Not all assets are created equal – Introducing the FI net worth

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Your net worth is a very important number. This is the number representing the value of what you own. We have already seen how to calculate your net worth. This is especially important if you want to become financially independent. For this, you will need to accumulate a large net worth that is able to cover your expenses.

However, something we have not discussed in details is the difference between the different parts of your net worth. In this post, we are going to discuss that exactly. You are going to see that not every part of your net worth is equal. Some parts of your net worth should be treated differently.

If you want to become financially independent, you cannot consider all the parts of your net worth as equal. Some parts of your net worth will not help reach Financial Independence (FI)! And some assets will not evolve in the same way over the years. If you are serious about reaching FI, it is very important to know of what your net worth is composed of.

To improve, you can use two different net worths. Your regular net worth as you know it and your FI net worth that will help you towards Financial Independence. So let’s see where all the different assets fit in the grand scheme of net worths!

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Automating your personal finances is a mistake

Categories Broker, Budget, Investment12 Comments on Automating your personal finances is a mistake

In the Personal Finance community, many people are advising everybody to automate as much as their personal finances as they can. I am not one of them. I do not automate anything in my personal finances. In fact, I do not like automation for my personal finances. I think it is a big mistake. It is a lazy excuse for not being rigorous enough to manage them yourself. The worst is actually the “set it and forget it” advice for automating your personal finances!

I will not deny that there are some advantages to automate some things in your personal finance routines. But I believe there are mostly disadvantages in doing it. Many people will not agree with my point of view. But this is something I have wanted to write about for some time.

In this post, I am going to describe the reasons why I do not like money automation. In fact, I believe it may be a bad idea for most people to automate their finances. This is an advice that is given on way too many personal finance media. As you will see in this post, there are many reasons why this is a bad advice!

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Fair Comparison of Brokers: Interactive Brokers Tiered Pricing

Categories Broker, Investment12 Comments on Fair Comparison of Brokers: Interactive Brokers Tiered Pricing

A few days ago, I posted a comparison between Interactive Brokers and DEGIRO. It turned out from this comparison that DEGIRO was always cheaper than Interactive Brokers.

While the comparison was fair, I did a “mistake”. Indeed, one of my readers pointed out that I only considered Fixed Pricing of Interactive Brokers. I forgot to consider Tiered Pricing. Tiered Pricing is a much more complicated pricing system that Interactive Brokers offers. I was thinking that it was only an account for big traders. But it turns out it is not the case. Indeed, it may be cheaper in some cases.

In fact, I did two “mistakes”. I also realized I did not take currency exchange into account. With these two mistakes, I thought it would be best to update my comparison in order to be fair. I do not want to present incomplete comparisons on this blog.

In this post, I am going to present this pricing system and compare once again the two brokers. Thanks a lot to cashfl0w for pointing out my mistake. Once again, I always welcome comments, especially when they help me learn new things.

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What makes Vanguard unique?

Categories Broker, FIRE, Investment4 Comments on What makes Vanguard unique?

If you read personal finance blogs, you will see that most of them are advocating investing in Vanguard Index Funds. On this blog, I also recommend using their index funds in most cases. I have more than 75% of my portfolio invested in Vanguard funds. And I plan to continue investing with of my money into their funds.

There are many different mutual funds companies. You probably have heard about Fidelity, BlackRock or T. Rowe. And there are others. But most people are talking about Vanguard. So what makes Vanguard so unique? Why is everybody recommending you to invest in their index funds?

I believe they are the best mutual fund company currently. There are many reasons that make them so great. In this post, we are covering the main points that make Vanguard unique.

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Is DEGIRO really cheaper than Interactive Brokers?

Categories Broker, ETF, Investment, Switzerland12 Comments on Is DEGIRO really cheaper than Interactive Brokers?

You may have read that I am using DEGIRO has my broker. In fact, I chose DEGIRO mainly because of its very low fees. I am very satisfied with my experience with DEGIRO. I have not had a big problem since I started using it, about a year ago.

Interactive Brokers is also a very popular broker. It has been there for much longer than DEGIRO who is a very young broker. And it also has very low fees. When I chose DEGIRO over Interactive Brokers, I did it because I thought it was cheaper.

In this post, we are going to compare once again DEGIRO and Interactive Brokers. I am going to do the comparison in details including the two different account types of DEGIRO. In the default account of DEGIRO (Basic), your shares can be lent to other investors. This is not something that is done by default with Interactive Brokers. Therefore, my previous comparison was not very fair! This time, I am going to try to make it better.

