Net Worth Update: €47,787 (+5.08%)

This month's net worth update!

For this blog’s fiftieth post – milestone, baby! – it’s only fitting that I post a net worth update. As most of you know I do this every month, so apart from this being my fiftiesth article there’s nothing special about this update. What I’m trying to do here is, on the one hand, give you guys a clear insight in my journey and how the road to financial independence differs from one month to the next, while on the other hand also trying to keep myself motivated.

October proved to be a bumpy month for most financial bloggers out there. Even though my net worth was up last month, strong market volatility reduced growth to a minimum. At the end of October, however, stocks picked up again and sent most people’s portfolios flying, including mine. I also managed to add another €1,500 to my personal net worth by saving rigorously.

Taking into consideration both these factors, my net worth grew by 5.08% since October, 15th to €47,787. That’s an increase of over €2,426! Even though almost €2,500 doesn’t sound like much, it’s more than my monthly take home pay, awesome. This increase also puts me on track to cross the coveted €50,000 mark by the end of this year.

Because I’m still a Belgian living in Belgium I list all my holdings in the almighty Euro – ahem – even if the underlying stocks trade in another currency, such as the Dollar or British Pound. The last-known exchange-rate is used to convert foreign currencies to my home coin. I should find a way to display my net worth in my new favourite currency though.


Dividend Growth Stocks

November is the fourth month in which I follow the dividend growth investing strategy and it begins to show in my portfolio. After starting with a measly €4,000 in August I’m now almost at €10,000 in invididual stocks. As you can see in my sidebar this portfolio has yielded me €42 already since receiving my first dividend payment at the end of September.

Since my previous net worth update I’ve added some more great positions to my passive income machine, like I wrote about in my last savings rate report. Together with the majority of dividend growth investors in our community I’m now happy to be a shareholder of Aflac (AFL), a US-based insurance company with strong revenue from the Asia region. With the recent slump in mining stocks I also decided to initiate a position in BHP Billiton (BLT). Dropping oil prices also pushed oil stocks lower, which triggered me to purchase 92 cheap shares of British Petroleum (BP).

If these three companies stick to their history of continually increasing dividend payments I’ll be sure to receive at least a hefty €50 after taxes from them every single year. To me that sounds amazing! Aflac, BHP and BP will pay for six months of my Google Play Music subscription next year, awesome!

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
AFL Aflac Inc. 9 419.41 425.74 +1.51%
T AT&T 37 972.16 1,062.34 +9.28%
BLT BHP Billiton plc 24 495.24 495.89 +0.13%
BP BP plc 92 507.24 496.57 -2.10%
DE Deere & Company 7 452.61 489.50 +8.15%
GE General Electric 22 450.70 465.70 +3.33%
GSK GlaxoSmithKline 33 610.15 602.87 -1.19%
JNJ Johnson & Johnson 6 473.79 520.42 +9.84%
MCD McDonald's Corp 14 1,003.47 1,077.78 +7.40%
PG Proctor & Gamble 9 575.36 635.26 +10.41%
RDSB Royal Dutch Shell 20 585.25 579.40 -1.00%
KO The Coca Cola Company 17 540.05 578.95 +7.20%
FP Total SA 20 971.96 911.60 -6.21%
ULVR Unilever 29 968.01 944.31 -2.45%
Total 9,025.38 9,286.31 +2.89%


Exchange-traded funds

The beauty of exchange-traded funds is that they provide a set-it-and-forget-it approach. As such, they’ve been trucking along just fine without me doing anything. With the strong pullback in stocks last month, almost all my ETFs were in the red for this year, but look at what happened since then: a strong increase in both the developed and emerging markets.

Even though I’m mostly focussing on dividend growth stocks, I’ll probably add some more to the MSCI World fund next month to rebalance my portfolio a bit.

