Net Worth Update: €45,095 (+5.24%)

This month's net worth update!

About a month ago I published my net worth for the first time. Although it was quite scary to put my number and portfolio out there for everyone to see, the feedback has generally been very positive. Even last week some of you asked if I was going to update my portfolio and net worth regularly. Of course I am!

Currently my  net worth is at €45,094.97, which is up 5.24% from last month. Obviously, a large part of the increase is the result of my awesome August savings rate. On top of that the markets have generally been kind to my ETF portfolio after a small dip at the end of July and the beginning of August.

Please note that all numbers below are in Euros only! Even though I own international stocks in other currencies, they are shown in Euros using the last-known exchange rate.


Dividend growth stocks

In August I switched to the dividend growth strategy because I believe it fits my personality better. Consequently, I transferred about €4,000 from my emergency fund and all my July savings to my brokerage account and started buying great value businesses.

The cost basis for each position includes the price of the shares, a 0.25% stock market tax and brokerage fees. Even though the value gain of my dividend portfolio doesn’t matter too much, I’ve added it here for the sake of completeness.

Ticker Company Shares Cost basis Mkt. value Gain
T AT&T 37 972.16 981.92 +1.00%
DE Deere & Company 7 452.61 441.27 -2.50%
MCD McDonald's Corp 14 1,003.47 1,005.20 +0.17%
KO The Coca Cola Company 17 540.05 542.17 +0.39%
PG Proctor & Gamble 9 575.36 576.42 +0.18%
JNJ Johnson & Johnson 6 473.79 482.68 +1.88%
ULVR Unilever plc 29 968.01 977.30 +0.96%
FP Total SA 20 971.96 1000.60 +2.95%
Total 5,957.40 6,007.55 +0.84%


Exchange-traded funds

Because I’ve been buying a lot of individual stocks, I haven’t added any savings to my ETFs since last month. The next ETF purchase is slated for some time in december since my ETF strategy is linked to a dollar-cost averaging technique.

Last month both my World and Europe ETFs were in the red, but with the S&P500 crossing the 2,000 mark they’re now in the green! The recent ECB policy change also helped European stocks climb higher. On top of that the Euro weakened, which provided an extra boost to my non-Euro holdings because of the exchange rate mechanism.

Ticker ETF Cost basis Mkt. value Gain
IWDA iShares Core MSCI World 4,982.96 5,214.78 +4.65%
IEMA iShares MSCI Emerging Markets 1,214.59 1,304.10 +7.37%
IMAE iShares MSCI Europe 3,561.94 3,582.48 +0.56%
Total 9,759.49 10,101.36 +3.50%



My other holdings include a tax-advantaged pension fund, a savings account through an insurance firm with a guaranteed yearly return of 3.15%, and an emergency fund.

Name Cost basis Current value Gain
Pension fund 570.00 573.31 +0.58% and 30% tax break
Savings account N/A 17,612.75 +3.15% guaranteed yearly
Emergency fund N/A 10,800 N/A
Total 28,986.06


Going forward

As some of you may have noticed, I’m getting close to my goal of having €20,000 in the stock market by the end of the year. Without any unexpected road bumps investing only €4,000 more seems totally manageable.

A further goal I’ve added for 2014 is to receive about €100 in dividend income after taxes, which is quite ambitious considering I just started. I expect to receive my first actual dividend payment next week from good old Ronny McDonald! Exciting!

Thank your for reading and for your support.


  1. Great progress over the last month 🙂 The first €100 in dividend income will probably take the longest to develop. But after that it should become easier to get your next €100 due to the compounding nature of dividend growth stocks 🙂 I have MCD and DE as well.

    1. Yeah, I don’t think I’ll make the first €100 this year. I was a bit too optimistic about tax implications! 🙂

      MCD and DE both are steals at this time, highly undervalued businesses. Yes, they have some short-term troubles to work through, but in the long-run they are solid companies. Glad to be a fellow shareholder!

  2. Congratulations NMW!

    DGI is a powerful strategy.

    Keep in mind that investing in your ETFs is actually also some way of doing DGI. Eventually the average earnings per share of the ETF will rise over time and correspondingly the dividends will follow..perhaps not as consistent as the DGI stocks

    1. Thanks, FRD!

      You’re right about the ETFs in a way. These are non-dividend paying ones though, so their share value should rise much more quickly in the future.

      Hope everything is going well over there,

    1. Sindre,

      It sure looks that way! I was thinking of taking another €5,000 from my emergency fund to buy additional dividend growth stocks, but I want to see what kind of unexpected expenses I can run into. Maybe I’ll wait until the next market correction too to buy higher yielding stocks.

      You seem to be doing well over there in Norway!
      Keep it up,

    1. Thanks for the support, DFG! I’m so stoked for tomorrow actually. Can’t wait to see the dividends roll into my account! 🙂

  3. Looking good — out of curiosity (and apologies if you’ve answered this elsewhere) but what are your taxes like on owning US stocks as a European?

    As a Canadian my US stock dividends are taxed 15-30% depending on what account they’re in.