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How I made $2’000’000 on the stock market – Book Review

Categories Books, Broker, Investment2 Comments on How I made $2’000’000 on the stock market – Book Review

No, I did not make two million dollars in the stock market. But I just read a book about a man who did ;) I finished reading “How I made $2,000,000 in the stock market”.

This book tells the story of Nicolas Darvas who made two million dollars in the stock market, in less than two years. Nicolas Darvas is not a professional investor, but a dancer. He is touring around the world, going from one show to another. The book tells his story from his beginnings with many mistakes to the successful. I thought it was a very interesting story. You can learn many things from his mistakes and from his successes. Even though the book is quite, I think it is still mostly relevant to today. You

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DEGIRO increased prices for securities, options and futures

Categories Broker, News6 Comments on DEGIRO increased prices for securities, options and futures

I have been using DEGIRO for many months now. And I just got the news that DEGIRO will increase its fees for securities, options and futures. At first, I was afraid that this would increase my fees for investing. Fortunately, it turns out this is not the case. So far, I have been quite satisfied with my experience with DEGIRO.

The increase is due to new European Regulations (MIFID II). These regulations are here to better protect investors. And also to improve the efficiency of the stock market. These rules apply to investment firms and trading platforms, such as DEGIRO. They increase the requirements on the internal execution of client orders. This lead to increased costs for DEGIRO on the execution of orders. They decided to adjust their fees because of this.

Three products will become more expensive. Securities (except for US and Canadian markets) will see 0.018% extra fee. Futures and options will see a 0.15 EUR extra fee. That means that Swiss securities are now 5 CHF + 0.058%. And an option on Eurex is now 0.90 EUR per contract.

This is not a huge difference. But it is still noticeable for people using these products. Fortunately for me, I am only buying ETFs. And the price of ETFs did not change! For passive investor using only ETFs, this will not make any difference!

The new tariffs will be active from August 15th. However, DEGIRO is saying it is temporary. This should last at most 18 months. In fact, they are looking for options on how to make it back to the previous low. I think that shows that they are really committed to keeping the fees very low. While still keeping the same level of service. We will see how that goes. I will keep you informed anyway.

Conclusion

The most important fact is that the new increase in fees does not impact investors in ETFs. It only impacts investors that focus on buying stocks and bonds on the stock market. Since I do not plan to do that any time soon, I am not worried about this increase in fees.

What do you think of these new fees? Does that impact you?

The three-fund portfolio – Keep it simple

Categories Broker, ETF, Investment, Switzerland2 Comments on The three-fund portfolio – Keep it simple
This post is part 7 of 7 in the series Investing – All about investing.

In the previous posts of the Investing series, we have covered the basics of the stocks and bonds. We also have covered index funds, in the form of mutual funds and Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs). You should now have a good idea of how you want to invest. The problem remains on how to invest! One solution to this problem is the Three-Fund-Portfolio.

This is a very important question and one that you should spend some time thinking about. There is no one-size-fits-all investment in my opinion. There are many kinds of investment that work. For some of them, you will need some knowledge and time to make it work. The three-fund portfolio is a very simple portfolio made of three funds that should work for most people.

In this post, we are going to cover two things. How much bonds you should have and what is the Three-Fund Portfolio. Since there are also some direct variations of the three-fund portfolio, I am also going to cover them!

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Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) Arbitrage

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This post is part 6 of 6 in the series Investing – All about investing.

In part 4 of the Investing series, we have covered Exchange Traded Funds (ETF). In this post, I have mentioned that ETF used arbitrage to follow closely the price of the index. If the price of the stocks in the index goes up, the price of the ETF should follow. And if the price of the stocks goes down, the price of the ETF should follow as well. But if the price of the ETF goes up because of stock market trading, something should correct the price quickly. This is where arbitrage plays a big role.

In this post, we are going to see how Exchange Traded Funds are created. And also what is arbitrage? How it makes sure the price of ETF stay in sync with the price of the index. It is a bit of a complicated subject. But I think it is important to know exactly how financial instrument are working before investing in them.

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Exchange Traded Funds – ETFs

Categories Broker, ETF, FIRE, InvestmentLeave a comment on Exchange Traded Funds – ETFs
This post is part 4 of 5 in the series Investing – All about investing.

In the previous post of the Investing series, we talked about mutual funds. They are a great tool for investment. And especially passive funds with very low fees, thanks to index investing.

This is all great, but the problem with mutual funds is their availability. If you are lucky, you have access to Vanguard via your bank. And you can directly invest in their low fees mutual funds. There are other like Vanguard, but they are the most famous ;)

If you are not lucky, for instance, if you live in Switzerland, you do not have any easy access to good mutual funds. I can bet that your Swiss bank does not offer cheap passive funds.  At least mine does not! This is where Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) are being a very good investment tool!

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