Sunday, March 4, 2018

My index fund investing

I come from the lovely country of Sweden and as such grew up at a time when investing in funds became common mans' practice, partially due government incentives and a few innovative online brokers.

As I have written before, index investing should be the basis of your investments - it is simple, low maintenance, generates low costs etc.

Long story short, while I do have a (for me) large equity holding, I am also invested in a few low cost index funds. I could put it all into a global equity fund, but choose to tilt a bit more towards my native Sweden as well as Europe to reduce the often 50%+ dominance of one market (US) typically found in  global equity funds.

The funds in which I am invested (and intend to keep on being are):

- Avanza Zero (no fee!) - follows the 30 largest shares on the Stockholm exchange

Handelsbanken Sverige OMXSB Index (0,22% fee) - follows a broader index than the fund above; all on the Stockholm stock exchange

- SPP Aktiefond Global (0,33% fee) - global index fund - Länsförsäkringar Global Indexnära (0,22% fee) - another global index fund

- SPP Aktiefond Europa (0,24% i avgift) - European index

So far this year, the return on this portfolio is negative, something I of course hope will change over time.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Savings quota in February

After a rather bad (negative!) savings quota in January, last months' quota became significantly better, beating my target of 30% (which is for the entire year, so need to "catch up" during the year).

With my 3% "safe" withdrawal rate I can now finance 46% of current lifestyle (based on last three months expenses) - not too bad.

Cost coverage and savings quota (click for larger picture).

If we were to push for lower spending (or use a higher withdrawal rate), we would be covering significantly higher percentage of our costs, but we are not into really pushing for early retirement at just any cost (haha!), at least not now.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Targets 2018

For the year of 2018 I have a few fitness and rowing related targets:

1) Row 5 km ergometer in under 19:30.

2) Row over 1 000 km (on water)

3) Run 10 km in under 57 minus

4) Weigh 96 kg or less

These will all be a challenge for me and I hope to be able to report back that as I achieve them throughout the new year!

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Lost over 10 kilos!

This is not the most active blog, but I hope to improve on that in the future.

Since I wrote list, I am happy to report that I have managed to loose about 10 kilos of weight! I feel very proud over this achievement and I also feel a lot healthier. Most of my clothes now fit better and some do not fit at all, as they are now a bit too large. This might of course necessitate an investment in the near future. On the other hand, clothes I could wear before, are now possible to put on again.

So, how did I achieve this? I am sorry to say, but there is no magical trick. I have done a few lifestyle changes in order to make this more sustainable. In short:

1) Not driving to/from work.
Most often I use public transport. Only doing this requires a few thousand steps (to walk to/from bus stop etc.). A few times I have even jogged home from work (around 6 kilometres).

2) Eating healthier
Often I have brought my lunch and snacks to work instead of going out to eat. Not only is this healthier (of course depending on what you bring), but also cheaper.

3) Exercising more
I have found my way back to regular exercise. I again do some regular rowing, running (well, let's be honest and call it jogging) and walking. This has also turned out to be a good way to handle relatively high level of stress at work.

All in all, no enormous changes and I feel healthier, happier and have been able to save some money!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016


Sadly I have to report that, while I am making progress on my own burped challenge, the weight curve is going the wrong direction. I had to note down an all time high of 107.6 kg the other day!

Since I am convinced that "running" (more like elephant jogging) anything over 3 km would ruin my knees at this weight, I did some mountainbiking this weekend, burning almost 2000 kcal over two sessions. The key to weight reduction is not exercise, but rather changing the food intake and there I still have plenty of room for improvement. I just like to eat. A lot.

The exercise does however reduce work related stress levels and also makes me feel more fit than I otherwise would, so I will not be giving up on this. I should get back on the rowing machine, as this is also suitable when overweight and provides both aerobic and muscular training for the whole body. For some reason I am hesitating to get back on the machine, as I know it will be painful to realize how unfit I am when comparing to my previous times, but one has to (re)start from somewhere.

This week I will therefore commit to doing at least two 30 minute sessions on the rowing machine.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Index investing should be the basis of your equity investment

Via an article in The Economist (link) we are once again reminded of some old truths when it comes to investing and funds. That the mutual fund industry continues to provide funds with relatively high expense ratios (in my anything over 1% is excessively high) means that there is a demand for them.

Of course I am not suggesting we should forbid them, but for the average rookie investor (like myself) it can be valuable to be reminded of a few "truths":

- then bank is seldom your advisor and more often interested in selling something to you

- running a fund handling 10 million or 1000 million does not generate a lot of additional cost for the bank, so the more people they can convince to invest in their "unique" (read high cost) funds, the more profit they will make at a diminishing cost-effort

- the basis of all investment portfolios (at least if you have decided to go into equities) should be low cost (less than 0.2% annual fee) index funds

- it is impossible to determine which funds will over time outperform index - even for those who have done so in the past

- time in the market is more important than exactly which funds you choose

- what seems like a small difference in fees, will over time make a large difference in what you end up with

So, if you are into investing, think for yourself, take advice from people who do not have a vested interest. There are plenty of bloggers out there and also many good forums, e.g. the Bogleheads forum.

While I do own some stocks and mutual funds, I generally avoid high cost funds and instead opt for the cheaper index like ones as basis of my investments.

How do you invest?

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Burpee challenge

In my attempt to get fitter I have set myself a new target: Be able to do 50 6-stroke burps by Christmas (yes, 2016, of course).

As of today I managed to do 14 in one setting. This is not very impressive in my own opinion and I have let myself sink into too bad shape.

I believe this is a great exercise and done right has very low potential for injury. Please see video below for how to do this exercise correctly. Please note the low impact in all the movements and that the hands actually come down on the ground quite close to each other to avoid shock to shoulders etc.

I am for now skipping the jump (as I am too heavy), but hope to add that in the future.

The plan until Christmas is to do burpees in one or more sessions for three days, allow one day of rest  (from burpees) and gradually increase the amount I can do.