February 2018 – Dividend

Another month has gone by and due for another update on the dividends of February. It’s up 12% compared to February 2017. Excellent news , it’s nice to see a steady increase in dividends. Also it’s just 2 companies this month which provided this increase. Next few months will see some more increases as new positions start too pay out. So far so good.

The numbers:


2 years on

2 years on, seems like an eternity since my encephalitis, but today marks the two year anniversary of my hospital discharge. Could be a day sooner or later but that can’t dampen the spirit.

On this blog I have written about my recovery and the strange road I have been traveling ever since. A very short recap, 1 year of revalidation, a move too calmer surroundings, a new work experience place at Utrecht University , lot’s of learning and luckily lots of running. With the Amsterdam marathon as the cherry on the cake.

Has it all been happy days then ? Not quite , my short term memory regularly abandons me , and my operational speed isn’t very speedy anymore. Speech wise word juggling happens, as in random words in sentences, Yoda like sentences and just plain gibberish also occur. I can manage around this pretty well and every time I meet someone new I try and find an opening quickly explaining the reason behind possible errors in conversation.

That’s the practical side of things , it’s still very strange not to have a ‘real job’ , as in some sort of control over your career , future and possibilities. It makes me feel very dependent of other people and policies. Maybe control has always been an illusion in a way but at the moment I feel powerless sometimes. It’s also not a position I have chosen to be in, like when you take a year of for a trip around the world.

I have enough time behind recovering behind me that I understand that this is as good as it gets. I will have recovery periodes for every daily or not so daily activity in my life.

I sometimes compare it with pro sports, you have to keep training and take into account very parameter in order too stay sharp and fit. Slacking for a few days and forgetting about the balance between activity and recovery and it takes its toll.

Ik ben nu ver genoeg in mijn herstel om te beseffen dat het niet heel veel beter gaat worden dan dat het nu is.
Ik zal altijd rekening moeten houden met herstelperiodes voor allerlei dagelijkse en niet alledaagse zaken.

It kind of takes the spontaneity out of life a little. Just take a short unplanned weekend trip is out of the question. Getting something you forgot during shopping, not that smart. It forces you planning everything you don’t want to plan.

I am fully aware of the fact I’m very lucky and privileged in simply being alive and in the shape I am in.
I just need too accept the fact the old ways of doing things is no longer available.

It’s also taught me time is only there in an unknown quantity enjoy it while you can.

January 2018 – dividend

Another month has gone by, so yet again it’s time for the dividend of the month post. Always a fine moment. Compared to January last year there’s an increase in dividend by 12%. Factoring in the expensive Euro this is a nice result. It’s still all very modest and by no means were anywhere near the goals but for a hobby its very nice indeed.

This is the result:

Cisco SystemsEUR6,55
W.P. Carey IncEUR8,14
Walt Disney CompanyEUR0,68
Vanguard FTSE All-World UCITS ETFEUR11,28

Portfolio news – November and December 2017 changes

Another portfolio news update, another bimonthly report instead of the usual recipe. Again because of the addition of more ETF’s to balance the portfolio evenly between my own handpicked stocks and ETF’s. I also managed to get some additional result by writing put options on stocks I was planning to buy. Instead of simply buying the stock I wrote the underlying put option.

Effectively committing in buying the shares when the price falls below the strike price. For example, I want to buy 100 shares of company X , as it currently stands the share price of X is 50 Euro’s. When I simply buy the 100 shares it will cost me 100 * 50 = 5000. Let’s say I write an option at the beginning of the month with a strike price of 45 which will expire in the third week the same month. It’s mostly in the third week of each month when options for the current month expire.

Let’s say the price for the option at the beginning of the month is 1 euro , all random numbers btw , no correlation whatsoever with real world option pricing. When I sell this option I will receive 100 euro’s. Options always have 100 underlying shares as the number of shares the option contract consists of.

So the option price is 1 x 100 (number of underlying shares) = 100 as the total price of the option contract.

When I sell an option , I sell the right to another person to sell me 100 shares of company X. I am not going in to details on the difference between European option contracts and American. Maybe in a later post.

So what can happen to me when the option expires. The shares are higher than the strike , so above 45. I will not be held to my contract, the person who bought the put option can get a higher price on the market. So I get to keep my 100 euros. Easy money no ?

