Seppia's journal

Where are you and where are you going?
Dunkelheit
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Re: Seppia's journal

Post by Dunkelheit » Tue Jun 19, 2018 1:47 pm

Hi Seppia, your new apartment looks great! The building's fachade gives it an historical appearance. I was also a little bit disappointed when you said the church bell doesn't belong to you :mrgreen:. Are you planning to live there in a more or less nearby future? If we visit northern Italy we would look for it in AirBnB.

It's a shame what you told about the problems with the tenants, although unfortunately I can understand it very well living in Spain. It must be some extended plague in the mediterranean countries where the tenants enjoy more rights than the landlords/ladies. Here someone can break your door's lock and you can't put kick him out if they are a family with children, they "own" your shelter.

Kyoto looks amazing, too! Never been there, I didn't imagine it would be so green. How often are you traveling to Japan? When are you coming to Spain, bro? :)

Have a nice week, master ;)

Jason
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Re: Seppia's journal

Post by Jason » Wed Jun 20, 2018 9:31 am

When they build where I live, they deforestate and think later. In those pictures, they turn everything into a big garden. That picture where the structure in the background melds into the tree line, that's cool as Fonzie.

Mister Imperceptible
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Re: Seppia's journal

Post by Mister Imperceptible » Wed Jun 20, 2018 10:33 am

Congratulations on the apartment Seppia, very charming.

I echo @TheWanderingScholar’s sentiment.

Seppia
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Re: Seppia's journal

Post by Seppia » Sun Aug 05, 2018 10:53 am

Sorry in advance for the long post

End of June I've done my last serious work trip for my soon to be ex-employer, to NYC for a food show.
Using some Airline miles I've added DW to the trip, and after the food show I had to attend was done, we flew off to Colorado for a few days of hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park.
We love hiking and nature, hence we love Colorado

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After coming back, I worked for a week then went to Stockholm to see a very good friend of mine who I'll probably will not see for a while because of the new job.
We went together to a very cool Heavy Metal Festival in Gavle, one hour and a half train ride north of Stockholm.
pics of the best shows:

Carcass
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Cannibal Corpse (best show of the weekend, they always deliver)
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Watain
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At The Gates + me
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Stockholm is also very nice

After Stockholm, it has been mostly preparing stuff and dossiers so that I leave the house in order at work for the guy/gal that will replace me, and getting ready for the double moving that we will have to do.

The apartment in our hometown is coming together nicely.
They just installed the kitchen, we like it a lot:
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I also made a first trip to Trieste (the location where my new HQs will be) to move some stuff. Found out that the AC wasn't working, hopefully they fix it before we move in full time.
Recovered the scooter I had bought a while ago, previous owned didn't need the helmet so I got a free helmet too :)

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I tested it out and it will get me to the office in about 12 minutes.
Fuel efficiency on these things is insane, this small (155cc) four stroke engine easily gets me 50-55km/l when riding at 50-60kph. That's around 120-130mpg at 30-38mph.
I think I'll use it to go to work instead of using the (free) company car to save the planet some gas burning (car gets 30mpg).
The scooter will set me back around 500 euros per year (300 insurance + 20 tax + a conservative estimate of 180 euros of gas) but Trieste is a city on the beach with precious little parking.
Plus I paid well under market price for it, and should be able to sell it at a profit fairly easily should we move to Asia in a year or so (that's the plan)

In general cash flow has been a nightmare these last two months, because of the combination of costs for the new apartment (taxes, closing costs, kitchen, etc) + the move to Trieste (2 month deposit, first month of rent in advance, scooter).

In June my SR was 2%, and in July it was negative 144% (meaning I spent 2.44 times what I made), the first negative month since February 2016 (also due to moving from the USA to Italy).

I had planned for it in advance and padded my cash stash but it still hurts.
SR for the year is down to a very shitty 25%, need to get back on track asap.
DW and I are extremely excited and happy for what's happening though, and this is what matters most.

