In a blink of an eye, it appears to be that we’ve stepped into another month! As usual, that means it’s time to do some financial homework, and get another portfolio and savings update posted on the blog in reference to April 2021. 🙂

May In A Nutshell

May was the first month we spent fully in the peninsula. I am personally still in the phase of readaptation. For me, it’s being the whole of a new experience, and although I had thought that readapting would be a piece of cake (since I live in my hometown), the reality quite differs from that first impression.

First, I feel like I am partly in the UK and partly not. I work for a UK company and communicate with UK colleagues daily, but live overseas. It’s kind of a strange feeling, and since I have no colleagues or acquaintances that are in a similar situation it feels even weirder!

Another thing I struggle with is languages. I keep telling local people, “sorry”! Since we speak two languages over here, Catalan and Spanish, I practice three languages almost every day. I think this is great, and hope my brain gains a bit more flexibility and the ability to exchange languages a bit faster than it currently is!

Things in my flat are stable, I still got electricity and officers have not made more mistakes so far, fingers crossed.

Work has reached its top level of workload craziness. As the UK is reopening from lockdown, garden shows are on and that means the whole team is under a lot of pressure. I should be spending a couple of hours this weekend to advance some work on an urgent project, but getting this post done has taken the preference.

I am busy trying to sell stuff from home and made a few extra bucks this month thanks to it. The idea at this point is to slowly empty my flat and garage until we are in a position to sell it or rent it. I love the feeling of getting rid of stuff I don’t need! I managed to borrow a small van from my uncle and took some stuff to a local recycling site myself. Chucking away stuff straight into those big containers was quite therapeutical. I did sleep tight and well that night!

I’ve also been busy with all things related to my mum as we are in the progress of reallocating her into a specialized home care centre for disable people. Meeting, calls, visits, paperwork and so on, boring stuff!

So, these few paragraphs quickly described what I am up to these days. Until I get things sorted, being busy means less time for all blogging or Twitter related things, as I rather focus on my goals whenever I can. However, I do have a platform review blog post kind of underway, I shall see if I manage to finish it, or I may stick to siestas instead ;p.

OK, It may be about time I move on to the central topic now?

Quick Recap of May Numbers

  • Portfolio value: 145,912 € (+1.63%) – details HERE
  • Contributions to the portfolio: 1,587€
  • Monthly growth from investments: 64
  • Passive income: 1,164 € – details HERE
  • Savings Rate: 61.2%

In May my investments only enjoy a €64 increase as stocks did not seem to perform too well. Overall though, I’ve seen an increase of my portfolio of €2,341 when taking into account my monthly contributions and that the Pound Sterling appreciation went from 1.15 to 1.16 against the Euro.

The big change this month is the amount noted as passive income. As mentioned in previous updates, I think it is beneficial to add all flows related from both countries Spain and UK from now on. My mum’s impairment means that she is not able to manage properly the financial aspect. Since I am her only child, it seems sensible to track her numbers the same way I do with mines. Her financial health will impact mine long-term, meaning that if she runs out of money, then I will have to cover her expenses. Considering that home cares costs rump up to about €1,8K a month in the area, it’s kind of scary!

Monthly Income and Expenses

It is time to say goodbye to my old Sankey Diagram. As I’ve got more expense categories, I no longer like the way it looks (and yes it will also save me some time every month :)).

Instead, I am going to add snips of my spreadsheet tracker for future millionaires ;). These are good enough to transmit the information I want in a much less time-consuming way.

Income Chart

Income chart May 2021

Total income in May equals £4,946.75 (5,738.23 EUR).

I managed to sell stuff worth £133. Blog income stood at £58 as I earned an affiliate payment, half of which I donated to Kiva.

Expenses Chart

Expenses chart May 2021

Total expenses: £1,921 (2,228.36€).

Despite having zero costs on rent or mortgage, May turned out to be the most expensive month I’ve had since tracking. I saw a significant increase in utilities (before included on my rent & bills payment in the UK), transport as we moved out of the UK and had to get my car ready for driving, and services and miscellaneous that are related to getting an architect to sort out the electricity initial issue, my mum’s services costs and a €150 tax bill from Spanish customs to bring my own personal stuff from the UK. I am not too sure if that tax bill has got something to do with Brexit or not, but I found it a bit unfair having to pay taxes on stuff that I even bought in Spain 7 years ago!

