Under 3 – A new attempt

While preparing for my last marathon I set a goal , running under 3 hours. At the time it meant a 18 minutes discount from my personal best. Quite a bit, and a reach. But the effort of chasing this goal was a new Personal best , 3:09:25. Excellent progress, and thus proof that setting goals is a very rewarding activity. Now it’s time to try again.

The goal remains the same. A sub 3 hour marathon, the same location, Dusseldorf. What will be different this time is my training method, amongst other things. I have been training with a schedule for running a marathon and getting across the finish line in one piece. Which was a feat in itself 3 years ago after suffering my brain damage. Running saved my life when I got ill, simply because I had an excellent fitness level. Ever since it helps me function within my new boundaries to the best of my ability. So largely because of the running and the discipline it brings I am were I am today.

All the more reason to set this goal and get cracking. So the training schedule will be different. So the first step is figuring out what it takes for me to be able to run under 3 hours.
In the meantime I will keep training as usual. until I am largely confident of my new direction.

The second step will be nutrition , I already eat as healthy as possible without overdoing it. Om my longruns I always bring food and drinks , mostly gel and bananas for the food part. Only problem is I mostly don’t eat it. I simply forget when things go smooth, and when things get though, only then I start eating. Which means I am always too late.

When racing a marathon I never forget, simply because all the stations which can’t be overlooked.
But in order for me to get the most out of the nutrition I need to practice more. I am now looking into simply setting alarms on my watch so I don’t forget. Also the recovery food after my run can do with an improvement. So lot’s of work on that front as well.

Third step is a more efficient resting method. I already need lot’s of rest because of my brain damage. So I am not really sure how to improve this bit. I will need some research. Anyway I will update as much as possible on my progress and process. Until next time !

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

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

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.

Option trade diary #1 – ASML position 1

New series, as I stated in my option article newsflash post. I am going to mix it up. Talking about positions I take and why I take them. These posts are by no means advice , and should not be taken as such. It’s merely me taking you through my thought proces. Do your own homework and risk assessment at all times before doing anything !

ASML is a leading company in chip machines. Which is a highly cyclical business. It’s also one that is highly complicated and very expensive too enter. Hence when your at the top changes are you will be there for a while.

ASML has been one of my favorites for a lot of years now. I have bought the stock at first and as volatility is common I started writing put options. This time things are no different. Given the global trade war and attack on Chinese technology by the American president these are trying times. But in the long run this is only a minor hick up. As everything nowadays is technology driven it’s only a matter of time before things get back too business as usual. With these sort of ‘cyclical’ stocks the price fluctuations are always a bit over the top. Which has it’s direct influence on the option prices.

As I am long in any stock I own, I have written (sold) a put option for december 2022 with a strike price of 140 euro’s per share at a price of 19,05. Which means I received 1905 euro’s for taking te risk of having too buy 100 shares at 140 euro each. Why 1905 when the price states 19,05 ? Well 1 option contact always has the underlying number of 100 shares. So option prices should always be multiplied by 100.

I will sell this when it hits 25% profit, which means buying the option when the option price hits 14,27 (Rounded and including all transaction costs).

Why 25% ? , well what I have done is checking my historic options trading profit percentages and they on average run around the 25% mark. Which means that is psychological my comfort zone. I am not really good at letting my profits run, also these profits tend too be made in shorter time periods than my larger profits. Mostly in a matter of days instead of months. So my conclusion is I am a bit impatient and therefore this is my threshold for now.

Not very scientific maybe, bit then again it’s what I tend to do. So in order not too make things overly complicated I simply put the order in and don’t check it anymore.

First post on options and trading options new style. Will be interested too hear your thoughts and comments.
I will be making more of these as I am opening and closing positions, hopefully you will find my thought process interesting !

April 2019 – Dividend

Another month passed by quickly. And so it’s time for another dividend update. This month and the next are always big on dividend coming in. This year is no different. It’s also got a few decent increases within the payments which is a nice bonus. Although this is exactly what is supposed too happen, it still feels as a bonus.

