The June 2018 Cheesy Index update is an interesting one. Firstly as we also included April and May. This was obviously because we were travelling and could no do much over the past months on the financials. I also quite my job, so we have a lot less income. But mostly because of the final results! Let’s have a look shall we?

June 2018 Cheesy Index

The last few months were good on in the passive income side of things. The dividends keep coming in. The savings rate was also surprisingly good for during a 9 week road trip (thank you tax returns).

The real estate did good too, but that update will come in July. Still working on the renovations, and assessments of the property, to find out what all has happened in terms of value. So no impact yet from all this on the Cheesy Index, other then rental income from the past months.

That being said, we are now at a Cheesy Index of 70.2%. Well what do you know?! We went up, despite the travels and loss of income :-). Got to love passive income!

Here are the latest stats:

June 2018 Cheesy Index

June 2018 Cheesy Index

Cheesy Index Forecast

July is going to get even more interesting as we just paid €12.000 to our contractor for insulating and stucco-ing two properties. This will increase it’s value, but by how much? Not sure.

We had a property value assessment done last week. A family member will likely buy the property in the coming months and we needed to agree on a reasonable market price. The value assessment was the most logical and independent solution. Added bonus, it can also be used to apply for a mortgage too.

However, this assessment is not in yet, so we kept the value of the property at what we invested in it. This should be lower than it’s actual market value. Hoping to see a jump in value for July and thus an (slight) increase in the Cheesy Index. Despite the massive bill we just paid…..

For August and onwards there are no upward jumps expected, downward is always a possibility with market movements. Assuming Mr. Market stays happy & stable, we expect a small but steady increase in the cheesy index going forward. But with a reduced (now single) income, it won’t go as fast anymore.

 

How about you? Did you go forwards or backwards in June with your net worth?

 

 

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Some good news again during March. We were able to increase our wealth just a tiny bit. Our real estate helped out a lot, the March savings rate not really, but overall we did well. Here is the March 2018 Cheesy Index update.

March 2018 Cheesy Index

In March the stock market continued to be rather volatile. To make matters worse, the exchange rates of the Canadian Dollar (CAD) versus the Euro (€) continued to go into the wrong direction. This had its impact on the value of our dividend portfolio and wealth.  But we are happy to report that the Cheesy Index still increased a tiny bit to 67.1%. We are now at the highest level of the year and erased most of the drops from the last two months.

Here are the latest stats:

March 2018 Cheesy Index

March 2018 Cheesy Index

Cheesy Index Forecast

As noted in last months’ Cheesy Index forecast, a lot of change is going to happen. My income will disappear, but I should still get some money in May (holiday allowance and 1 week of paid work; I was on a 4 week pay period in case you are wondering). As of June no money will be coming in. Mrs CF will have a partial pay in May (1 week unpaid leave) and virtually nothing in June (3 weeks of unpaid leave).

Fortunately the Dutch tax department was kind enough to give us our final tax assessment for 2015. Despite different earlier assessments, we still seem to get some money back. Almost €1.700 in fact. That’s good news! We should also get some money back for the 2017 tax year. It might actually even be enough to partially mitigate the loss in income from Mrs. CF. If all goes well, the Cheesy Index should even stay relatively stable throughout the coming 2-3 months, despite the travels. But it’s still is subject to market movements/exchange rates obviously!

In August we will likely see a drop, as the renovations on our real estate will be executed in July. Since these are expensive, a drop is inevitable. More to updates to follow after our 9 week road trip!

 

How about you? Did you go forwards or backwards in March?

 

 

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First off, thank you all for the well wishes on my post/tweets of quitting my job. The feedback, congratulations and tips/tricks for starting up a company are really appreciated! With all the excitement I almost forgot to write an update on the Cheesy Index (almost). So, before March is finally over, here is the February 2018 Cheesy Index.

