Net Worth Update: €66,903 (+1.80%)

This month's net worth update!

Since we’re already two weeks into July, the time has come to once again take a quick look at my portfolio. Portfolio performance is a fickle and whimsical beast, but even as a dividend growth investor I keep tabs on my net worth. After all, what’s not to like about seeing the numbers tick up month after month?

It’s true that my portfolio experienced rapid growth during the past year, mainly as a result of a depreciating Euro and my low spending. Even though my savings effectiveness remained more or less the same, the speed at which my net worth increases, has slowed down significantly following the beating many European stocks took as a result of the Greek crisis.

Nevertheless, I’m happy to report another jump forward from last month’s net worth update. Even though the €1,184 gain this month comes in under what I managed to save in June, July remains a step in the right direction.

The more astute among you quickly figured out that, as an inevitable consequence, the power of compounding interest worked against me this month. However, I still feel incredibly fortunate about the road I’m currently travelling. Financial independence and dividend growth investing are more akin to a marathon rather than a quick sprint, after all.

Net worth update for July 2015

July’s net worth growth lands on a humble 1.80%, which I feel is pretty good considering the current size of my portfolio and the state of the stock market. In any case, I managed to save up another 100 hours of work-free capital that my future self can take advantage of.

Still not impressed? At my current savings rate, this much additional capital allows me to retire over half a month earlier. Amazing!

Below you can find my portfolio as usual. It’s made up of individual dividend growth stocks, of exchange-traded index funds, and of safer investment vehicles and a small pension fund. Foreign stocks were converted into Euros using the last-known exchange rate.


Dividend growth stocks

Down. Up. Down. Up. Down again. The European finance ministers turned the stock market into a true rollercoaster ride. One day European stocks would gain over 2%, while the next they could tumble 3% or more. When, finally, a solution was agreed upon, many stocks settled on their pre-crisis price points.

As a result, there’s a lot of green, but also a lot of red in the list below. German insurance company Münchener Rückversicherungs-Gesellschaft (ETR:MUV2), for example, trades well below my purchase price, while the Belgian Kinepolis (EBR:KIN) gained over one tenth of its value.

All things considered, performance remains top-notch. I couldn’t be more happy with the portfolio I’ve put together over the past ten months. And the best thing about owning a small piece of these companies? They’ll continue to build my passive income even if their market value goes down.

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
ABI AB Inbev 10 1,166.62 1,155.50 -0.95%
AFL Aflac Inc. 9 419.41 501.60 +19.60%
T AT&T 37 972.16 1,178.99 +21.28%
BLT BHP Billiton plc 48 928.94 855.20 -7.94%
BP BP plc 92 507.24 559.00 +10.21%
DE Deere & Company 7 452.61 612.42 +35.31%
DGE Diageo plc 41 994.34 1,128.56 +13.50%
ENG Enagas SA 50 1,258.60 1,271.00 +0.99%
GE General Electric 22 450.70 532.30 +18.11%
GSK GlaxoSmithKline 33 610.15 647.91 +6.19%
HOME Home Invest Belgium 15 1,396.25 1,329.00 -4.82%
INDV Indivior plc 10 3.89 35.07 +801.45%
IBM IBM Corp. 6 736.76 918.15 +24.62%
JNJ Johnson & Johnson 6 473.79 543.23 +14.66%
KIN Kinepolis Group 40 1,399.25 1,553.20 +11.00%
MCD McDonald's Corp 14 1,003.47 1,254.96 +25.06%
MUV2 Munich RE 7 1,413.39 1,215.55 -14.00%
NG National Grid plc 100 1,332.11 1,219.42 -8.46%
NOVN Novartis AG 12 1,061.53 1,148.52 +8.19%
PG Procter & Gamble 9 575.36 670.11 +16.47%
QCOM Qualcomm Inc. 9 520.23 522.27 +0.39%
RB Reckitt Benckiser plc 10 630.34 835.98 +32.62%
ROG Roche Holding AG 5 1,233.71 1,336.59 +8.34%
RDSB Royal Dutch Shell 60 1,745.65 1,582.20 -9.36%
S32 South 32 Ltd. 48 20.04 57.20 +185.45%
KO The Coca Cola Company 17 540.05 635.66 +17.70%
FP Total SA 20 971.96 904.80 -6.91%
ULVR Unilever plc 60 2,029.35 2,456.08 +21.03%
VZ Verizon Communications Inc. 20 785.07 860.19 +9.57%
VOD Vodafone plc 188 536.19 632.60 +17.98%
Total 26,169.15 28,153.27 +7.58%


Exchange-traded funds

When I first started out seeking financial independence I decided to purchase exchange-traded funds. Being a novice investor I felt a lot for the “index” approach to investing because it required a set-it and forget-it mentality. To this day I feel index funds are an excellent way to reach financial independence.

