What does it mean to “go viking”?

The origin of the word Viking is not, as we may think, one of pale, blonde pirates with big swords who killed his/her way across the continent. Back during what we (in Scandi)  refer to as the “viking age”, -c 700 A.D until 1100 A.D, the word Viking was used as a verb to describe someone who left his/her lands and explored other areas further away from home. The exploration was not necessarily accompanied by the picture we have today of such viking raids. The later imputed violence, robbery and blood-thirstiness is something that has been added to the word in later folklore. Surely, there were Viking expeditions of that precise kind, but the word was just as often used when venturing abroad to trade and sell copper, iron or other goods in a normal, peaceful manner.

To “go on viking” would have its closes resemblance with a combination of words that we today use for “explore”, “travel”, “adventure”, and “abroad”.

I like to think of my FIRE journey as a Viking journey of such.

What is your idea of Viking?

 

Out

Heading off for the weekend with Mr Viking. We have to leave Darwin behind as we can’t bring him with us on the plane. Some people have wondered how it works from  FIRE perspective having to take care of a dog with all its additional costs.

We have been quite fortunate in that matter as both of us are allowed to have Darwin with us in our offices at work. We also have a lot of family and friends that are more than willing to dog-sit when we are both away traveling for work as well. Without this it would definitely be a huge cost, that we are now fortunately escaping.

 

What are your plans for the weekend?

Re my post about Etherium and cryptocurrencies

This post is about the cryptocurrency flu that seems to have caught up the whole world for the past year.

I previously wrote about it being strange that bitcoin rushed completely off the charts while Etherium did not show the same progress.

Little did I know Etherium was just a slow starter. It is now doing the same rush bitcoin did before the holidays and going steadily (well, for a cryptocurrency) upwards.

Other cryptocurrencies I am keeping an eye on right now:

  • Ripple
  • ADA

Why 2018 will be the year of the next financial crisis

The next financial crisis

The markets have been on an incredible high pretty much ever since the financial crisis in 09.  Around 2014 I started feeling a bit itchy, – everything is going too well. I have since become more and more convinced that the next financial crisis is just around the corner. This is why I believe next year will be the year of the next crash.

1 Unstable markets and the rise of cryptocurrencies:

More and more money is being invested in cryptocurrencies of different sorts. After the bitcoin boom late last year multiple other (less legitimate) cryptocurrencies have started to rise. The investors are less and less high risk traders and hackers and more and more our next-door neighbors. This means that if (when) these cryptocurrencies loose their value or becomes more regulated, it will affect normal people with average saving margins, thus exposing them to a lot of risk (= creating more volatility on the market and setting it up for a crash).

2 Time

Everything that goes up has to go down. It is simply not realistic to have a market trending upwards without any significant (smaller 10-percent little dips doesn’t really cut it) break to it in so many years. Everything that goes up will at some point in time have to go down (and at some point up again).

3 The mass effect

There is too much instability in the world right now to not expect it to take a larger toll on the financial markets than it has. A lot of people are starting to pull their investments out of the markets and into savings accounts, and when enough people do this, it will show in the larger indexes which in turn will confirm others suspicions of an upcoming recession and then incentivize them to also withdraw from the markets, creating a downward spiral.

 

What is your take on this? Are you also preparing for the next financial crisis to happen soon? 

Did I reach my blog goals?

4-week blog goals

A little over a month a go I set out some blog goals (over a 1000 views for example) that I wanted to achieve. See below how I did and which ones I managed to reach

 

The goals (above) was the following:

Blog Views: 1000

Twitter followers: 100

Instagram Followers: 100

 

The result?

…Drum roll……

2 out of 3 goals reached!!! Really cool!

Blog Views: 1837

Twitter followers: 121

Instagram followers: 47

 

I haven’t been that active on instagram since I find that most of the interesting stuff I read on social media comes from twitter, and then that becomes the natural channel to communicate from. But if you guys would like me to do more instagram stuff, let me know!!

 

Would love to hear where you guys are all from and how you ended up here! Comment away 😀 😀 

 

I just did the number one thing a blogger should not do

… went completely MIA for about a month.

Sincerest apologies guys, there was and still is a reason for this but I can’t disclose it just yet for personal reasons. Nonetheless, I am back with full force and should be blogging on as before. Kudos to those of you who has been checking in despite the emptiness the past few weeks.

Mr Viking and I have borrowed a friend’s summer house in Italy and spent the new year there in a last minute decision and are starting out the new year with some welcome freshness and sunlight.

F

Why not Ethereum?

Apologies for MIA in the past few days. I must admit that, as any bad habit, once you start filling your calendar with other things and the blogging time slowly gets pushed until later and later in the evening until the inevitable “i’ll just do it tomorrow instead” which then turns into a slowly instantiated habit. Not got! Luckily I am absolutely horrible at habits so this was easily broken.