February 2018 Cheesy Index

You might already have forgotten, but February was rather choppy in terms of the stock market. This had its impact on the value of our portfolio and wealth. To make matters worse, the exchange rates of the Canadian $ versus the € went into the wrong direction (again!). It’s not really a surprise that the Cheesy Index also did not really move much, heck it even went down! Albeit not by much, only 0.2%.

Here are the latest stats:

February 2018 Cheesy Index

February 2018 Cheesy Index

Cheesy Index Forecast

What to expect in the (near) future? Well we had our roof fixed (finally!), the final expenses where slightly under the quoted amount at about €1.180. A lot of money, but al least the final product is looking very good (and more importantly, it seems to work)! In the mean time we did see a slight decline in dividend stock portfolio, with another worsening of the exchange rate (how low can we go?).

On the bright side, Mrs CF got he annual bonus in March, real estate is still doing well and other than a broken car break (€180) and a broken dishwasher (still to be replaced), we had no major expense. There might be a slight chance that we are actually getting ahead again for March.

But once we go on our 9 week road trip in May/June and have the rental units insulated/stucco-ed in July, the Cheesy Index will definitely drop. The anticipated expense of the aforementioned are around €20.000. That is a heck of a lot of money! It will be spend wisely (at least we think so). But in the mean time, there will be a limited income (none for me and reduced income for Mrs. CF, as June will be partially unpaid for her too). Curious where we will end this summer in terms of the Cheesy Index.

However, there is some light at the end of the tunnel, as we will have one of the rental units assessed because of the sale to family. We have a sneaky suspicion that it might be worth more than we have accounted for. The other rental property next door would likely also be worth more. To be continued!

 

How about you? Did you go forwards or backwards?

 

 

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We have been busy making some updates and modifications to the underlying calculations (and numbers) for the Cheesy Index, which will apply as per this January 2018 Cheesy Index. There were some significant changes implemented. This caused our target wealth number to change, albeit not too much. What did we do and what changed?

January 2018 Cheesy Index

We closed out 2017 with an incredible increase in the Cheesy Index, we really could not have hoped for anything better. Based on last years target numbers we got to 69%. But that was so last year! 😉

Here are the latest stats:

January 2018 Cheesy Index

January 2018 Cheesy Index

 

Huh, hold on, you went backward by about 2.1%. Cheesy, that’s the wrong direction! Yes, it is, let me explain.

Cheesy Index Updates

As time goes by, things change. What changed? Well……

  • Taxes!
  • Future Housing situation
  • Family loan write off

Taxes!

A new year and we got new wealth taxes (again). I’ll do a more detailed post on this in the future, but it boils down that if you have less wealth than about €200.000 per person, you are better off. If you are worth more, not so much. Albeit the changes are not very drastic (fortunately), it’s not helping either.

Future Housing Situation

Once we are FIRE (and before FIRE obviously) we still need a place to live. As Mrs. CF already hinted on in this post, she’s not moving to Thailand (or somewhere else warm, sunny and cheap). The current plan is therefore to move out of our current home in 2020-2021, which we will split and rent out (yay, extra rental income!).

However, we are planning to move into one of our own rentals that is closer to family. Because this property is paid off, we suddenly will have more equity that is not doing much, but our expenses will also drop. The end result is a slight increase in wealth required to FIRE.

The plan is however to get a mortgage on this property and use that money to invest into other real estate (or the stockmarket if it has a major correction in the mean time). Borrowing at say 1.5-2% and reinvesting in something that provides about 6-7% seems logical to us.

Family Loan Write Off

To be blunt, we wrote off about €9.600. Ouch! This is an (very) old loan that Mrs. CF gave to her sister. She used it to buy a car to get to work. She started to pay off this loan but stopped once she moved to Africa for volunteer work. Instead of paying back the loan when selling her car, she used it to pay for the volunteer work (amongst others, pissing off Mrs. CF in the process).

Fast forward a few years, she is now a mom of two, no job, partner with a “average salary”. They live fairly frugal, but have no way to pay of this loan right now. We stopped charging interest a few years back already (problem just got worse). There is still the intent to pay it back, but Mrs CF does not want to push the matter at this time. She might once her sister start working again when the kids both go to school.