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BRUTE
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Re: Seppia's journal

Post by BRUTE » Sun Aug 05, 2018 3:54 pm

trieste looks nice. very close to Venice, too!

Seppia
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Re: Seppia's journal

Post by Seppia » Sun Aug 05, 2018 4:43 pm

Trieste is one of the best kept secrets in Italy.
A border town with a ton of elegance, used to be the port of the austro Hungarian empire.
Clean, safe, beautiful (piazza Unità is one of the most beautiful piazzas in Italy), with great variety of food, home of two of Italy’s last great companies (Generali insurance and the smaller but world class Illy Coffee).

I might have mentioned it in the “visit Italy” thread, it’s one of my favorite lesser known cities with Palermo and Genova.

My end destination is supposedly somewhere in Asia (HK or Singapore or maybe Tokyo), but the fact that I had to spend approximately a year in Trieste* was a major driver in our decision.

*knowing Italian companies, I suspect it may be a little more than a year.

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BRUTE
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Re: Seppia's journal

Post by BRUTE » Sun Aug 05, 2018 6:14 pm

Seppia wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 4:43 pm
Trieste is one of the best kept secrets in Italy.
along with the fact that pizza and pasta are actually not nearly the best parts of Italian cuisine. almost everything else is even better.

brute went to a pretty high-end Italian restaurant (with imported (?) Italian waiters) and was asked by a friend what he could possibly eat there on keto. turns out serious Italian restaurants have great steak. joke was on the friend! fuck gnocchi. the competition who could pronounce gnocchi without offending the Italian waiter was great too.

Seppia
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Re: Seppia's journal

Post by Seppia » Sun Aug 26, 2018 5:15 am

We have been here in Trieste since august 14th, and now the first week at the new job has gone by.

I'm extremely happy with the choice and change. Colleagues seem like very nice people and the overall company culture is super cool.
I will not go too much into the details but my new employer is one of the top companies in the world in terms of sustainability/ethical behavior, and usually company culture trickles down to employees.
I'm not surprised but it's still great to see confirmation of positive expectations.
I'll still have a lot of traveling to do (it'll probably be 15 days in Italy and 15 days away for a few months at least), but as I'll be taking care of the APAC area it will only be one-direction travel as opposed to the all over the world insanity I was subjcet to at the old job.
I'm also excited to get to know that part of the world better (I have only been to Japan, Korea and New Zeland so far).

The city is very nice, we went swimming daily the week I wasn't working, and even during the workweek I managed to sneak in a swimming session.
I purchased a like-new used stationary bike for 40 euros (approx $48), and had started dieting the day I got here.
I lost 1.5kgs in two weeks, but I still have a very long way to go (another 10kg / 22lbs would be ideal).

DW is super happy and loves the town, she will now get organized and then start looking for a job. I will encourage her to take a part time so that she'll have some time for her, but she'll figure it out.

In short, our quality of life has dramatically improved already.

In retrospect, I should maybe have looked for a change before, but my usual attitude towards any adversity* is to HTFU** as I have never liked whiners and would always rather take a bit more pain than be a quitter.
It's a part of my competitive nature that has helped me tremendously throughout my life and career, but it does backfire from time to time.

August still had a few moving-related expenses (agency fees 2x times rent, a couple very minor appliances since we left the old ones in the other apartment, etc) but should be back with a semi-decent savings rate around 30%.
Next post will probably be a financial update.

*I feel bad calling it adversity: we are healthy, happy and have everything we need and so much more.

**Harden The Eff Up

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Frugalchicos
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Re: Seppia's journal

Post by Frugalchicos » Mon Aug 27, 2018 11:22 am

Amazing kitchen and very cool apartment!! Enjoy the good times!

slowtraveler
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Re: Seppia's journal

Post by slowtraveler » Mon Aug 27, 2018 3:21 pm

The tough attitude has probably helped a ton. But the life you have seems like a dream come true. Congratulations. I'm happy for you.

