A couple of days late, but worth the wait! The time has come to update the value of my portfolio and individual holdings again. As per usual my savings have been hard at work to make me more money, even though I enjoyed all sorts of shenanigans the past few weeks – yes, I’m looking at you, bachelor party. So let’s see what’s what.
Although I’m a dividend growth investor first and foremost, I would be lying if I told you guys that I don’t enjoy seeing my net worth tick up as the months pass by. More money, less problems – right? More savings slowly lead to a growing stream of dividend income, thus propelling my financial independence date forward.
Compared to last month’s massive €5000 plus jump, April’s net worth increase comes out at a humbling €674. That’s not much in the grand scheme of things, but when you take into consideration that I’ve seen growth almost double the size of my own savings potential, I consider April one of those “keeping both feet firmly on the ground” moments.
The meager increase of 1.06% this month won’t stop me though. I’ll continue to build my own Win for Life fund since it’s much easier to create a sustainable passive income stream that covers my basic living needs and expenses than winning the lottery.
Besides, I’m still well on my way to reach €70,000 by the end of the year. When I first set that goal at the beginning of this year I thought it unlikely, but now it almost seems a certain win. Sometimes all you need is Lady Fortune on your side!
All in all, I’m happy with the progress displayed above – complaining won’t help anyway. Notwithstanding the fact that the stock market has a big influence on my portfolio’s total value, it’s great to see that my frugal living style and savings managed to beat the market’s oftentimes irrational and volatile swings.
You can find a detailed overview of my portfolio below. Individual dividend growth stocks, exchange-traded funds tracking broad indices, and cash reserves are all listed seperately. Foreign securities were converted to Euros using the last-known exchange rate.
Dividend growth stocks
While the European Central Bank’s Quantitative Easing policy has pushed European stocks to heights never seen before over the past few months, it now turns out that those record levels aren’t sustainable. As a result, the immense drop in the bond market caused by QE reversed to the point that European bond yields have gone up sharply.
As one could reasonably expect, stocks didn’t take long to correct themselves and pull back a little bit. European investors owning foreign securities experienced a further side effect with the Euro strengthening against most other major currencies like the US Dollar, thus driving their portfolio value down even more.
My recent purchase of Belgian brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev (EBR:ABI or NYSE:BUD), for example, dropped almost 8%. Münchener Rückversicherungs-Gesellschaft (ETR:MUV2), another relatively new addition, fell by as much as 14%. US stocks all lost ground to the tune of 8%.
You can find the gains in absolute and relative numbers for each company in the table below. The cost basis for each position includes the price of the shares, a 0.27% stock market tax and brokerage fees.
|Ticker||Company||Shares||Cost basis||Mkt. value||Gain|
|BLT||BHP Billiton plc||48||928.94||1,019.94||+9.80%|
|DE||Deere & Company||7||452.61||547.77||+21.03%|
|HOME||Home Invest Belgium||15||1,396.25||1,321.50||-5.35%|
|JNJ||Johnson & Johnson||6||473.79||538.89||+13.74%|
|PG||Procter & Gamble||9||575.36||640.43||+11.31%|
|RB||Reckitt Benckiser plc||10||630.34||796.11||+26.30%|
|ROG||Roche Holding AG||5||1,233.71||1,311.12||+6.27%|
|RDSB||Royal Dutch Shell||60||1,745.65||1,686.60||-3.38%|
|KO||The Coca Cola Company||17||540.05||619.70||+14.75%|
|VZ||Verizon Communications Inc.||20||785.07||874.28||+11.36%|
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, but the ETFs below have been doing exactly what they were designed to do. By tracking the MSCI World, emerging markets and Europe indices rigorously, these exchange-traded funds have experienced enormous growth in the past ten months. If you’re a new investor looking for a long-term set-it and forget-it approach, I can’t recommend index funds enough.
|Ticker||ETF||Cost basis||Mkt. value||Gain|
|IWDA||iShares Core MSCI World||4,982.96||6,243.48||+25.29%|
|IEMA||iShares MSCI Emerging Markets||1,214.59||1,457.73||+20.01%|
|IMAE||iShares MSCI Europe||3,561.94||4,180.00||+17.35%|
At the moment well over 50% of my portfolio is tied to the stock market in some way or another with the remainder of my net worth mostly tied up in savings accounts. These savings accounts provide a very stable foundation to an otherwise relatively volatile portfolio.
|Name||Cost basis||Current value||Gain|
|Pension fund||1,260.00||1,365.97||+8.41% and 30% tax break|
Overall, the past few weeks were rather uneventful from a purely financial perspective. Values went up, values came down again – such is the life of an investor. Meanwhile I had a lot of fun in my personal life. Without spoiling this month’s income and expenses report too much, it’s safe to say that I feel like I’ve found a nice balance between non-essential activities and saving as much as possible.
This careful balancing act helps me to stay the path of financial independence that I have layed out before myself. I believe that consistency and sticking to a well thought-out strategy remain at the core of a financially free mindset. So if you want to make time your own, you’ll find that a steady savings rate and clear investing goals go a long way.
Onward to glory!
Thank you once again for reading and for your continued support. I appreciate every single comment and the flood of e-mails I’ve been receiving lately. They truly are heart-warming.