In short, we have taken the loan value off our balance sheet. We might still get the money, but it will be a bonus if/when we do. It does not impact our existing investments, but just dropped the “non-income” assets a bit. But it obviously will impact our future possible investments/cash-flow, since we have less to invest.

Moral of the story, never loan money to family! (Almost) always a royal pain in the @$$. If you do, make up a formal contract and keep your relatives responsible. Cheesy top tip.

Cheesy Index Forecast

So, with the above changes, and me voluntary becoming unemployed as of May 1, there will be more changes. Oh, and don’t forget the 10 week road trip that is coming up! The major impact is the speed to get to FIRE. Instead of taking about 3-4 years, it will likely now be about 6 (getting us to late 2023, subject to market developments). This is assuming I don’t make any money at all from potential side hustles.

In case you are wondering why the Cheesy Index chart above says a target of 72.5% for 2018 and the one below 70.9% for 2018, we like to aim high 😉

This is the new forecast:

Cheesy Index Forecast 2018-2025

Cheesy Index Forecast 2018-2025

Taking into consideration the new wealth target, we were not at 69% by the end of last year, but actually “only” 67.4%. Despite the major write off, we actually only dropped 0.5% month over month. There is probably another drop coming in February, due to the recent market corrections. Such is life, but we just keep going!

Thoughts?

 

How about you? Did you go forwards or backwards?

 

 

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Well what better than to wrap up and summarize 2017 than with the Cheesy Index? In this December 2017 Cheesy Index post we will also look at the portfolio allocation and some random financial statistics, which also showed we were FI in 2017! Too bad that from a cash-flow perspective we still have a long way to go….

December 2017 Cheesy Index

Despite not having posted the December savings rate or dividend incomes yet, we could already see that 2017 was going to be a great year for the Cheesy Index (see also the post form last month). We closed out the year with a Cheesy Index with a total of 69%! Just look at all the cheese stacking up, it’s just pretty ;-). We also shot past our 65% target for the year, in largely thanks to the stock market and our Real Estate income.

Here are the stats:

December 2017 Cheesy Index

December 2017 Cheesy Index

Portfolio Allocations

As you might be aware, we have divided our assets into three classes:

  • Income generating assets (stocks, real estate, loans, etc.);
  • Non-income generating assets (cash, our house, art, jukebox, etc.); and,
  • Depreciating assets (i.e. our car).

If you look at these three assets classes, and their development in 2017, you get this:

2017 Asset Allocations

2017 Asset Allocations

It is hard to miss the shift from ETF’s and Dividend shares to a Real Estate loan in November/December. But we now have more than 85% of our available wealth invested, that is good! However, we now have to work at getting some more cash for 2018. Primarily to pay for maintenance on our real estate and a 9 week road trip holiday (partially unpaid) in Q2 2018.

Portfolio Allocations – Income Assets

When you now breakdown the income assets into the following categories:

  • Our real estate;
  • The dividend shares;
  • Our Index funds;
  • The various crowdfunding loans;
  • Some sustainable investments (solar/wind); and finally,
  • Crypto-currencies.

And you dump all that into a graph for 2017, it looks like this:

2017 Income Asset Allocations

2017 Income Asset Allocations

As you can see, we are now heavily invested into Real Estate, followed by dividend shares. We currently have virtually no ETF’s anymore, very little crowdfunding left and only small positions in sustainable investments and crypto currencies. It’s unlikely that there will be major changes in this final distribution (from December 2017) during 2018.