That’s why I hold on to the three ETFs below. What’s more, I’ve decided to add to the MSCI World index fund through small purchases as to balance and further diversify my portfolio.

Ticker ETF Cost basis Mkt. value Gain
IWDA iShares Core MSCI World 5,214.95 6,614.16 +26.83%
IEMA iShares MSCI Emerging Markets 1,214.59 1,380.24 +13.64%
IMAE iShares MSCI Europe 3,561.94 4,220.48 +18.49%
Total 9,991.48 12,214.88 +22.26%



Next to the stock market’s upward and downard bursts, this category remains relatively stable. As usual I added another €77.5 towards the yearly maximum of €930 in my personal pension fund, while my emergency fund and savings accounts remained untouched.

Name Cost basis Current value Gain
Pension fund 1,415.00 1,534.72 +8.46% and 30% tax break
Savings account N/A 18,000.00 N/A
Emergency fund N/A 7,000 N/A
Total 26,534.72


Going forward

In previous net worth updates I’ve called living frugally, saving as much as possible, and investing those savings the holy trifecta of financial independence. Today I feel as strongly as ever about that statement. Even with the stock market in disarray, I’ve managed to make significant gains towards financial freedom. Another great month of dividend income is exemplary of that.

Indeed, progress has been so stellar that I’m almost at my year-end goal of €70,000 in money-building assets, as surprising as that may sound for someone who only really started putting in the works one year ago. As a result, I’m confident that the road I’m currently on is the right one – I hope you feel the same way!

Thank you for reading.


    1. DD,

      When you take into account the weird market situation we’re currently in, I consider the result to be great. Both my dividend growth stocks and index funds are performing excellent. I couldn’t be happier!

      Best wishes,

  1. Hi Nmw,

    Nice resulty considering the wild ride the ( european) market had recently. Keep on pushing that snowball 🙂


    1. Geblin,

      Thanks, pal! Some European stocks are way down in my portfolio, but they’re nicely offset by others, so all-in-all it’s a win. I’m glad I try to diversify as much as possible given the small amount of money I can invest each month.


    1. AT,

      At the beginning of the year €70k seemed so far away, but we’re only halfway the year and already I’m closing in on my target – awesome! I’ll be sure to maximise my savings rate further.

      Thank you,
      Best wishes,

  2. That’s a great gain for sure considering June was a tough month for quite a lot of dividend bloggers including me. I experienced first time net worth loss in June since starting of the blog. Keep up the great work NMW!


    1. BSR,

      Don’t worry too much about the net worth loss… If you look on the bright side you can now buy higher yielding stocks if you have the cash to spare. In the long-run up is the only way for investors that can hold on!

      Best of luck,

  3. Hey NMW!
    Nice to read. I’m starting too with indexinvesting as 35 y old Belgian. For the accumulating and the low taxes Ishares Core seems perfect indeed! I was talking with someone and he was pointing out that it’s an OK fund for the longterm, but it’s very US orientated and you only have the larger companies. I have two questions :
    – You don’t think it’s needed to add some worldwide small or mid cap ETF? I was searching for something like that with an accumulating approach and in Euro but I can’t find it.
    – Do you have problems with the large base in the US?

    Thanks and keep up the good work!

    1. H,

      Glad to have you along for the ride – the more Belgians, the merrier! 🙂

      The MSCI World index is indeed heavy on US stocks (55% last time I checked), but that’s to be expected when you weigh for global capitalisation. That’s why I added a European and emerging markets ETF into the mix as well, as you can see.

      Personally I prefer one global ETF focussing on the larger corporations, but if you want to make use of small and mid cap ETFs you shouldn’t hesitate to do so. It’s not a necessity, just a way to diversify even more. Although you could ask yourself if you’re not stretching yourself thin by investing in so many different ETFs?

      Best of luck,

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