journal of wood

Where are you and where are you going?
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Re: journal of wood

Post by singvestor » Thu Feb 23, 2017 2:40 am

Hi Wood, I am glad things are improving and that you are slowly moving out of the turbulence and things are getting better! Keep your head up!

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Re: journal of wood

Post by wood » Tue Feb 28, 2017 4:38 am

February 2017, this year's financial disaster
In February I have spent 35k NOK. I spend 10-13k in a normal month.
My paid income was 27k from work and 1k from investments.
Makes for a savings rate of -30% thereabouts in February.
Had to write it to believe it. But I knew I was getting overboard.
I have spent way more than needed on furniture and stuff for the apartment since last week, and I ate junk food 7 days straight and I went out for drinks with friends. I think the reason for my overspending is an attempt at trying to get done quickly (on-the-go meals and not willing to wait/research for good furniture deals) and also to feel better. And I will admit that it feels good. But it quickly wears off and now I feel the urge to spend more. Its almost like a drug. I've told myself that once February is over, its back to normal again. I have everything I need now. Well, except speakers. Hey, it's still Feb 28th :D But seriously, I will get back to normal now.

The new apartment part 2
Ok, so a couple more downsides with the apartment.
I forgot to mention there is no shower. This is no problem for me. I do my workouts at my workplace and there is a shower and even sauna there. I just use the bathroom sink to do a quick morning wash. I'm an evening shower kinda guy anyway. The problem comes in with overnight guests. I'm curious to see their reaction to my lack of shower. But no big deal.
There is also lack of ventilation in the kitchen. No ventilator over the stove. I think I will get a simple one to attach on the wall next it or something, because the smoke detector went off yesterday. Still getting used to the kitchen.
The low rent is a killer deal, so I'm still happy about the place. And it's starting to look and feel the way I want it to.

@Eureka (and others): Thanks for the concern.
As for wife, well she left Kenya 2 years ago for good. She said goodbye to friends and family for good then. Coming back would feel like a failure to her, it would feel embarassing. There is also a mentality that if you manage to "escape" Africa and go to Europe, you'll be rich in no time. Her net worth is almost zero so she would return with empty pockets, which will be seen as a failure. She also has a life here in Norway apart from the relationship she had with me. She speaks the language, has friends, work and workmates. She loves the city we live in. It is safe, clean and small. She comes from a huge city with crime and pollution. For her there are still lots of reasons to stay I think. She does miss her family though. And she's pretty depressed about the whole situation. She might change her mind and go back when she fully realizes there is no hope for us getting back to where we were. All I can offer at this point is friendship.
Last edited by wood on Fri Mar 03, 2017 7:12 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: journal of wood

Post by Felipe » Tue Feb 28, 2017 4:58 am

@ Wood,

Thank you for this honest sharing of your life. It helps me feel better about my own challenges and feel more peace about my patience to not have married any of the sweet-hearted yet not right for me girls I've fallen for.

I'm happy you've moved to a more grounded and light place about this where you can build your life and allow her to as well. Congratulations and I wish you the best.

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Re: journal of wood

Post by wood » Sun Mar 05, 2017 6:15 pm

7Wannabe5 wrote:The single best simple piece of advice I ever encountered for application to this variety of problem is to do the intellectual exercise of imagining that there exists some higher power or intelligence or morality or knower-of-all-things-past-and-future who could grant you absolute absolution from any guilt in your decision making process.
In retrospect this advice is probably the most valuable one to me personally, and the one I am likely to pass on to others seeking advice from me. Thank you.

Thanks. Knowing that my own human imperfections makes someone else like you feel better about themselves brings a smile on my face and encourages me to share my naked truth in this journal, and also to improve myself.

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Re: journal of wood

Post by wood » Mon Mar 13, 2017 5:46 am

Exciting times! This post will mainly be about my investing.

My networth is getting close to $150k and split into the following assets:
$70k real estate
$30k stocks
$40k cash

Investing in Kenya
I have partnered up with a friend and former colleague who is looking to invest in Africa. Like me, he wants to set up base there. We have been doing research and online networking for a few months now in the hopes of making some business connections and look for serious investment opportunities. Last week we found one.
We are looking to buy a few plots of land just outside a major coastal city in Kenya. It's a project where luxury apartments will be built. We are getting in as one of the first 20 investors getting a plot for about $10k. Plot size is about half an acre. I'm getting 2 plots, he's getting 1. As one of the first investors, we got the privilege of freely choosing which plots we want. We went for location and size, as some of the ~150 plots are slightly bigger than others. It's a beautiful spot along the coast of Kenya, not far from the beach and just next to a creek, nearby shops, hotels and roads. Most of the surrounding area consists of a mix between developed infrastructure and tropical nature.

In a few weeks the project will be launched in the open market at a price of $15k per plot. There is already alot of interest from investors and holiday home land buyers. Simply sitting on the land for a bit longer will likely see further price increase.
We could choose to build a luxury house on each plot. Building costs amount to about $35k per plot. That's the price. The corresponding value is likely to be 1.5 times whatever money you put into the building. There is demand for ready made homes. Still haven't decided if I want to go through the process of setting up a house yet. There is a partnering company who will be offering a few different designs to choose from. We will take it from there.

Should this experience prove to be positive and profitable I will be one step closer to resigning from my dayjob. Now off to find a kenyan lawyer!

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Re: journal of wood

Post by wood » Fri Mar 24, 2017 7:23 am

Investing in Kenya part 2

Done deal! 2 days ago I made the payments of $8,750 x 2 to pay for the 2 plots of land. It has been almost 2 weeks of constant emailing, whatsapp chatting and phone calls to have everything happen according to rules and regulations, and to make sure we are not being tricked in any way. Business in Kenya is generally a lot slower (and riskier!) than where I come from, expecially when it comes to making deadlines and appointments. Dealing with 3-4 independent lawyers and putting me, my co-investor and the sales representatives into the mix, made communication chaotic. I involved several lawyers because I didn't know which one would do the better job. One after the other got "fired" as they were too slow to respond and we were lastly left with one who did her job well. We will likely use her in the future.

Similar plots to the ones I have bought are currently being sold at $14,800, and the whole land area will be sold out in a few days/weeks. At which point the value will increase more. When the building process begins and luxury homes start popping up, the plot values will increase further.

It has been an exciting, nerve wrecking, frustrating and enlightening experience. I have expanded my network in Kenya a bit and there are good chances I will get the opportunity as an early investor for future projects as well.

General update
A few hours after having the deal sealed I mentally lowered my guard and started relaxing. I immediately felt a cold coming. Its probably all due to the stress recently. Work has also been very busy. And I've started dating.

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Re: journal of wood

Post by Jason » Fri Mar 24, 2017 8:39 am

Are you moving to Kenya? Or is this an investment property?

Also, is Kenya one of those countries with unenforceable private property rights i.e. you leave your house and you come back and there's another family living in it and you have no recourse to evict?

I do not know the politics of Kenya. I'm sure you do - but buying real estate is scary enough in a democratic and highly regulated country.

As they say, real estate is essentially theft. In a democracy you are stealing from the poor. In a totalitarian regime, you are stealing from the government. Its the nations in between that are most concerning because there is ambiguity.

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