Option articles newsflash

Well I have been thinking a lot about my option article series, one representing the actual positions and another one explaining my option strategy and learning curve. I have decided on stopping with the overview. It’s not really teaching anything and I was struggling on getting all the information in a readable format. As such it was just a spreadsheet with some of my gains and losses. While these can be interesting , my current way of thinking is I will post a blog as soon as I enter a position with and explaining why I think it’s a good idea.

Not as an advice that anyone should follow, just showing my thought process presented by a real life example. This combines the two article series in a more learning focused way. And it will save me a lot of hassle presenting large spreadsheets in a meaningful way.

Hopefully these adjustments will help the articles along.

April 2019 – Dividend

Another month passed by quickly. And so it’s time for another dividend update. This month and the next are always big on dividend coming in. This year is no different. It’s also got a few decent increases within the payments which is a nice bonus. Although this is exactly what is supposed too happen, it still feels as a bonus.

Mind you it can also go the other way round. Dividend payments can stop just like that and stock prices can implode as well. The last decade has been amazingly good. So for all of you who are just starting out. Have a long focus and don’t be deterred when things go sideways. Because they will at some point in time.

For now we are enjoying a nice ride, so here are the results for April :

DateStockCurrencyAmount
25-04-2019Ahold DelhaizeEUR70,00
24-04-2019Cisco systemsEUR8,75
16-04-2019WP Carey Inc. REITEUR9,21
15-04-2019NedapEUR50,00
10-04-2019Vanguard FTSE All-WorldEUR57,71
02-04-2019Vanguard Dividend AppreciationEUR1,36
02-04-2019NikeEUR1,96
01-04-2019Coca Cola CompanyEUR8,03
TotalEUR207,02

Dusseldorf marathon 2019

After a week of absolute rest, or to be more precise physical rest , the nerves were breaking havoc, it’s finally time to travel. Dusseldorf marathon here we come. Not running for a week is always strange and feels uncomfortable. If I am not running processing day to day events and input becomes a lot harder. I function quite a bit less than when I am running. So I have to adjust everything. Do less. That’s always a bit of an adjustment.

De trip was excellent, The ICE takes you too Dusseldorf in no time, an easy relaxed and comfortabel way of traveling I can highly recommend.

Weather forecast was promising during the week ahead and kept on getting beter. On the day itself it was dry and chilly at the start. Because the new half marathon start got delayed so dit the main event , the marathon. So another 15 more minutes keeping yourself warm. I felt a bit stiff while waiting but that was just nerves I guess.

The waiting went pretty fast and it was time for the start. During training it was pretty clear my sub 3 hour marathon was a bit of a stretch for now, but the pacers for sub 3 hours had a slow start and I felt pretty comfortable in this group.

The first kilometer was done in 4:30 so that was fine, I just stuck with this bunch and that went well. It was pretty cold during the first 7 kilometer en sometimes I felt pretty cold myself. The pace went up slowly and probably too fast for me between 10 and 15. But it felt very good and I decide not too slow down and decent towards the 3:15 pacers. Sub 3:15 was a time I could aim for based on training results and general fitness level. Which would mean a small improvement of my personal best.

But I ran very easy and it was time for a bit of a gamble. Let’s see how far I can take this and stay with this sub 3 hour group. The half marathon mark was passed in 1:28 so perfectly on target for just under 3 hours. But as everyone knows. A marathon starts at the 30 kilometer mark. And so it went, after 30 the pace started taking it’s toll. Also the gels didn’t go in very well. Normally it doesn’t matter which brand , flavor or whatever I take it’s never a problem. That’s why I never take my own. All the solutions for taking them along just irritate me. And the gels which the organizations give out normally work fine.

Not this time, they made me a bit sick. So now I had too rely on Iso drinks, water and bananas. Works as well just not as fast. At the 35 mark I was well and truly drained. No more energy and I had too walk at one refreshment post and make sure I took my Iso drink the right way. My lap times between 35 and 40 deteriorated a bit and weren’t as fast anymore.

It takes a lot of effort just getting too move forward, or so it feels, maybe it looks that way too. It’s at that point in the marathon I simply stop watching the lap times and pace on my watch and focus strictly on the running part , just keep running. The kilometeres go by and the signs on the road counting down, 5, 4 , 3 ,2 ,1 kilometer too go are unmissable here in Dusseldorf so hat helps a lot. It gets you thinking in kilometers instead of the bigger numbers.

