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 !

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

Option trade diary #3 – NN

Another edition of the options trading diary , in this case other insurance company. Nationale Nederlanden. This insurer is an investment for the long term, yielding an excellent dividend and has been optimizing on multiple fronts. The low interest rates will remain a problem however , but for now this has not been a factor in the growth and the flow of dividends.

As I am planning on owning the stock I have written a put option, one that ends next month on the 19th of July and has a strike price of 34 euro’s.

Just a quick reminder of what this means, when the share price dips below 34 euro’s I have an obligation to buy 100 shares NN at 34 euro. Which is a discount of 3,8% on the share price on the moment of writing the option.

For a period of 3,5 weeks I received 35 euro’s. If the price of the stock stays above 34 euro I will get too keep this. It’s a very short running option so you always have to be aware of the risk of getting assigned.
You can always buy back the option and write another one which expires further in the future. Or let the option run it’s course and get 100 shares at 34 euro’s.

So far so good , at the time of writing this post the option has lost 50% of it’s value.

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 :

DateStockCurrencyAmount
02-05-2019INGEUR44,00
02-05-2019Bayer AGEUR14,00
06-05-2019Munich ReEUR212,75
07-05-2019JungheinrichEUR5,00
08-05-2019ASMLEUR21,00
09-05-2019Amsterdam CommoditiesEUR36,00
15-05-2019NSIEUR13,44
16-05-2019AppleEUR10,41
20-05-2019K+S AGEUR10,00
21-05-2019BMWEUR35,00
28-05-2019ASM InternationalEUR30,00
28-05-2019DowDuPontEUR1,26
EUR432,86

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 !

Under 3 – Tenth week of training

Another week of training is done, one less run but all the others were a bit longer. With some build in speed parts and hill training. I was a bit tired at the beginning but at the end of the week it all went better. Lot’s of rain and wind as well all week, I don’t mind a bit of rain but every training gets a bit too much.

This is the first week of a serie of weeks where the amount of kilometers gets too an all-time high. In order too get me into marathon mode if you like. The long run was especially cold , wet and even some hail too accompany me on this 32 Kilometer long run. I started out early and after a few km’s in, I was already soaked. So I decided too ditch all the watching the hart rates , speeds etc on my watch and just focus on running and enjoying a nice pace.

After the first half the rain got a bit lesser, and even the sun showed up sometimes. It went very well and also my gel intake was up too par. I wasn’t really fatigued at the end and my muscles were not sore after and not the next day.

It also was pretty fast, I did however got some rain damage along the way but it wasn’t too bad. A very good week again despite tired me starting out.

Onto the next one !

Fear

Fear, my biggest fear ? Losing control, or more accurate losing the illusion of control. I have always wanted too have as much control over my life as possible. More often than not pushing it too the extreme. Combining this with setting high demands for myself and big goals, I made it quite difficult for myself to really have control. Not in ways of getting towards my goals but controlling myself.

Eventually my biggest fear became reality, I now only have limited control over my life. The daily condition of my brain determines what I can and cannot do that day and it makes for a lot of unexpected moments. Offcourse I do all I can controlling this. It’s my nature.

The difference with the past is I am not trying too force this at all costs. All I can do is plan well , exercise and train well and rest. Controlling everything simply costs too much of my valued and scarce resource , energy.

It had taught me that living in the moment is very valuable, you simply cannot control every aspect of your life. You can work on creating the conditions and environment too increase your chances of achieving your goals, and thats an attitude I recommend too everyone. But in the end you are reliant on so many factors and moments that there is a point at which it simply does not make sense trying to control more. You end up in an illusion, and you keep pushing for more influence on a increasingly smaller effect on the outcome of events.

Energy better spend on fun things in life, or activity’s which you can do in reaching your goals. Not just trying too control everything.

It’s strange how you always fall back on old instincts , which have taken me far in life and still my discipline , controlling nature and perseverance take me far today. But in the past these attributes were in my way a lot of the time. It backfired numerous times when achieving my goals. Controle became a goal in itself. There was no more logic.

Now there is more acquiescence, frustration about my failing brain is still there, and also acceptance is a long way down the line, but this has given me the insight in the simple fact you can better put your energy in little steps towards a goal , the using it too control stuff you can’t. Or obsess over details. Problems will arise anyhow, and when they do , I will deal with them.

My life has a lot more direction and focus , and is more relaxed than it used too be. Everything is a bit smaller, at a lower pace. Unnecessary fear is bad guidance , and working at overcoming this fear is a very valuable side effect too my brain damage. I doubt if I would have ever gotten it otherwise.