Seppia
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Re: Seppia's journal

Post by Seppia » Mon Aug 27, 2018 4:23 pm

Thanks gents!

RealPerson
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Re: Seppia's journal

Post by RealPerson » Mon Aug 27, 2018 5:32 pm

Congrats on the apartment. Very nice.

That scooter sounds pretty expensive to me. $300 for insurance? Have you considered an e-bike, or just a bike?

Seppia
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Re: Seppia's journal

Post by Seppia » Tue Aug 28, 2018 4:07 pm

My dress code at work is not relaxed enough (and I’m not fit enough) to make a bike commute doable.
The distance is easily manageable (a mostly flat 12km) but I have no chance to shower at work.

A scooter is the most cost efficient way to move myself (and DW during weekends).

Insurance may sound expensive for the USA, but that’s very cheap by Italian standards

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FBeyer
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Re: Seppia's journal

Post by FBeyer » Wed Aug 29, 2018 1:52 am

Could you help me try to spread a joke around the world? Whenever you see a Cannibal Corpse show, could you loudly and abrasively shout:
That not Chris Barnes!!! When the FUCK did Cannibal Corpse get new vocals? Seriously if the new guy isn't any good I'm leaving![\quote]

Seppia
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Re: Seppia's journal

Post by Seppia » Sat Sep 01, 2018 7:48 am

I have only known/seen CC with George Fisher, so I don't get the joke unfortunately :(

Quick update on finances

August has seen a 55% savings rate, so I'm almost back to normal. I fully expect the rest of the year to be at or above 66%, for an average of 40% or so along the year.
Definitely not great, but this is what buying an apartment does.
Important note: I am not including the cost of the apartment in my expenses as it is basically a shift in asset allocation, but I am counting closing fees, taxes and all furniture/other ancillary expenses.

Current NW/AA:

Stocks 84%, of which 42% ETF (Split 80/20 Euro/Emerging) and 58% individual stocks
Cash 16%

Plus a now almost fully paid off new apartment that, if included in NW/AA calculation, would shift the balances to
Stocks 76%
Cash 14%
RE 10% (valued very conservatively: the amount I would get if I had to sell it in a hurry, as in, one week)

My European and EM ETFs have been going nowhere for the last 12 months, while the US market keeps powering higher and higher.
This makes me very happy, as I am a buyer. I egoistically keep cheering for a market downturn.
My individual stocks have been performing better, and the gap between them and the ETFs in terms of performance has been widening in the last 3-4 months.
Still definitely too early to draw any conclusion (I've been tracking the performance differential since Jan 1st 2016) but encouraging nonetheless.
As a reminder, ETFs get bought automatically at the beginning of every month, while individual stocks are 100% active trading.
I call this trading but that doesn't mean I trade a lot: I think I may have sold stocks 15 times since 2006. I usually buy and never sell, the rare times that I do sell it's always to buy something else.

Cash has taken a hit because of the apartment, the plan is to put individual stocks purchases on hold and bring it back up to approximately 20%.

NW Excluding RE accounts for approximately 20-21 years of normal expenses (2015-2017), while dividends from last year would cover approximately 1/3 of yearly expenses.

Should I quit today and move into the small apartment, I think my expenses could conservatively drop by about 1/3.
A more courageous person than me would probably say "Yay FIRE!", but I currently really enjoy the new job and location, and I'd really like to spend a few years in Asia (which is the planned job path after a 1-2 year period here at the Italian HQs).

Plus, the amount of surplus money I'm accumulating every month is so obscenely above what's needed that I see no reason not to pad the stash a bit.

Seppia
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Re: Seppia's journal

Post by Seppia » Sun Sep 16, 2018 12:49 pm

Work keeps being great, I’ve now spent a month on the job and I’m liking almost everything I see.
It’s not a situation without challenges obviously, but I’m super happy with my choice so far.
Crossing fingers.