That is far off from my initial idea of being FI once we would relocate here. Hopefully, some of these costs will lower, but I do expect a massive increase in my mum’s caring costs as she is about to move to her new place. Does it seem it may take me quite a little longer to reach FI? I shall be able to get a better picture as things settle, but it appears to be so!

May Portfolio Performance

As I like to do on a monthly basis, this is a breakdown of all my current and past investments:

Please note, links containing a star (*) are either affiliate or referral links. P2P lending is a risky business, so you could end up losing all your invested money if you choose to join any of these platforms.

** 20 % discounted to estimate future withdrawal tax payments

May was a flat month in terms of investment returns. I noticed a better performance for my funds held in my workplace pension than my SIPP and S&S ISA Vanguard accounts. This difference surprised me as all accounts are invested in global trackers. I should keep a close look at this and see If I notice a clear tendency to one outperforming the other over the long term, as the difference in fees is not that big: 0.5% workplace pension against 0.35% Vanguard SIPP.

Most of my contributions this month went to my SIPP. For the time being, I am still benefiting from UK tax reliefs, so I plan to keep adding while I can.

Despite the confusion on the statements written on the Gov.uk , Trading 212 confirmed to me that I am no longer allowed to add into my S&S ISA since I live abroad, but I can still keep the account open and trade and withdraw funds.

I am checking out some investments options in Spain, but I don’t think I will end up using a Spanish investment vehicle. As I wrote in one of the comments on this post, investing in Spain can become a pain. Basically, all regulated investing platforms are directly linked with the Spanish customs and revenue (here called Hacienda). That means that every time I would sell a stock or ETF at a profit or earn a dividend the gov is taking its share straight away. I am more interested in paying taxes once a year and keeping my gains and dividends working for me during the year. It’s not only that but, if I were to move out of Spain again, the Spanish gov would still take its stake first. Surely, I could claim that tax back, but that’s more paperwork, bureaucracy and boring stuff to deal with. No, thanks! That is why at the minute I will focus on contributing to my UK pension while I check what other options I’ve got.

Alternative Investments Portfolio

No new additions in my investment portfolio this month.

I added a new thumbs up icon by the side of those platforms that are doing fairly well, and I am happy with it. I also included some of the platforms I exited that I had no issues with and appears to be doing well today (by reading others investors opinion).

Between those with a thumbs up my favourites are Estateguru*, Crowdestate and Reinvest24*.

Fast Invest continues with withdrawing issues, Housers disappointing as usual and Crowdestor I got the feeling that It may be getting better?

My sense for a positive and negative platform outlook has not changed massively since I wrote this.

Dividend Portfolio

My dividend portfolio in May generated 48.12 EUR of passive income.

This was the outlook of my holdings in the end of the month:

Dividend Portfolio update May 2021

My dividend portfolio looks predominately green, which is always good to see! The only one failing at this stage is AT&T, stock which we’ve heard a lot about lately since the announcement that AT&T’s Watnermedia and Discovery would create a standalone company to try forming a new global leader in entertainment.

Albeit I’ve been busy and not so active on Twitter, there was no way I could not hear about the AT&T announcement. A lot of investors seemed to react quickly and sold their shares, especially dividend investors since a considerable dividend cut is expected after the company merges. Theoretically, I should do the same, as AT&T will no longer pass my screener settings. But, after pondering, reading and listening to others investors opinion I will hold for now.

Firstly, it will be my first spin-off and I kind of feel curious to experience it and know more about it. Secondly, I can foresee potential growth on HBO and HBO Max if there’s the money to invest in it and I don’t think AT&T was in a good position to do so due to its large amount of debt. If we also take into account that building a 5G infrastructure needs tons of capital too, then I can’t see how AT&T would have managed to efficiently compete in both sectors. HBO showed what they are capable of doing with Game of Thrones, and I believe they can continue creating awesome content with a good amount of resources. Without it, it could increasingly become more challenging to compete with Netflix or Disney. I myself can’t wait to watch the prequel of Game of Thrones: House Of The Dragon!

