Today it’s been exactly one year since I was released from the hospital. It’s also the day I had my last visit at the revalidation centre.
A few weeks back I had my second Neuro Psychological test which showed little or no improvements in most tested arias. Which means this is it. Medically speaking there is little or no chance it will improve any further. Although this is not unexpected it’s pretty disturbing nonetheless. Somehow I always felt I could beat it. Rationally I already knew it wasn’t in the cards, emotionally it’s very different. The planning and preserving of energy is something I will have to keep doing for the rest of my life. A normal full time job is out of the question.
The main focus and most important one is now accepting my new life, new limitations and find a meaningful path in life within my new limitations. I already took steps in that direction by searching for guidance in figuring out what it is I can still manage work wise. But I would be lying if I said all is well right now. Because this is really the end of the line in the recovery of my brain.
I’m going too need time processing and really accepting it.
First month of the brand new year, a rocky start for all I think and it’s going to be hard with all the troubled country’s and politics that look more like screaming contests than anything else.
For the markets all around the world this will mean more uncertainty and instability. On the other hand after much stimulus and external policy the real economy is finally picking up some steam. A big part is due to people spending more , I see a lot more shopping going on around me. In the Netherlands the housing market is booming again which is mostly because of low supply in a lot of popular cities. But also the less popular locations around or near these cities are picking up.
It’s not uncommon houses being sold before the are on the market. All this is fuelled by low interest rates but you can’t borrow like crazy any more like in the good old days. Now it’s 100% of the value + 1% for additional costs. Which is still way too much in my book but it is getting there. Added are the additional demands from banks, which are boiling down to the necessity of brining in a healthy sum of your own money before you can get a mortgage.
With affordable alternatives in social and free market rentals the only way for most people in getting there housing costs at an affordable level is buying. Getting a house and an approved mortgage on the other hand is difficult. So for now the housing market will stay booming even with interest rates rising. Hopefully the market balances out a bit.
And with this other industries will follow. So finally some action in the real economy. Hopefully its sustainable. As for a prediction of the future of the stock market I am not going to give you one. The future is unpredictable. For me anyway. My course stays the same. Buying strong company’s which pay nice dividend and low cost ETF’s. The dividend news , well it’s up from last year when I started logging it. It’s nowhere near enough for my monthly expenses but it’s nice progress. The numbers are :
13-1-2017 W.P. Carey (REIT) EUR 9,28
24-1-2017 Whole Foods Market EUR 1,30
25-1-2017 Cisco Systems EUR 6,79
25-1-2017 General Electric EUR 4,93
30-1-2017 Dow Chemical EUR 4,25
Total EUR 26,55
I am happy about it and hopefully next month will be good as well.
December did not have any changes in the portfolio, simply because of a lack of time and energy, So this month I have double the amount to spend on buying stocks.
This month has been all about expanding positions in stocks that are already in my portfolio. Simply because the company’s remain, in my view buying opportunities.
Another change, I now allocate half of my investment amount to ETF’s which gives me low costs and high global diversification. The other half I will keep investing in my value / dividend investing portfolio. It’s an exercise for me , I am trying too find out which gives me a better return , and I also don’t want to quit the hobby just yet. So half is going to the MSCI world index.
Scientific evidence tells me the ETF will outperform me without any doubt. And maybe loosing this hobby is better for me financially.
Anyway, this month I added to my positions in Unilever, Munich Re and Microsoft. Which where under some pressure at some point in last few months, especially Unilever where experts were underwhelmed with their performance. Just none of those reasons where worrying about the future of the company. Microsoft has done a nice job expanding their cloud products and have found a good model to get the products to the market. Still undervalued as well and for me the target at which Microsoft does get a bit expensive is at 85 to 90 dollar per share.
Last but not least is German insurer Munich Re. Still has not been much of a mover but it’s a very solid company and it keeps rising dividends. Nothing much has changed in the calculations , it’s an easy way to add dividend income to the portfolio.
Coming months will be slightly busy as a move is imminent. More nature and less city , which should be good for me in terms of further recovery.