We have seen that there are many reasons to want to reach Financial Independence (FI). Once you reach FI, you can do what you want without having to worry about money. This is awesome! You only keep working if you want to. This is something most people would want to achieve. For me, my ultimate goal is to reach FI.
There are several ways to achieve Financial Independence. Indeed, there is not a single path to go from where are you now to the point where you are financially independent. Of course, there are some similarities between some of these ways. But they are different enough. Most of the time, you will need to follow several of these ways to reach Financial Independence earlier.
In this post, we are going to see the different paths you can take to become financially independent. There are surely other ways to reach Financial Independence. But these are the main ways and the ones I know. If you know of another sure way to become financially independent, I would be glad to hear about it.
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Recently, my previous bank increased their fees. So I decided to change to a new bank account. After some research, I switched from PostFinance to Migros Bank. It may seem very easy to change your bank account. But there are many things you need to think about when you are doing it. Before I switched, I was thinking it was some work. But I was not thinking of everything I had to change. In this post, I am going to detail the things you have to think of for changing to your new bank account.
Another thing I tried to do during this change of bank account is to make it easier for the next time. I do not think it is a good thing to be tied to a single bank account. Next time, I want the process to be easier. So I am also going to share what I did to make it easier for next time. Hopefully, I will not have to change my bank account for a long time. But in the event of a change, I will be more prepared for it.
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In Switzerland, you can do a voluntary contribution to your second pillar. The second pillar is the Swiss equivalent of a 401(K). These contributions come with some tax advantages since you can deduct that from your income. Therefore, you have a return equal to your marginal tax rate. However, the money is then blocked into the second pillar. And the returns on that blocked money have been very low in recent years. Finally, you can only withdraw the money from your second pillar if you retire, if you buy a house or if you start a company.
One question that I actually ask myself these days is whether I should contribute money to my second pillar or continue investing in stocks. These days we are able to invest enough money each month that I am wondering about this. I could contribute some money to my second pillar and continue to invest enough in stocks. But is it a good solution. In this post, I am going to try to answer this question.
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October 2018 was a really nice and quiet month. It was not very eventful but we had several family events. And overall, we had a lot of fun and we did not spend a lot of money. Isn’t that the definition of a great month?
Compared to the expensive month of September 2018, we are much better off financially this month. We still had a few expenses that I would have liked to remove. But we are getting closer to a good budget month after month. In the future, there are some expenses that need to be reduced and some expenses that need to be eliminated. We managed to save more than half of our income this month!
While the month was very quiet for us, the stock market was far from being quiet. We arrived into correction territory for most of the major indexes. And our investment portfolio is down a lot this month. Since our portfolio is not yet huge, our net worth is still up since what we invested is more than what we spent. But this will not last. In the next correction, we will probably be down a lot more.
Continue reading “October 2018 – Quiet Month and Stock Market Correction”
I recently compared the different third pillars available in Switzerland. I quickly came to the conclusion that VIAC provides the best third pillars in Switzerland. VIAC third pillars are cheap and have a very good global diversification. Moreover, you can have up to 97% of your portfolio invested in stocks. Before, my only problem with VIAC was that they are mobile-only. But I need to go over this small problem and be smarter about it! And since PostFinance increased their fees, I decided to walk away from them earlier than I planned.
Now that I have chosen my new third pillar, it is time to do the transfer. For this, I first have to open an account at VIAC. Then, I have to transfer my existing third pillar money from PostFinance to VIAC. In this post, I am going to describe the steps necessary to open a VIAC third pillar. In a second time, I am also going to describe how to transfer an existing third pillar to VIAC.
As you will see it is incredibly easy. If you think it is difficult to open a new third pillar and transfer your existing third pillar money on it, then I hope I will convince you that it is trivial! You should not delay changing a bad third pillar for a good one by the fear that it is difficult. Because it is not!
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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.
Continue reading “Is DEGIRO really cheaper than Interactive Brokers?”
Have you ever wondered if you could learn money lessons from animated sitcoms? If you have, this post is for you! Today, we are going to learn money lessons from five South Park episodes!
This post is going to be very different from my usual posts. We are going to learn money lessons from animated sitcoms. I do not know you about you. But I really like American animated sitcoms. I watched several of them in their entirety. I cannot count the times I laughed uncontrollably at some of their episodes. Yes, they are incredibly dumb. It is the point. But that is what makes them incredibly funny! I like dumb things ;) I have watched the entire collection of South Park, Family Guy, The Simpsons, American Dad, and Rick And Morty. And I have watched many episodes many times. I even know some of them almost by heart.
So let’s see if we can learn something from these dumb episodes. The lessons learned can be about investing, personal finance or anything money-related. The first post will be about South Park. For this, I chose five episodes who can teach us something about money. If this post ends up being popular, I am going to try to make several of these posts. I already have several ideas for the next episodes.
The pictures in this post are the property of Comedy Central.
Continue reading “Money lessons from animated series – South Park #1”
My third pillar is invested at PostFinance in the PostFinance Pension 75 fund. This is a fund that invests mostly in Switzerland, with 75% of stocks. It is not a bad fund at all. However, a few things made me want to reconsider this third pillar.
First, the TER is a bit high. You pay 0.98% for holding this fund. It is not really bad since TER for retirement funds in Switzerland is quite high. This is already one of the best funds. But it is always better to reduce that TER even further when possible.
Secondly, PostFinance recently increased its account fees. Before, I was not paying anything for all my accounts at PostFinance. However, I will now have to pay 60 CHF per year to keep my money at PostFinance. Therefore, it is time to change. I am in the process of switching to Migros bank for my bank accounts. But I need to find a new third pillar provider to replace the one from PostFinance.
And also, it has been a while I wanted to study in details VIAC. This is a new provider of third pillars. It has some very interesting advantages.
In this post, I am going to try to find a new third pillar for me in Switzerland. Let’s see what Switzerland has to offer :)
Continue reading “Is VIAC the best third pillar in town ?”
I have used PostFinance as my bank for a very long time now. I have used it ever since my first pay, 14 years ago. For the most part, I am quite satisfied with it as a bank. I have a checking account and a few savings account on PostFinance. And I also have my third pillar on PostFinance. I was thinking of staying at PostFinance for most things except for my third pillar which I was thinking of moving to VIAC. However, it seems they decided otherwise.
Currently, I am not paying anything for my accounts. But PostFinance just announced that they are increasing their fees significantly (Source). Starting January 2019, I am going to have to pay 60 CHF per year for my account. This is not acceptable to me. The service will be exactly the same but for a higher price. I know this is not a lot of money. But this is the kind of things we should fight against. So I am going to change bank as soon as possible. In this post, I am going to discuss the new fees and the options I have as a new bank in Switzerland.
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When you are trying to reach Financial Independence (FI), the best way to do it is to increase your savings rate. Your savings rate is the amount of your net income that you are able to save. For this, you have two options. You can either spend less or grow your income. These two options will directly increase your savings rate. And as result, they will speed up your road to Financial Independence and make you reach FI faster.
So which should you focus on if you want to reach Financial Independence ? There are some advantages and disadvantages to each of them. They do not accelerate your path to FI at the same rate. Find out what you should do to become financially independent.
Continue reading “Grow your income or spend less to reach FI ?”