Niemand's Journal

Where are you and where are you going?
niemand
Posts: 126
Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2016 3:18 am
Location: Woop Woop, Australia

Re: Niemand's Journal

Post by niemand »

Update after a few weeks of holidays.

Garden

In our absence, spring has come with a vengeance of weeds :shock: I've been trying to restore some semblance of order. In stark contrast to weed growth, I'm happy with the way the edibles are going.


Financials

Since this journal is now about a year old, it may be a good time to review some charts.

Asset Allocation

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There's some work to be done until my AA is where I want it to be. I'll keep cost-averaging from Cash into Stocks whilst growing my Cash stash every month via savings until I reach my target AA. Might take another 3-4 years. Sidenote: I don't consider my share of the family home, car or "stuff" as part of my assets.

Cash Base

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The starting Cash Base (on the very left of the chart) is my projected cumulated one-year FI Expenses.
If I had solely relied on passive income during the past 12 months, my monthly I expenses would have eroded my Cash Base down to 49% :( Still, 49% is an improvement over last month, due to increased bi-annual dividends, which in turn are due to a larger stock portfolio. My goal is to eventually maintain the Cash Base at >=100%. As of yet, my Rental Income and my Dividend Income are not sufficient to fund a life of leisure and renaissance.

Stock Portfolio

I continue to DCA into my dividend portfolio that will eventually provide half of the income I need to cover my projected FI expenses (the other half is covered by rental income). The portfolio goal is 25% complete. Milestone: Bi-annual dividends have crossed the 4-digit barrier. Woohoo!

Home Loan

The salary increase I received in July means the house will be ours faster since all additional salary is diverted into the home loan's offset account. Status: 24%.


Habits

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I'm in the process of establishing/enforcing above habits. My tracking system is loosely based on Benjamin Franklin’s 13-Virtue system. The items with upper case letters are priorities for me right now. I eventually dropped the Mediation habit as I just couldn't get myself to get started, maybe I'll add it back on day (when I'm more zen about it)...


Cocktail Fun

What can I say? If I remember them all, I had a Wild Rose (-), Cuba Libre (+), Gin Tonic (+), Bloodhound (+), Rum Rickey (-), Ward 8 (-) and a Gin Tonic Rhubarb Ginger (+).


Links
For reference, this is something I want to re-read and properly digest one day:
- Yields and Flows

niemand
Posts: 126
Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2016 3:18 am
Location: Woop Woop, Australia

Re: Niemand's Journal

Post by niemand »

Quick one.

Moola stats
Stock portfolio 27%
Home loan mortgage offset 26%
Cash base 49% - no change

Booze
People seem to like my Bloodhound cocktail, which is essentially a perfect Martini with muddled strawberries.

Plants
So far we've had one day with 40°C / 104°F. Summer is coming.

niemand
Posts: 126
Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2016 3:18 am
Location: Woop Woop, Australia

Re: Niemand's Journal

Post by niemand »

Stock portfolio 30%
Home loan mortgage offset 30%
Cash base 49% - no change

Harvest: Made a bottle of limoncello and 8 jars marmalade
Other: Had to evacuate from a bushfire - scary stuff, but no harm done

Gilberto de Piento
Posts: 1531
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2013 10:23 pm

Re: Niemand's Journal

Post by Gilberto de Piento »

I'm glad you are doing OK. I have been following the fires, it is a very sad situation.

niemand
Posts: 126
Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2016 3:18 am
Location: Woop Woop, Australia

Re: Niemand's Journal

Post by niemand »

Thanks Gilberto. The fires were followed by torrential rains: we had 115mm for the whole of January whereas normally we'd only get 51mm of rain. 44 of the 115mm came down in one single day. Lots of flooding, luckily none in my area. The (under control) fire that was smoldering for 3 weeks just 500m from our house is out. Yellow alert has been lifted. The rain brought the ashes down to the ground and we have clean air again with AQI < 50.

Back to normal I suppose!? No wait, there's a certain corona virus... Touch wood it's "only" the contagion of fear, not the contagion of the actual virus that'll impact us.
Mark Twain said:
I've lived through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened.
Progress
Stock portfolio 32%
Home loan mortgage offset 33%
Cash base 49% - no change

niemand
Posts: 126
Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2016 3:18 am
Location: Woop Woop, Australia

Re: Niemand's Journal

Post by niemand »

Stock portfolio 33%
Home loan mortgage offset 34%
Cash base (passive income ÷ FI expenses) 53% - new level due to dividends

niemand
Posts: 126
Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2016 3:18 am
Location: Woop Woop, Australia

Re: Niemand's Journal

Post by niemand »

Stock portfolio 35% - continuing to DCA into LICs for now, maybe a lump sum later in this downturn. Also looking at oil.
Home loan mortgage offset 36%
Cash base (passive income ÷ FI expenses) 53%

niemand
Posts: 126
Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2016 3:18 am
Location: Woop Woop, Australia

Re: Niemand's Journal

Post by niemand »

Lockdown day 64


Confinement

I’ve got my head in the sand, i.e. I’m not reading much Corona news these days. I hear that Australia is doing fairly well, but I’m not in the day-to-day, and I think I feel better that way. I also feel I’ve been sluggish as a sloth these past few weeks and am afraid I’ll look back on some of this time as wasted. I didn’t really work out, or do much work at all. On the other hand, to paraphrase a popular meme, “it’s ok not be your most productive during a f***ing global pandemic”.