Random Statistics and why we were FI in 2017 (and why not)

Ok, now for the fun part, here are some random statistics and notes for the financial year 2017:

  • Overall expenses covered by total investment income (before taxes): 107.6% (the bank decided to shift some charges to 2018, so it went up since this surprisingly popular tweet)
  • Total core expenses (excludes daycare and holidays/leisure expenses) covered by total investment income (before taxes): 149.7% (holy heck!!)
  • Total core expenses (excludes daycare and holidays) covered by net cash-flow (including estimated taxes): 91.8%
  • Target FIRE expenses covered by current net cash-flow (including estimated taxes): 83.9%
  • Overall 2017 return on investment (on income assets): 8.2%
  • 2017 was our highest income year on record, just a but higher than our previous record high from 2012
  • Net Worth increase in 2017: 20.1%

As you can see both taxes and cash-flow limitations are “killing” us right now. That being said, due to higher than expected yields we are close to FIRE than the cheesy index makes us believe. This is also not influenced by market valuations, which is promising!

 

Slowly but surely getting there! How about you?

 

 

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Oops, just discovered that I never did the October 217 Cheesy Index. Ha, too busy writing all kinds of ethical stuff. To catch up here are the October and November 2017 Cheesy Index.

October 2017 Cheesy Index

Thanks to the great savings rate of October, the Cheesy Index continued its march upwards. We even blasted past the 2017 target and landed on 66.7%! That absolutely amazing and I had to check all excel sheets to make sure that there was no error somewhere. A 1.7% increase in just a month? How is that possible?

It was a perfect storm, high savings/investment incomes, massive stock market change and favourable exchange rate. Everything aligned nicely for this month. Question remains, could we continue in November?

Here are the stats:

October 2017 Cheesy Index

October 2017 Cheesy Index

November 2017 Cheesy Index

Yes, also in November were able to hold on to the already high Cheesy Index even increase it further. Same as in October, also the November savings rate was great! Include some great dividends and real estate income and you have a winner 🙂

Here are the stats:

November 2017 Cheesy Index

November 2017 Cheesy Index

Cheesy Index Forecast

So, now what? We have moved a lot of our available funds into an RE venture with some other investors. This means that our investment exposure to stocks has somewhat reduced (currently having a tiny exposure to ETF’s and still a sizable dividend portfolio).

Because of this switch we had to end all options contracts that were still open, which hurt, a lot! Simply did not have sufficient margin available to keep them, it was not an decision that was taken lightly. Time will tell if this was a good move. We have started a small position in crypto currencies and we completed our first sustainable investment.

What does this mean for the Cheesy Index? It should continue to increase “slowly” in the next year (2018), without major changes due to stock market changes (up or down) or dropping savings rate (due to unpaid leave and a 2 month European road trip). With a 10 year bull market, we want to be in good position to convert our available cash-flow into ETF’s/Dividend shares when the next correction roles around, whether that be 2018 or 2019 or later.

What to expect for the end of 2017? We anticipate to hit somewhere around the 69.0% mark. It all depends on the stock market (as per usual) and the timing of real estate income (considering January 1 is a Monday, most funds will likely come in on the first week of 2018).

 

How were the developments in your net worth or “index” for November? How are you shaping up for the year? Also trending towards a record?

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Monthly Cheesy Index

The September 2017 Cheesy Index was such a great thing to calculate! This as we already hit the yearly target, and we are only in October!

September 2017 Cheesy Index

Thanks to the low expenses for September and good investment income streams, the Cheesy Index continued its march to new heights! The September 2017 Cheesy Index increased to 65.0%, our target value for the whole of 2017! We are now very curious to see where this year is going to bring us, but it looks to be very good. Unless Mr Market gets very, very angry….

Here are the stats:

September 2017 Cheesy Index

September 2017 Cheesy Index

Cheesy Index Forecast

The forecast for the Cheesy Index is rather good. All units are rented, we are expecting a 13th month payment for Mrs CF and a new sign-on bonus for Mr CF (contract extension). This will help us bring in more money and increase our net worth. How far are we going to get this year? I’m not sure, but it would not surprise me if we actually hit 66% or higher. This is assuming that the market stays high until the end of the year. But only time will tell.

On a different note, the net cashflow from our Real Estate and our dividends for the first 9 months of this year adds up to ~€19.500 (before taxes!). This is about €14.000 for the RE and €5.500. Our “core” expenses YTD (this excludes daycare, but includes holidays) were around €18.000 (which is below our FI target of €18.750). This would mean we would have been FI for the last 9 months! Kind of cool, but as shown above in graph, which does include taxes, we still have a bit more to go. But it is promissing!

