Our wedding ceremony in Switzerland on a budget!

Posted on 6 Comments on Our wedding ceremony in Switzerland on a budget!

No, I am not writing the same post twice! You may remember, that we got married in Switzerland in May. At that time, we did a small civil wedding with my close family, followed by a small party at our places, joined by some of my friends. We did not have much time, so we decided on doing something really simple.

However, many of our friends and family could not come. So we decided to throw a bigger party to have more people join us. In this post, I am going to share what we did for our wedding. It was a great time for us and our guests! I am also going to discuss the costs, personal finance blog obligation!

Continue reading “Our wedding ceremony in Switzerland on a budget!”

Who is Warren Buffett ? The man and its investments

Posted on 2 Comments on Who is Warren Buffett ? The man and its investments

If you are following personal finance blogs or podcast, you probably have heard the name of Warren Buffett. He is very famous in the community. Warren Buffett is a very successful investor. He made a fortune from nothing. This the first reason he is famous in the community. The second reason is that he advised his fortune to be invested in index funds once he passes away. This is one of the few big investors who is supporting index funds. Finally, he also beat the market for many years. Which is something very difficult.

Being one of the richest persons in the world also helps to make him a very well-known figure. In this post, we are going to look at the history of Warren Buffett first. Some numbers may not seem much in the early years. You need to take into account inflation. 1000 dollars 70 years ago are worth around 10’000 dollars now. We are especially going to focus on the biggest investment he did. Then, I am going to talk about some important traits of the man. This is going to be a long post ;)

Continue reading “Who is Warren Buffett ? The man and its investments”

Emergency Fund – Do you really need one ?

Posted on 4 Comments on Emergency Fund – Do you really need one ?

If you are interested in personal finance, you should probably have come across the term Emergency Fund. An emergency fund is simply some money, available directly, that you can use in case of emergency. Most people will advise you to get an emergency fund. And they will insist heavily on this subject.

It is an interesting subject since not everybody agrees on it. Some people have an emergency fund that can cover one year of expenses. And some people think you do not need one. Personally, I do not think an emergency fund is a bad thing. But you should be aware of its cost. It also has disadvantages. And you may not need an emergency fund as big as some people tell you. I think that too much people put too much emphasis on the emergency fund. In this post, we are going to see both sides of the story. We are going to see in details what an emergency fund is.

Continue reading “Emergency Fund – Do you really need one ?”

My Employee Stock Purchase Plan (ESPP) and Strategy

Posted on 4 Comments on My Employee Stock Purchase Plan (ESPP) and Strategy

My new job at Pied Piper is offering my an Employee Stock Purchase Plan (ESPP). This is the first time I am working for a company that offers such a plan. As such, I have been researching my options for how to handle this ESPP. Basically, an ESPP is a plan to use some of your income to get shares of your company at discount price.

In this post, I am going to present my ESPP plan. I am also going to present many strategies that exist to decide when to sell shares coming from an ESPP. Finally, I am going to present the strategy I decided to use for my ESPP shares.

Continue reading “My Employee Stock Purchase Plan (ESPP) and Strategy”

How to get Swiss driving license as a foreigner

Posted on 4 Comments on How to get Swiss driving license as a foreigner

Mrs. The Poor Swiss, my wife, recently started the procedure to get her driving license in Switzerland. The procedure is not too difficult. But not all the steps are obvious in the process. My wife is Chinese and she already had a driving license from China. This is what is going to interest us in today’s post.

In this post, I am going to explain the different steps in getting a Swiss driving license for a foreigner. First, it depends if you already have a driving license in your country or not. If you already have a driving license, it will depend on your country. Since Mrs. The Poor Swiss is Chinese, this post will have a Chinese bias but I am going to try to cover other countries as well.

Continue reading “How to get Swiss driving license as a foreigner”

DEGIRO increased prices for securities, options and futures

Posted on 6 Comments on DEGIRO increased prices for securities, options and futures

I have been using DEGIRO for many months now. And I just got the news that DEGIRO will increase its fees for securities, options and futures. At first, I was afraid that this would increase my fees for investing. Fortunately, it turns out this is not the case. So far, I have been quite satisfied with my experience with DEGIRO.

