April 2017 Cheesy Index

It’s time for that magic number, the one that shows how close we are to FI (sort off). It is time to present to you the April 2017 Cheesy Index!

April 2017 Cheesy Index

We had another increase this month, but it was rather modest considering the various good incomes in April. We are up to 61.4%, that’s just 0.4% for the month. However, we are still very much on track to hit our 65% target before the year is over (and hopefully sooner).

The usual contributors for the increase in the Cheesy Index are the real estate, dividend income and our pretty solid savings rate (i.e. the money we did not spend). But this month we also received the second payment of the 2015 Canadian Tax return (for Mrs. CF this time around). For all this money coming in, why such a modest increase in the cheesy index? Two words: exchange rates!

April 2017 Cheesy Index
April 2017 Cheesy Index

Exchange Rates

What we have been dreading (and expecting) has finally happened. We were hit massively by the CAD/EUR exchange rate in April. Where the exchange rate was a nice CAD 1.42 by the end of March, it changed to 1.49 by the end of April. That is an almost 5% change, in the wrong direction! Ouch.

In short, the value of Canadian shares nosedived this month (expressed in EUR), which had a significant impact on our overal net worth and thus the Cheesy Index. Still surprised we actually did not see a drop in the Cheesy Index. On the positive side, the total value of the Canadian shares actually rose from the end of March to the end of April (due to dividends and capital gains). This obviously buffered some of the exchange rate effect.

Other good news is that it does not matter (yet), as we will now withdraw this money for quite some time. We will therefore see many more ups and downs going forward. However, we are kind of hoping the oil price (and/or other commodities) will increase again, which usually lifts the value of the CAD vs. its counter parts. This will allow us to shift the tax return money to Europe, so we have more money to invest here.

Why not invest in Canada, I hear you ask? We have no more ability to add the funds tax efficiently into the RRSP account. Nor do we have a “normal” investment account in Canada either (and opening one from a distance is hard/impossible). In short, the funds need to be transferred to the Netherlands at some point in time. Just no sure when (I know, we should not try to time this!).

How was your April? Did you also record an increase in your net worth of investment index?

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18 Comments

  1. Seek and ye shall find.

    Deposit your Canadian tax return to a local CAD current account.

    Open an Interactive Brokers account. Switch the portfolio base currency from EUR to CAD. Transfer your Canadian tax return to IB via the IBAN of their Canadian deposit bank.

    Congratulations, your CAD denominated investment account is available and funded by your Canadian tax return.

    1. And you my friend, win the award for “that is a really smart idea, why did I not come up with this”. The exchange rate already dropped to CAD1.51, this is a far better idea than transferring in Euro. Thanks for the hint 🙂

    2. You’re welcome. As you wrote about, currencies seem to trend and cycle. You can effectively trade that by repatriating when rates are more in your favour. Don’t ask me when that will be though… Trump seems to be causing risk-off ATM, which compounds the commodity currency woes. If China wobbles against this back drop I reckon it’ll get even worse. You may end up keeping the funds in CAD for another business cycle or two!

      1. Agreed, it could be a while before the CAD strengthens again. Considering we don’t need the money at the moment, the only thing that matters is that it is invested. Which obviously currently it not the case, so we have to change that as soon as possible.

  2. I would move the money now, exchange rate be damned. Perhaps move it in CAD and then via the Dutch broker buy stocks also in CAD (if you know of a good Canadian stock to invest in). If no Cad investment opportunity is available still transfer it. At least it will serve as collateral for some option plays. At the moment it is money that is not working for you. And personally, I hate money sitting idle. Or just swallow the exchange ‘loss’: a 5% loss is something that can be recuperated in 6 months by writing 2 options (or 1 good one). Look at it this way, leaving the money sitting idle in Canada will cost you another 5% …

    1. You are completely right, we have a few other things to arrange and should be able to shift the funds in the coming weeks.
      Thanks for the comment.

  3. Upwards is still upwards, timing is difficult but I imagine waiting is just as hard. We actually don’t track our net worth (yet). Still somewhere on the to do list, but not a very high priority. We’re more aiming to build up cashflow than having a growing net worth / index.

    1. Thanks for the reminder, still need to come up with a “Cheesy Cash-flow Index”. As the ratio between cash-flow income and actual expenses, but this is hard to do on a monthly basis, as I’m not sure how to incorporate the taxes properly (perhaps just having one really bad month per year and focus on the average?). Food for thought!

  4. As long as you keep those numbers moving in the right direction each month you are winning. Especially if you have to deal with exchange rates moving against you! Good stuff. 😀

    1. Hello Mr DD, that is the idea, keep the winning months going . But there will be a time that this won’t happen due to rate fluctuations. Just trying to mentally prepare!

  5. Each step in the right direction is a good step. Being diversified means being exposed to currency exchange risks.

    Not sure i would keep the money in CAD. You have no idea when it will be back to the level you mentally prefer. Maybe EUR goes super hard up, what then, wait another few years?

  6. In April, I almost bought a house. I made an offer, then had it accepted, then found some foundational issues and got out of it. I’m pretty happy because my current house is very nice.

    My net worth increased a couple thousand. This is in line with other months and I was happy to keep it going!

    Thanks for sharing Cheesy

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