August 2019 Dividend

It’s been a while. Writing articles got a backseat to real life. So I am a bit behind. But we’re back. With August and the monthly dividend report. It’s the usual really. An increase in dividend income comparing the numbers with last year. And not surprisingly because of the fact I am still building the portfolio.

Another reminder of how important it is to be consistent and dedicated, it works. It’s better too invest a small amount consistently , then larger amounts when you have money ‘left over’.

Another fact of life, the world is still in turmoil. Brexit, nationalism, trade wars , oil you name it, it’s happening. Just the day to day madness really. Just keep building that portfolio and stay calm. One step at a time upon the ladder of investing.

Ok enough talking, it’s numbers time :

DateStockCurrencyAmount
02-08-2019Amsterdam CommoditiesEUR24,00
12-08-2019NSIEUR12,48
12-08-2019INGEUR24,00
15-08-2019AMGEUR20,00
15-08-2019AppleEUR10,40
29-08-2019AholdEUR30,00
TotalEUR120,88

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.

Under 3 – Seventh and eight week of training

2 weeks of training already over, forgot posting last week. Anyway back again. Week 7 went well. Bit harder because of a lack of sleep and a lesser recovery. Which you will notice , but by paying attention too my body I could manage the training load pretty well. It took a little longer than usual before I got into a comfortable rhythm. Fortunately after the training is done it always feels good and I got an empty mind. All very good benefits.

Week 8 was a lot easier then week 7. Thanks too some adjustments in my overall planning and getting more rest moments pushing it a bit in training went a lot smoother. This week was the first week we got to a 30 K long run. Lot’s of rain and wind and it took a while before the auto pilot kicked in. After 8 K all went smooth and the right mindset and feeling were there. Did a bit of experimentation with gels on route and none of them were a problem for the stomach or otherwise. This is usually the case but better test it beforehand.

The recovery on this beautiful Monday is good as well, no funny pains and or sore muscles. This week the program is somewhat less demanding since I got a half marathon next weekend. A trail run , looking forward on pushes the limits a bit on this one. Let’s see how it goes!

3 years later

It has been 3 years already , since my brain injury, a sort of 3th anniversary combined with my 39th as it were. It has been a year of learning, yet again about dealing with the inevitable limits caused by permanent brain damage. Most notably the realization that there is, in fact a limit in what I can achieve. Building at expanding my activities in the way of work, social life and all other activities is not something I can do limitless. Although this was always in the back of my head, by planning meticulously and adding slowly that I somehow could return to my old levels, and in a way my old self.

As it turns out , that’s not the way it works, last year I upped my working hours towards 8 hours per week, first in 2 days and later on spread out over 3. It all seemed to work out, at least this was the initial feeling. Until the fatigue hit me and it took a couple of months in recovery getting back.

So I will keep it at 6 hours over 2 days. Which means I can recover and get a social or other activity in a week. Which is always fun, especially getting together with family and friends. In my enthusiasm I will go over my limits on such occasions , just because it’s so good having people around. So it’s a bit of a focus this year in getting the most out of that time spent.

In this quest in staying as stable as possible , keeping myself fit is crucial , the fitter I am, the better I can cope with moments were all else fails. Purly on physical strength I can manage to stay afloat. Getting home when I miss a train, It’s way too busy or if I simply forget too rest enough.

Periods in which I could exercise less my overall functionality and recovery was way off. It took ages. Luckily I really enjoy my running sessions, which clear my head like nothing else. It’s the one thing I can really control which is excellent because it’s vital in my ability too function properly.

A discovery which I hadn’t made when I was in my revalidation stage , is that the left side of my body is way worse than it was before. I hadn’t noticed this because I predominately use my right. By getting into exercising and building strength on my left side, I hope too improve this.

The hard part is realizing that I am , most likely at my maximum capacity , and I now know what it takes to stay at this level. A lot of disciple , rest staying fit and planning. It’s very weird not having a full time job , bering dependent on other people for a lot of things and being restricted in crafting your own future.

Nevertheless , I am very lucky being this well off, having a lovely group of family and friends to lean on. This makes me a very happy and fortunate person. Which I am very grateful for.

For the future it’s important too find real acceptance and not too hold on too the past and the vision of getting to were I was before this happened. I have too find progression in a more natural and organic way instead of just pushing my limits.

Find the challenge in things I can control.

Under 3 – Fourth week of training

This week has been a successful one, full training schedule done ! It went very well and although I can’t yet get enough speed this is something that I am working on with extra speed training and short speedy parts during the long runs. But that did not take away the fun , I am very happy I could cope with the Km’s smoothly. No weird pains or sore muscles in between the sessions. Which makes me a very happy person.

Strength training I am still doing via yoga sessions which I like a lot, it’s more tranquil and the continuous movement makes for a more flexible me. Which is an added bonus. Also it is supposed to make you more resilient and thus less prone to injuries. And it makes me more relaxes mentally , which is kind of ideal being me. 4 sessions this week and I am planning to keep this up.

All in all an excellent week. On to the next !

January 2019 – Dividend

Another month has passed, first in 2019, time for another dividend update. Comparing 2019 with 2018 , the January dividend has gone up 50% , mainly because of growth in the portfolio. I don’t know if it’s also down to individual company’s raising there dividends. To be honest I wasn’t too bothered looking it up. Maybe I can muster up some will power the next time round.

