Net Worth Update: €66,801 (-0.15%)

This month's net worth update!

Trouble in paradise! This will be the first net worth update with a negative month-over-month result, ouch! Since many other bloggers experienced negative returns the past month already, I couldn’t lag behind of course. So let’s take a look at the damage that was done to my precious nest egg.

In total my portfolio lost a full €102 since my last update one month ago. Honestly, considering the troubled state of the stock markets, both this side of the Atlantic and across the pond, the drop could have been a lot worse, but my once again staggering savings rate for July cancelled out most of the losses nicely.

As you can see, my financial freedom fund has now grown to the point that I no longer can influence its performance all by myself. So I’ll consider this temporary drop a luxury problem. I’d rather lose some money because I have tons invested already than seeing my portfolio’s value climb sharply because I own nothing at all.

Net worth update for August 2015

That’s why this month’s drop of -0.15% doesn’t bother me too much. Besides, for a dividend growth investor a stock market pullback only opens up new possibilities. Exactly, cheaper stocks means a higher overall yield on cost, which in turns boosts future dividend income. Not a bad position to be in, right?

You can find a detailed overview of my portfolio below. I list all individual stocks, exchange-traded funds, my pension fund and savings accounts. Foreign securities were converted into Euros using the last-known exchange rate.


Dividend growth stocks

Of course, I had to take advantage of  cheaper stocks, especially when strong dividend players with a large economic moat are on sale. As a result you’ll find two of my holdings differ from last month’s update.

Firstly, I decided to purchase 14 more shares of health care and consumer goods giant Johnson and Jonhson (NYSE:JNJ). The number one American blue chip company experienced a rather stale year in the market to the point I couldn’t say no to its 3% yield and growth prospects any longer.

Secondly, I upped my stake in another widely known American consumer goods manufacturer, namely Procter and Gamble (NYSE:PG). Recently the company took quite a nosedive because of its less than stellar earnings, which I viewed as the perfect opportunity to grow my position. It’s true that PG’s performance isn’t up to par, but I believe it remains a good long-term play.

At one point during the past month I had over €30,000 invested in individual dividend stocks, but prices slipped since then. Still, I’m happy with the portfolio I’ve put together in just one year, especially because these companies are likely to boost my passive income every year.

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 1,049.50 -10.04%
AFL Aflac Inc. 9 419.41 524.58 +25.08%
T AT&T 37 972.16 1,133.59 +16.61%
BLT BHP Billiton plc 48 928.94 777.29 -16.33%
BP BP plc 92 507.24 491.98 -3.01%
DE Deere & Company 7 452.61 594.37 +31.32%
DGE Diageo plc 41 994.34 1,024.68 +3.05%
ENG Enagas SA 50 1,258.60 1,294.50 +2.85%
GE General Electric 22 450.70 516.41 +14.58%
GSK GlaxoSmithKline 33 610.15 652.34 +6.92%
HOME Home Invest Belgium 15 1,396.25 1,278.00 -8.47%
INDV Indivior plc 10 3.89 33.94 +772.39%
IBM IBM Corp. 6 736.76 841.10 +14.16%
JNJ Johnson & Johnson 20 1,769.41 1,778.32 +0.50%
KIN Kinepolis Group 40 1,399.25 1,454.00 +3.91%
MCD McDonald's Corp 14 1,003.47 1,250.87 +24.65%
MUV2 Munich RE 7 1,413.39 1,176.00 -16.80%
NG National Grid plc 100 1,332.11 1,224.37 -8.09%
NOVN Novartis AG 12 1,061.53 1,107.60 +4.34%
PG Procter & Gamble 23 1,594.66 1,565.21 -1.85%
QCOM Qualcomm Inc. 9 520.23 501.50 -3.60%
RB Reckitt Benckiser plc 10 630.34 843.27 +33.78%
ROG Roche Holding AG 5 1,233.71 1,272.47 +3.14%
RDSB Royal Dutch Shell 60 1,745.65 1,553.60 -12.15%
S32 South 32 Ltd. 48 20.04 52.28 +160.88%
KO The Coca Cola Company 17 540.05 631.01 +16.84%
FP Total SA 20 971.96 880.00 -9.46%
ULVR Unilever plc 60 2,029.35 2,369.01 +16.74%
VZ Verizon Communications Inc. 20 785.07 855.05 +8.91%
VOD Vodafone plc 188 536.19 632.65 +17.99%
Total 28,484.07 29,339.48 +3.00%


Exchange-traded funds

Passive and boring – the perfect description for the three ETFs that I keep. This month, however, the Emerging Markets ETF shook things up because of its exposure to the wild stock market ride and currency devaluations in China.

