Our Financial Independence Journey: Monthly Update #40 (April 2020)

Update 40

Friends,

Another weird month with the coronavirus impacting most parts of our lives.

However, it will not impact this monthly update nor does it seem to impact my fellow personal finance bloggers’ investments.

Let’s get to it then!

Personal life: What happened in April?

April continued on the same path as March.

My wife and I have worked from home and got to spend quality time with our daughter. We have seen a minimum of people outside and being social beings this part has been tough.

In Denmark, the government has started slowly opening society again. This is expected to continue in the coming weeks. While it has been a gift to be more at home and spend family time, we are both looking forward to returning to more normal lives. We miss hanging out with our friends and family, hugging, eating out, traveling, and everything in between. We know it might take a while before we can do all of that again though.

I have managed to do more sports than I usually do and have smashed my previous 5k running record ๐Ÿ™‚ The hard part will be to keep it up once we soon return to working in an office.

Financials: How are we tracking on our FI goal?

What a month! It has been interesting to see how the markets have reacted to a crisis by a non-financial cause.

Our index investments dropped 20% in March, but have to a large degree bounced back this month. Obviously, this is helped by the enormous relief packages introduced globally keeping the economy running. If most governments had not reacted like this, we would have seen an even bigger bloodbath.

A positive aspect of the crisis is that we spent less money than we usually do. As you will see, this means that we run record-high savings rates these months. I am naturally excited about this. We should take all the learnings we can from this and implement it in the future without sacrificing life quality.

We ended up with a savings rate of 66%, which is well above our 12-month trend of 43%. This was due to my wife earning money again and lower coronavirus spending.

Our combined take-home income was at 84,779 DKK (13,043 USD). We managed to save 56,242 DKK (8,653 USD) resulting in the 66% savings rate.

Our net worth increased by 3.6% this month. We are still hovering just below that DKK 3 million mark that we have fought to break through since October. Will May be the month?

Our total combined net worth at the end of this month is 2,948,244 DKK (453,576 USD).

32% of our assets are liquid meaning they can relatively easily be converted to cash.

Let’s take a look at our investments.

I am thrilled that I decided to follow the FIRE principle of “time in the market, rather than timing the market.” After a crash in March, our stock indexes bounced back in April.

My P2P lending portfolio is riskier than it ever was before. Platforms going bankrupt and rumors of scams make me nervous about our investments in P2P lending.

Stocks indexes increased by -14.5% in April – nearly offsetting the 18% drop in March. Crossing fingers we are going up now (or wait, I don’t actually care as long as the 10+ year trend is upwards).

Our real estate net worth decreased by -2.3% as COVID-19 affects real estate prices negatively. I have read reports that the worst is yet to come for real estate owners, so I am prepared for some hits here.

Crowdlending increased by 0.9%.ย As already mentioned, I am afraid some of these platforms will go bankrupt or disappear with our money. Luckily, we only have 3% of our net worth in P2P lending.

Lastly, cryptocurrencies fell by -43%. This is an investment asset that I simply will never understand the mechanics of ๐Ÿ™‚

All our three financial independence goals increased this month after a tough last month:

  1. Three years’ expenses in savings: 65.4% (up from 57.0% last month)
  2. Optimistic FI goal: 43.1% (up from 39.0%)
  3. Traditional FI goal: 11.0% (up from 10.0%)

Blogging: How did key metrics develop on MoneyMow?

MoneyMow is stable at the moment with small increases.

The past month I spent quite some time on an expert post featuring some of the favorite European bloggers. It was fun making it, and I would like to continue making these posts.

The metrics on the blog last month were:

  • Visitors: Number of visitors was 7,417, and decreased by 4% compared to last month
  • Page views: Page views were 10,142and decreased by 1% compared to last month

Favorite posts of the month

My favorite posts of the month were:

  • The Escape Artist wrote a good post on the magic money tree and how it works during and after the coronavirus pandemic is over. I liked the down-to-earth way of explaining how the economy works during times like this – and the reminder to remain calm for now.
  • Route2FI gave us all a reminder only to grow wealth until we have enough – and to stop checking our damn stock accounts every day
  • … and although technically not a post, this new FIRE dating website is awesome for single people who want to find a financially responsible partner: https://firedating.me/ ๐Ÿ˜‰

Stay safe and keep investing ๐Ÿ™‚

Onwards,
Carl

2 comments

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2 comments

Andrew Marshall May 6, 2020 - 19:17

That’s an impressive savings rate, Carl. Everyone should have had a good month of saving due to staying at home – for those with jobs anyway. Cryptocurrencies are a long way from being considered a haven. They didn’t perform anything like gold. I don’t own any myself.

Reply
Carl Jensen May 7, 2020 - 08:10

Thanks, Andrew! Yes, you are right – high savings rates are a light in the darkness at the moment ๐Ÿ™‚

CCs are a purely speculative, ultra high-risk investment for me. I don’t think it will ever become anything significant (but I might be surprised).

Reply

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