The increase is due to new European Regulations (MIFID II). These regulations are here to better protect investors. And also to improve the efficiency of the stock market. These rules apply to investment firms and trading platforms, such as DEGIRO. They increase the requirements on the internal execution of client orders. This lead to increased costs for DEGIRO on the execution of orders. They decided to adjust their fees because of this.

Three products will become more expensive. Securities (except for US and Canadian markets) will see 0.018% extra fee. Futures and options will see a 0.15 EUR extra fee. That means that Swiss securities are now 5 CHF + 0.058%. And an option on Eurex is now 0.90 EUR per contract.

This is not a huge difference. But it is still noticeable for people using these products. Fortunately for me, I am only buying ETFs. And the price of ETFs did not change! For passive investor using only ETFs, this will not make any difference!

The new tariffs will be active from August 15th. However, DEGIRO is saying it is temporary. This should last at most 18 months. In fact, they are looking for options on how to make it back to the previous low. I think that shows that they are really committed to keeping the fees very low. While still keeping the same level of service. We will see how that goes. I will keep you informed anyway.

Conclusion

The most important fact is that the new increase in fees does not impact investors in ETFs. It only impacts investors that focus on buying stocks and bonds on the stock market. Since I do not plan to do that any time soon, I am not worried about this increase in fees.

What do you think of these new fees? Does that impact you?

July 2018 – Getting back up to speed

Posted on 12 Comments on July 2018 – Getting back up to speed

After a disappointing June 2018 month, we managed to get back up to speed in July 2018. We had some strong savings this month. Nothing extraordinary, but pretty good still. We were able to increase our net worth significantly.

Since today is Swiss national day, Happy National Day to all my Swiss readers.

We went to Orléans one week this month. I also spent one week in the army. It was my last five days to serve in the army! Other than that, nothing special happened. It was a good month overall. Let’s go into the details now :)

Continue reading “July 2018 – Getting back up to speed”

Target Retirement Funds – Too much simplicity ?

Posted on Leave a comment on Target Retirement Funds – Too much simplicity ?
This post is part 9 in the series Investing – All about investing.

We have talked about many things now in the Investing series. We have covered index funds in details. Finally, we have covered several portfolios such as the Three-Fund portfolio and its variants and a few other lazy portfolios. But there is something we have not covered yet. It is the Target Retirement Funds.

Many people are investing for retirement. They may know for instance that they want to retire in 20 years. Given that and their age, it is likely that their allocation to bonds will increase over the years until retirement. Most people will do that by changing their allocation every few years. Either by rebalancing or by injection of new capital. But there is another way. Target Retirement Funds will automatically change their bond allocation over time.

In this post, I am going to cover Target Retirement Funds. We are going to see what is good with them and what is not.

Continue reading “Target Retirement Funds – Too much simplicity ?”

More lazy portfolios

Posted on 6 Comments on More lazy portfolios
This post is part 8 of 8 in the series Investing – All about investing.

In the previous post of the Investing series, we discovered the Three-Fund Portfolio and its variants. It is a simple portfolio made of only three funds. It is really simple to manage yet very effective and diversified. We also saw the two-fund and one-fund portfolio. They are even more simple and yet have many advantages. But there are more lazy portfolios that are available.

People have proposed many more portfolios over the years. In this new post, I am going to cover more of these portfolios. They are called lazy portfolios because they are all using index funds. And you can kee the allocation of the different funds for many years. Instead of choosing stocks, which is difficult, you choose stock funds or bond funds. You can either use mutual funds or Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) depending on what you prefer and what you have access to.

Continue reading “More lazy portfolios”

The three-fund portfolio – Keep it simple

Posted on 2 Comments on The three-fund portfolio – Keep it simple
This post is part 7 of 7 in the series Investing – All about investing.

In the previous posts of the Investing series, we have covered the basics of the stocks and bonds. We also have covered index funds, in the form of mutual funds and Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs). You should now have a good idea of how you want to invest. The problem remains on how to invest! One solution to this problem is the Three-Fund-Portfolio.

This is a very important question and one that you should spend some time thinking about. There is no one-size-fits-all investment in my opinion. There are many kinds of investment that work. For some of them, you will need some knowledge and time to make it work. The three-fund portfolio is a very simple portfolio made of three funds that should work for most people.

In this post, we are going to cover two things. How much bonds you should have and what is the Three-Fund Portfolio. Since there are also some direct variations of the three-fund portfolio, I am also going to cover them!

Continue reading “The three-fund portfolio – Keep it simple”