October was a very exciting month. First of all on the personal side I have started a new job. I only work for my new company for a few weeks, but the experience so far is very positive. Even time is passing faster during the daytime when you enjoy what you are doing. From a financial perspective, we have received our first rental income. As our income stream is getting more diversified, I’m also making some changes in the monthly overview. Check out the details of October below!
Similarly to last month, we have not purchased any additional shares. The plan is to build up our emergency found up to EUR 5k as soon as possible and slowly increase it to 10k again. In addition, our other priority is to decrease our outstanding mortgage below 85% of our house price. Only when these two objectives are met we will continue to invest in the stock market.
Portfolio Fun Facts
In October VF Corporation has announced a dividend increase. The company has declared a quarterly dividend of USD 0.46 per quarter, which means a 9.5% dividend increase. Even though VFC represents only a small part of our portfolio, I’m always happy to hear such news.
Winners and Losers
The 3 best performing stocks of our portfolio were:
- Apple (+9.68%)
- VF Corporation (+9.56%)
- Ishares MSCI India ETF (+7.28%)
No matter whether you love or hate the new iPhone, Apple has hit an all time high. 9.68% increase within only one month is pretty impressive. This is definitely a nice correction after the bad performance in September.
The good news around VFC don’t stop with the dividend increase. The share price is also recovering nicely. I only regret that I didn’t buy more shares at the dip.
And finally wow! Would you imagine that a country specific ETF would ever end up in the top 3? Well, this time INDA did, with a stunning 7.28% increase. If you haven’t already done so, please check out this earlier article about why am I bullish on Indian stocks.
The 3 worst performing stocks in the portfolio were:
- HCP (-7.15%)
- Prospect Capital (-10.86%)
- AT&T (-14.09%)
Ouch, HCP has made it to the bad list the second time in a row. I have been very cautious with the whole REIT sector recently, but still hoping that next year I can buy into HCP around these (or even lower) levels. The dividend yield is already getting close to 6%.
Prospect Capital is really struggling during the last few months. Of course the dividend cut also didn’t help the share price. The current dividend yield is over 12% again, so I’m wondering how much further it can fall (of course if this lower dividend can be maintained).
AT&T had just a terrible month in October. The merger plans with Sprint is off the table and investors do not like it. The share price is around the bottom of the 52 week range. At the same time the dividend yield is getting close to 6%, so we might be reaching levels where investors would jump in.
The total value of our stock/bond portfolio is EUR 42,478.52 which represents a EUR 942.64 increase versus September. Once again, the further weakening EUR helped here, but it is still a nice increase considering that we didn’t buy anything.
Since last month I can add the rental property to the calculation. I will also include the market price (this year the purchase price) minus the outstanding mortgage on it. Even though the mortgage itself is on our primary residence, it is easy to track it as the extra mortgage we got is linked to a separate sub-account.
- Rental Apartment: EUR 44,560
- Garage: EUR 14,000
- Total: EUR 58,560
Monthly Passive Income
This is a new addition to the monthly overview. Previously I have published the dividend incomes on a quarterly basis. I will still do that for the better Q/Q comparison, but in addition I will publish a monthly passive income report. Our monthly passive income is made up of the monthly dividends, the rental income from the apartment and the rental income from the garage (currently EUR 70). Luckily in my spreadsheet I have always listed our dividend income on a monthly basis too, so it was easy to make this change historically.
What you can see from this chart is that in the first few months of the start of our FIRE journey there was growth in every month. This is because the portfolio value was so small that every additional purchase made a big difference. After a while it already became quite clear that based on the stocks in our portfolio, the first month of the quarter is always weak in terms of dividend income, and the last month is always the strongest one.
The previous rental incomes are related to the garage and from this month onward, the rental income from the apartment also appears. In November I am expecting a big jump on the chart…
As you might remember, we have closed September with only EUR 967.98. Comparing to that, the closing amount of October is EUR 4,621.65! What is the reason of this big increase? Well, in October I still received a partial salary from my previous company in relation to the last few days of September. They will also need to pay me quite a few days of unused holidays in November, so we will surely hit our first EUR 5,000 emergency fund goal shortly.
In addition to the above, my new salary is higher than the previous one. We will not inflate our lifestyle, instead the extra income will go against savings and supporting our FIRE goal.
Also, quite a big amount is related to my business trip that I had in October. I have used my Flying Blue American Express Credit Card for almost all spending during the trip. I have already received the refund from my company, while the payment to AMEX was not due yet. Quite a big portion of the expenses were related to flight tickets. One of the advantage of the Flying Blue credit card is that you can spread the fee of flight tickets over 3 months without any additional interest or fee. This is also a nice cash flow saving opportunity. If you live in the Netherlands and don’t have this credit card yet, I strongly recommend reading the below review:
The Road to One Million
In light of the above, let’s see where we are on the road to one million!
The total value is EUR 105,666, which represents a EUR 4,810 increase vs September, and it is also a new all time high! As you can see August and September were not the best, but finally we are continuing the upward trend.
How did October treat you? Please share your story in the comment section.
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Disclaimer: This post or any other information on the site is not intended to be and does not constitute financial advice or any other advice. I am solely sharing my idea, plan and progress on financial independence and early retirement.