Februari 2019 – Dividend

Oops , almost forgot to write this post entirely. The Februari dividend update. This month only 1 position that pays it’s dividends. Apple being the one. My Februari dividend income has always been the worst month of the year. Probably the reason I forgot about writing about it. But in stead of combining it with March, I decided too report Februari separately. Quick one this time.

Anyway Februari did indeed produce dividends. A bit less than last year, exchange rates are against me , taking it down 14%. But exchange rates are just a fact. I am not doing anything in the way of compensating for these fluctuations , the portfolio is simply far too small. Well see you in March for the next dividend update.

The numbers :

DateStockCurrencyAmount
14-02-2018AppleEUR9,77
TotalEUR9,77

Under 3 – Ninth week of training

Week 9 , time flies. This week was relatively calm in the way of training with a half marathon run as the piece the resistance if you will. Not a road race but a bit of trail run. Apart from a few patches of hard surface the track mostly went via horse trails and forest lanes. With the added bonus of a few climbs along the way.

The start was a bit slow, it was pretty busy and it took a while finding a free zone and picking the right pace. Ahead of the race the warning was too save a bit of energy in the first part , because the hard bits in regards too climbing were in the second half of the race. I took this advice , and didn’t go too fast in the first half. Retrospective , this part could have gone faster. But because I am in the buildup towards a marathon this isn’t a bad thing. It’s good not to go all out and exhaust yourself.

The second half of the run was easier then expected and I could keep my pace without a problem. Didn’t force anything towards the end and ran the remainder quite relaxed. Net finish time 1:29:59, just shy of 1,5 hour. Excellent result, and a happy me.

The usual Yoga strength training and the rest of the runs also went excellent this week. No complaints there either, all in all a good week. Hopefully this will continue in week 10!

Goals and finance.

Goals, or dreams. Everyone got them. Goals often start out as a dram, slowly the dream develops into a goal. The easy steps are often taken swiftly. Let’s take a big trip, or better yet a world trip as an example. Travel guides are quickly purchased , a shiny new notebook and a pen for writing down the ideas as well. Let’s start the party ! Long train commutes from and to work are futile ground for plotting the country’s , places and other things to visit on this world tour. It makes you feel better during the day as well, happy days. The notebook quickly fills up, and after a few months it’s almost full.

After all the fun stuff the practical side of things kicks in, the how when and why kick in. And also it will cost a ton of money. Slowly but surely the newly acquired travel guides disappear and the notebook lands on the pile of unfinished projects.

How does this happen ? Well the dreaming and figuring out the fun stuff is new and exciting, it gives you energy. But how do you manage going from the dream to the goal and actually making it happen ?

Don’t get me wrong, dreaming and working on the first part of the goal is a necessary tool for getting off the ground. Keep at it. But make sure the pile of unfinished projects doesn’t get too big. It’s not fun having a large amount of ever growing unfinished projects , worse it demotivates.

As soon as the fun part is over, our world travel plan has a near definitive shape the ‘boring’ part begins , taking care of the logistics of it all. How about the job , house , cats and dogs ? And how are we going to pay for all of this ? Most projects get some start in the way of the hard part. But at some point doubt sets in , some practical solutions may end up in the notebook but for most that’s it.

What does this tell you ? Is it the doubt about the achievability at this moment ? Wait another year ? Or is this dream simply not suitable for you ?

The last question might be the most important one. Is this dream, which along the way has the shape of a goal and a project really worth all your time and a large part of your future time money and energy ?

Think long and hard about all of the dreams you had the last few years, write them all down on a piece of paper. Get the old notebooks out en relive the process. Look at it with one question in mind , how badly do I want this ? Do I really want this world trip ? Or is it just because a lot of people seem to be doing it? Is it an escape from something else ?

Really take your time ! And pick 3 goals you are passionate about , with a limited time frame in which you want to achieve them. Take the easiest one first, let’s say staying in the travel examples, take a citytrip too Valencia. Get out your calendar out and pick a date.

In comes the finance part, make an estimate of expenses, the traveling, hotel and daily budget. Put it all in a nice excel sheet and calculate what it takes too save up for it in the time you have before you go. Even if you have the finances ready, do it to get used too making a sacrifice for your goals.

It teaches discipline and persistence , cancel a night out on the town , or make more creative plans which cost less money. Or make plans to get the money with a new side hustle.

After this first goal , you take it of your list of 3 goals and start the second one. Don’t add more goals too the list until you finish all 3. This is important, it teaches you if your selection process is a valid one. Maybe one was not as fun as it was supposed too be. And it keeps you from being distracted. As soon as all 3 goals are done, you asses them. Were all 3 goals as good as I dreamt ? How much effort went into them and was it worth it ? As soon as this is done you can repeat the process and start over. Let the dreaming begin , and with a better self knowledge you can pick better goals. Have fun dreaming !