Ticker ETF Cost basis Mkt. value Gain
IWDA iShares Core MSCI World 4,982.96 5,379.21 +7.95%
IEMA iShares MSCI Emerging Markets 1,214.59 1,259.01 +3.66%
IMAE iShares MSCI Europe 3,561.94 3,495.36 -1.87%
Total 9,759.49 10,133.58 +3.83%



My other holdings include a tax-advantaged pension fund with automated investments, 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 760.00 754.70 -0.69% and 30% tax break
Savings account N/A 17,612.75 +3.15% guaranteed yearly
Emergency fund N/A 10,000 N/A
Total 28,367.45


Going forward

Eagle-eyed readers probably have noticed that I’ve not only almost crossed the €50k mark, but am also really close to my goal of having €20k in the stock market by the end of the year. With only €600 more to go and €800 already waiting in my brokerage account to be deployed, I’m certain that I’m going to make it. This makes me extremely happy.

On top of that the dividend growth investing strategy really is proving to be as robust as I thought it would be. As of now I’ve already collected €42 in dividends, but with a lot of stocks going ex-dividend lately, December is going to be massive. Half my holdings will contribute to my passive income stream again by year’s end and help realize the €100 dividend goal.

A big thank you to all of you for supporting me in making this happen!


  1. Hi NMW,

    Congratulations on the 50th Post and for the increase in Net worth. You must also find it hugely encouraging to be so close to your dividend and money in shares goals.

    I find it very motivating to see others succeed, and it looks like you’re doing just that. I wish I had started investing at 25, I started last year when I was 31. I still pan on retiring before I’m 40 though.

    Keep up the good work!

    1. Huw,

      Beating my goals by a fair margin definitely gives me a big confidence boost that I’m on the right track to reach FI. You’re absolutely right that seeing others try and succeed at the same goals is very motivating. It’s one of the reasons why I started this blog.

      Retiring before 40 is still years ahead of almost everyone else! I hope you make it!


  2. Hi NMW,

    Congrats with the 50th post:) To bad you didn’t cross the 50K mark for your 50th post. Keep it going.

    My stockportfolio did break the 200K mark yesterday.


    1. Geblin,

      Congrats, man! €200k is a huge milestone! I’m pretty sure you can see your portfolio now grow faster and faster every month.

      keep it up! It’s nice to hear another Belgian succeed.


  3. Hi NMW

    Keep the great work up there.

    You are definitely diversifed across the different portfolio allocations covering across geographical segment.

    Next month you should breach the 50k mark pending any major correction.

    1. Thanks, B!

      Because I have free transactions with my broker until the end of the year I’m indeed trying to diversify as much as possible. Transaction costs would otherwise kill me if I initiated such small positions.

      Let’s hope 50k is attained by the end of the year! 🙂


  4. Hi NMW,

    Well done and congratulations on both your 50th post and your net worth increase! You’ve got a great portfolio there and I love reading your updates. As with Huw, I wish I’d started investing at the age of 25 but since I didn’t pay off my debts until I was 40, I’ve started very late. Still it’s a great challenge for me!

    1. Weenie,

      Thank you! I’m glad you like what I’m doing here. That motivates me to do even better.

      Better late than never, right? Most of the knowledge I gathered on FI and DGI comes from the web, so I can imagine never starting this journey if I hadn’t had access to the internet like you when you were 25.

      Keep it up over there, you’re doing great too!

    1. Thanks, Tawcan! Ever since really starting my FI journey, net worth growth has been crazy. Too bad almost 5% growth isn’t sustainable once my portfolio increases! 🙂

    1. Gcai,

      Thank you!

      Interesting article. I’m more on the conservative side myself for a couple of reasons. First, I really don’t want to run out of money. And second, the study is exclusively based on US stock markets. In Europe the return on most stocks isn’t as high.

      One of the reasons why I tried my hand at DGI is exactly for this reason. Because you build up a passive income stream, it’s very easy to see when you’ll have enough to retire on: once your monthly expenses are lower than your average dividend income. No need to guess a withdrawal rate!


  5. excellent progress! On both the blog front and reaching 50 posts, and nearly reaching 50k net worth 🙂 I just reached a milestone of my first $5k in retirement savings – not nearly as exciting as yours though.

    1. Alicia,

      That’s a lot of 5’s in both our milestones!

