Sunday reading – Moneyland

I have done some book reviews in the past and I am back with another one. Combining 2 of my favorite things economics and investigative journalism. In this excellent book by Oliver Bullough , Moneyland , the shady world of the ‘off-shore’ industry is the subject, it has created a whole new paralel world where extremely rich people can hide money, assets and change citizenship while they are at it.

It has been fueled by the collapse of the former colonies, and communism. What started with the increasing desire not too pay taxes has grown into a monster where oligarchs , dictators alongside global company’s hide their profits from country’s.

It’s painfully clear that the growing inequality , outdated concepts like nation states and their laws are outpaced by instant global money transfers, a willing and able army of lawyers, accountants and other experts ready too advise some very shady people hide everything.

It’s like trying too outrun a formula 1 car. It’s time for a global overall in the way we think and act on these sorts of fraud. Because it maybe not fraud if you look at the letter of the law , but’s it’s sailing true giant omissions in the different laws in different country’s at the least. And fraud and criminality at it’s worse.

All written in a sharp and understandable way, it’s a pageturner and one I highly recommend if you want too have some insight in how money moves around the globe.

Option trade diary #2 – ASR

ASR this time, an insurance company from the Netherlands, one that hasn’t been on a lot of radars. Most people look towards bigger firms like NN, or Munich Re in Germany. To name just 2. For me ASR has been interesting for some time now. People always need insurance and as an insurance company ASR is doing a nice job. It’s been up in recent years due to good results and product development. Also the margins are pretty good. So is the dividend.

Recently the stock has been under pressure due too interest rate concerns and general turmoil. Which means people buy up bonds and this impact insurers , amongst others. As the market always has a bit of a knee jerk reaction, I think this stock will be recovering , and if not I am happy owning a few. So I sold a put option
for December 2019 strike price 34 euro’s. For which I received 165 euro’s.

It’s now a matter of time, either I will have too buy at 34, roll the option for another time in the future or receive the premium. Either way I will be content. Especially with the last possibility. Let’s wait and see.

Personal finance, it’s very personal.

I read a lot on personal finance, just too learn from people and their approach. It’s not just the financial independence part I’m interested in. Mostly I am more interested in how people go about the decision making process. A always pick something useful out of that. One thing I have learned it’s an incredible personal journey. The math is different for everybody, as well as time span, risk adversity and all other factors one might take in consideration.

There are some basics , most people start off by paying off consumer debt, student loans and mortgages. The variation starts from that point on, one might want to pursue a world trip , others want a better retirement or really early. All of these goals have different metrics. So there is not one right way , generally speaking the basic and key metric is spent less than you make.

One thing I have learned along the way is , make sure you know what your end goal is. And make sure this is really what you want. This is generally the hardest part to figure out. It’s has partly to do with the amount of time it takes achieving these life changing goals.

Also goals can change over time. And that’s ok, nothing wrong with that. Just don’t change them every month week or year. The journey in itself is rewarding as well, focussing and maintaining an outlook with a better and more secure future will pay off sooner than you think.

As it being personal one key thing will change for most. Your stress levels will decrease once your debt decreases and your net worth increases. Your mindset will change for the better. More mind space is available for things other than worrying. In my experience things will get better fast, more relaxed and your mind sharper. The main thing is getting better not just financially but also mentally and physically.

As with all long term goals you will get lost on the way, it helps defining and keeping an eye on the main prize at the end of it , but setting intermediate smaller goals in sync with the end goal keeps you enthused on the journey. Find those small goals and make a list. Once you get one , mark it as done. Celebrate it ! Share it with people that are important to you. Once the list is done, make a new one and save the old one. It’s a nice reminder of where you came from. It has worked for me in every part of life, not just finance. With my recovery as well. It keeps you grounded and thankful for progress made. It’s not an easy task getting in (financial) shape, but the ups and down will make you stronger !

While goals and time lines may vary wildly , the benefits and rewards that come with more financial stability are around the corner. The beginning might seen hard but your persistence will pay off. Find your first goal and stick to it.

May 2019 Dividend

May has passed , summer ahead and so it’s time for another dividend report. As usual May is a busy month for dividend. This year there has been an increase in dividend yet again, due mainly to new or additions too existing positions and some increases. As well as Munich Re , a large part of the total dividend any month they pay out. This month it was in May, but last month it was in April. A one on one comparison is a bit tricky so therefore I am not doing that. But it’s sufficient too say it’s up. When we look at the year as a whole we already have two thirds of the total dividends of last year in the pocket. And were not even half way yet. Al is going very well indeed.

The rundown :

02-05-2019Bayer AGEUR14,00
06-05-2019Munich ReEUR212,75
09-05-2019Amsterdam CommoditiesEUR36,00
20-05-2019K+S AGEUR10,00
28-05-2019ASM InternationalEUR30,00