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

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

The start of the FIRE Saga

Fire: Is not the least I can do making my wildest dreams come true?

I decided to start working towards financial freedom and FIRE after a three-step-thought process that looked something like this:

1. Mental step –

I was contemplating how fortunate I was being in the position I was; a wonderful job, good savings, having had great (free!!) education, stable home life, amazing Mr Viking,  essentially feeling very grateful. This lead to contemplation about what I should do with this fortunate life I have been thrown into. What should I do? I have always been a goal-setter when it comes to life, but this time it was different.

This time I felt like I owed it to myself to really and fully think about what I wanted to do the most. I had to realize how fortunate I had been to be put down on earth in a position where I actually had leverage to make many things happen. How many other women in the world could say the same? Is not the least I can do then making my wildest, scariest dreams come true?

How few are the countries I would have had to be born in to being given even a realistic percentage of ending up with parents educating me enough to have me probabilistically set myself up for an economically good future?? And then have me coincidentally ending up being clear-headed enough to realize this advantage?

There are always amazing outliers, rising up agains the challenges their backgrounds have brought and winning, but the thing is, I am not one of these outliers. If anyone has had the opportunity to set themselves out to a good start, me and my fellow Scandinavians out there are definitely in that group . Given the poverty, inequality and suffering in the world, it would be a blind lie to say otherwise. 

My financial independence goal will be a real challenge given the heavy taxation in my country, but seriously, have I not been given all the tools I need to handle it? No, as I contemplated further, I owed it to the collective sum of all of these incredibly low probabilities to at least give my financial opportunities a serious thought.

Similar thoughts continued to spiral into an understanding of how important it is for me to feel like I have a choice. I thrive in multi-choice environments and never feel more alive than in the eye of a storm of possibilities. Freedom to have possibilities, and freedom to choose between these ended up being the only constant I could define for myself in the endless list of things I want to do and accomplish in this life. This freedom is what I want.

This is how I came down to the goal of financial independence.

2. Information-gathering step: What is FIRE?

Is this something anyone has done? I mean, don’t you have to be born into ridiculous wealth, or be lucky enough to invent Google to become financially independent?

In Scandinavia, being able to live off of your wealth is just not something you do. And the people that do have left the country a long time ago. So what do you do when you are fairly certain you are among the very few to have though of something few others have? You google it only to realize you are one hundred percent wrong. 

I started reading. And reading. Several weeks of me gathering information about people doing this crazy financial independence “FIRE”-thing. Mr Viking got equally excited. This wasn’t just a small boys club of little rich dudes from Switzerland as I first thought it would be (sorry for the horrific generalizations here). These were people everywhere. From all over. People just like me, who slowly but surely worked out a strategy for accumulated savings aka freedom and not letting anyone stopping them. I was amazed.  I wanted in.

3. If this is going to be a journey, why not invite the rest to come along? -step

I loved to write a few years ago. Now I write code all day, but due to lack of time (read bad prioritization) I barely ever write normal text. After having received so much FIRE-input for so many weeks (see step 2) I felt this big bold blurb of words inside of me. I had things I wanted to say about this. I wanted to share. If I was doing this for sure, trying to reach financial independence as soon as I could, why shouldn’t I let everyone that wanted read my story?

Looping back to step 1, it turned into this reasoning about how this was almost the least I could do. So I started. And my fingers started writing by themselves. Self conscious about writing in english I stopped and erased. And started over. And over. Until I realized that it wasn’t about the language, or about the stylesheets or the color themes. The writing had nothing to do with that and everything to do with how light I felt after each post. How happy it made me to write. How incredibly impressed by the thoughtful comments and feedback I have received from the FIRE community since starting.

This is still a tool for me to realize my FIRE goal. But independently of that, it has become a goal in itself, with an intrinsic purposefulness that really has nothing to do with the first goal.

Thank you for following me on this route.

/FV