Holy hell, where have I been!? It’s been fifteen days since my last post and I have hardly visited any of you guys’ websites – the longest I’ve ever been MIA. Busy times at the office, great cycling weather, and a general break from the internet forced my hand in the matter, but from now on you can expect regular updates again, like this one. It’s time to update the value of my financial independence portfolio once again, so let’s get to it.
Even though the name of the game still is dividend growth investing, it’s important to review my portfolio and overall net worth from time to time. After all, there’s nothing that gets me to accumulate and invest more of my hard-earned cash than seeing my pile of savings grow all by itself.
Just like last month progress is relatively slow, mostly because I bought a brand-new road bike, which I’ll also be using to cycle to work. On top of that European stock markets have taken a serious beating the past few weeks due to the situation in Greece. All in all, my net worth increased by a solid €1,323, which I’m happy about.
As you can see the graph displayed above still trends upward nicely. The 2.05% gain this month simply continues that progress and pushes me closer to my €70,000 goal by the end of the year. Even though progress has slowed down the past two months, I’m relatively certain I’ll crush that threshold.
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
It’s been at the centre of every news outlet for the past few weeks, at least this side of the Atlantic, so it should come as no surprise that the financial and debt crisis in Greece has cast a dark shadow over many of my European investments. As you can see in the table below, many of my recent additions in high quality companies like Anheuser-Busch InBev (EBR:ABI or NYSE:BUD) and Münchener Rückversicherungs-Gesellschaft (ETR:MUV2) still hover below their cost basis.
However, a slump in the market opens up buying opportunities, so that’s why, after picking up British utility National Grid plc (LON:NG) last month, I decided to further increase my exposure to the utilities sector. Spanish giant Enagas SA (BME:ENG) now takes a prime spot in my European selection of stocks. Whenever Greece shares take a hit, you can be sure that Spanish and Italian stocks follow suit, so I scooped up 50 shares at a yield over 5% – excellent.
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||901.17||-2.99%|
|DE||Deere & Company||7||452.61||576.46||+27.36%|
|HOME||Home Invest Belgium||15||1,396.25||1,294.65||-7.28%|
|JNJ||Johnson & Johnson||6||473.79||529.42||+11.74%|
|PG||Procter & Gamble||9||575.36||638.46||+10.97%|
|RB||Reckitt Benckiser plc||10||630.34||795.87||+26.26%|
|ROG||Roche Holding AG||5||1,233.71||1,287.42||+4.35%|
|RDSB||Royal Dutch Shell||60||1,745.65||1,588.80||-8.99%|
|S32||South 32 Ltd.||48||20.04||60.90||203.91%|
|KO||The Coca Cola Company||17||540.05||607.71||+12.53%|
|VZ||Verizon Communications Inc.||20||785.07||838.49||+6.80%|
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||6,267.78||+25.78%|
|IEMA||iShares MSCI Emerging Markets||1,214.59||1,391.04||+14.53%|
|IMAE||iShares MSCI Europe||3,561.94||4,168.56||+17.03%|
While the previous categories contained my stock market related investments, the other category is a lot less exciting. The savings account and emergency fund only contain cash savings, while the pension fund also contains quite a lot of bonds and fixed-interest rate investments. As such, they all provide a solid foundation to an otherwise relatively volatile portfolio.
|Name||Cost basis||Current value||Gain|
|Pension fund||1,337.50||1,457.36||+8.96% and 30% tax break|
I hardly followed my investments the past two weeks, although they’ve been all over the place apparently, but still my financial independence fund managed to get ahead. That’s largely due to my May savings, which goes to show once again how important it is to remain disciplined and maintain a high savings rate.
To everyone who sent me a message the past couple of days wondering how I am and what I’m up to, thank you for your kind words. I appreciate the e-mails, even though I still have a metric ton of them to get through. Additionally, I have a lot of reading-up to do because I’ve missed quite a lot of updates on my favourite blogs, so I better get to reading them.
Thank you for your support!