It’s still fun watching dividends come in, although I follow the discussion around whether dividend investing is still as viable today as it was in the past with great interest. I think it a bit of a save guard for management not too take too short term decisions , and look more towards stability in growth as opposed too fast growth. Well for me it still works well, and for now I will keep it as part of my investment strategy alongside the ETF part of the portfolio.

Now the numbers :

DateStockCurrencyAmount
23-01-2018
Cisco SystemsEUR8,10
15-01-2018
W.P. Carey IncEUR9,03
10-01-2018
Walt Disney CompanyEUR0,77
09-01-2018
Vanguard FTSE All-World UCITS ETFEUR37,11
02-01-2019NikeEUR1,92
TotalEUR56,93

Under 3 – Second and third week of training

Another overview of my training activities, or lack thereof. Week 2 was mostly wasted on a food poisoning , which left just two runs in week 2. Week 3 also started in recovery mode which was rather annoying. At the end of the week I managed a few runs , a bit unfortunate but luckily at the beginning of my training plan and not at the end just before a marathon.

Training itself went well, just slightly slower due too overall weakness from the stint of food poisoning. All in all it held me back for a good 8 days.

Happy to be back and looking forward to week 4 !

Under 3 – First week of training

As some of you might know, I have set myself a new goal. Running a marathon under the (for me at least) magical 3 hours threshold. I will track my progress in this new ‘Under 3’ series. I will share the numbers , but mostly I will focus on the impact on my mind and body. As I am curious in finding out if this will improve my day to day abilities and minimizes my setbacks.

Well the first week is done, the routine hasn’t really changed much , just some more speed training and a lot more (core) strength training. While just exercises with a lot of repetitions seem to bore me, I found Yoga to be much more fluent. Not dull reps but focused on movement. Which fits me so much better. So instead of going trough the exercises I now find myself enjoying it and paying much more attention, maybe it’s less effective I don’t know. But it keeps me engaged and I am now enjoying this. So this is it for me as far as strength trying goes.

The runs were all good, sometimes a bit too fast for now, I get excited and don’t mind the hart rate. But all in all I am happy. No little pains and now problems in recovering. The extra fast bits of my runs went very well, now it’s just a matter of getting my long runs in a better hart rate zone. The new long distance pace must feel as good as the old one did. I am aiming for a long run tempo between 4:30 and 4:45 per kilometer, which should make running a sub 3 hours marathon a possibility.

So what did I do this week ? First there are four core and strength yoga sessions of about half an hour. My normal 5 times a week running sessions consisting of 3 short runs with faster bits of about 7 to 10 k. One 14k easy and one 21k long run.

It’s early days but I am having fun just thinking about the process and the possibility of achieving the ultimate goal. The marathon in under 3 hours!

Running, a new goal.

I love running, I also need it as a way for clearing my head and stay as fit as possible in order to be able to manage day to day activity and keep my balance. As I have mentioned before, after my brain injury , my running prior to the accident saved my life. And it also gave me tools for persisting during my revalidation process.

As with running revalidation starts and ends with keeping at it, and with most things in life this helps a great deal. Being conditioned this way has helped me true rough patches and kept me sane during periods when my brain simply gave in. So all in all running means a great deal in my life.

For this year I am going to write more about running and my day to day with brain damage. As a lot of people can’t really imagine the effects it has on life. But I am starting out with running. I have ran a few marathons and my personal best is 3:17:22 seconds. Which I am very happy with.

Ever since I have ran this fast I am contemplating if it’s possible to run a sub 3 hour marathon. In my case getting 18:17 seconds off my personal best. Which is a bit steep. But if I don’t try I will never know. So I am starting a journey which hopefully gets me under the famous 3 hour barrier.

I have said it , I want to run a marathon under 3 hours. And now you can all help me do this. Any training , nutrition and general tips are more then welcome ! Let’s go!

Portfolio news – Winter 2018

Time for another portfolio news. Since the last additions I have been going out of the fossil energy industry and reinvested the funds into technology and the ETF’s. I had still had Shell, sold ONEOK before that and now it was time to remove Shell from the portfolio. It’s a nice dividend income and for all their commercials and PR towards clean energy I haven’t really seen anything apart from sponsorships. No real moves as of yet. In name an Energy company, in practice still a old style oil giant. I realize I am still an investor by the way of the ETF, so I am not completely clean at the moment. But this is the first step.

Also out is General Electric, one of my longest holdings in the portfolio, and one I neglected acting on earlier which resulted in a loss, another testament towards simply buying an ETF and holding that instead of following separate companies. But I am still having fun doing the research, so for now I will keep adding some handpicked stocks to my portfolio.

As for technology , more ASML, Apple and Microsoft have been bought. Next on the list is Philips. Getting larger in healthcare which will remain a growing market, it’s been lagging a bit lately and now starts making up a bit. So I will start out with writing put options and seeing how things develop.

The ETF’s have seen the biggest growth in my portfolio, simply because it’s easy and cheap. Which comes a long way in having a nice return in the future. Low costs and simplicity is key. Its also remarkably stable. My handpicked portfolio goes up and down a lot more, which makes sense because it only contains a few positions versus hundreds combined in an ETF.

So my testcase is more and more in favor of the ETF’s , which I will be allocating more money towards in 2019.