What makes Vanguard unique?

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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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How Millennials Can Get Rich Slowly Book Review

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I just finished reading another tiny book. I read “If You Can: How Millennials Can Get Rich Slowly”, by William J. Bernstein, on my Kindle. This is a quite recent book, from 2014. This is a simple book about how you can get rich slowly. It is specially tailored for millennials. The book is organized around five different hurdles in order to reach the goal of getting rich. I was lucky enough to find it for cheap on Kindle.

There is something very important in this book. The author insists on the fact that you can only get rich if you really want to go there. You need to do the job. There is no get-rich scheme where you have nothing to do. You need to save money and invest it. If you are not willing to save more money, nobody will do it for you!

Even if this book is titled for millennials, everybody can profit from it. In this post, we are going to see what this book has to offer you.

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How much will you spend in retirement?

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If you want to reach Financial Independence and be able to retire, you need to know how much you are going to spend while retired. If you are retiring next year, it is really easy to know how much you are going to spend. However, if you are going to retire in a long time, it is not trivial to estimate your retirement expenses.

I have already talked about the different ways tor each Financial Independence (FI). Regardless of which way you choose to reach FI, you will need an accurate estimation of your retirement expenses. Without this, you will not be able to know how much of the road remains.

You could think that you are going to spend exactly the same as you spend now. But this is quite wrong. You need to take into account many things. You will normally pay fewer taxes. But your health expenses are likely to increase. And inflation will increase your expenses significantly over the years.

In this post, I am going to cover the main points that will impact your retirement spending. It is not a surefire way to estimate your retirement expenses. But it will definitely help if you want an accurate estimation.

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5 Sure Ways to reach Financial Independence

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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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7 Simple steps to change bank account

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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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Should you contribute to your second pillar ?

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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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How to build a nice shoe rack for 35$

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I have finally been able to do my second Do-It-Yourself (DIY) furniture. I have built a nice shoe rack. And I managed to keep it on a nice budget! I wanted to do this project for a long time now. But either I did not find the time or our budget was too bad to afford this. It is not a big price. But I did not want to make some months even worse than they already were.

But finally, here it is! Four months after our DIY bookshelf project, I have been able to build my second DIY furniture. Since Mrs. The Poor Swiss joined me in Switzerland, the number of shoes in our apartment exploded. I have only three pairs of shoes for the entire year. But Mrs. The Poor Swiss already has about ten pairs ;) So we needed a new shoe rack. And I wanted to build it myself :)

I managed to build a nice enough shoe rack for about 35 dollars. For the size of it and the look of it, I think it’s a really nice price. But I will let you judge. Remember that I am no expert in wood or furniture making! I am just starting out. So if you have any advice for me, I would really appreciate!

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Quickly learn Mandarin Chinese online with FluentU

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Since I have met Mrs. The Poor Swiss, I have tried to learn some Chinese. For now, it is pretty laughable. But I think I am making progress. Between Mrs. The Poor Swiss arrival in Switzerland and our wedding, I was not very astute to this. However, since September, I have decided to start again harder. I am now practicing every day for at least twenty minutes.

At first, I was thinking to enroll in a real course with a teacher. I checked the courses offered in my region. But I did not find some good options at a fair price. Most were either too expensive or too far away. I tried to enroll in a Migros course. But the course was canceled for lack of students and I did not want to wait several more months for the next course to start.

So I started looking at online solutions. Online solutions have the immense advantage that you can learn how long you want and at the time you want. There are many solutions that can be used for this. I have compared several of them and tried a few as well. In the end, I decided to go with FluentU. I am greatly satisfied with their offer. In this post, I am going to explain how I am using FluentU to learn Mandarin. Since they have several languages, you can also use it, in the same way, to learn German for instance.

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October 2018 – Quiet Month and Stock Market Correction

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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.

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How to open a VIAC third pillar in a few easy steps

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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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