Book review – More money than god

I read quite a bit again, which helps my brain a lot. And I have always found it relaxing. I mostly read biography’s , history and finance books. And the odd novel. And some tech books , which I won’t bore you with. I recently finished reading more money than god , by Sebastian Mallaby , a book combining history and finance in one go. Two of my favorite subjects. Plus it tells the stories of all the people involved , 3 boxes ticked.

It’s not a dry book with just names dates and numbers, it’s written with stories anecdotes and the numbers just fit in naturally. 

It’s about the history and evolving world of hedgefunds. For those who don’t know hedgefunds are private investment funds which in the classical term make bets on markets, and make use of diverse array of instruments in order to gain a edge in the market of choice. In the classical sense a hedge funds was always hedged against the risk they take. Neutral in a way, as far as their models go anyway. But that changed over time , and most just looked for edges in markets.

This book starts out with the first hedgefunds and goes until recent times just after the credit crunch in 2007/2008. What’s interesting it not just covered the most famous hedge funds and their bets like Soros versus the pound. But also lesser known stuff like the takeover of an Indonesian bank by a hedge fund.

Without giving away alle the stories the book tells the tales and sets out to give some insight in why hedgefunds are good for markets instead of the more common view that all hedgefunds are evil. It makes a good point. It’s also very dense and took me a while before finishing it. It’s a good for anyone interested in finance or the world of finance in general, the more numbers inclined among us will also be catered too and even the casual reader with more of a history interest will be having fun while reading it. 

It’s one of the best books on the history of hedgefunds in general and has a lot of interesting tales to tell. Make sure to put it on your reading list. 

November 2019 – Dividend

11 months in 2019 dividend wise, so another update is due. Not an extraordinary one but slow and steady is the name of the dividend growing game. November always is a month with just a few dividend paying company’s. At least in my portfolio it is. And this time it’s no different. Just a few but still a nice bump if you look at last year. Passive income is simply fun to watch. So here are the November numbers !

DateStockCurrencyAmount
15-11-2019ASMLEUR10,50
14-11-2019Apple EUR10,31
12-11-2019ASMIEUR30,00
TotalEUR50,81

October 2019 – Dividend

October again, and it’s time for my monthly dividend statement. Yet again a steady growth. It’s considering the current interest rate climate all too easy to praise dividends.

But there is a but, the risk is significantly higher. So always invest for the long term, at least with a 20 year horizon. And with money you absolutely don’t need for the foreseeable future. Don’t chase the next hot thing. Make a plan, and stick to it consistently. And let time do its job.

Maybe these warnings albeit a repetition are still worth mentioning. A lot of people talk very casually about investing as if they are as secure as an ‘old fashioned’ savings account. Well they are not. Be sure too understand the basics of finance, money and time before doing anything. Read a few books on money and finance in general. And then start reading up on investing. And make sure you read even more on risk. Not just financial risk, but risk in general. There are numerous non financial risks in your life which will impact you personally and financially. Such as job and income loss, divorce , illness. Read about how to cover those risks. Life is 90% other stuff rather than money. Albeit a lot of people feel otherwise. Think about what you want in life first and foremost. Think hard. And then make a plan on how to get there.

Well after this short intermezzo, it’s numbers time.

DateStockCurrencyAmount
23-10-2019Cisco systemsEUR8,83
16-10-2019W.P. Carey EUR9,33
09-10-2019Vanguard FTSE All-world UCITS ETFEUR101,18
01-10-2019Coca ColaEUR5,41
01-10-2019NikeEUR1,98
TotalEUR126,73

Option trade diary #6 – Ahold Delhaize

Well time for another option strategy, a pretty simple one and this time the example is based around Dutch supermarket giant Ahold Delhaize. One of my favorite stocks with a nice dividend. It’s a stock with not much in the way of volatility. Which means writing calls and puts is the way for me. As I always have a position in Ahold I can simply write call options on the shares I own and write put options at the price I bought them for in the past. Which mostly results in getting the premium.