Nevertheless, combined the MSCI World, MSCI EM and MSCI Europe funds perform great. They moreover follow the same movements as my dividend portfolio, which tells me that I’m doing a pretty good job of diversifying my individual holdings. Indeed, when taking on an increasing amount of risk, the only safety mechanism at your disposal is good diversification.

However, most of you know that I don’t like to benchmark my dividend growth stocks to an index because both investing strategies rely on a completely different outcome to achieve financial freedom.

Ticker ETF Cost basis Mkt. value Gain
IWDA iShares Core MSCI World 5,214.95 6,454.56 +23.77%
IEMA iShares MSCI Emerging Markets 1,214.59 1,250.10 +2.92%
IMAE iShares MSCI Europe 3,561.94 4,089.36 +14.81%
Total 9,991.48 11,794.02 +18.04%



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.

This month I also used €1,000 in emergency funds to add to my position in Procter and Gamble, as explained above. I’ll top up the fund when my paycheck hits at the end of the month since I prefer to keep a rather large amount of cash on the side.

Name Cost basis Current value Gain
Pension fund 1,492.50 1,667.14 +11.70% and 30% tax break
Savings account N/A 18,000.00 N/A
Emergency fund N/A 6,000 N/A
Total 25,667.14


Going forward

Just three months ago it looked like I was going to break through the €70,000 net worth goal I set for myself in 2015 without too much of a hassle, but the almighty stock market overlords clearly decided otherwise. The strong growth at the start of this year has slowed down significantly, but I’m still on track to crush my target.

And the best part? All the while the dividends continue rolling in. I’m almost at the magical €500 mark for this year, which is simply awesome considering I bought my first stock and received my first dividend income almost one full year ago.

But wait, there’s more!

It’s been one year since I first published my net worth for you guys to follow along – and what a year it’s been. I gained a little under €24.000, awesome! Tot put that number into perspective: that’s my entire net annual salary, excluding any bonusses.

Read that again.

My net worth grew by my full-time job income from the past twelve months. If that’s not a massive accomplishment, I don’t know what is. And none of this would have been possible without your encouragement and support, so thank you very much.

I hope you’re as excited as I am for the future!


  1. NMW!

    Dude, a full year’s net salary saved? You’re setting the bar too high for the rest of us! 😉 keep it up, because that 70k mark is probably closer to than you think. Just wait to see how well the market recovers…

    Good call on the purchases as well! I bought some PG myself – what’s not to love about a fantastic company that’s been struggling recently?!

    Keep it up mate, you’re doing great.


    1. DL,

      Yeah, I was surprised by that too when I noticed the numbers. I guess money really does work hard for us? 😉

      PG is down by way more than the numbers warrant, I believe. Yes, they are experiencing some turmoil, but nothing that could disrupt their business model. By trimming the fat and refocussing on their core business they’ll shoot right back up.


  2. Congratulations NMW. What an achievement. Hustle it up and continue to save and invest. The progress and journey is life changing. It’s very enlightening to see the trend go up, endless passive income from dividends hitting your accounts every month. It’s a wonderful feeling. Very Addicting. Awesome Hobby for sure.
    As always, thanks for sharing and I wish you the best. Keep it up.
    Cheers my friend.

    1. Tyler,

      Thanks for your support and for being such a loyal follower, much appreciated.

      Up, up, and away! I can’t imagine how far this journey will take us all.

      Best wishes,

  3. Great development there NMW, the loss it’s not that serious after all and with the saving rates that you have in place I am sure that when the market rebounds you’ll be an happy bunny!

    I see you got back into PG, I am reading a lot of contrasted opinions on this stock, some people say that it’s an Aristocrat only because it has a long streak of payments, companywise growth is stagnant and even the future looks quite flat…

    I can see where they are coming from, but even if growth is not stellar anymore it’s still a brand powerhouse, unlikely to bankrupt or stuff like that. Any thoughts on PG?



    1. Stal,

      When the markets rebound the cheaper shares that my current savings bought will provide me with a nice uptick for sure. However, I can wait a little while longer… I’d rather continue purchasing at depressed prices.

      PG definitely experiences some troubles, but nothing that they can’t turn around, which I’m sure they can if they refocus on their core business and brands.


    1. Mike,

      Ha, enjoy your waffle! 😉 I’ll continue putting out as much content as I possible can.
      And make sure to enjoy the Brussels Summer Festival today!