How were the developments in your net worth or “index” for September (or October, if you are quick with calculating your finances)?

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Monthly Cheesy Index

The August 2017 Cheesy Index provided yet another positive month, but the (Dutch) stock market fluctuations did make a small dent. We did have a very good savings ratedividend income and rental income, which helped us increase our net worth in August.

August 2017 Cheesy Index

Considering the low expenses and good investment income, the Cheesy Index continued to increase to new heights! The August 2017 Cheesy Index increased to 63.6%. We are still aiming for 65% by the end of the year, which we are confident we will reach. We are anticipating to breach the 64% barrier in September, subject to stock market fluctuations, of course.

August 2017 Cheesy Index

August 2017 Cheesy Index

Cheesy Index Forecast

We actually got Mrs. CF’s final tax assessment back for 2015. This means we can finally also book this tax return into our net worth. I’m quite happy with this considering I’ve been manually correcting the net worth (and this Cheesy Index) for the last year and a bit. We had initially received too much and were required to pay about half of the amount back.

The error came from misinterpretation when filling out the paper tax forms. Why the paper version? Because it was the year we got back from our international adventures, you cannot file digitally for those years….. What was the final tax return? Around €1550! That’s a lot of money, so we are happy with this corrected assessment.

More good news for the future Cheesy Index is the return of overpaid money for utilities. We received about €896 back last week. Pardon?! How much, I hear you ask. Too much! The main reason is that we moved last year. The previous owners had just installed solar panels and that extra savings had not been include in the energy consumption for this address. In short, our energy supplier expected a high use and thus gave us a high monthly payment to start with.

In reality we used much less than the previous owners and the solar panels provided quite a bit of energy too. So in the last year we had dropped the monthly payment twice (by about a third!), as we noticed we did not use as much. Still, we got a massive amount. Won’t happen again this year!

 

How were the developments in your net worth or “index” for August?

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Monthly Cheesy Index

The July 2017 Cheesy Index had yet another (very) positive month due to the reasonable savings rate and the good dividend income and rental income. We really cannot complain on the progress at all. Even the exchange rates stayed relatively stable, which helped too!

July 2017 Cheesy Index

As you can see below, we can report yet another increase in the Cheesy Index to new heights! We are now at the 63.4% mark. We are still aiming for 65% by the end of the year, but it would be great if we could reach 66.6%. This would mean we are 2/3rd done on our journey to FIRE. Kind of a nice milestone, but unless a miracle comes along, I doubt this will happen.

July 2017 Cheesy Index

July 2017 Cheesy Index

Cheesy Index Breakdown

In case you are wondering what is included in the Cheesy Index and how the wealth is broken down, let’s have a look.

We have divided our wealth into three categories (for more details, see here):

  • Income producing assets (stocks, real estate, etc.)
  • Non-income producing assets (cash, “valuable” posessions)
  • Depreciating assets (i.e. the car)

This looks as follows:

2017 Asset Allocations

2017 Asset Allocations

The growth in non-income assets is due to the increase in cash reserves we have to buy more real estate (or shares/ETF, subject to whichever comes first).

When you breakdown the income producing assets, you will have:

  • Real Estate
  • Dividend Shares
  • ETF’s/Index Funds
  • Crowdfunding

This breakdown looks as follows:

2017 Income Asset Allocation

2017 Income Asset Allocation

As you can see, the crowdfunding is slowly being phased out. The ETF/Index fund portion of the porfolio is slowly growing. The dividend portion is fluctuating a lot as the majority of shares are Canadian. Real Estate covers the majority of the portfolio. The latter is hopefully to increase over the coming months if we manage to find something reasonably priced. Time will tell!