At the 40 mark I felt better and the finish line started pulling. The final stretch on the Koningsallee and then on to the waterfront. At one point you make a slight turn and then run down towards the bank of the river with a nice view on the finish clock. At that moment it said 3:08 and change. At that moment I wanted too cross the finish line under 3:10, and I was going for a final sprint. Which didn’t feel like sprinting at all. 3:09:25 it was. I should have crossed the line cheering and jubilant , but I was simply happy just crossing. The final kilometers were very hard, and maybe because of my fast pace in the beginning. Then again if I had started out slower and try keeping it flat during the race and the energydip had come along I never would have crossed the finish under 3:10.

It has taken me a few days in realizing this new personal best and all the race day impressions. But I am stoked with the result. I’m very happy indeed.

Under 3 – Final week of training

Last week was my final week of training before the marathon. And all of a sudden it was quite a bit warmer. Sudden temperature changes are always take a bit of getting used too, but all in all it went relatively smooth. Training wasn’t very long or intense in this last week which helps.

Oddly enough my last long run wasn’t one I was keen on for some reason. I just wanted too stay in bed. Got myself out of bed and after a few kilometers it all went as normal. The temperature reached above 20 degrees Celsius at some point , which wouldn’t be ideal for the marathon. Hopefully we’ll see a drop in temperatures this week.

The goal running a marathon sub 3 hours is one I am not yet going to achieve. I’m simply not fast enough. But because I set this goal and adopted a new training method I did achieve a lot of progression. By getting out of my comfort zone I have learned a lot of what I am capable of and what is out of my reach. By slowly increasing and breaking through barriers you will see improvements in the long term. Something I hope in achieving in other parts of my life as well.

For this week its a lot of resting and recharging, something which is a bit of an odd moment in itself. Getting out of the rhythm of training. Luckily I can stop myself from going out and train and causing unnecessary riks by doing too much. Now it’s waiting and hoping for good circumstances. I will write a race report when it’s all done. I can’t wait.

Under 3 – Fourteenth week of training

Another week of training goes by, fast. The end of my training schedule is in sight. And so is the big day. The ultimate goal of running under 3 hours might in this instance be a bit of a stretch. My newly acquired long run pace has just been on the right level for a short amount of time. Too short in order to do a solid attempt at under 3. So this adventure will go on for a bit longer. But with the new way of training, the adjusted schedule and all things considered I have made some serious progress.

So I will go on and continue in this fashion. So how did it go this week? To be honest, it’s about time to run that marathon. Training went fine but the real drive is a bit lost, I am just excited to go out and run that marathon!

At the beginning of the week there was a bit of fatigue due to lack of sleep and therefore I had a bit of a hard time getting into the groove. Luckily after a few Km’s this mostly goes away and I have managed too run all planned runs. The longrun was not that long anymore with 24K so I had more time for recovery.

Yoga is still part of the routine and as I have said before whether it really helps or if it’s just in my mind, it works ! So I will keep practicing Yoga. One more week of training, then a restweek and then it’s the big dat. I for one can’t wait !

Small improvements , massive result

Striving to run a marathon in under 3 hours I discovered something new, well for me at least. I had read about it but never really given it any further attention. The large benefits of the small improvements you make if you do something long and consistent enough.

In sports it has been a thing for a few years now, make small improvements in a lot of areas and the sum will surpass anything. Which is off course true , mathematical speaking, take a spreadsheet and set a few numbers and keep adding 1% , compounding in action.

During my training it’s been evident that regularity in workouts is hugely important in getting the most small improvements. But here comes the kicker, for a long time you will not notice any improvements at all. It’s like being stuck, and all of a sudden there is this breakthrough moment. My times improved , tartrate dropped and recovery was shorter.

I am am nowhere near as data driven as a top athlete , but I just noticed the effect and it was significant.
Like it came out of nowhere. Which when you look at it, isn’t true. The consistency and persistence combined with a slow and gradual increase of volume in training has made this possible. But at first there is a whole lot of time were you notice nothing of great significance, it’s just maintaining your condition it seems and not moving forward at all. This is a dangerous point, you get demotivated and you start focussing on something else. Or you quit.

