Portfolio news – July and August 2017 changes

An new portfolio update, this time it’s 2 months in one, why ? Well as you might know I buy dividend paying stocks and ETF’s. The first category because I like to research company’s and it keeps me busy. Nowadays it’s a sort a replacement for work as I can easily do it at my own pace and no deadlines. It also ‘trains’ my reading, analytical skills and maths , hopefully.

The ETF’s are the best option science wise, as research shows it’s important to have low costs, a large diversification and long term strategy. This is all combined in these nice ETF’s. In order to get my portfolio into the desired 50/50 divide between my own hand picked stocks and the ETF’s I have just been buying ETF’s these last 2 months. It’s not there yet but I am getting there. Hence the lack of updates in July.

It’s a bit of an experiment , learning if I can do better than the ETF’s. Which according to science is near impossible. But a man needs a hobby right ? Until next time. Happy investing!

Portfolio news – June 2017 changes

June again, some portfolio news again. Just one new position this month Austrian real estate company Conwert. Mainly active in Germany and Austria, mostly in Germany. Big in residential real estate. Which is boring , hence good. The real estate market in Germany is much more stable and boring compared too the Netherlands, rents are more affordable so not everyone is forced into buying a home. The real estate itself reflects a more real value if you like. It doesn’t go up like crazy.

Some hotspots exempt like Munich. What this means people tend to rent much longer , stable income and there is a real demand for renting. Which attributes a lot to the stability of the market. Dividend at the moment is around 0,30 EUR , and with a share price of around 17 at the moment this is a dividend yield of 1,76% , again not spectacular but there is room to grow here.

Only thing I completely missed was the takeover bid from Vovonia , silly me. We’ll see how this plays out. It’s a nice way to get some exposure into mainly , the German real estate market without buying a rental unit yourself.

The rest of the money and an extra amount went into the Vanguard FTSE All-World UCITS index fund. Which I did to balance the portfolio 50/50 , so 50% index and 50% dividend stocks I pick. Science wise the consensus is that beating an index fund is near impossible as an amateur. So as I want to compare my own performance and not totally throw away my hobby, it’s only common sense to have it 50/50.

Portfolio news – May 2017 changes

Well this post is a bit overdue, but not too late. In May I added one new position to my portfolio and used the remainder of the cash to buy ETF’s , specifically the Vanguard FTSE all world ETF.

The new addition is a Dutch investment company called HAL investments, It’s the investment vehicle of one of the most famous Rotterdam shipping family’s, Van der Vorm. They used to own the Holland America shipping line , hence the name HAL. It’s not my usual investment but for me it’s an interesting one. It’s not as much about the company’s they own which are available on the stock exchange. It’s the ones that are not.

For small time investors like myself it’s hard getting in on good company’s that are not listed on one of the exchanges. This is were HAL becomes interesting. They own parts of Coolblue, infomedics and others.

The family holds most of the shares which is a nice vote of confidence. They pay a healthy dividend which contributes nicely to my goal of living off the dividends that come in every year.

the downside is they are a bit heavily invested in the exploration for oil & gas, which has not been that great of a sector the past few years. Still they manage to make a nice profit anyway.

It’s been going strong since 1989 and I believe they will do a good job investing in company’s for years to come. Hopefully they will make more investments in company’s without a listing.

Portfolio news – November 2016 changes

In November I added to my position of Ahold, in the weeks leading up to my monthly buying spree 😉 this went down somewhat faster and has now become a buy in my humble opinion. The numbers are still adding up and for me this is buying with a discount. The main reason for the drop is the overall exposure to the dollar and eastern Europe, although I see a lot of upside there for the next few years. So I now own a larger piece of this nice stock at a discount.

For next month the buying list is not there yet but I am thinking about adding some more to the ETF part of the portfolio, this part has been neglected for a few months now as I enjoy reading and figuring out things myself. It’s a bit of a hobby as well and it helps me training my focus and gives me energy. But and this becomes more and more evident. It’s not the most profitable options. Because of it’s cost base and lack of sufficient spread of risk over markets and sectors. With ETF’s this is all worked out better. And it’s a bit easier.