Worst case scenario is I have to deliver the shares which I own against a tidy profit or I can add a few shares with a bit of a discount. I do this with option expiration dates between 1 and 3 months. So short term positions. As this is a bit riskier as opposed to maintaining longer timeframes make sure you cover your written calls.

Which ensures you can deliver the number of shares you sold call options for when you get assigned, or have enough cash at hand to buy them when your put options get assigned. This way you will not be in for a nasty surprise when things don’t go your way.

There is always the possibility of rolling the options on towards future dates. Which is perfectly Ok but is a bit more maintenance and more risk. You buy the option back, and sell another option with the same strike price a few months down the line. And wait for more profitable times. Especially with written calls the losses can mount as in theory the share price of the stock can rise indefinitely.

So in this case I keep it simple and have all outcomes covered. It’s just easier and I don’t have to think about it.

This strategy can be very useful in sideways markets or slight downturns, making a few extra bucks on the side. Mind the volatility of a stock, as this can greatly enhance the intermediate risk of these positions.

Until next time , have fun and as always do your own research before buying or selling anything.

September 2019 Dividend

Another month in the dust, thus time for a dividend update. This month there are a few new dividends paying out due to the growth of the protfolio. Also a few, one bank and two insurers, which are a bit of a coincidence , as I bought the shares for option construction purposes and was expecting having nonen of them at the time they were handing out the dividends. Nonetheless it’s here and I am clouting it. A bit of luck really.

Its yet again a nice improvement from last year, although a bit skewed with the Dow Dupont merger and split process and the dividend by accident with the bank and insurers. It’s good to have a growth and progress in the portfolio. It keeps one motivated !

See you all next month.

The numbers:

DateStockCurrencyAmount
28-09-2019Vanguard dividend appreciation fundEUR1,51
20-09-2019AegonEUR15,00
16-09-2019Corteva IncEUR0,35
16-09-2019DowDuPont INCEUR0,82
14-09-2019Dow INCEUR1,91
12-09-2019MicrosoftEUR8,36
11-09-2019NN GroupEUR76,00
11-09-2019UnileverEUR8,21
06-09-2019ASREUR70,00
02-09-2019ABN AmroEUR60,00
TotalEUR242,16

August 2019 Dividend

It’s been a while. Writing articles got a backseat to real life. So I am a bit behind. But we’re back. With August and the monthly dividend report. It’s the usual really. An increase in dividend income comparing the numbers with last year. And not surprisingly because of the fact I am still building the portfolio.

Another reminder of how important it is to be consistent and dedicated, it works. It’s better too invest a small amount consistently , then larger amounts when you have money ‘left over’.

Another fact of life, the world is still in turmoil. Brexit, nationalism, trade wars , oil you name it, it’s happening. Just the day to day madness really. Just keep building that portfolio and stay calm. One step at a time upon the ladder of investing.

Ok enough talking, it’s numbers time :

DateStockCurrencyAmount
02-08-2019Amsterdam CommoditiesEUR24,00
12-08-2019NSIEUR12,48
12-08-2019INGEUR24,00
15-08-2019AMGEUR20,00
15-08-2019AppleEUR10,40
29-08-2019AholdEUR30,00
TotalEUR120,88

Option trade diary #5 – Advanced metallurgical group

This one is not for the faint of harted , today in my option diary series , Advanced metallurgical group. Which in a very short description makes difficult products out of precious metals. With emphasis on difficult, and precious.

It’s a very hard and volatile market on any given day, it’s a highly cyclical business and it’s always at the forefront of any wrinkle in the market. But it’s a nice stock to own just because the stuff it produces is only getting harder to come by and it’s something which will be more expensive in the future , and since were here for the long run , this is worth a bit of a gamble. So I sold two put options.

These are the options I sold :

AMG Put 14.00 20 December 2019, for 50 Euro’s
AMG Put 18.00 20 March 2020 , for 175 Euro’s

As you can see, these were sold right before a dip in the market due to tweeting presidents and the like. So my timing was a bit off. So this case shows this stock can fluctuate a bit , I told you so. Target is 50% or less before I buy them back. See you next time !

