fascinating in how little time the criminal organizations seized the opportunities presented to them. The outcome however are very sad, people who fall victim of human smugglers is among one of the most saddening.

One of the main sources of income is still the drug trade, money made from it is invested not only in the ‘upper world’ but also in the arms trade , human trafficking and so on. A lot of people are beginning to realize the start to stop a lot of drug related crime is legalizing.

Because the war on drugs cannot be won , whatever you do.
Recommended reading.

Portfolio news – June additions

The first update for the portfolio. This month I added 10 shares from Microsoft and 10 shares General electric.

The reason for both additions is that I think Microsoft is making very good product they pay out a healthy dividend and there is a lot of room to grow.

General Electric might be considered a boring stock but I like boring. The demand for enery will be rising, and they also pay out a nice dividend.

So far so good, I will post an update every month so you guys can see how I am doing, in the meantime I will bore you with other stuff I like to do and share some articles I found on the internet.

If you have any comments please feel free to share them or contact me. Any advise is welcome since I am still learning.

Amsterdam

Yesterday we went to see an exhibition at Huis Marseille , it’s in a very nice old house along one of the canals. The building alone is worth the visit. The exhibitions were excellent as well. First one on the work of Cor Jaring, he used to work at the docks and started making photo’s. Later on he made a living out of it. Beautiful pictures from his trip to Japan and very nice pictures by Sander Troelstra which portray Cor in his final years. Really liked it.

Another one was by Eddo Hartmann, pictures from Pyongyang. Very desolate pictures with lot’s of empty spaces outside and inside buildings, subway stations etc. Haunting sometimes. Like there’s absolutly no one there. Very well taken pictures. Enjoyed it a lot. The museum also has a backyard and with the nice weather it was an excellent place to relax.

Next up was lunch at “cafe de Pels” , beer and a sandwich. Next stop was the museum van Loon. Which is a big mansion from an old merchant family. Not really my cup of tea. Although it’s nice to see all the old furniture and craftsmanship that went in to make it. It’s not something I can spent hours watching. But once again a beautiful garden, were we spent some time reading.

Last museum of the day was Foam , with an exhibition from NoĆ©mie Goudal, she made structures (from paper I think) and puts them in a landscape. Very cool indeed. There was also a series by painter Carel Willink. Skies over the city a study on clouds for a painting. I didn’t enjoy it that much, but maybe I just reach my art and museum limit for the day.

Time for food and drinks at the foodhallen/ , always nice. Then a nice dinner at a tiny cafe near the Nieuwmarkt , forgot the name. Well it was something with bear in the name. All round a very good sunny and relaxing day in Amsterdam.

Brett Rivers 15 hours

Short documentary about Brett Rivers who made his passion into a way of living, very inspiring !
He found a way to combine his hobby and build a cool shop. Be sure to watch this.

The Churchill factor

I have read the book The churchill factor by Boris Johnson. I somehow never read a biography on Winston Churchill before. When you go to the bookstore and view the enormous amount of books about Churchill I never could pick one.

Until now, and it’s been a very good choice. He writes about his success and failures. He was not very popular most of his political career and made many mistakes, mostly because of the fact he acted more than others.

Lot’s of nice anecdotes are described and when you finish the book you get the feeling you know Churchill not just the facts but the person he was.

A very inspirational man and one who never gave up fighting. A must read.

Winston Churchill

Ghent

This weekend we have been visiting Ghent, a very nice city. Not to big but lots of nice neighbourhoods. We were staying at the Big sleep B&B. Very nice old house with large rooms and a swimming pool in the garden. I didn’t pack any swimming gear unfortunately. It’s situated near the city’s historical centre, which you can easily walk.

We mostly wander around a city and decide what were we go as we go along. Walked around the old docks, checked the St Bavo’s Cathedral. We ended up walking towards a nice record shop and in the same street there was an old Begijnhof. Nowadays a lot of artist live there and they were showing their work in their homes.

Some nice art, but as always too expensive for me. Near our B&B there was an Sicilian restaurant, one of the best in Ghent apparently. On a Saturday night it was advised to make a reservation. We decided to try anyway, luckily a table was available. The food and wines were excellent. So if you go to Ghent , be sure to eat at Il mezzogiorno. , afterwards a few drinks at a local bar. Maybe a bit to late but what an excellent day!

The next day we were greeted with an very good breakfast and very nice weather. Sunshine and 21 degrees. Nice ! We decided to take it easy and just stroll around the city and stop as often as possible to sit and enjoy the sun and a good book. Very enjoyable day all round. There is a lot more to be seen and done in Ghent. Much more than we did. But it’s also a good place where you can avoid the big crowds and just have a relaxing weekend.