What AT&T did in 2018 by purchasing WarnerMedia is what I believe Peter Linch calls “diworsifying”, which basically means acquiring companies that are not so related to the core company for the sake of increasing its market cap. That’s the way CEO gives themselves pay rises since their payslips are tight to these growth values. These moves give value to them but to shareholders. Hence, another reason why I think this spin-off can be positive as it will result on two separate companies focusing on what they know how to do the best.

Dividend Payments

In May, I received dividend payments from a total of 6 companies:

  • Toronto-Dominion (TD): 8.38€
  • Bristol-Myers (BMY): 5.25€
  • AT&T (T): 14.74€
  • Mastercard (MA): 0.55€
  • Danone (BN): 15.92€
  • Realty Income (O): 3.28€

Total Dividend Income: 48.12

Here’s in an update on my year-over-year dividend monthly income comparison, it keeps looking good.

Monthly dividend income May 2021 portfolio update

The €45K Project Fund

Another month has passed which means I saved another €60 as a non-smoker, cash that goes into my 45K Project Fund.

In May I contributed all non-smoked funds to the Global Clean Energy ETF. In addition, I earned €67 of affiliate income. This has all been invested in this fund, 50% to donated to Kiva and 50% to buy more Global Clean Energy ETF shares. As usual, thanks to all those who decide to join platforms using my links (*). It definitely helps to slowly build this fund up and “recover” my money little by little.

So far The 45K Project Fund consists of:

  1. Abundance Investment: 1,440.2€ (1,427.7€ last month).
  2. Kiva: 431€ (405.25€ last month).
  3. Qardus: 284€ (277.9€ last month).
  4. Global Clean Energy ETF: 452.9€ (371.6€ last month)

So far, I have recovered 5.52% of my loss = 2,608.1€

42,391.9€ left to go.

If you want to support this fund, you can do so by clic*in on one of the ads shown on my blog. About 50% of ads revenue will be donated to Kiva and the other 50% invested in ethical investments. Thank you!

Related content: How I FIRED 45k with algo trading, Investing Ethically, Recovering €45K through Investing in Myself First

Goals and Habits 2021

It’s time to have a look at how I am doing with my 2021 goals and habits for 2021.

All my goals are monthly measurable, so I’ve built a table to keep an eye on the progress, this is how it is going so far:

Goals and Habits This Month

Goals and habits May 2021

Goals and Habits Previous Month

Goals and habits April 2021

I seem to be doing fine on my financial and reading goals, but I would need to pay more attention to my meditating and weight lifting goals. It is easy to break the chain during weekends and bank holidays and I have been doing extremely badly on weight lifting since moving here as I only exercised 117 min for the whole month when I should have exercised 360min. I will try to give this a little push this month!

Regarding my reading goals, I finished reading Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking. The second half of the book also contains useful insights, on how introverts communicate with the opposite type. It describes the case of a couple in which the guy is extroverted and the lady introverted. They have an argument about inviting friends for a house party every Friday night. The book gets into the minds of both and makes you realize how the opposites types think different about holding these parties. I think it’s quite an interesting topic to learn about, as we all have friends or acquaintance from the opposite side, and understanding the way they are can be beneficial to build good relationships with others and networking. The book also goes on to advise how to educate introverted kids. I should give it a reread if I ever have introverted kids.

Now I am reading a book related to “investing” titled Cryptoassets: The Innovative Investor’s Guide To Bitcoin and Beyond. I’ve never paid much real attention to Bitcoin as my thoughts were that I can’t understand how it works fully, so why buy Bitcoins? I thought that only software engineers can get a proper grasp of what Bitcoin really is, and whether it has a place on the market long term or not. Furthermore, I think an investor should first focus on learning about basic personal finance, Index Funds, ETFs, Bonds, Pensions, Stocks, dividends investing and P2P lending before stepping into crypto assets, which sadly is not what many newbies do.

I feel like I am now in a position to spending some time reading more deeply about it. My uninformed impression about the crypto world was that it is a scam as a whole. But having this opinion without taking the time to try to understand it would make me ignorant, and that is not the attitude to become a millionaire! 😉

That’s all for the May 2021 portfolio update, I hope you have a great month wherever you are, and thanks for reading.

All the best,

Tony Bigger Belly Paellas 😉