July 2019 Dividend

A new month, a new dividend round. And another nice monthly revenue, which in most part because of the ever growing portfolio , not so much extreme dividend increases. Around 167% more. Seems steep but mostly because of the growing number of shares and ETF’s which pay out. Compounding interest at it’s finest. The 8th world wonder some say. Exactly as it was intended. A nice bit of passive income.

We live in strange times, as always maybe. But it’s rather strange indeed, geopolitics, environment and economical. The switch towards a more sustainable way of living which is upon us. Which has not yet been seen in any of the current driving numbers. It’s time we look at things in a different perspective. Calculate our production and profits not just in money and growth. Take into account things like health, impact on the environment and our surroundings, happiness and more of these kind of parameters. These should all be taken into account when calculation the gross national production of countries or the results of any company.

Unfortunately we are not there yet, until we are it’s all about the benjamins. Speaking of which , here are the July dividend numbers :

DateStockCurrencyAmount
25-07-2019Walt Disney CompanyEUR0,68
24-07-2019Cisco SystemsEUR8,83
16-07-2019W.P. Carey IncEUR9,32
11-07-2019Vanguard FTSE all world UCITS ETFEUR114,27
05-07-2019Unibail - WFDEUR16,41
02-07-2019Porsche automobil holdingEUR22,10
02-07-2019Nike IncEUR1,98
01-07-2019Coca ColaEUR5,41



TotalEUR173,59

Option trade diary #4 – Heineken

Another new position, this time Heineken. Also a bit different this time it’s a written call option instead of a put option. Which means I am bound too deliver the shares at the strike price up until the expiration date. There are two ways to go about this. Covered and uncovered , when you write a covered option this can be done when you have the shares in your possession. You expect the shareprice to stay more or less the same or go down and the option premium is a bit of an extra result on your stock position. You are covered by the fact you own the right amount of the stock. This can also work against you, when the share rises above the strike price effectively limiting your profits, which will be strike price plus option premium.

This is the easy way of covering, there are other ways , but those are for another post and another time.
Leaves us with the second variation, writing uncovered calls. Which means you don’t own the right amount of stock and you gamble om a downturn in the share price. Your potential loss is infinite as the share price can rise well above your strike price and when called upon too deliver , you will have too buy at market price.
You do have the option to buy the option back at any given time. So before you do anything be well aware of the risk and your risk appetite.

That’s the theory behind it in a nutshell, back to the position itself. Heineken’s share price rose above 100 Euro’s last week, at that time it got me thinking the valuation seems a bit high at the moment. The last jump up was also quite significant. Nonetheless Heineken remains a very solid company with great dividend history, worth having in any portfolio.

So I took a bit of a gamble and sold a Call option, strike price 100 euro, expiration date 15 December 2023. At 12,50. And I have set a goal buying the option back at 9,25. Let’s see how this works out.

June 2019 Dividend

Dividend update June 2019, the eight miracle of the world, compounding is taking a hold on my dividends. Another significant increase in dividend payouts for my retirement. Whenever that will be. Anyway, most comes from the usual suspects. Some from newer positions but mostly existing ones. Comparing with last year it’s another nice increase of about 36%. Which is very nice indeed.

It only becomes real when you start accumulating real assets. In theory it’s all very clear. But you have to have a bit of faith in the long term plan. Which can be pshycologically challenging , and at times it is. But when you look at the growth and the numbers , it all makes sense. So just start and keep at it, remember showing up consistently is all it takes when talking about achieving your goals. In this case showing simply means keep investing.

So without further delay the overview :

DateStockCurrencyAmount
21-06-2019

AegonEUR15,00
20-06-2019Icahn EnterprisesEUR1,77
20-06-2019Vanguard dividend appreciationEUR1,26
18-06-2019HAL Trust EUR53,14
14-06-2018DOW incEUR1,86
13-06-2019Deutsche PfandbriefbankEUR100,00
13-06-2019MicrosoftEUR8,14
05-06-2019UnileverEUR8,21
TotalEUR136,24