I probably should be kind(er) to myself.

Also, f*** that “must always be productive mindset”.

And actually I did do three of the four modules of the UMich “Finding Purpose and Meaning in Life” course on Coursera, but got stuck on my be/do/action goals and did not move on to the last module.


Garden

Autumn is here and with it we’ve been enjoying persimmon, quince, figs, raspberries, midyimberries, appleberry, kumquats and warrigal greens (native perennial spinach) this month.

The soil looks much improved now. Rich, black, lotsa worms. When I planted the first trees in this garden I had to use a pick axe to dig holes. It’s come a long way. I’ve got some more garden plans, but we’re nearing completion. End of hobby, as a food forest system is supposed to need minimal human input... Time for a vege patch, maybe.


Bug in / pantry audit

A few days ago I checked the pantry for dry staples and I found:
6 kg rice
3 kg chick peas
3 kg lentils
1 kg black beans
2 kg oats
2 kg couscous
————————
17 kg total

Assuming 3000 calories per kg this will provide 51k calories. We are two adults and one 3 yo. Assuming a daily consumption of 4k calories for all of us would mean we have dry staples for about 13 days. Not bad, but could be better.


Solar

I received my annual bonus in May and invested part of it in a solar system for the family home. After some research I decided to go with a 2.64 kWh capacity system. Where I live a system this size (8 panels) is able to generate 9.5kWh per day on average. Depending on season, production will range 5 kWh per day in winter to 15 kWh per day in summer.

My town‘s average electricity consumption for three person households is 14.4kWh per day. My own three person household consumes only 6.4kWh per day. According to the logs from my electricity retailer we use 3 of the 6.4 kWh during light hours.

My system produces more than we consume (av. 9.5 vs 3kWh). All unused power is sold back to the grid. The ratio of grid feed-in credits to electricity rates charges is currently 12c:30c per kWh. Basically we should have free electricity year round as long as it is bright outside. Additionally, the feed-in credits should reduce the rates on our bill by 75%.*

* Getting a bigger setup and reducing bills to zero was tempting, but with ever-increasing electricity rates and the (political) risk of feed-in credits being reduced in the future it would only be a snapshot in time where the bill was zero. Also bigger setups weren’t viable financially for my purposes. Batteries also weren’t viable (yet). We’re also still stuck with the supply charge which won’t go away unless we go off-grid (and then we wouldn’t get feed-in credits and sit in the dark unless we got a battery).

Payback of the system should be ~3 years, the best I’ve found after comparing several quotes.

I also shouldn’t neglect to mention that in my whereabouts Solar can be an insurance against the occasional power outages and the resulting heat exhaustion in the summer months.


CO2

We recently switched to a carbon-neutral electricity retailer to reduce my family's CO2 footprint*.

With solar power and a green electricity retailer it's now mostly the air travel that keeps us outside of a more sustainable range. To make up for our air travel CO2 emissions, I donated part of my annual bonus to ClimateCare to offset all our 2019 flights. Flying is something we will continue to do as we don’t have many relatives in Australia, so these donations will become an annual thing.

* I read that an acceptable CO2 footprint would be between 2 to 3 tons of CO2 per human per year, so that's what we are aiming for.


Oil

I invested the rest of my bonus in an oil tracker via ASX:OOO when WTI was around neg. US$40 a barrel. So far I'm up 40%. Watch this space___


Progress

Home loan mortgage offset 38%
Stock portfolio 39% - continuing to DCA
Cash base (passive income ÷ FI expenses) 53% - unchanged

niemand
Posts: 126
Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2016 3:18 am
Location: Woop Woop, Australia

Re: Niemand's Journal

Post by niemand »

Update


Bug out / bag

After the bush fire experience in January we decided to be more emergency ready, and started to put together a bag with a few items:
- radio/ flash light/ phone charger combo (battery & hand crank powered)✔️
- LED lanterns & AAA batteries✔️
- P2 masks✔️
- pain killers ✔️, prescription meds✖️
micro towels✔️, toothbrushes✔️ & -paste✖️, shampoo✖️, spare glasses✖️, spare clothes✖️
- copies of documents (passport, birth certs etc., passport sized photos of family members)✖️
- cash✖️
- muesli bars✔️, water✖️

Our fire escape plan is car-dependent*. On foot we won’t get away far enough fast enough.