Long Weekend Holiday

We are off to a long weekend away with family and will be back next week. I plan to really relax and ignore the blog for the most (there might be a tweet on occasion). It will therefore take a bit longer than usual for me to reply to any of your comments, so my apologies in advance! Hope you have a great (long?) weekend too.

 

Did your net worth or “index” also grew in July? Did you also see a nice increase?

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After a good month in terms of savings rate and dividend income, the June 2017 Cheesy Index was also bound to be positive. And it was 🙂

June 2017 Cheesy Index

We are still waiting for the final tax assessment of Mrs CF for 2015 (Mr CF already received his tax return). We will be getting some money back, but are not sure how much. However, we did get an initial deposit that was incorrect. In short, we still expect to have to pay back a portion of this money. The Cheesy Index is corrected every monthly for the entire amount that we received to date. We will keep doing this until such time we have a final assessment and can confirm the actual tax return.

What does have to do with the June 2017 Cheesy Index? Not much, but I noticed that the May 2017 Cheesy Index was wrong as I had not subtracted this amount. In short, the May 2017 Cheesy Index was a slight over estimate. In reality we had actually seen our first decline in the Cheesy Index in a long time. All caused by exchange rate fluctuations.

Now the good news, exchange rates helped out, so did certain investments, our regular income and as a “bonus” the 2016 tax return. We can therefore report another increase in the Cheesy Index to new heights! We are almost hitting the 63% mark and are very nicely on track to hit our 2017 target of 65%.

June 2017 Cheesy Index

June 2017 Cheesy Index

 

 

Did your net worth or “index” also grew in June?

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It is that time of the month again, the time to present to you the May 2017 Cheesy Index! Let see how we did this month in increasing the ration between our net worth and our FIRE target number (which is under 7 figures in case you are wondering).

May 2017 Cheesy Index

We were pretty much at a stand still for May. We are up to 61.6%, that’s just 0.2% for the month. This is partially driven by the low savings rate and the exchange rates really hurt this month too. That being said, despite all these “setbacks”, we still moved ahead! Should be happy with that. There will be a time when we won’t see another increase, guess this is a nice mellow trial in “disappointing” results. Will have to get used to it at some point.

May 2017 Cheesy Index

May 2017 Cheesy Index

Exchange Rates Again

So, the pain continues.  The exchange rate was CAD 1.516 by the end of May. Compare that to CAD 1.49 by the end of April and even CAD 1.42 by the end of March. That is now an almost 7% change in the wrong direction. But such is life and there will be more fluctuations to come.

On the other hand (I’m the glass half full type of guy), our net worth expressed in USD actually did increase by about 6% since March. Not that this is helping us in any way, but it’s fun to think about it 🙂

How was your May? Did your net worth or index grow too. Hope it was more than ours 🙂

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Monthly 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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It is that time of the month when all income is in, all numbers are added and we can now officially present to you the March 2017 Cheesy Index!

March 2017 Cheesy Index

This month we are very pleased to report yet another increase, and it is even bigger one than last month! We are up to 61%, that’s 1.5% for the month, an absolutely ridiculous MOM increase! We are now actually on track to hit the original 65% target already halfway this year. Unless there is a catastrophic market meltdown (wrong pun with North Korea at the moment…), we have a good chance to really get ahead this year.

Besides the usually contributors like the real estate, dividend income and our good savings rate, there is another reason why we shot up again this month. We finally (almost 9 month later than planned) got our Canadian taxes back from 2015! Well at least a portion of it….

March 2017 Cheesy Index

March 2017 Cheesy Index

Canadian Taxes

We still worked a few months in Canada for part of 2015, before emigrating back to the Netherlands. Once we had sold our house, we maxed out the RRSP room available. An RRSP is a Registered Retirement Savings Plan. It’s the Canadian version of a tax sheltered/tax deferred investment account, which we manage ourselves. We both have an account and we keep the majority of our dividend stock here.

When we maxed out the contributions to these accounts, we also created a rather large tax refund for ourselves. However, due to the move and the requirement for special (paper!) forms it took a bit longer to get a tax return. When we did, the refunded amounts did not match with what we had in mind. So we called the CRA (Canadian Revenue Agency) to find out why.

