Monday, January 13, 2014

Trust Buddy Results #1

As a new user of P2P investing, I spent quite a bit of time looking for people's personal experiences with the platform. I found that there were very few examples of how people were really doing with their results and interest gained, so I have decided to add my own small exposure to the blogosphere. Below is a snapshot of my account and the gradual rising of interest earned.

I am quite pleased with the result thus far. My initial deposit was 10,000 SEK, and the account value is now 11,021. A little over a 10% gain in 4 months. It would be nice if the trend continues this way, but it is quite early on and losses can come at any time. I hope everyone else is having a good time with P2P/TB as I am, and if not please let me know so the world can get a clearer picture of TrustBuddy.


Friday, January 3, 2014

2014 Goals and Ignorance About the Swedish Housing Market

I have begun to have a clearer picture as to what I can expect from month to month concerning my abilities to save and plan to include my monthly savings rate in my updates of my progress in building wealth. If I can keep up the current pace, I should be able to meet my previous stated goal to have 300000 SEK by my 30th birthday (in June). Looking further down the road, I have the goal of breaking the 400000 mark by years end.

Additionally I would like to understand more about the benefits of purchasing an apartment over continuing to rent here in Sweden, mostly I am ignorant about the tax deductions it will allow me to have concerning interest from the mortgage. If anyone can point me to a resource that can explain this, I would welcome the help.

I have ambitions to go the unconventional route and save up the entire amount for a home purchase, and I figure it will take more years than the majority of people would think is comfortable as well as ill practice as most believe it is cheaper to purchase than to rent for so long. Although not being a slave to a bank is a realm of freedom I have come to love and have a big problem borrowing millions and only paying the interest like so many Swedes have informed me they do.


Saturday, November 9, 2013

I Lost My Virginity

My "Utdelning" virginity that is. Utdelning might be an obvious term for Swedes, but for us foreigners trying to integrate into this beautiful country, learning words is a daily struggle. Well, to no avail, Utdelning is the Swedish word for Dividend.

That's right, I lost my dividend viginity last night, and Oscar Properties (OP) was my mistress. I had planned this day for some time now and wanted it to be perfect. I enjoyed every minute of my courtship with her, from the first day we met this past August, I knew she was going to be the one for me. I was hesitant at first to push the button and say something, but I eventually did mid October. Her nine percent yield was irresistible and I had to pull the trigger.

The relationship was not very exciting if I am to be honest, and not much action occurred until last night, although we did hit a rough patch this past week when she lost some value. But yesterday made up for it.  I returned home from work and planned to check my account as I expected it would happen, but quickly got swept up in an evening walk with my family. We swung by Coop, and Systembolaget, and I was able to pick up some wine for my night with OP.

To not bore you with the details, I received an utdelning of 600kr from 50 shares last night, and it was everything that I imagined it to be. OP's overall share price fell, but as I have read this usually happens when a dividend is paid out. I am curious if anyone else has a story about their experience of their first time purchasing a dividend paying stock, I hope it was as exciting as my first time, and please tell me that it feel this good every time ;-)


Thursday, October 17, 2013

America Should Pay Employees Like Sweden

I have to say, getting paid once a month is strange. At least from the perspective of an American living in Sweden. Maybe someone would get paid twice a month in the states, and more commonly people are paid every week. I am curious as to if this has always been this way, or has this changed sometime in the recent history of the economy, maybe someone can chime in here. Even more interesting here is that even the hourly paid employees in Sweden get a lump sum once a month, I say this because maybe a salaried employee in the States would get paid monthly, I have no clue though.

But this getting paid on the 25th of the month was a huge blessing in disguise as it has forced me to be on a budget. When you know that you have to make a sum of money last for weeks, and not just days, you have to be wise. Not only that, you get the encouragement of seeing a larger sum of money in your account which can in itself lead to pushing someone to "pay themselves first" aka "save". In my case this has been exactly what has happened. I began thinking in thousands of dollars and not hundreds, and hopefully soon my mind will be more inclined into thinking in 10s of thousands :-)

So, a big thumbs up to Sweden and designating the 25th as the day for Pay, it has done wonders to my finances, and hopefully others don't take for granted the patience that is imposed on them.


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

300,000 by 30

I have set a short term goal that might or might not be attainable depending on how a few things turn out over the next few months. At the end of this month, savings and investments should be floating right around 200,000, which is a nice number :-) My birthday is in June and that is when I will be turning 30 years old. So I saw it as fitting if I could try to get this number past the 300,000 mark by that time.

(Not my son)

A few things will be standing in the way of reaching this goal. Mainly this will be the unknown factor of the changes that will occur in monthly expenses due to my son being born this past Monday! This has been an extremely joyous week with plans to have family fly in from the US to visit the new family member, which I will be assisting financially. Thank you Sweden for a great experience of having a child in your country, and a feather in the cap was the fact we walked out of the hospital and patient hotel without having to pay a dime.

Here is to financial goals and the birth of a beautiful baby boy!


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Death By A Thousand Cuts

What I mean by this term "Death By A Thousand Cuts" might not make sense out of context, but basically it refers to how people typically get into debt, or use all of their disposable income without saving any of it from month to month. Slowly but surely, years down the line, a person will find themselves in a financial rut that seems impossible to get out of. 

A question to my audience is what does the average Swede that are in this situation spend their money on that leads to this rut? As an American here, I really don't see where people would really feel the urge to spend, spend, spend. I can see it happening easer in the states since restaurants, gas, entertainment is relatively cheap compared to income. But here it seems like Swedes do this maybe once a month. So if my view is not too wrong, where are these Swedes spending their disposable income?


Sunday, September 8, 2013

My Swedish Mustache

Dear Swedes,

Allow me to introduce myself and this newly established site.

I am a 29 year old American from Michigan, and quite new to Sweden. I have only been here since 2010, but have grown in many ways since my arrival, financially, personally and the number in my family. I came here because of love and studies, and completed a masters degree at Lund University and quite soon after, I was married to my Swedish wife. We are expecting our first child this month and ever since we knew of his/her existence, it has urged me to get aggressive concerning my finances, and to grow a "stash" of cash that will work for me in the future.

As for the details of our situation, we both have had a typical job paying an average Swedish salary (between 20,000-25,000) for the past year, and have been quite good at trying to save more than 50% of our take home pay. Unfortunately we have not known the best way to invest our savings until I began searching the web for like minded "frugal" people.

The origin of the "Mustache" theme comes from a great web site called Mr. Money Mustache, and I highly recommend anyone interested in learning how he was able to retire at the age of 30 to read some of his posts. He has an amazing outlook on life and finances and was the one that encouraged me to grow my own "stache" here in Sweden. In reality I do have facial hair and my mustache could be much more impressive if I put work into it (literally and financially).

After much reading, and google translating of Swedish blogs and websites, I have found a great community of like minded people documenting their journeys online, and have been encouraged tremendously by people such as ägamintid, Xperimentinvest, and Chrimatistikos just to name a few.

I am happy to join the many Swedish savers out there and I am excited to begin growing my Swedish mustache with all of you.