Not really, there is off course a risk. That’s why I got the 100 euros in the first place. I was willing at the beginning to take the risk of the obligation to buy 100 shares of company X at the end of the contract. Now lets say the price falls below the strike price of 45 euro’s. I will have to buy the 100 shares at 45 euro’s.

Is this bad ? Well if you are in it for the long turn like me this isn’t really bad. Normally I would have bought 100 shares at a market price of 50, now I bought 100 shares at 45 and got a 100 euro’s extra “discount”. It’s not fun if it drops a lot in a month but then are generally other issues.

The maximum risk is when company X goes bankrupt you will lose 4500 or sell the option at a loss in the market. But then again , under extreme circumstances the total portfolio you own will be under pressure. Or it’s just company X in which case you’ll probably have to review your stock picking criteria.

So it’s a bit of buying at a discount or receiving the premium (price you sold the option for). Always make sure you have the amount of money you need in case you need to buy the shares at the strike price, in my case 4500 in a savings or in you brokerage account. Never do any naked (uncovered) selling of options!

It’s a strategy which will get me a bit of extra cash flow each month , at least that’s the idea. I am also thinking om making a series about option trading and strategies. On the other hand there are loads of websites and books on the subject.

November and December 2017 – Dividend

The end of last year was a bit busier then expected with all sorts of stuff. All but maintaining my blog. November and December dividend in one post this time round. November is always a bit slow in my dividend income.

It’s maybe something I need to adress in the future. In order to get my cash flow in a better position.

Anyway these are the numbers:

November :

16-11-17 Apple Inc EUR 5,35
14-11-17 ONEOK EUR 6,32

Total EUR 11,67

December :

27-12-17 Vanguard dividend appreciation ETF EUR 1,17
20-12-17 Royal Dutch Shell A EUR 39,85
15-12-17 Coca-Cola Company (The) EUR 4,68
15-12-17 DowDuPont Inc EUR 3,20
14-12-17 Microsoft Corporation EUR 7,08
13-12-17 Unilever Certificate EUR 3,59
11-12-17 Emerson Electric Company EUR 4,08

Total EUR 60,65

Portfolio news – September and October 2017 changes

Well another update on the portfolio, still need a catchy name for it. These last few months were pretty easy on the portfolio front. Mostly added ETF’s and some handpicked stocks as well. The ETF’s are pretty straight forward and the same ones I bought in the last few months.

A German company again and this time it’s the Deutsche Pfandbriefbank , a bank mostly active in real estate lending and investment lending. It has been a steady supplier of dividend and my first banking investment so far. The expected amount of dividend is 1,05 euro per share. And with a current share-rice of 12,93 this is a nice percentage indeed.

So a short portfolio update again, because of the still ongoing re balancing towards more ETF’s. See you next time!

October 2017 – Dividend

Goodbye October, another month has passes, as usual the dividend update. Compared to October last year the dividend payments are up 32%. Which is due to the build up in the portfolio and the fact that some positions are paying dividend for the first time.

Next year the increase will be slightly less big. De exchange rates keep doing what they do and I am working on getting more balance and more payments in Euro instead of dollars. As I pay all my bills in Euro. Sounds smart right ? Times are strange with the continious low interest rates and according to all the experts they will continue to be low.

Apparently the banks can handle these low rates , well see. Anyway the numbers, see you next month.

25/10/2017 General Electric EUR 4,46
25/10/2017 Cisco Systems EUR 6,86
16/10/2017 W.P. Carey (REIT) EUR 8,50
04/10/2017 Vanguard FTSE All-World UCITS ETF EUR 7,69
02/10/2017 Coca-Cola EUR 4,69
02/10/2017 DowDuPont Inc EUR 3,89

Total EUR 36,09

Running, recovery and the Amsterdam marathon

Running , recovery and life’s goals. During my revalidation period it quickly became apparent that exercise is good for your brain and helps a lot in recovering it. Well , no need to tell me twice. Dug out my running shoes and I thought I was starting out slowly.

As I’ve mentioned before this was way too much , way too soon. So after a while I done myself in and had to resort back too walking. Luckily after a while I was able too get back to running and it became the cornerstone in my recovery, rest and relaxation. Running clears my mind quite literally form the endless thinking, impulses and mental fatigue.

It’s simply putting one foot before the other. All went well until I picked up the pace. I fell pretty bad twice in one week. Shaving my knees and arms pretty bad. My shoes were worn a bit, new ones were in order. In the store the video pointed out a few problems , one my movement was not going forward enough.

