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? 

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?


How to save over 200 USD a month with 3 golden tips

How to save over 200 this month with these three tips

It is not always easy to cut down your costs  and save money when you have routines that you have had for years, perhaps since you were a child. However, these small routines are sometimes where you will find the easiest ways to cut down on your spending and save money. This month I have done 5 things that has cut down my costs significantly.

3 things I have done to cut down my costs and save money  over 200 dollar this month!

  1. I have biked everywhere. I normally bike every now and then but this month I have made a point of bringing the bike with me all the time. Great exercise!!!
  2. Mr Viking and I have dutifully implemented the One Simle Purchase Rule
  3. White month! As the Viking I am, I tend to drink alcohol every now and then, and Mr Viking and I very much enjoy a glass of red after a long day of work. Cut off alcohol completely this month and noticed two things: a) I am saving more money than I thought! A good bottle of wine pays up to ca 20 USD so lets say we have saved at least 40 bucks on this. b) My skin looks great! I want to continue with this.

These are things that has made me save in total more than 200 USD. 

In one year this is adding up to 2400 dollars. Insane. Tips: Write down right now what you would do if you were given 2400 dollars out of the blue right now. Keep this as a motivational note.

It is not on par with MrMoneyMustache  but everyone has to start somewhere and these are definitely three tips that anyone can follow. If you try it one single month, you will still save a lot of money.

Bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies

Crypto currencies bitcoin ethereum are they here to stay

Bitcoin and the legacy of cryptocurrencies

Five years ago I was convinced that Bitcoin, bearing the legacy of all cryptocurrencies, had reached its peak.  From here on it would silently fall into oblivion, sort of like those horrific 5-second snippets of music people used as their ringtone back in the 90s just because technology allowed for it. I will never be able to hear the first tones of Sugarbabes ’round round’ without a stressed peak in adrenaline, and a nervous glance at my phone. Anyway, I was convinced it was a done deal.

As we can see, these are clearly one of those wonderful far-sighted things I was completely on point with (please hear the Scandinavian irony here).

bitcoin price cryptocurrency development
Price of bitcoin in the past five years, picture from www.bitcoin.com

Bitcoin has rushed like nothing else in the past few months, and there are a few forerunners along with it like Ethereum that are making its way up too.

As a newbie-bitcoiner and a borderline-news-junkie  I am torn between what to think of these. This is definitely the high-risk part of The Leprechaun .

Yes side

Yes, I see the future of finance, the internet finally seeing its legacy being instantiated into something tangible and useful, outmaneuvering the big, bad, corporate banks and so on. Sure. 

No side

But I also see the fragility, the marketplace made for people that have reasons to want to not be traced (human traffickers, illegal exporters etc.) and heaps and heaps of sites with semi-legit (read fraudulent) dealers, shadow-sides that mirror real online markets where people send their money somewhere where they will never see them again.  All without the slightest legal chance of getting them back.

But still

Still, I am ending up on the yes side. I think that as the years are starting to add up, it speaks for the probability of cryptocurrencies being here to stay. As more and more people are using it, the legitimacy as well as its liquidity increases tenfold. In addition, I am a firm believer that technology capabilities like this (music ringtones being the exception) cannot every be banned, it will only increase its attraction. We are making this a “good” force to be reckoned with, but only as long as the masses keep latching on to it. This is mainly because the technology behind blockchain is genius and unprecedented in its its usability as a financial mechanism.

What do you think?


— Note that I am only expressing my own opinion and not speak in any professional capacity nor giving any financial advice.

Financial Independence: My investment strategy in 4 easy steps

See my investment strategy to reach financial independence with 4 easy steps

My Strategy to financial independence

If you read my last post you know how much I was able to save from my last salary. The next implied question then naturally becomes; what do I do with that money in order for it to grow me some financial independence? This post will talk about what i do with the money that I invest into the Leprechaun , i.e. my investment strategy to Financial Independence.

Four easy steps —

Number 1)

Get an income stream, and preferably more than one. You can never save money if you don’t get any money, so this is the most crucial step, even if the actual salary is not that important. I get my salary each month.

Number 2)

I have a set saving goal each month, lets call it X . This sum I need to invest. The biggest mistake you can make is leaving that money passively deprecating itself due to inflation and potential taxes. Long term investments can be put into high-risk funds and stocks without it being that much historical risk associated to it. The market has historically always gone up, even if it regularly will take a stroll downwards into a recession. Note here that I talk about the whole market and not individual stocks and funds. Stocks tank all the time, which is why it will generally be a higher risk for you to invest your money in  one individual stock, than in a larger index.

I invest 80% of X in different index funds. Of these 80%, around 40% are branch-specific, quite risky and narrow indexes while the remaining 60% are large global index funds.

I am looking to leave my riskier branch-specific investments where they are but from now on start putting the whole 80%-chunk into global index funds. Mainly because I am still convinced he recessions is near and not sure which market it will hit first. The remaining 20% I place in stocks of different kinds, mostly larger companies with a good track record of raising their dividends shares each year. I will probably continue to buys socks for a few more months but then slowly shift this chunk over more and more to the global index funds as well. I will explain this more in step 3.

Number 3)

Have a set percentage to play with. This is where my 20% that I buy stocks for each month comes into play. I really like investing in stocks, and reweighing, shifting and shorting my way around the markets. This is not a very good thing if you are looking for a solid investment plan. This is why I have capped my allowance of my savings I can play with to 20%. I will decrease this percentage in the next few months. This as I don’t have enough time to become the next Gordon Gekko and index funds has historically almost always beat individual strategies in the long term anyway.

Number 4)

When the time has come for me to have enough capital for the Leprechaun to become immortal (i.e. enough for me to live off its returns indefinitely) I will sell off the funds and buy high-dividend stocks for these so that I am set up for a monthly income.

