Health Plan for 2019 – Retire healthy and early

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Neither Mrs. The Poor Swiss nor me are in bad health. We are very lucky in that matter. However, being a computer scientist and not going out a lot is not a good long-term prospect for my health. These last few years, I have felt that my health decreased. I am not as much in shape as I was 10 years ago. And my back has been painful a few times recently.

Even though we do not have big problems, health is really important. These days, we focus too much on our finances. I want to retire early and I also want to retire healthy! For this, it is important to try to work on our health as we are working on our finances.

In this post, I am going to discuss the things we want to do in order to improve our health in 2019. Do not expect any fancy cure that will solve all health issues. There is no such thing. We focused on simple things for 2019 to ensure that we stay in good health.

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Interview of Patrik Schär – CEO of Selma, Robo-Advisor

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I had the opportunity of interviewing Patrik Schär, the CEO of Selma Finance. For those of you that do not know, Selma Finance (Selma) is a Swiss-Finnish Robo-Advisor company. It is a young company. Patrik founded it, with three other people, in 2016.

I have not yet talked about robo-advisors on this blog. However, they are getting more and more popular. The idea is that you can get smaller fees by automating most tasks, hence the robo-name. And it is much simpler than investing by yourself. It provides a good entry point into the investment. And Selma is a great option for those that would choose that route!

First, Selma is different from a bank in that it is almost entirely automated. It has lower fees than a bank. It gives you a personal investment assistant that can assist you all the time. Another cool thing with Selma robo-advisor is that they follow passive investing philosophy, reducing the fees and following the market performance.

But enough from me, Patrik Schär, the CEO, will tell you everything there is to know about Selma!

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The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying – The Konmari Method

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The Konmari method is a tidying method developed by Marie Kondo. She has been a consultant for tidying houses and offices for many years. She soon realized that she had a lot of clients and that she could consult in person for them all. So she decided to write her method in a book: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying. I just finished reading this book on my Kindle and I wanted to share my thoughts about it.

Overall, the method is really simple. You discard all the things that do not bring joy to your life. Then, you set a place for each of your belonging. And after that, you should no need to tidy ever again. Of course, there are some subtleties. But overall, it is really simple.

Keep in mind that I never tested this technique. I just read the book and gathered my thoughts about it. If you already read this book or learned about this method, I would be glad to hear your comments.

Personally, I do not have a lot of issues with tidying. Most of the time, my apartment is very tidy. However, I have a problem with discarding and I should really improve that. In the last year, I have discarded a lot of things. And I want to continue in that path and reduce even more my belongings. I will never be a true minimalist. But tidiness is important for me.

In this post, I am going to go over the Konmari method and what this book can teach you.

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How to choose a stock market index to invest into

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If you are convinced that index investing is the way to go, you need to choose the indexes you want to invest in. You can create a portfolio that contains several indexes in which you are going to invest.

We have already talked about index investing and the way indexes were replicated. But we have not looked into details how to compare stock market indexes. There are a lot of stock market indexes. In fact, there are now more indexes than stocks. So index picking may become as difficult as stock picking. There are some very special stock market indexes. In this post, we are only going to focus on broad market indexes.

I am not going to go into details into exactly the portfolio you can choose. The post is really about choosing between different indexes. For instance, what is the difference between small indexes and large indexes? Or should you choose a market-cap weighted index or an equal-weighted index? If you already know you want to invest in U.S. equities, how do you choose between all the U.S. indexes?

This post should help you choose between indexes to invest into. There are many different indexes, even for the same country.

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Money lessons from The Simpsons #1

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It is time for yet another post about learning money lessons from animated sitcoms! This time, we are going to learn five money lessons from The Simpsons!

I am sure I have some fans of the Simpsons among my readers! I watch many animated sitcoms myself. And while The Simpsons is not my favorite of them, I often have fun watching episodes of this show! I already found five money lessons from Family Guy and five money lessons from South Park. Now, it is time to find out if we can learn something from Homer. Compared to the other two animated sitcoms, The Simpsons is a bit more logical and down to earth, although it is often pretty stupid.

