The Little Book of Common Sense Investing – Book Review

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Since I started to pay closer attention to my finance, I have read a few books about investing and finance. I am going to review them on this blog. I am going to explain what the book is about and also what I liked about the book. And of course, what I did not like about it.

The first book I have read is “The little book of Common Sense Investing”, by John C. Bogle. It is coming from the founder and former CEO of the Vanguard Mutual Fund Group. John Bogle is a great man and the creator of the first index fund. A lot of people in the Bogleheads community are recommending this book, so I decided to give it a try.

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December 2017 Update + 2018 perspectives

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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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November 2017 Update

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November 2017 is over, it is time for another monthly update. After a bad October 2017, I have seen some improvements.

November 2017 was not bad in terms of savings, but it was a bit lower than I was expecting. The savings rate for the month is 14.25%. It is not perfect, but still better than last month. My goal is to go to 25%. But I probably will need a salary raise to go there (I am still gonna try without the raise).

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Save Money on Rent by Asking for a Reduction!

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Sometimes, saving some money simply means asking for a reduction! I have asked for a reduction in my rent. And with this, I am going to save more than 50 CHF every month!

I just got confirmation from my building manager that they accepted the reduction of rent that I asked for. I am quite satisfied with the answer. However, they have been incredibly slow in answering me. They answered more than two months after my request… In Switzerland, most building managers are getting worse and worse.

With this reduction, my base rent goes from 1175 CHF to 1122 CHF. This will only start at the next term of my lease, on April 1st. But this means that next year, I will save 53 CHF * 9 = 477 CHF. And I will save even more the following year since all months will be lower :)

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How to Open a DEGIRO account and start trading

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Having decided to start investing in Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), I needed a broker account. I decided to open a DEGIRO account. In this post, I am going to go over the reasons for this choice and over how to open a DEGIRO account and start trading.

DEGIRO is a great broker for European people. It is well priced and offers a great choice of investment products.

I will only be investing in low-cost passive index Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs). So my choice of DEGIRO as a broker is highly tied to my investment strategy. It may not be the best choice for active investors.

Unfortunately, we do not have access to good passive funds in Switzerland, such as Vanguard. So we invest in ETFs instead. It means Swiss investors need a broker account to invest.

So, let’s see how to choose a broker and how to open a DEGIRO account.

Investing involves risks of losses. Make sure you are aware of that before you start investing.

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The Poor Swiss blog

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Welcome to The Poor Swiss blog :)

If you arrived here through The Blog Archives, you have now reached the very first post from The Poor Swiss blog. On the other hand, if you are just starting reading through my posts, you can take a look at my Introduction for New Readers.

This is the first post on the blog The Poor Swiss. On this blog, I talk about many subjects:

  • Financial Independence: Learn how to become free with your money!
  • Investing: How to invest your money to get more income.
  • Budget: How to account for your expenses and earnings and track your performance.
  • Frugality: How to save money on your expenses.
  • And many more subjects!

The year I created this blog, in 2017, my savings were getting worse and worse every month. This was due to many big expenses such as plane tickets and unexpected health care. But this made me realize that I am not saving enough at all. Although I have a good salary and live quite well, I have a tendency to spend too much.

In 2016, my savings rate was around 18%. This is not really bad. But still lower than I would have liked. But in 2017, my savings rate is down to around 7%. This is way too low and made me realize that my expenses are way too high. Moreover, the last two months have been negative months although not by a long shot. This month is also likely to end up being negative. Given my salary, I should easily be able to save at least 25% of my income each month.

Since this point, I started reading many personal finance blogs and websites. I have learned a lot of things about investments and spending. In the coming months, I plan to put these lessons to work. My main change now will be to reduce my spending. I will then continue to learn about investments and I will try to put my money to work. For now, I did not start investing at all. But I plan to fix this. I believe it is important to start improving the budget first before starting to focus on investment.

For some context, I am a 31 years old software programmer. I just finished my Ph.D. in Computer Science and I am still working in my school. I live in a small village in the countryside area of the Fribourg state, in Switzerland. Currently, I plan to stay in that area for many years. But I am hoping to find a better job next year once my contract with my school is finished.

My main goal with this blog is to motivate myself to improve my finances. But I am also going to write personal finance tips and in-depth analysis of some important investing topics. I am hoping that you will learn from my mistakes and improve your finances with me :)

And do not forget that I am not very good with my money, so do not follow everything I do. But you may try to learn from my mistakes. I am not a financial advisor. You should only take financial decisions after having consulted many points of view on the subject.