First six months of blogging – Lessons learned

Posted on Categories Blogging, Goals24 Comments on First six months of blogging – Lessons learned

I just realized that this blog has been already been alive for more than six months already! Happy blogging anniversary The Poor Swiss!

The first post on this blog is from October 10. At that point, I hosted it directly on wordpress.com. It has only been self-hosted since March 2 with bluehost.

I started blogging here to motivate me to save more each month. In the beginning, my finances were in really bad shape. I had to reduce a lot my expenses and I was also lucky to increase my income. Since the beginning, my savings rate have increased. March 2018 was my best month with more than 46% savings rate! I am starting to get more confident about my finances. Of course, it is still not perfect, but it is better. I want to improve them progressively over time. I do not think there is a perfect budget. One can always improve his budget.

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The three pillars of Retirement in Switzerland – 2. The second pillar

Posted on Categories FIRE, Investment, Switzerland6 Comments on The three pillars of Retirement in Switzerland – 2. The second pillar
This post is part 2 of 4 in the series The three pillars of Retirement in Switzerland.

 

We have studied the first pillar and Switzerland three pillars system in the previous post in the series. Now, it’s time to see the second pillar. The first pillar cover the basic needs of everybody. The second pillar is here to cover a larger part of your salary than the first one. If you never worked, you’ll never pay anything for this and you’ll never receive anything from this. It is significantly more complicated than the first pillar. In this post, I’m going to try to give you as much important details as possible on the second pillar. I’m also going to try to help understand what you can do to improve it.

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The three pillars of Retirement in Switzerland – 1. The first pillar

Posted on Categories FIRE, Investment, Switzerland13 Comments on The three pillars of Retirement in Switzerland – 1. The first pillar
This post is part 1 of 4 in the series The three pillars of Retirement in Switzerland.

 

Switzerland retirement system is based on a system with three pillars. Each pillar is paid in a different manner and will cover different needs. If you are working in Switzerland, it’s important to know these three pillars. This will help you plan your retirement.

In a series of posts, I’ll try to give you enough information on these three pillars. The goal is that you have a good understanding on how they work. And also what you can do with them to improve your retirement. In this first post of the series, I’ll introduce the system and talk about the first pillar.

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How to integrate second pillar in your net worth

Posted on Categories Budget, FIRE, Goals, Investment, Switzerland8 Comments on How to integrate second pillar in your net worth

I have monitored my net worth since October 2017. But until now I have not considered my second pillar into it. Why? Because I do not get a monthly report on my second pillar. However, I do not really need this monthly report since I can extrapolate from the yearly results. I just was too lazy before to do it.

So, I decided to stop being lazy and do it. In this post, we are going to see why you should integrate your second pillar into your net worth. And we are going to see how to integrate it. It is very simple. And it will make your net worth calculation much more accurate. I believe it is very important to have an accurate view of your net worth.

If you do not know your net worth, first take a look at how to calculate your net worth. I strongly encourage everybody to compute his net worth. It is an important indicator, especially if you want to become financially independent.

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How to see total result on the mobile Degiro application

Posted on Categories Broker, Tips2 Comments on How to see total result on the mobile Degiro application

In my review of DEGIRO, I mentioned that something I really did not like was that it was not possible to see the total result of the position in the mobile application. The application is only able to display the daily result of each position of your portfolio. Personally, I do not really care about the daily variations of my portfolio. I am much more interested in the total results of my portfolio. This is what most long-term investors should care about.

However, I just found out it was, in fact, possible to see this information on the DEGIRO mobile application. It is just not really intuitive. Or maybe, it is just me. But once you know it, it is really easy to use. Since it was not easy for me to find it, I am going to post my findings for all of you!

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March 2018 Update – Excellent month

Posted on Categories Frugality, Goals, Monthly, Spending8 Comments on March 2018 Update – Excellent month

It is now time to make the point about March 2018. Compared to the very poor February month, March 2018 is a great month :)

Not a lot of things happened this month. But that is not bad. I like quiet months. And I was able to save a large part of my income this month. This is great after a bad month.

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My review of Degiro as a broker for Swiss investor

Posted on 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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Degiro updated its Cash Funds structure

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DEGIRO just updated a few things about the cash you hold in your account.

Since Netherlands investment firms are not permitted to hold cash, Degiro invest the cash from your account in a money market fund. There is a separate money market fund for each currency that you can hold with Degiro. Money market funds are principally investing in government bonds, with very high quality. However, the interest rates are very low and even negative for many European countries. Therefore, some money market funds, such as the EUR or CHF cash funds, have a negative interest rate.

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How to calculate your Financial Independence (FI) Ratio

Posted on Categories FIRE, Goals14 Comments on How to calculate your Financial Independence (FI) Ratio

For the first time, I have computed my Financial Independence (FI) ratio. In this post, I am going to explain to you what is FI and how to compute your FI ratio.

First, what is Financial Independence (FI)?

It is when you have enough money to sustain your lifestyle without working. For this, your wealth must generate income. And this income must be greater than your expenses. The main way to generate income from your wealth is simply to withdraw from it. However, you need to withdraw little enough to sustain your wealth for the longest time. This is only one of the ways to reach Financial Independence. This is the most used way. Some people prefer to focus on passive income. And some people focus entirely on real estate to become financially independent.

There are many reasons to become Financially Independent. It is currently very popular on the internet. Especially with the Financial Independence and Retire Early (FIRE) philosophy. The idea is to become Financially Independent as soon as possible and retire early.

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Changed the accounting of my life insurance

Posted on Categories Budget, Investment7 Comments on Changed the accounting of my life insurance

In Switzerland, the third pillar of retirement can be either in a bank account or in the form of a life insurance. The bank account option is the obvious solution. This is a special form of life insurance. You will get some part of your capital back at the retirement age (65 years old currently). In the case you die, your spouse will get the capital. Moreover, most of these insurance policies also cover the case where you cannot pay any more. Not if you stop paying, of course. But if you become handicapped or unable to work. In this case, the insurance will cover your fee while you can’t work.

I am not sure this is a good deal for everybody. But I think it is a good deal for me. My future spouse does not yet work and will not have a full retirement pension once she retires. Thus, if I pass away, she will have a good cover from my life insurance. For some people, it is also a good way to force them to contribute to their retirement savings.

I pay 300 CHF each month for this insurance. Until now, I have always counted that as an expense in my budget. But, I now realize it is not really an expense. It is similar to the payment I do to my bank third pillar. And I do not account for these as expenses. This is an investment. So, I decided to remove this recurring expense from my budget. Since we are close to the beginning of the year, I also decided to remove it from January 2018 and February 2018. This means that my savings rate is better in these two months. It is now 33% in January and 4.2% in February. I will update the Savings Rates shortly.

However, my Net Worth does not get better since the current value of the insurance is 0 CHF. If you take out the insurance in the early years, you lose everything. In fact, I will start accounting the insurance as Net Worth in September 2018. I believe this makes my accounting better and more accurate.

What about you? How do you account for your retirement life insurance? Do you have one?