Exchange Traded Funds – ETFs

Categories Broker, ETF, FIRE, Investment3 Comments 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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Mutual Funds and Index Investing

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This post is part 3 of 5 in the series Investing – All about investing.

In the previous post of the series, we covered stocks and bonds. They are important financial investing instruments. They both have their advantages. Bonds are more stable but will generally return less over time. Stocks are more volatile but should return more. In a balanced portfolio, you need both.  But picking stocks and bonds is a lot of work. And it is a difficult and dangerous game. It requires a lot of knowledge and time.

So why not let other people pick bonds and stocks for you?

Investment funds are doing exactly that for you. In this post, we are going to cover them! We are going to see what is important when choosing between different mutual funds. And finally, we are going to cover a very important subject: passive investing.

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How to buy an ETF (VT) on Degiro

Categories Broker, ETF, Investment11 Comments on How to buy an ETF (VT) on Degiro

In this post, we are going to see how to buy an Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) on DEGIRO. Vanguard Total World (VT) is the main part of my new portfolio. So I am going to use VT as an example. The process is exactly the same with any ETF you buy.

I decided to use DEGIRO after comparing with several other brokers. The main advantage of DEGIRO is its very low fees. You can read my full review of DEGIRO if you want more information. This post assumes you already have an account with DEGIRO. If not, you can open one account very quickly.

Note: Links to DEGIRO are affiliate links. If you use them to create an account, you will receive 20 CHF and I will receive 20 CHF.

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My Investor Policy Statement – You need one too!

Categories ETF, FIRE, Goals, Investment10 Comments on My Investor Policy Statement – You need one too!

It has been a long time now since I wanted to write my Investor Policy Statement (IPS). I just took some time over the last week to write it down completely. It took me about one hour. It was a really good exercise for me.

So, what is an IPS? Basically, it is a set of guidelines for your investing. It will state how you are going to invest and why. It should also state how you will react to some events.

Why would you need an IPS? The reason is to keep you on the right path when a situation trigger. If you already thought of the problem and the solution to it, you know how to react. You do not need to be emotional about it. And emotions in investing are generally a bad thing.

I did not invent the concept! It is a well-known thing. It was at first used between a portfolio manager and the client. This was helping the manager invest in the way the client wanted. Since I am my portfolio manager, I am doing this statement only between me and me. I was motivated to write my IPS after I read this post by Mr. Retire In Progress. He was himself motivated by another post by Physician On Fire. I would also recommend you read these two posts if you want more information on the subject.

If you want an example, you will find my Investor Policy Statement just below. Keep in mind that every IPS is different and should be made for your own situation and goals. You should not copy another IPS. However, you can get some inspiration from other’s IPS. So let’s delve into my own IPS.

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New ETF Portfolio – Simplicity is key

Categories ETF, Investment11 Comments on New ETF Portfolio – Simplicity is key

A few months ago, I updated my portfolio to add more bonds and more dividend yielding stocks. Since then, I had a lot of discussions on this portfolio. I discussed it on the comments on this blog. I also discussed it on the bogleheads forum. Since these discussions, I have given a lot of thoughts on my portfolio. I realized there were several issues with the portfolio. I am going to discuss these issues here and present the new portfolio on which I have settled on. The biggest issue was the complexity of the portfolio.

I am going to start with the decisions that I made about my portfolio and the reasoning behind them. If you want to checkout the new portfolio, simply jump to it ;)

First a few acronyms:

  • Exchange Traded Fund (ETF): A fund that is traded like a stock
  • Total Expense Ratio (TER): The amount of yearly fees in a fund

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April 2018 – Birthday and new savings record

Categories ETF, Frugality, Investment, Monthly, Spending11 Comments on April 2018 – Birthday and new savings record

After a record-breaking March 2018, April 2018 is even better :) In fact, in terms of savings rate, it is the best month ever! I am really glad I achieved that good result.

Although I had some significant expenses this month, the savings were great. This is partly thanks to the gifts I received this month for my 30 years birthday! I also managed to keep my expenses quite low. And my net worth made a very nice jump. Overall, a great month :)

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My review of Degiro as a broker for Swiss investor

Categories Broker, ETF, Investment, Switzerland2 Comments on My review of Degiro as a broker for Swiss investor

(This post was first published on Mustachian Post. Thanks a lot to MP for the opportunity of guest posting.)