I have tried to find some interesting episodes from The Simpsons with real money lessons. Some of them are all about money. And some others have only small lessons. But I hope you will enjoy both the episodes and the lessons we can learn from them!

All the pictures from this post are the property of Fox.

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What is the Russell 3000 Index?

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(This post was first published on StojFinance. Thanks a lot to Jasper for the opportunity of guest posting.)

We have already discussing index investing in details. There are many stock market indexes. Sometimes, it is very difficult to pick a stock market index to invest in. But we have not covered any index in particular. You have probably already heard of the S&P500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) indexes. But have you heard of the Russell 3000 index? It is not as widely known as other indices. But it is a very interesting index that covers a larger part of the United States stock market than more popular indexes.

The Russell 3000 Index is managed by the FTSE group that also manages many other popular indexes. It contains the 3000 largest U.S. companies in the stock market.

In this post, we are going to see exactly what is the Russell 3000 Index. We are also going to see a few related indexes from the same group, such as the Russell 2000 Index. Finally, I am going to compare the S&P 500 index with the Russell 3000 Index. They are both popular indexes and people often misunderstand the difference between both.

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Best Personal Finance Books

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Since I started my journey to a better financial state, I have read many Personal Finance books. I have mostly read books about Investing. I have also read some more general personal finance books that are going all around. I thought it would be interesting to compile the list of all the books I have read so far.

Here, you will find the list of all the best personal finance books I have read. I have put them into several different categories. I will keep this page up to date with the future books I am going to read.

If you have any suggestion of book for me, I would be glad to hear about it!

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February 2019 – China, dowry and ski

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I spent half of February 2019 in China. Me and Mrs. The Poor Swiss were visiting my in-laws for the Chinese new year. Most of the trip was very frugal since we stayed at my father-in-law house. And we mostly ate at home. However, I am following Chinese culture and paying a dowry to my father-in-law, this makes a  big hole in the budget of the month.

Mrs. The Poor Swiss also started skiing this month. Since she had no equipment at all, we had to buy the clothes for skiing. And we had to rent the ski equipment itself for the season. This makes another hole in the budget.

Even though we had lower savings than what we are aiming for, this month was quite good for our net worth. With the stock market returns, our savings and the sale of my ESPP shares, our net worth made a nice jump this month!

In this post, you can find everything that happened to us in February 2019.

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How to change broker and transfer your portfolio

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Recently, I have opened a new broker account at Interactive Brokers. Since DEGIRO does not let me trade in U.S. funds anymore, I decided to stop working with them and change broker. I still like the DEGIRO broker. But I would only recommend it if you only want to invest in European funds. Currently, Interactive Brokers lets me trade in these funds. Moreover, I may also save on some fees by using the Tiered pricing of Interactive Brokers.

However, that means that I currently have two broker accounts. I plan to only finance the Interactive Brokers account. For me, there is no current advantage in having several broker accounts. Therefore, at some point, I will have to transfer my existing portfolio from one broker to the other.

In this post, we are going to see the two main ways to change broker and transfer your positions from one broker to another. And I am going to discuss how to choose between the two.

If you have ever changed broker account, I would really like to hear about your experience!

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Interview of Marc Pittet author of Financially Free by 40, in Switzerland

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Marc Pittet, or Mr. MP, is the author behind the blog MustachianPost. Last year, he started the project of writing a book about becoming Financially Free, or Financially Independent, in Switzerland, by the age of 40. Today, I am interviewing him about his new project, Financially Free by 40, in Switzerland.

Financially Free by 40, in Switzerland is a book about retiring early in Switzerland. This is something difficult because Switzerland is one of the most expensive countries in the world. Moreover, there is very little information on how to retire early in this country. This is something that Marc Pittet wants to change!

Thanks a lot to Marc for answering my questions. As you will see, he even provided us with some exclusive information about the book and about his journey to Financial Independence! In the interview below, things in italic are my comments and the rest is all answers from Marc.

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