We’ve been growing, nurturing and analyzing our dividend stock portfolio since 2014. And the results have far than exceeded the expectations we had at the start of this journey a little over 3 years ago. But to all good things has to come to an end sooner or later. And in this case, it’s definitely sooner. Our dividend stocks are no more. We’ve sold the whole bunch 3 days ago. I want to give all of you an update on what exactly happened, but even more than that. Our whole vision and strategy of investing, FIRE and life have been transformed at such a fast pace, now would be the best time to present our new plans.
So, what happened.
Very simply said, we had to sell our stocks. Not because we needed the money, but because of something else. As some of you might now, Mr. D. works in the financial sector. In order to invest, he has to apply to certain rules that are demanded of him legally. We’ve been using DeGiro as of January of this year. And as it turns out, this platform isn’t one we can use. We have been given two options:
1. Transfer the whole bunch to a different platform and bare with the costs that come with it.
2. Or sell it all and have no stock portfolio left, for the moment.
We chose the latter.
In favor of our second rental property, we would have sold some additional stocks anyway. And our focus on investing hasn’t been in stocks for almost a year now. Yes, that long. If you have followed along, you know that in every monthly update I stated we would be back buying stocks as soon as our rental properties were up and running.
And exactly that has become (one of) our reason to sell all of our stocks. The two rental properties will not be the end of it. We like the real estate business a lot, and it will be our main focus of investing for the years to come.
For many reasons it could be wise not to have a big pile of cash laying around doing nothing, not producing any income other than the almost flat rate interest we get every year. Our portfolio was ‘only’ worth around 35.000 euro. And in the short term, this money is needed for other investments anyway. It will be put to good use and serve as a liquid buffer to withstand any bump in the road.
Change of plans, vision, and focus
I have published an investing strategy on this blog in the end of last year, to show every reader how we would go forth with investing our money and to highlight our main priorities for the coming years. In the meantime our vision on FIRE, working a job, investing and life in general, has been affected greatly due to the challenges we’ve faced, the people we’ve met and the lessons we’ve learned along the way.
Part of it is being explained in the blog post Rethinking the Retirement Manifesto.
If you have read the strategy, it becomes instantly clear that it has been well overdue to update it. Since we’ve started with real estate investing, and buying our first and second property, many things have been shifting. The possibilities we created for ourselves turned out to be bigger than we ever anticipated. For example, we had planned to become financially independent over 15 years or so. But in the light of recent events, those 15 years we thought we needed till FI can easily be reduced to 3 years!
The deal is that Mr. D. will leave the cubicle first – by 2020 – and one or two years later I will follow. Or not. By then, at least one of us will have the time to go full-time in our own real estate business, being more active with blogging and start up new ventures we find interesting.
This does require an aggressively active approach to real estate, where we will be targeting at least 3 deals per year as of 2018. And not just for one year, for many more to come. Instead of aiming to have freedom, we are aiming for success. Which, in our vocabulary, is about working hard an find joy in everything you do.
Our portfolio, network, failures, and assets will continue to grow as long as we like what we do.
As for the blog, the dividend reports are over. November 2017 will be the last, after it, we will not be included anymore in the famous dividend list of The Dividend Diplomats, unfortunately. However, we will continue to give updates on our real estate journey! Isn’t there a list of RE bloggers anywhere?
Our vision is to grow and learn while focusing on the things that will bring us the most value, either in money, happiness or both. Not by waiting for the right amount of money in the future, but by altering our mindset. We still have long-term goals, but we don’t get there without focusing on what we can do about it today.
Although it sounds a bit (a lot) philosophical, it does makes the greatest difference.