    1. Excellent question!

      The first thing you have to know is that there is no such thing as European taxes; they’re different in every nation state of the EU. That makes investing in European companies extremely complicated sometimes.

      For me as a Belgian, I pay a 25% tax on all dividends received. On top of that there often are foreign withholding taxes. US: 15%, Canada: 15%, France: 15%, Germany: 26%, Netherlands: 15%, UK: 0%, Switzerland: 15%. These percentages are all because of a double taxation treaty between Belgium and the countries mentioned, otherwise they would be way higher.

      So that makes a total of about 36% (25% * 15%) on almost all dividends, except the ones from Belgium and the UK. No tax advantaged accounts here, but no capital gains taxes either.

  4. Hi NMW,

    Good job on the progress. No Belgian stocks at the moment? We do have some good dividend payers. Which broker do you use, I notice that you buy pretty small amounts so the costs can be quitte high in this case. I never buy batches of stocks lower then 1 000 EUR to keep the transaction cost under 1% ( in the case of belgian stocks).

    Keep pushing the snowball.



    1. Geblin,

      Progress is excellent indeed, I’m really happy so far. No Belgian stocks at the moment because I’m still looking into most Belgian firms. And I also expected a depreciation of the Euro, so I decided to convert some of my cash into dollars. Turns out I was spot on.

      Recently I signed up for a Bolero (KBC) account because they seem to handle dividend payments quite nicely (double taxation treaties and the like). As a result I have €225 worth of transaction costs for free until the end of the year, that’s why I’m initiating rather small positions. Free and easy diversification, right? In the future I hope to buy for at least €1,000 at a time.

      Which broker do you use?

      Thanks for the encouraging words,

  5. NMW,

    Fair point about the EURO. I’m also adding to my non-EURO stocks.

    I use keytrade, they are pretty cheap but offer a good service. I haven’t run into problems with the divindend payments either.

    I just looked up the prices from Bolero and it seems they are cheaper then keytrade for most transactions at the moment.



    1. I was quite surprised to find KBC being among the cheapest brokers out there! I also have a BinckBank account that I use to buy my ETFs.

      How does Keytrade deal with recovering dividends from other countries?

    1. Thanks, Tawcan! Too bad my monthly savings can’t sustain that kind of growth for long once my net worth starts to balloon. 🙂

  6. For most dividends we receive everything goes automatically( double taxation and such) but there are countries that have no treaties with belgium and then we need to ask some documents we need to fill in. Most developed countries have such treaties so it is not really an issue.

    1. Thanks, Henry!

      Only in my head, but not on paper yet. It depends a bit on my new average monthly expenses. At least I know they’ll be along the lines of: more! 🙂

  7. Awesome progress! Love your net worth updates – it got my butt kicked to finally start my own. And it gives me plenty of ideas for future net worth updates. Excited to see that portfolio grow!

    1. Glad you like them! I absolutely love reading net worth updates, no idea why. Really enjoyed yours too! We’re both on track to be the rich kids on the block.


    1. Haha, best reasoning ever! 🙂

      Don’t worry, you’ve got plenty of time to figure things out and practice. And if you’re not sure on what to do, you can always ask our community – plenty of knowledgeable people.

  8. NMW,

    Great job. It goes without saying that you’re doing fantastic, especially for your age. I’m confident by the time you’re my age you’ll be far ahead of where I currently am.

    Keep that train rolling! 🙂


    1. I sure do hope so, Jason! You are living the dream right now, would love to follow in your footsteps. All aboard the dividend train!

      Best wishes from Belgium,

  9. in our Holland only costs €0,50 + 0.004USD per share

    When I buy a share for example for $50.- and in total im using $1,350.-(ca. €1.000,-) then my total transaction costs are €0,50 + 27*0.004USD= 0.108 USD. What will be about €0,57 per transaction. Cheapest broker at the moment.

    Other broker I would use if wasnt there then i payed about
    €9,50 + 0,15% each transaction of BinckBank Basic

    1. William,

      Thank you for your input!

      I’ve looked at Degiro too, but I didn’t like their securities lending policy. The risk is low, but when shit hits the fan I don’t want to lose everything because I saved a few transaction costs here and there. I know they now offer another formula, but it’s not as good.

      I use BinckBank for my ETFs because they are listed on the Euronext Amsterdam. BinckBank offers cheap transaction costs for those. Bolero (KBC) is cheaper for international purchases, I believe. And they offer a better dividend service than BinckBank.

      Of course, all this is from a Belgian perspective. I believe a lot of Dutch brokers offer better services at lower fees.

      Thanks for stopping by! Hope you liked the site.

      1. HI NMW,

        Checking your blog regularly and lot’s of interesting posts i’ve missed!

        1 – What are the advantages of trading on BOLERO (KBC) for dividends re-investing growth compared to BinckBank?

        2 – On BOLERO (KBC) can you also re-invest smaller amounts of dividends received? (even if it’s less than 1 full share). If not, how would you re-invest dividends received worth less than 1 full share?

        Trying to understand the best way to start re-investing dividends received and make them grow in Belgium but I am not trading huge amounts… YET !!! 😉

        Thanks in advance !


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