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January 2020 Overview

The first month of 2020 is over! It also was my first full month as an entrepreneur, since November was part-time and December was full of holidays. And boy, what a month it was.

Finances

This was quite an interesting month, with finances going all over the place!

Business Income

As of this month I will be reporting on my business income every month. I feel, as a freelancer, that this is an integral part of my overall financial situation.

In January I made a taxable profit of just 5,134 euros. That might seem little and it is. However, this was not my real, commercial profit. The reason was that I was allowed to depreciate some assets (phone, laptop) for 100% in this month, which leads to a cost on paper (and less taxes!) but there’s no money flowing out of my pockets.

Without the depreciations, my income would have been 7,468 euros. That’s better! But still I made way more than what’s in the books. The reason for that is that I invoice every 14 days. Because of the holidays, I only invoiced once in January. When looking at billable hours, I made almost 16,000 euros in revenue.

In February I will invoice twice, and in March I will invoice three times. That means my fiscal income in those months will be higher, but overall it will average out to the money I bring in based on the billable hours.

For reporting purposes, I have chosen a goal of 100k in profits this year. That’s 8,333 per month. Looking at my fiscal income, I didn’t make it this month, but I know why and I know I will probably make it next month.

Personal Income and Expenses

I didn’t take a personal income from my business in January. I’m still building up cash reserves in the business account, and starting in February I will be paying myself a “salary” but still less than what I’m making. Once my business accounts are sufficiently full, I will take a regular “salary” plus bonuses if I happen to have more money on hand than I need in the business.

My personal income this month was just 353 euros, which was income from my podcast that I host together with Arjan. Income from freelancing and from this blog flows through my company, but the podcast is a personal thing, and we did make a little bit of money lately that we paid out to ourselves.

My total expenses were 1,366 euros, leaving me with a negative savings rate of -285.6%. That sounds horrible, but I will make up for that in the following months!

Investments and Net Worth

My investments went up quite a bit this month. Stocks were up a little bit, but crypto went up a lot!

DeGiro

My stock portfolio at DeGiro gained around 80 euros, which is almost flat. Stocks are valued quite high at the moment, but hey, who knows how far it can grow? I won’t stop investing.

My balance at the end of January is just over 22,200 euros which is split 90/10 between VWRL and IUSN. You can read how to invest in these two index fund ETFs here.

Use my link to sign up for DeGiro. It’s at no extra cost to you, and it helps me run this website. Just click the link of your country and give it a go! NL / DE / AT / ES / IT / PL / SE / UK

Next month I will be expanding my portfolio with two dividend-focused ETFs, trying to get to an 60/15/15/10 allocation of VWRL-TDIV-IDVY-IUSN.

Mintos

Mintos has been a place of mixed feelings. Originally, I’ve put in 4,000 euros to test this platform, and I have not been adding any more money towards it. A while ago I took out a thousand euros and this month I started taking out more.

I’m still interested in peer-to-peer lending, but with the recent crazy news in the space (with platforms disappearing) I want as little exposure as possible. Still, Mintos is considered one of the safest platforms, but for now I want to ride out the storm and just be in stocks.

If you want to invest in peer to peer lending via Mintos, please sign up using this link. It is completely free to you, and I might receive a small compensation to help me run this website. Win–win!

Grupeer

With Grupeer, I maintain the same strategy as with Mintos. I have put in 4,000 euros in total, and for now that’s enough. I will let my investments grow but not add any funds for now. For now I will not add any more funds, and take out the cash that is generated in the portfolio.

If you also want to invest in Grupeer, please consider doing so via my affiliate link. I might receive a small fee if you do, which helps me put out great content for you in return.

Crypto

My crypto portfolio did great this month, and went up from 10,350 euros to 14,650 euros. As I’m writing this, we’re even higher, and I think in a few days (if the market continues to climb) we’ll see some of my sell orders triggering again, which helps me divest away from crypto and into stocks.

I’m still working on selling off crypto to let it be less than 5% of my total net worth. It’s currently not profitable for me to sell, so I’ll wait it out a little bit longer.

Net Worth Progression

12 months rolling net worth

My net worth increased a lot this month, but that is a bit misleading. In January, I always correct the value of my apartment in the books. This year, it appreciated from 220k to 235k – which still is a fairly conservative valuation given that the same apartment (my neighbour’s) sold a few months back for 260,000.

Blogging

January 2020 was my best month on the blog ever, I got 11,384 views and 4,288 visitors this month.

My Google traffic exploded, compared to December. In January, 2,700 of my visitors came through the search engine, compared to 2,200 the month before.

The best-read new article in January was Looking Back at 2019.

The three best-read old articles are:

How did your month go?

6 thoughts on “January 2020 Overview”

    • Thanks! Yes it is. The real estate in my city is growing like crazy the last few years. I keep up with the values in my books, but I want to be conservative hence I don’t value my property at the actual market value but slightly below.

      Reply
  1. Regarding TDIV,
    From looking at its content from the data sheet, there 17.4% UK based stocks.
    https://www.justetf.com/servlet/download?isin=NL0011683594&documentType=MR&country=DE&lang=en
    Aren’t you afraid of this exposure due to the recent Brexit ?
    Also, it’s not on the DEGIRO ETF selection, hence transaction costs will be held on buying/selling operations.

    And for IDVY –
    https://www.justetf.com/servlet/download?isin=IE00B0M62S72&documentType=MR&country=DE&lang=en
    Why did you choose this ETF ?

    Where do you see the updated WOZ value ?
    I checked in this website, and 2019 values weren’t updated there yet.

    Reply
  2. Not OP — just a comment. TDIV is *not* UK based. Look at the ISIN code, it reveals it is actually Netherlands based. That said, the fund it traded at multiple exchanges, see https://www.justetf.com/de-en/etf-profile.html?query=NL0011683594&groupField=index&from=search&isin=NL0011683594&tab=listing for details. The fund is traded in GBP and USD on the London Stock Exchange. I believe however that it would be better to trade this one on Euronext Amsterdam instead, unless the spread is much higher there.

    Regarding WOZ, I believe there may be multiple municipalities still not reporting the new valuations. At least here in Diemen, I haven’t seen new information yet.

    Reply
    • Correct. TDIV is diversified, I don’t care about some GBP exposure. In the long run it will all even out. In my biggest investment (VWRL) there’s lots of currencies as well, mainly USD but also EUR, GBP, etc. It’s basically a best practice to be diversified, not just across companies and industries but also geographies and currencies.

      As for the property value, I didn’t take it from the WOZ (not in yet) but from the recent sales of apartments around me, and subtracting a euro amount to be conservative.

      Reply

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