Mind you it can also go the other way round. Dividend payments can stop just like that and stock prices can implode as well. The last decade has been amazingly good. So for all of you who are just starting out. Have a long focus and don’t be deterred when things go sideways. Because they will at some point in time.

For now we are enjoying a nice ride, so here are the results for April :

DateStockCurrencyAmount
25-04-2019Ahold DelhaizeEUR70,00
24-04-2019Cisco systemsEUR8,75
16-04-2019WP Carey Inc. REITEUR9,21
15-04-2019NedapEUR50,00
10-04-2019Vanguard FTSE All-WorldEUR57,71
02-04-2019Vanguard Dividend AppreciationEUR1,36
02-04-2019NikeEUR1,96
01-04-2019Coca Cola CompanyEUR8,03
TotalEUR207,02

Under 3 – Fourteenth week of training

Another week of training goes by, fast. The end of my training schedule is in sight. And so is the big day. The ultimate goal of running under 3 hours might in this instance be a bit of a stretch. My newly acquired long run pace has just been on the right level for a short amount of time. Too short in order to do a solid attempt at under 3. So this adventure will go on for a bit longer. But with the new way of training, the adjusted schedule and all things considered I have made some serious progress.

So I will go on and continue in this fashion. So how did it go this week? To be honest, it’s about time to run that marathon. Training went fine but the real drive is a bit lost, I am just excited to go out and run that marathon!

At the beginning of the week there was a bit of fatigue due to lack of sleep and therefore I had a bit of a hard time getting into the groove. Luckily after a few Km’s this mostly goes away and I have managed too run all planned runs. The longrun was not that long anymore with 24K so I had more time for recovery.

Yoga is still part of the routine and as I have said before whether it really helps or if it’s just in my mind, it works ! So I will keep practicing Yoga. One more week of training, then a restweek and then it’s the big dat. I for one can’t wait !

Small improvements , massive result

Striving to run a marathon in under 3 hours I discovered something new, well for me at least. I had read about it but never really given it any further attention. The large benefits of the small improvements you make if you do something long and consistent enough.

In sports it has been a thing for a few years now, make small improvements in a lot of areas and the sum will surpass anything. Which is off course true , mathematical speaking, take a spreadsheet and set a few numbers and keep adding 1% , compounding in action.

During my training it’s been evident that regularity in workouts is hugely important in getting the most small improvements. But here comes the kicker, for a long time you will not notice any improvements at all. It’s like being stuck, and all of a sudden there is this breakthrough moment. My times improved , tartrate dropped and recovery was shorter.

I am am nowhere near as data driven as a top athlete , but I just noticed the effect and it was significant.
Like it came out of nowhere. Which when you look at it, isn’t true. The consistency and persistence combined with a slow and gradual increase of volume in training has made this possible. But at first there is a whole lot of time were you notice nothing of great significance, it’s just maintaining your condition it seems and not moving forward at all. This is a dangerous point, you get demotivated and you start focussing on something else. Or you quit.

During my revalidation it was always hammered down that you should celebrate small victories, I was mostly frustrated because I was not achieving my bigger goals. I tried and compensate it by working harder and having draw backs. Finally I kept my schedule and things improved. Still not too my liking and my real breakthrough moment never really came.

In hindsight it was just the amount of time that was simply too short, you can’t do that much in a year and I have to get back to the drawing board and see how I can get at these small improvements by means of regularity and slowly increasing my load. I am stuck in a vacuum of no progress for some time now. At one hand that could be it, I am at my maximum in recovery, but I believe in something better.

The running is the proof for me. And while thinking about this subject it really applies too all things that are hard in the beginning. Or stay hard for a long . long time. Take learning how too read for example, or paying off a huge debt. In the beginning nothing real seems too happen. All the effort looks worthless. But then there is a moment it all takes off. The ball starts rolling , and then it goes really fast.

What I have learned , it’s more important too regularly work on a goal and grab the small improvements. Than try and sprinting towards it. Persistence is key , it should become a habit and not a burden.

Let’s get more small improvements!