Thanks for all the positive feedback from my last post as well!


How we kept our expenses under control with 1 simple rule


Mr Viking and I bought an apartment a few months ago (I’ll get into the economics of how it is much more financially sensible to buy rather than rent n Sweden in another post), and apart from the money we are saving not having to pay rent, it has been an incredible demotivating experience from a savings-point of view. We both have fixed numbers we are expecting to put away after all expenses and invest each month (remember, the monthly salary in Sweden? :)) as part of The Leprechaun that will never die.

The problem:

However, ever since we bought this apartment, there has been a number of emergency expenses each months that has left us dumbfounded at the end , wondering what happened.

For example, we didn’t have a carpet for the hallway for the longest time, because we were trying to stay within budget and prioritize. It has started snowing here now, which means that every time someone clamps through our door, there will be a little puddle of water on our white, 100-year old-wooden floor *gasp*  and will soon leave permanent damage = decreasing the value of the apartment *thousand-folded-gasp*. Nonetheless, our sense of priorities shifts very quickly which means that we are not anticipating these costs.

Three months ago we bought bought a couch (did not have anywhere to sit in the living room before) and two bedside tables (I had a pile of books on the floor before that Mr Viking, -J,  kept tripping on). Which meant that we once again went over our budget, and it irritated me. By now we have been living here for so long that our expenses should have fluctuated back to status quo.

one rule that kept our expenses in check:

We came up with one rule that has changed all of this. Now, we meet budget every month and we are forced to anticipate costs and expenses that may come up. It is really very simple, but it has changed everything for us. The rule is:  We can only make one big purchase each month (No fixed upper or lower limit on what we mean with ‘big’, which helps us equate everything that is a real ‘purchase’ with ‘big expense’.

We have this rule set until the end of the year where we put a hard stop on even the one big expense per month and will probably move over to one each quarter. This month it is leaning towards a kitchen table, which we still don’t have. But, because we have this rule, we are now contemplating this purchase carefully before rushing away (weighing it against getting wardrobe doors for example, another thing we are still lacking, that will thus have to way)

Student Debt

Current student debt: 42909 USD

Yes, I live in a country where university is free. Yes, considering my student debt this number is a bit frightening. Tuition is free, but you have to cover housing, food, transportation etc. meanwhile the government offers wonderful student loans to a very, very reasonable interest rate. 

Interest rate

At this point I could have paid off my debt a while back instead of investing that money. However, the interest rate for all government funded student loans is currently at 0,34%. This means that it is actually better to keep your earned money and invest in the stock-market instead to pay the interest rate of by the dividends; while paying the minimum amount back to the government.

student debt and get Financial Independence!

Every cent of our debt is currently invested in a high-yielding index fund, regenerating its value over and over. If you are interested in our approach; check out my blog postThe Leprechaun that will never die.

This is one of the reasons I love comparing financial strategies across countries. In other countries it would have been daunting to just leave this debt be while having enough funds to pay it off, whereas here, it is definitely better to keep this debt invested for as long as I can. Check out the comparison of the different student debts between US and the rest of the World; CollegeCosts. I am staying in debt and moving our money around in a few quite branch specific index funds, and I am also happily paying in the 0,34% along with the circa 100 bucks a month I am required to pay back.

What is it like where you are from?

The Leprechaun that will never die.

The journey for financial independence and the naming of a pile of money

If our yearly costs and taxes (capital, property tax etc.) is defined as X then X = The sum we need yielded as dividends each year. This is really the definition of financial independence.

For whatever reason we decided to name this pile of money, and for even more unclear reasons we decided to name it The Leprechaun. This is not from some weird fantasy or fairy tale, we just named it out of the blue. This is because we need some named-entity to name the adventure. As having a certain amount of money in an bank account is an end-goal, but the journey and the challenge that comes with it. Just imagining the opportunities when becoming financially independent is scary as well as the choices we have to make their is also part of it.

So, the Leprechaun need to have an expected dividends yield totaling our combined costs and taxes. 

On average, Swedish stocks will return about 4% of share value in dividends each year, so it is fairly realistic to assume the Leprechaun will need to be X/0,04 (plus some semi-horrific tax calculations on top of this). For you whom have already created this leprechaun of joy, why not start living the financial freedom and put the money in some of the companies listed as Swedish companies with best dividends.

This way, the growth of the portfolio (sorry, the Leprechaun) will be able to match/outgrow that of the expected inflation, creating a Leprechaun that will never die, as I triumphantly pointed out after having finished our excel spreadsheet with our strategy on.

This strategy in itself is fairly standard as posted Financial Independence: My investment strategy in 4 easy steps. There is absolutely nothing in it that I would assume not almost every FIRE-advocate follows. The main differentiator for us is that there are quite a few implications related to taxation in here (as well as the benefits of a welfare state and never having to pay for health instance for instance). I will dig in to our specific financials in the posts to come.


How will this happen?

Financial Independence can mean many things, – and it is a term that is easily floated around in relation to people like Silicon Valleyers that just sold their mediocre app to Microsoft and cashed in 8-digit-something in return, or obscure venture capitalist firms that happens get it right and cash in in the big bucks, right before the ship sails for everyone else. See But why? It’s not like it is that simple?


financial freedom

In the later years, Financial Independence is assumed to be something you will stumble upon with sheer luck. You happened to hit the right thing,right before everyone else did. This is true wether you are investing in companies, or building them. And if you like me, live in a country with very heavy taxation, will have to hand over this independence to the state right away in form of taxation, being left with some bones of the originally earned wealth to gnaw on.

This is not true.

It is possible for anyone to save up enough wealth and live on the returns of them, even in a tax heavy country like Sweden. This blog will be a living testament to how that can be done.