During my revalidation it was always hammered down that you should celebrate small victories, I was mostly frustrated because I was not achieving my bigger goals. I tried and compensate it by working harder and having draw backs. Finally I kept my schedule and things improved. Still not too my liking and my real breakthrough moment never really came.

In hindsight it was just the amount of time that was simply too short, you can’t do that much in a year and I have to get back to the drawing board and see how I can get at these small improvements by means of regularity and slowly increasing my load. I am stuck in a vacuum of no progress for some time now. At one hand that could be it, I am at my maximum in recovery, but I believe in something better.

The running is the proof for me. And while thinking about this subject it really applies too all things that are hard in the beginning. Or stay hard for a long . long time. Take learning how too read for example, or paying off a huge debt. In the beginning nothing real seems too happen. All the effort looks worthless. But then there is a moment it all takes off. The ball starts rolling , and then it goes really fast.

What I have learned , it’s more important too regularly work on a goal and grab the small improvements. Than try and sprinting towards it. Persistence is key , it should become a habit and not a burden.

Let’s get more small improvements!

Under 3 – Thirteenth week of training

Another week in the bag , in other parts of my daily life things were very hectic and this week I really needed the running to keep it all together. Fortunately I was able to digest all the runs planned and I am really getting the benefits of the small and incremental improvements I am making. All these little things are adding up and are playing a big part in my overall condition and health.

This week also marked the last of the big long runs, 34 kilometer in this case, now the schedule gradually winds down in the coming weeks , the milages still is pretty substantial in the coming week just divided over more days.

I am really amazed by all these shall we say 1% improvements that starting to appear. It has inspired me to write an upcoming blog on the importance of small and continuous improvement. It really adds up.

The 2 weeks ahead are still in full swing of training, but it slowly depreciates in volume and after that it’s recovery and then it will be time for the Dusseldorf marathon, and I have too say , I am excited !

Under 3 – Twelfth week of training

Week 12 is a wrap. This week its been harder than normally, my brain didn’t cooperate at all last week, mentally I was very tired. My daily dose of outside impulses I could not process. Running mostly provides a way for me too process all the left over information my brain hasn’t dealt with during the period before the run. Now it was a nessacity just to get some of the unprocessed information out of my head.

But because of my fatigue I really had to force myself out of bed, starting a run and simply showing up was the hardest part. Once outside it was mostly ok. These hard weeks make me very appreciative of the good ones. Training itself went pretty good, the long runs in my new pace start too feel more and more easy and relaxed. I will not run a sub 3 hour marathon at my next attempt , but I am hoping this progress will continue.

Onto week 13 !

March 2019 – Dividend

Another month has gone by, time flies and all that. And as every month , another bit of dividend came rolling in. It doesn’t take up a minute of your time and yet it gets you a bit of money. Pretty nice !
Comparing this year with last year , Royal Dutch Shell is missing, I am on route in making my portfolio more environmental friendly and durable. So Shell was sold. I’m aware most of the oil and gas company’s are still in the ETF’s I hold and I am now figuring out more durable ETF’s.

The rest of the list is made up of the usual suspects , see the overview. See you next time !

DateStockCurrencyAmount
29-03-2019Unibail-RodamcoEUR5,40
20-03-2019Unilever EUR7,74
15-03-2019
DowDupont incEUR3,36
14-03-2019MicrosoftEUR8,14
TotalEUR24,64

Under 3 – Eleventh week of training

This week a lot of long runs and a bit more yoga too keep everything moving and flexible. Four longer runs ranging from 14 to 34 K and one short slow run of 6,5 K. They all went well, made one mistake and forgot too drink enough on my 34 k long run on Sunday.

I was just running very easy and did pay attention too my gel intake and didn’t get thirsty , but at 32 K I suddenly felt my leg getting heavier and I was thirsty then I realized I had relied just of my gels and forgot about the water.

So the last 2 K were a bit harder. But all in all a very good long run. No muscle pain or other inconveniences afterwards. I do think yoga is playing a big role in keeping my body healthy and problem free. Usually I had more muscle problems, tiny pains and sometimes smaller injuries during long training periods and after long sessions. Knock on wood off course , but since I incorporated yoga these all disappeared.

4 more weeks of intensive training to go and then a week of relaxation and rest. I am very happy about my progress, whether I will ever be able to do a sub 3 marathon remains to be seen. But the road is so enjoyable and exciting just because it seems an impossible goal. The progress is real so it helps me in a lot of ways.

Till next week !