I have now been using DEGIRO for about four months. I think It is now time for a review of the tool.

It’s important to mention that I never tried any other broker. I decided to use DEGIRO four months ago based on costs. Moreover, I am a computer scientist, so no issues with potential tech issues. Finally, my portfolio is very small, so my experience may not compare to yours.

Note: The links to DEGIRO are affiliate links. If you use them to create an account, you will receive 20 CHF and I will receive 20 CHF as well.

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Updated ETF portfolio for Switzerland – Bonds and Dividends

Categories Broker, ETF, Investment, Switzerland20 Comments on Updated ETF portfolio for Switzerland – Bonds and Dividends

Update: I have now made some changes to make my investment portfolio much simpler.

In 2018, I wanted to add a few bonds to my portfolio. I am in long-term investing. I only in my 30s and I do not plan to retire for at least 10 years. And I already have some very safe investments in my second and third pillars. Therefore, I do not need a lot of bonds. But I wanted to add 5% of bonds into my portfolio to be safe and to allow for more re-balancing opportunities. Also, I do have bonds in my third pillar account.

Moreover, I wanted to improve my portfolio. More specifically, I also wanted to get rid of my crypto-currencies. So, I updated a bit my previous portfolio to reflect this. Moreover, I also wanted to depend less on the dollar. In this post, we are going to see exactly what I have changed in my portfolio.

Remember that it is only one example of a portfolio. I am no financial advisor. I am just sharing what I am doing for investment. What may work for me may not work for you.

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December 2017 Update + 2018 perspectives

Categories Budget, ETF, Investment, Monthly1 Comment on December 2017 Update + 2018 perspectives

Happy new year to you all! Now that we started in 2018, it is time for the last monthly update of 2017. After a rather poor November 2017, December 2017 is significantly better. I have been able to keep my spendings lower than usual. It was not a very eventful month. Except of course for the usual Christmas celebrations. I always spend Christmas with my family and it was great :)

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First deposit at DEGIRO and first ETF investment

Categories Broker, ETF, Investment3 Comments on First deposit at DEGIRO and first ETF investment

After having opened my DEGIRO account recently, it was time to use my DEGIRO account. My first deposit reached my DEGIRO broker account! Let’s start with the good, there is no fee for transfer! I have transferred 1000 CHF and exactly 1000 CHF arrived in my account. I was afraid of a hidden fee or transfer fee. But there are no fees!

With the bad now: The transfer took 8 days. I sent the transfer Friday 17th, the bank debited it from my account Monday 20th. It only arrived today, Tuesday 28th on my broker account. I have contacted DEGIRO several times in the meantime to ask about the whereabouts of my money. They did have an issue with their bank (CIC Bank, Basel). The bank was not transferring the money statements to them for about a week. So, normally, this should not be so slow. I am inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt for this one. I will see what happens to my second transfer. I sent it yesterday and it should arrive tomorrow on my DEGIRO account. If this issue is something that happens regularly, this is a really bad thing for DEGIRO, but we ll see.

Update (6 months later): I have not had any more issue of that sort with DEGIRO :)

My first investment at DEGIRO

With some part of this money, I bought 13 shares of Vanguard Total World Stock ETF (VT) at 73.16 USD. This ETF is a passive fund that holds 7955 stocks in the entire world, weighted by capitalization. It contains around 50% of the stocks from the United States and the rest is from the entire world. The fund contains 2.6% of stocks from Switzerland. It has a very low Total Expense Ratio (TER) is 0.11%, which is very low and absolutely fine for me.

Since this ETF is in the list of free ETF offered by DEGIRO, I did not pay any fee to buy the shares. Nevertheless, I paid a small fee for the currency conversion. I paid 0.19CHF on an order of 936.80 CHF, which means a fee of 0.02%. This is pretty good since I was paying around 0.5% fee for funds on PostFinance :)

The buy was pretty easy to do on DEGIRO, no issues here. At first, not very clear, but it turned out quite OK. I will post more information on the future on how to use DEGIRO. I received a mail notification for both the deposit and the trading transactions. Everything seems fine.

I am not totally sure on my final portfolio, but VT will definitely be a part of it and probably a large part at that. I will keep you up to date as soon as I update my portfolio.