So I will add some more to my portfolio , but it will kind of take the fun away. So I will keep doing the research as well and backing this up with buying the stocks. Simply because I enjoy it.

Minimalism

Watched “Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things”, on minimalism. Short version of the definition is living a meaningful life with less. Less stuff, meaning less material possessions, and stop the never-ending chase of more stuff.

Giving more space for time , perusing life goals , and focussing on experiences and way less on chasing materials possessions. I have been interested in this subject for a while now. The documentary outlines the trade off between time , money, material possessions and valuation of these items in life. So If I buy this product, what will this add to my life. It’s not advertising getting rid of all of your stuff. Just ask the question will owning this make me happier. For example , my record collection is an ongoing source of happiness, listening to the records, feeling the records, cataloguing them (yes even that) makes me happy. So should I get rid of them, no. Because they add value to my life. That’s the important question.

It’s not about living out of a suitcase and owning nothing, it’s about making life interesting, intriguing and happier when you get rid of the things that don’t add value to your life. Changing your way of thinking and getting out of the more and bigger is better rat race , rewards you with more time spend on things you value the most. It reduces your financial obligations and lowers the need for a high paid and high stress job as well as the need to finance your life , or should we say lifestyle.

It’s interesting because when thinking about it, you work hard , have less free time and what do we do in general, we spent our hard earned money as fast as possible in our limited free time. And the race continues. Advertising and popular culture creates this goal people trying to achieve, whether it is consciously or not. And a lot of people seem on auto pilot in that direction in one way or the other.

Trying to think about life differently is hard, for me it is anyway. Because ‘success’ is still measured with your job, financial position and stuff you own. While it should be measured by what makes you happy in life, not what society’s definition of a happy and successful life is. Food for thought.

Portfolio news – December additions

So it’s December again, end of the year and the last stocks I bought this year. Rocky markets all round with declining commodities , nervous currencies and bond issues. Hopefully I have managed to select a few nice stocks. I am also researching alternative energy company’s away from the oil, gas sector. Which has not been easy, most don’t pay dividends yet and are heavily indebted. So this is something to work on more in the next few months. I also want to invest more in technology and engineering. Any helpful insight will be much appreciated.

Ok back on topic, what did I add to the Portfolio. New to the portfolio are Accell, Whole foods and Disney.

An interesting addition is Accell which is a Dutch bicycle manufacturer, a steady growing business , especially the e-bikes, which allow older people to still enjoy long distance bike tours. More importantly there may be a nice future for longer distance commuting using the battery packs and the electric power to ease the bike ride. So you don’t need to take a shower upon arrival at the office. If everyone does this the Paris eco agreement goals are easily obtainable.

I personally like bikes very much, I don’t own a e bike since I have sufficient condition to take longer rides and since being fit is the new wealth I can only see this business grow. The products are of great quality and the sale numbers are solid. They also pay out a bit of dividend, not a lot percentage wise , but I think the dividend will grow along with the business.

Disney is something I had set my eyes on for some time. It’s maybe a bit expensive , but it has come down somewhat from the 120 dollar per share earlier this year. Having seen the new Star Wars film I am sure they will generate a lot of business from this franchise. They also have been paying dividend for a long time. I think this will be around the 120 again soon. And hopefully they will rise the dividend payment.

Last addition this month is whole foods. They say they are the healthiest supermarket in the US, well a lot healthier than others I have visited and they are building more supermarkets in area’s where fresh vegetables and fruits, and all other healthier foods are not available. And have programs for sustainable fishing growing etc. This is a very good thing, so this purchase has been done more from the fact I like their view of things than anything else. They do pay out dividend and I think they will raise this in 2016. It’s a bit expensive now but as with everything, it’s all for the long term. Hopefully lot’s of people will see the benefits of healthy food.