 

I have two thoughts here this Wednesday evening:

  1. Ethereum – What is happening with the insane bitcoin rush these past few weeks is not happening with Ethereum. Sure, its less stable, newer etcetera but still! The bitcoin rush is, in my read, largely created by money-spending newbies like you and me who heard the “next new thing in crypto is” booming right now and wants a share. Why not the same rush for Ethereum? It’s not like bitcoin is incredibly stable, so the risk averse argument rings a bit false to my ears. I am clearly missing something here. What do you think?
  2. Should there not be some compensatory re-action in stable resource based  indicies such as gold, silver, gas or other heavy metals? And when is that happening in such case you think? Or is the compensation-ripple effect something that is just making sense in my mind?

Cheers guys!

The Holidays are coming up: 3 steps to save money during this time

We have set up a strategy with 3 simple steps to save money during the holidays

Mr Viking and I have had a tendency to head off to the most exotic location we can think of during the holidays. This tended to cost a lot of money, as you may understand and doesn’t rhyme well with our 7 year goal to Financial Independence.  This year we have worked out a strategy to avoid this period being the cost-peak of the year. The goal is to save as much money as every other month of the year. This way we will stay on point, and continue to work towards making the leprechaun happy, even if it is christmas 🙂

3 steps to save money during the holidays:

  1. Stay at home over the holidays (i.e. no travel abroad). No expensive resort or impossible flight connections that costs a fortune. Staying where you are with friends and family is in itself not a radical thing to do. But for us, it is going to be a massive saver right there.
  2. We have made a deal with our closest friends and family. They are not giving us any gifts for christmas this year, and vice versa. Everyone we spoke to about this was very happy. This means that they don’t have to go through the shopping frenzy of buying yet another kitchen-device that will never be used while receiving something similarly unnecessary same.  Saving money not having to buy (or receive!) unnecessary gifts never to be used seems reasonable.
  3. Planning. Last minute maniacs as we are, we normally stumble into the closest bar we can find when the clock approaches midnight. Christmas ham is being bought last minute at the local delicates store -read 10x more expensive than buying it in time  at the larger store 5 km away. This year, it will be all set. We have a meticulously planned list over where and what we are going to do. In all honesty, we will probably never go through this insane planning process again. However, it will work as a very good benchmark for us. We will know how much time and money can be spent when doing this. Which will hopefully incentivize us to do it at least half-way in the years to come.

What do you think?

 

Stocks or funds?

Stocks or Funds? I strongly prefer one over the other when it comes to investing my money

Stocks or funds? In this post I’ll talk about my self-professed finance-nerdiness, and why I prefer branch specific index funds over stocks.

I have to admit, I am a huge finance junkie. The same way some people go in and check facebook or instagram multiple (I really don’t want to give an estimate here for embarrassing reasons) times a day, I go in and check the stock market. I am perfectly content with peeking in without buying, the satisfaction comes from feeling up to date and “checking in”. As it is not hurting anyone, I have not tried to regulate this and thus let myself engulf freely in this little guilty pleasure.

A few posts ago, I talked about my investment strategy and mentioned both index funds and stocks as different investment options. As the above self-professed stock-market junkie I am, you would think that I am all about the stocks, options, warrants and all sorts of speedy hedgefund-y ways there are to up your capital out there.

In reality, this is not true. I am very much a vanilla-investor. I observe, and look, and wait, and maaaybe I’ll put in a little bit, just to check how it feels. And then some more. But I seldom buy stocks (relatively seldom, of course it happens).  I have a very realistic expectation of what I know and don’t know, and when it comes to stocks I just know too little about most underlying companies to make a potential investment more than a gamble. In addition, since the price of the stock is not really about the price of the company (just look at H&M nowdays) but what the market thinks of the price, I know even less.

Why I prefer index funds

What I do know, however, is the general status of the world. Almost as much as I like checking in on SP500 et alia I am constantly hooked in on the world news. And because of this, I prefer branch specific index funds. A fund, essentially a bundle of stocks with a common denominator like geographic area, industry (or a combination of them) is by this definition spreading the individual risk of each company out over many similar ones. I don’t have to know much about each individual company, but I do need to know about the collective status of their respective industry, for example.

love reading up on current events, and have been tracking world news since I was a kid (again, clearly one of the very cool ones growing up) so this suits me perfectly. There is a certain satisfaction in seeing the market in a specific industry unravel before you after a few indicative events. That is my medium. It also works really well because it is easy to hedge myself even more and step one macro level further out and go from very branch-specific to more global funds, and in this way  spread the risk even more, if I want to.

For now, I stick to my active obsessive stalking of the financial markets, and my branch specific index funds, and we will see how this works out for now. 

What is your take on this?

 

Freddie