’m in the first part of my first trip to Asia.
The first stop was Hong Kong, and I loved it.
We had a free half day and I hiked to the peak:

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We left the day before the hurricane hit.
Currently in Seoul. It’s a city I’ve found unremarkable the few times I’ve been here, but we’ll see as I get to know it better in the future).
Next stops Tokyo, Melbourne, Sydney, Singapore, Jakarta, Bangkok.
Back home on the 29th.
Kind of a crazy schedule but I need to be introduced to all our partners in the area.

I lost another 1.5kgs, so I’m now 8kg away from an acceptable weight and 12kg from being in great shape.
As expected, the traveling is adversely impacting my discipline (dinners with customers, skipped meals due to travel schedule, healthy food at times unavailable etc).
If I manage to hold my weight while I travel I’ll consider it ok.

Financially it should be a good month, as I’ve received the security deposit from my previous landlord + my wife reimbursed me a semi large sum of money.
Saving should be above 100%.

Mister Imperceptible
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Re: Seppia's journal

Post by Mister Imperceptible » Sun Sep 16, 2018 8:26 pm

Awesome view of HK, glad you are enjoying the changes in your life paesano.

Seppia
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Re: Seppia's journal

Post by Seppia » Sat Sep 29, 2018 12:07 am

I'm sitting in an airport lounge in Vienna, just one flight back from getting home after my first crazy APAC trip.

Everything went ok, as expected there were some hidden issues (if everything was perfect they wouldn't have hired me), but nothing unmanageable.

Quick impressions on the places I visited for the first time (based only on a couple days each, so subject to change):

HK is great, when a friend of mine described it to me as "the New York of Asia" he was spot on. I'm sure both DW and I will enjoy living there if/when it happens.
Melbourne and Sydney are great cities, I'm not surprised they regulary show up high on the list of "most liveable cities" on the planet. Lots of green space, good standard of living, good weather.
We could not live there though, Australia is just too freaking far from everything.
Singapore is nice but just too nice for me. Everything is clean, tidy, etc, but it lacks a "soul". Plus life seems to revolve around shopping centers, which is a big no-no for me. It doesn't suck as much as Dubai (I don't think any place can suck as much as Dubai) but meh.
Jakarta was unxepcetedly interesting. Very chaotic but also very vibrant and folkloristic. Pollution levels are just unbelievable though, after two days there I was coughing regularly and had a weird feeling in my throat.
Bangkok is great. Excellent food, very friendly people, pretty good public services/taxis/etc for VERY cheap, fun. Even the areas with prostitutes somehow lacked the typical sordidness of such quarters (think Amsterdam).
I passed by Soi Cowboy (one of such areas) thinking I would just pass by quickly, but instead I was able to find a bar with live music where I wasn't bothered by anybody. Did some fun people watching.
I can understand why Thailand is so popular.

As expected, financially it was a good month, with savings rate at 116% because of some reimboursements I received.
SR for the year is now up to 43%, which is ok considering the high expenses I incurred by buying an apartment.
I'm raising my target for the year at 45%, with upside at 50%. Not as good as 2017 (75%) and 2016 (68%) but still defensible.

Now I just want to see my wife asap.

Jason
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Re: Seppia's journal

Post by Jason » Sat Sep 29, 2018 5:53 am

Seppia wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 10:53 am
We went together to a very cool Heavy Metal Festival in Gavle, one hour and a half train ride north of Stockholm.
pics of the best shows:
If you haven't seen this, it's a must. Not just the best documentary on Heavy Metal Music, just just one of the greatest documentaries on music, but one of the greatest documentaries ever made. You can't make a mockumentary without it.

http://www.documentarytube.com/videos/t ... y-of-anvil

Seppia
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Re: Seppia's journal

Post by Seppia » Sat Sep 29, 2018 11:42 am

One of the greatest musical documentaries and a great feel-good story. I loved it when I saw it.

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