Our second BE/NL FIRE meet-up is already in the books. Last weekend we came together with 28 other money and PF geeks, to talk about investing & financial independence specifically related to the Dutch and Belgium circumstances. And this time again we’ve had the fortune to be in good company with new but also many familiar faces from the meet-up earlier this year. In short, it was a great success.
During the Meet-Up, I had the pleasure to give a talk about F.I.R.E. in general, and in relation to our situation in Europe. The outcome was that because of some big differences in legislation, the build up in pensions and the closed mindset of Europeans, talking about it and reaching FI is far more difficult than it would be in the US.
Another outcome was that the equivalent of FIRE doesn’t really exist in the EU society, and possible nowhere else as well. Simply because the whole idea of an early retirement doesn’t cover what it actually means. Simply put, we don’t have a word or term for the kind of lifestyle we are creating for ourselves.
But we might have another that comes very, very close!
A few weeks ago a question about value and price that Mr. Divnomics had in one of his classes set off an interesting discussion. We talked about this subject and questioned ourselves if value and price were actually the same things. Or are based on different kinds of fundamentals. The outcome of that class was that price and value were the same things, which we both disagreed on. His teacher loved the discussion going forward and had planned a new discussion on the next class with some upfront preparation.
In order to get some more thoughts and opinions on this topic, I wrote a blog post on our thoughts of the matter. And there were great replies that made us think about our view towards value and price.
Last weekend the second class took place, and another discussion with the group got to a very interesting conclusion.
We’re all downsizing, saving and living frugally. The reason for this is to live a life without too much consumerism and building wealth for the long term. We’re at it for about 2 years now, but in the meantime, our mindset has shifted 360 degrees around. We’re not saving money only because we want to get more of it… But because we have certain values that just don’t fit with owning lots of stuff anymore.
If you want to become happier, you don’t need all those extra things in your life. Better yet, you need to get rid of them. It can clear up space, remove worries and move you forward.
The big change is that we don’t feel the urge to save money. We just think of how we can live a better life, and additionally, we save the money we don’t spend.
Another month in the books. Only one left to go and we’re already halfway through this year! We’ve made some new steps in our real estate venture and our monthly dividend has never been this high before. Partially because of a very unexpected special dividend we have gotten. Always nice to earn some extra without lifting a finger. All in all, it was a great month.
After the deception of last months results, things couldn’t have gone better this time around. We’ve received the late dividends of Munich RE and got a surprise extra dividend from BESI. Resulting in our best month ever!
We have taken it a bit slow the past few months, as it comes to dividend investing. Our last stock buy was way back in January, which is already 5 months ago. Like, I notice I get triggered with everything that has to do with DGI, and can’t wait to buy some new stock again. Normally we invest money in stocks every 2 months or so and set aside a vast amount of money every month for this goal only.
However, we made a little change to our investment strategy.
Since a few months, another project has actively been part of our investment plan: rental properties.
We made this step because we wanted to have an additional income stream beside dividend growth investing. And ah yes, diversifying our portfolio is also one of the reasons.
Some of the grandmasters in investing have always taught us that the price and value of an asset are 2 fundamentally different things. Value is something that can be calculated, for example with the Discounted Cashflow Model (DCM), and the price is based on supply and demand.
This is also what we use to determine our investments. Whether a stock is undervalued or not, and is fundamentally sound. And moreover, if the value would be higher than the price being paid for it.
But there are also other theories, which state that the value is equal to price. Like when the value of an asset is based on the price that others are willing to pay. Or as Oskar Morgenstern says it:
“A thing is only worth what someone else will pay for it.”
What’s the deal on this?
Well, it happened, for the first time ever our dividend hasn’t grown year over year. And to put it blankly, it actually decreased a lot. But, we haven’t lost anything. The biggest chunk of our ‘normal’ April payments will now be paid in May. Therefore our results for this month a quite a bit skewered.
I promise, that this hole will be filled though. Big Time. Because on the other part, we managed to get an amazing additional income for this month. Our savings have been flooded by something we had been waiting for, for over 6 months now….