      Seeing you crush your debt and now having $5k in retirement savings is much more exciting, in my opinion. You’re at a real turning point now! The only way is up! 🙂

      Keep it up!

  6. Congratulations NMW on your 50th post. It is great to find other non US dividend investors on the web. I have just begun my dividend investing strategy and look forward to reading more of your posts as you continue on your journey.

    1. Thank you, Lynx!

      The personal finance and dividend blogosphere is indeed strongly dominated by US and Canadian bloggers. I hope you find my perspective refreshing.

      Best wishes and thanks for stopping by,

  7. Solid month bro! Just think of how far you have came since you first started. You ought to be pretty damn proud of yourself. One of thing biggest things you got going right now is the fact your so young and you have so much time to compound your returns. congrats on your 50th post too, keep fighting the good fight!


    1. Ace,

      Solid month indeed! I’m really happy with the progress of the past few months… Definitely didn’t expect to be doing this well.

      Thanks for your continued support, it really helps!


    1. FF,

      Thank you! The sooner you start the better off you’ll be in the end, so it’s a no brainer to me to start right out of university to save as much as possible.


  8. Congrats on a great month, NMW! Keep that awesome savings rate going and you’re setting yourself up for an amazing life just a few short years from now 🙂 I only recently passed a net worth of $50K USD and it felt like an amazing life milestone and was very motivating for me to continue at full speed. You’ve already got more €€€ than that, and at a much younger age. You should feel super proud and accomplished for focusing on the right things this early on! Excellent work all around!

    Keep at it,

    1. Ryan,

      Thank you for the motivating comment! It’s these kind of comments that make me come back to the community and to try and save more and more.

      Can’t wait to see your progress over the next couple of months too. You’re also shoveling a ton of money in your dividend growth stocks, so the compounding effect will soon start to show its true power.

      Keep it up!

      Best wishes,

  9. NMW,

    Congrats on the big jump. Seeing your net worth jump by more than you make in a month starts to show you that your money is starting to work for you. Good start to the stock portfolio as well. I see we’re a fellow shareholder in almost all of those companies.

    Congrats also on the 50th post! 🙂

    Best wishes.

    1. Jason,

      It’s incredible to see your portfolio jump by more than one month’s salary; very motivating feeling! Even better is the constant onslaught of dividends rolling into my brokerage account.

      Since you own so many high quality dividend companies, it’s no surprise our portfolio’s are quite alike. Won’t be long until I own a portfolio of 50 excellent businesses just like you do.


  10. Awesome effort NMW, what a great motivator to see such an increase in a month. You’ve got some fantastic momentum going, on both the saving / investing front and the blogging front – keep it up!

    And a nice looking portfolio too by the way 🙂

    1. Jason,

      An increase of almost 2.5k is a great motivator indeed. Every time I look at that number I get excited and feel like I can take on the world. Let’s hope I can keep the momentum going!

      Thanks for your support, pal,

    1. ZL,

      Thanks for stopping by and for your kind words. Much appreciated.

      I just read the about page on your blog. You seem to have an interesting story to tell. I’ll definitely check back!


  11. NMW,

    there is no need to thank us since it is you saving at a great rate, not us.
    Congratulations on your big increase. I am sure you will reach your goals shortly.
    What’s next? Did you hmakee any plans for 2015 yet?
    I wonder, if you are able to withdraw the money from your savings account at any time. The 3.15% yield seems great given current interest rates.

    1. Stef,

      I wouldn’t be able to this without my readers and other bloggers out there. The fact that so many others are saving and investing so much of their income has shown me that it can be done, rather than me just dismissing it as fiction. So, thank you!

      No plans for 2015 yet, but I’m starting to think of what my goals will be. Probably a new dividend income goal (€500-600) and a total net worth north of 70k, which is quite ambitious I think.

      The savings account actually is an insurance product, but I can take the money out at any given time. The insurer contacts me frequently to do just that because they want to get rid of the product. 3.15% guaranteed and without any risk whatsoever is awesome at this point in time! I’ll probably use that money for a downpayment on an appartment if and when I buy one in the future.


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