Going forward, should there be another bush fire event requiring evacuation, we’ll throw the bag in the car and drive off to safety. “Safety” is friends, or worst case a hotel outside of the hazard zone.

If the bag is combined with camping gear (tent, sleeping bags & mattress, water filter, cooking gear, etc.) there’ll be more places we could stay at. This is where weekend camping trips come in handy as they help us build a range of familiar nearby places that we could use as bug-out locations.

* I’ll be storing a fuel jerry can✖️ in the garage, which should give us 200km+ range. During an emergency we can’t afford an empty tank as petrol stations will either be overrun or closed / out of fuel.


Two Flags

I started the process to obtain an Australian passport.

Currently I’ve got a Permanent Resident visa for Australia which is almost as good as Australian citizenship, except that you don’t have to vote (in Australia you’ll get fined if you don’t vote). The reason I’m trying to get Australian citizenship is the worry/risk that rules around PR/immigrants could change in these times of populist politics.

Unfortunately being German complicates getting another passport: If I applied for and got granted Australian citizenship I would automatically void my German citizenship as Germany doesn’t allow dual citizenship unless if it’s acquired at birth (like DD3) or with a special exemption. So I applied for the exemption✔️, arguing that I’ll have career disadvantages ( :D ) if I don’t have both citizenships. Processing time is 13-18 months, let’s wait and see.

I’ll only apply for Australian citizenship if the exemption is granted. German citizenship is quite valuable, granting the right to live, work or study in fellow EU/EEA countries with very few (none?) restrictions.


Progress
Home loan mortgage offset 41%
Stock portfolio 43% - continuing to DCA
Cash base (passive income ÷ FI expenses) 53% - unchanged

niemand
Posts: 126
Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2016 3:18 am
Location: Woop Woop, Australia

Re: Niemand's Journal

Post by niemand »

Home loan mortgage offset 43%
Stock portfolio 44% - continuing to DCA
Cash base (passive income ÷ FI expenses) 53% - unchanged

My oil trade from late April (ASX:OOO) is up 70% ___

niemand
Posts: 126
Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2016 3:18 am
Location: Woop Woop, Australia

Re: Niemand's Journal

Post by niemand »

Spring is here!

I was considering setting up raised garden beds but decided against it in the end. Instead I'll just have a handful of potted vegetables. I'm raising some tomatoes, lettuce and capsicum from seed right now that I'll plant in pots once they're ready to go outside.
Regarding trees, simple fact is that I've run out of space (unless I kill the lawn). I've got a nashi pear, a bartlett pear, Chinese elm (the only non-edible, but I'm using it as a trellis for passionfruit), 2x persimmon, quince, kumquat, 2x babaco, tamarillo, pomegranate, lemon, 2 x apple, 2x blood plum, loquat, lime, mandarin, tree kale, 2x strawberry guava, peach, 2x fig, 3x feijoa (pineapple guava), 2x mulberry. All trees are relatively immature, but they'll grow alright. I tried to get used = more mature plants whenever possible.
The best time to plant a tree was 10 years ago, the second-best time to plant a tree is today.
Mind you, my whole suburban lot is only 300sqm with a small double storey house on it, which means the garden space is quite limited and everything is planted densely and stacked, losely based on the fruit forest concept from permaculture.
Accordingly, below the tree level I've got edible or herbaceous shrubs and groundcovers. To name some: spinach, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, midyimberries, appleberries, tazzieberries, gooseberries, redcurrant, dragonfruit, pepino, grapes, rosemary, sage, marjoram, garlic, leeks, mint, lavender, artichokes, sunchokes, ...

With all this Covid lockdown stuff going on it's definitely nice that the weather is getting milder and that our little family can be in the garden for longer periods. We had our first BBQ in a while uttering in spring.

DD3 is reaching an age where she can go on longer walks now. We have been exploring the edges of the state forest which starts next to our road, exploring the creeks, building dams, jumping in muddy puddles... It's also nice to see how some trees that took damage in the January bushfires are recovering and showing new growth.

Some happy news, we've got a DS on the way. ETA early next year. Under the current circumstances, it's an interesting and sometimes stressful time to be pregnant.

Work-related, my company says it intends to groom me to become my boss' successor in a few years’ time, which would make me the CFO. Previously I was always thinking about retiring the same time as my boss, but with that carrot in front of my nose... I weighted pro’s and con’s, and I think I’d like to give it a go. It'll be a process to get there, lot's of things to learn. There would be lots of perks: car allowance alone is $36k pa for C-suite in my company. Not that I’d need a car, I walk to work. Of course, there are is no guarantee for this promotion to ever happen, but truth be said, work is not bothering me much these days and I'm not thinking about pulling the plug anytime soon. Being part-time doing 4 days a week helps.

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Home loan mortgage offset 45%
Stock portfolio 46% - continuing to DCA, dividends coming in next month
Cash base (passive income ÷ FI expenses) 53% - unchanged

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