I was holding myself back as if I wanted to go backwards, second problem was my left leg and feet lagged behind. I needed a better stride and better running techniques.

While very solid advice this was not as easy as it sounds , being a right handed guy and always avoiding using my left side I at first had not noticed there was a problem. Maybe another left-over from my encephalitis or just old habits dying hard. Whatever it was I needed better skills. My falling down skills very even worse.

Training in new running movement and getting my left side in check was a bit difficult. Step by step I improved and I didn’t fall flat on my face any more. Which was very important.
An added bonus was that my running required less energy then before , making training easier and more pleasurable. So I decided digging up a training plan for the marathon. I decided going for a simple and effective plan focused on making the necessary miles and exploring if I could manage the training load without overdoing myself.

My running improved vastly and I decided registering for a marathon if I could get trough the series of 30+ K sessions. And not just physically but also mentally. A glimpse on the calender showed the Amsterdam marathon was the best option. After the longer distances my confidence was big enough to take the plunge, I registered.

The week leading up to the marathon my nerves got going, mostly if I could cope mentally. Will I be able to handle all the noise and hustle and bustle surrounding the event ? What if I don’t know what to do any more and need to get out? Checked the route and picked a few points where I could give up and fairly easy return towards the start/finish. And all of sudden it Sunday came knocking.

Waking up I was very nervous , but after a nice breakfast and the walk towards the Olympic stadium my nerves settled a bit. Once I got inside I did a warm-up and headed for my starting position.
Fortunately it wasn’t too busy and there was plenty of room. From the start on the tempo was pretty spot on, first highlight the Vondelpark and the running under the Rijksmuseum. Until the 28 K it went very supple , at 30 K the temperature had risen and I became hot. At that point I didn’t pay any attention to what my watch was saying and the focus went towards simply keeping the tempo as best as I could.

At 35/36 cramps in my calves, after a few hundred metres it went away, again at 41 and I had to slow down a bit but I managed too keep running. The finish in the Olympic stadium is very cool. I just didn’t believe the race-timer. After the finish line I was just thrilled that I completed the distance.

My final time was an absolute surprise, 3:17:15, a personal best. Very special and just now , 2 days after it’s slowly sinking in, I have come a long way, sometimes not very aware of my situation but slowly learning and getting more aware.

You run into personal barriers and nobody really knows an definite solution to your problems and if and when it will get better. They give you structure and a framework , the rest is up to you , perseverance and patience is all you can do really.

Running is the one thing I feel I am in total control. And besides helping me get trough the week it’s also the one thing I can visibly improve in.

I never imagined running another marathon , yet I did it. I am a very happy person.

September 2017 – Dividend

Another month passed by, a new monthly dividend overview is in order. This month is slightly better than the same month last year. Ugly sentence I know but you get my drift. The exhange rate still is a disadvantage for me at the moment. But we’re still up by 2,3%.

Overall dividends are up 18% compared too last year, for me that’s a pretty significant change. It’s a bit uncertain if and how the share prices of dividend stocks will be impacted due too rising interest rates. For now this is not in the cards yet. Just slight rate increases are due later this year and next year.

The portfolio tactic will not change however, more about that subject in another future blog post. For now the numbers.

25/09/2017 Vanguard Dividend Appreciation ETF EUR 1,10
18/09/2017 Royal Dutch Shell A EUR 39,49
15/09/2017 Icahn Enterprises LP EUR 1,28
14/09/2017 Microsoft Corp USD EUR 6,67
11/09/2017 Emerson Electric EUR 4,10
06/09/2017 Unilever Certificate EUR 3,59

Total EUR 56,23

August 2017 – Dividend

August has past again, and so it’s time for the monthly dividend update. Yet again the echange rate between the euro and dollar is causing a bit of a downturn in the number of Euro’s paid out.
I have been doing some digging into ways to compensate for the currency fluctuations and haven’t come up with a decent solution for what in effect is still a tiny portfolio. The focus however will shift towards company’s paying out dividends in the Euro country’s. Which will tackle it as well.

For now the numbers :

21/08/2017 NSI EUR 12,48
17/08/2017 Apple Inc EUR 5,38
14/08/2017 ONEOK Inc EUR 6,37
04/08/2017 Amsterdam Commodities EUR 12,00

Total EUR 36,23