  4. Hi NMW,

    Still seems like a solid month. COngrats with the new additions to the portfolio. I see a few stocks are 10% or more down. Are you going to average them down?


    1. Geblin,

      I decided to average down today on a couple of stocks with my emergency fund. As such, I now own a bigger stake in AB InBev, Home Invest Belgium, Munich RE and Total SA. I felt like they were in a good spot and together they came in at a little over a 3.2% net yield, which is pretty good in my book.

      Hope to see you see you buy more shares over the coming days!


  5. The way you describe your net worth increase is just great! I year of net salary increase… What an achievement on one year. I hope the next year will be as good.

    The 70K net worth would be really nice to reach. But as you said, with your portfolio, a market dip is hard to compensate with savings alone. You are now partially to the mercy of the markets. But in the long run, that is good.

    1. ATL,

      Pretty amazing, right? I was floored by the result because I didn’t see it coming – and neither was I tracking that goal. Let’s hope I can keep this pace up, but that’ll be rather unlikely.

      We’ll see if I get to €70k for this year, but if it doesn’t happen I’ll just take advantage of cheaper stocks and up my dividend income for next year. You win some, you lose some!


    1. Will do, Tawcan!

      Thank you for dropping by again. Hope you, the misses and Baby T are great!


    1. DFG,

      Hope to see you add to your portfolio and net worth too! Keep it up, buddy, you’re doing great.


  6. Hey NMW

    Reporting a negative month may seem bad but as you say, it means you can get great stocks at reduced prices!

    It’s a long term game, need to try to ignore the short term fluctuations.

    Tremendous effort on your networth!

    1. Weenie,

      You can’t win every single month, so I’m not too worried about this month’s performance. In the long-run we’re all winners, so let’s focus on our end goal!

      Best wishes,

  7. A dip in the market may not look great on the net worth but at least you can buy the same stocks at lower prices !
    I’m sure you’ll reach 70K in no time!

    1. Chasing Gains,

      Cheaper stocks equals higher dividend income, so you won’t hear me complain! We’ll see if I get to €70k, but if it doesn’t happen I won’t be too disappointed.

      Best wishes,

  8. That is beyond amazing, increasing your net worth by your full-time yearly income! Congrats!

    Looking forward to more great articles from you.

    1. Peter,

      Thank you for the kind words, really appreciate you taking the time to leave a comment.
      I’ll be sure to try and continue publishing interesting posts.

      Best wishes,

    1. Eric,

      Cheers, thank you for the nomination! I hadn’t heard of the Sunshine blogger award before, so I’m happy to accept it from you. I’ll try and write a post on it in the near future.

      It seems the flat market you referred to became a downward market, so it’s likely that both our net worths will be down over the coming weeks. Over the long-term that doesn’t matter however… We’ll be able to jump in at reduced prices, yay!

      Best wishes,

  9. That chart is incredible – it’s like your portfolio is an unstoppable train, and it just ran over a twig on the track this month! That’s the unbelievable power that your sky-high savings rate has!

    Don’t stop that train NMW!



    1. Jason,

      Love the train reference – I’m a train guy, for some weird reason!

      The twig you’re referring to is slowly turning into a big log with the stockmarkets trending down even more, but that won’t stop me from trying to make good progress. I’ll make sure to capitalise on that trend by saving as much as possible and investing those savings at reduced stock prices.

      Hope you and the family are well down there.


    1. DAC,

      Don’t worry too much about the slump in the market. I’ve lost most of my gains for this year too the past couple of days. Besides, it’s not about our net worth, but rather about the dividend income that our portfolio throws off. As long as we’re certain to receive those dividends I’ll hold on for life, even if things go south even more.

      Best of luck,

  10. Excellent progress overall NMW!

    The Canadian stock market isn’t doing so well either. I took the opportunity to move in big on Wal-Mart and Apple. 🙂

    Also, nice balance of ETF’s. I’ve been looking into that myself. Any reason why you’ve decided to go with the Ishare series?

    1. Jeff,

      None of the stock markets are performing up to snuff, really. I guess that presents us with new investing opportunities, which I’m not to mad about… Cheaper stocks at higher yields, sign me up!

      Congrats on your Wal-Mart and Apple purchases! Although I’m not a fan of Apple I hope to one day acquire Wal-Mart too.

      The iShares ETFs were easy to acquire, had pretty good trading levels, were better from a tax perspective and offered a low TER. Nothing more to it. 🙂


Join the conversation!