Apparently we had not correctly filled out parts of the tax return, so eligible deductions were not accepted. Keep in mind that these special tax returns (non-resident) are far from easy and can only be done manually (we also did one for the Netherlands for the same year, again with issues). Mrs CF together with the CRA figured out what updates where required. We submitted the updates late last year.

And behold, we are now getting back what we had originally anticipated. The payment for Mr CF came in March. Another one for Mrs CF has already arrived too, but will not show up in the Cheesy Index until next month. So there will be another massive job next month too. We are a bunch of happy campers at the moment.

How did our net worth/index develop in March? Did you also receive a surprise income, bonus or tax return?

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it’s time for cheese again, it is time for The Cheesy Index!

February 2017 Cheesy Index

This month we are very pleased to report another increase (starting to get “boring” eh?). We are up to 59.5%, that’s 1.3% for the month, an insane MOM increase! In this pace we will hit our target for 2017 already somewhere halfway the year. This cannot be right? Funny thing is, we even saw a bit of a drop at the end of February, which kind of recovered in early march again. Our month-end wealth was therefore actually a bit lower than during the surrounding days. Interesting thing is that this happened at the end of January too (and if I recall correctly, I’ve seen this happy a few times in 2016 as well). Not sure why? Any ideas as to month end market/currency fluctuations? Have not done an in depth analysis, but I’m starting to notice a trend. Perhaps I’m just tired from Miss CF being ill last week and I’m now seeing/remembering things that do not exist. It happened before 😉

February 2017 Cheesy Index

Echanges Rates – Part two

As to the exchange rates comment from last month, it looks like we have hit a new “bottom” for now. Based on our month-end numbers we have seen a slow and steady Euro weakening since early 2016. But exchange rates seem to have stabilized somewhat (i.e. exchange rates of the last two months were very similar), which also means less paper gains for February. This means that growth in the Cheesy Index for February is more “organic” (actual investment gains). Which is good, don’t really want to see “artificial” wealth gains, that would disappear during the next currency fluctuations.

This actually brings us to an interesting topic, hedging. At this stage we don’t hedge our investments, simply because we are in the accumulation phase. But when we will reach the withdrawal stage, steady cash-flow is a lot more critical. Perhaps we have to start looking at hedging or making bond reserves to withdraw from during large exchange rate fluctuations?

How did you do February? Another record high for you too, let us know!

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it’s time to talk about cheese: The Cheesy Index! These updates are so much fun to make, grabbing all the financials from all asset groups and seeing where we are on the path to FI.

January 2017 Cheesy Index

We ended 2016 with a record high 57.4% on the Cheesy Index. This was primarily due to a good stockmarket and lot’s of income in the last two months of 2016 (had very good savings rates too).

This month we are happy to report another increase! We are up to 58.2%, that’s 0.8% for the month. If we multiply that with 12, we should be able to add 9.6% to the Cheesy Index this year. If that were true, we would easily reach our target of 65% by the end of the year!

But it’s only January and we have not seen a market correction in quite some time. We are therefore very curious to see what will happen when a correction happens. Talking to other (non) bloggers about 2 weeks ago in Antwerp, the feeling appears to be horrible and you cannot really prepare (we have not lived through a correction that hit us financially). That does not boost well…

Exchange Rates

We correct our net worth (and therefore indirectly the Cheesy Index) for currencies. Each month we record the exchange rates at midnight of the last day of the month. These rates are used to calculate everything from wealth to dividends. We have been rather lucky in the last year as exchange rates have favoured our wealth number. But this cannot continue indefinitely. We are therefore anticipating a correction and therefore lower Cheesy Index growth rates this year. We still hope to reach our 2017 target, but we are mindful that the stockmarket and currency market need to be in our favour to make that happen. Our only benefit is our real estate, which does not fluctute as much. Time will tell!

How did you do financially in January? Did you also reach a record high?

 

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