5-Bullet Sunday – #24

Welcome to the 24th edition of 5BS. I’m blogging for half a year now and I couldn’t really imagine back in December that I would still be writing by now.

I believe that these Sunday series have really helped me, because it required me to establish a new routine and at the same time I am getting enough practice to improve my writing.

Thanks for sticking around, providing me feedback and engaging with me via the comments section or Twitter. I very much appreciate this community and you inspire me to grow ๐Ÿ‘

Having said that, enjoy this week’s 5-Bullet Sunday!

5-Bullet Sundayย is a weekly blog post with 5 topics that were on my mind this week related to Financial Independence and Dividend Growth Investing or something that just fed my curiosity. An overview of earlier posts can be foundย here

๐ŸŒŸ Back to normal?

This week I was on vacation at the Polish seaside. It was not the best weather with some cold temperatures and 2 days of rain. Nevertheless, it didn’t stop people from going to beach to enjoy their vacation. We did the same and we had some great quality time as a family.

What struck me though was the lack of adherence to WHO and national guidelines, especially on the boulevard. I think that literally less than 1% of the people were wearing a mask and keeping social distance. In other words: it was really crowded!

For me this is a clear signal that we might experience quite a second wave somewhere within the upcoming months. It just takes one super-spreader to spoil the party.

I also asked a person whom I’m close with and his response was something that I hear more and more: “I’m tired of being at home. I need to be outside and I want to live my life. I honestly don’t care anymore if I get the virus. Who can live like this for such a long time? And do we really want to kill the economy?”

It clearly tells me that many of our generation don’t really know what suffering means. I’m not here to discount their feelings, they’re real and a mental health crisis is on the corner.

I do think however that we are so accustomed to freedom and that sometimes we are taking it for granted. The virus is invisible and the main reason why Poland did relatively well was their quick response to the pandemic.

This compares still very meager to what people experience during a war. It is just much more visible by seeing soldiers with big fat guns walking down the street…

๐ŸŒŸ How to avoid killing the economy?

I didn’t really respond to the comment “… And do we really want to kill the economy?” in the previous bullet, because I would like to touch on that separately, because my thoughts are actually quite simple:

Let’s say that 80% of the people were able to keep their income to at least 90% compared to pre-pandemic times. That means that as a society we would need to look after the other 20%. I strongly think like that, because the pandemic is based on an external event that nobody saw coming.

I therefore would support having a special “covid-19” tax, say 5% on income, for the remainder of the pandemic to support those that lost their income and are not able to live above the poverty line based on remaining income.

In a sense we’re doing this already, because the government has created a safety net for many of those, but it is doing it so based on printing additional money.

That’s where I disagree on the approach if another wave comes, because printing money really means increasing debt. We’re not living in the US where we own the world’s currency so in our case it just means that we’re passing on the debt to future generations. Why would we want to do this?

I think that many of us have experienced a quite substantial raise in savings due to the lockdown measures. I would not mind being taxed for that so that we can help our fellow citizens out. Wasn’t that money anyway supposed to be for them? I guess the main difference is that we didn’t get a product or service in return. I’m fine with that…

What are your thoughts? Would you feel OK giving up a part of your additional savings rate to help out others in a second lock down?

๐ŸŒŸ How do we envision financial freedom?

Switching topics a bit ๐Ÿ˜‰

As mentioned before, I’ve been on vacation this week and I started reflecting a bit again on my bigger goals and purpose in life. This happens often to me when I’m out of my day-2-day routine without any obligations. Just wondering around and day-dreaming on how life would look like when I hit my financial independence targets.

I was curious to hear about others and their thoughts about financial freedom. This is also the reason why I posted the below poll on Twitter:

The results themself are maybe not that much of a surprise, but I found the comments very interesting and insightful. I especially appreciate ioCharts reply to the poll:

I mean, this takes a lot of courage!

Courage that I’m definitely lacking at this moment, but he really strengthened a growing thought in me.

Personally I’ve been investing since September 2014 with option A in mind. However, the longer I am in this journey makes me lean more and more into option B.

If I can already achieve a savings rate of 50%, why shouldn’t I start working less then? For instance 3 or 4 days a week?

What if I could just save one year of expenses, quit my job and start living of those savings? Would I be able to build my own business and generate income which covers my expenses?

It’s not like I would envision doing nothing when being financially free. The trade-off in this case would be to find something else in which I can exchange my time for money, but for instance using “passive” income alternatives.

At the same time it would allow me to experience a bit on how it is to live in “retirement”. Building a new routine around my family and my time rather than around my work.

As you can read, many thoughts are going on in my head. But like usual, it doesn’t result in direct action yet. If the thought keep growing, then I wouldn’t be surprised if you will see me jumping into the deep in 2 years from now.

๐ŸŒŸ Recommended Reads

Like always, few recommended reads. This week’s selection are two blog posts that I enjoyed reading a lot this week.

1500 days to Freedom had a guest post from the SavingNinja. I very much recommend reading this post, because it’s about the pursuit of mindfulness and balance. It touches very well on the Ninja’s experience of extreme frugality and the mindset that comes with it. I think it’s an easy pitfall for many of us, especially those with an extreme approach to many topics in life.

Pollie wrote an excellent piece about his top 5 investment mistakes and it’s part of a larger teaching my kids series. I’ve decided to just bookmark the series so that I can share it with my kids when they’re old enough. Pollie, if you’re reading this: please keep your blog alife at least for another 10 years so that I can share it with my kids when they are old enough ๐Ÿ˜‰

๐ŸŒŸ Recommended Video

Early day readers of this blog might remember calling out Andrew Yang a few times. I find him a very inspirational social entrepreneur who ran for president this year. He stepped out of the democratic primaries somewhere back in February, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him back in a Biden administration (really, can citizens of the US only chose between Biden and Trump?).

Having said that, recently he launched his own YouTube podcasts and this week he interviewed another person that I’m a big fan of: Mark Cuban. The podcast became a great conversation between two entrepreneurs that want to “fix” America by setting it up for the future.

That was it for 5-Bullet Sunday, edition #24

Have a good remainder of the Sunday!

Yours Truly,

European Dividend Growth Investor

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Iโ€™m not a certified financial planner/advisor nor a certified financial analyst nor an economist nor a CPA nor an accountant nor a lawyer. Iโ€™m not a finance professional through formal education. Iโ€™m a person who believes and takes pride in a sense of freedom, satisfaction, fulfillment and empowerment that I get from being financially competent and being conscious managing my personal money. The contents on this blog are for informational and entertainment purposes only and does not constitute financial, accounting, or legal advice. I canโ€™t promise that the information shared on my blog is appropriate for you or anyone else. By reading this blog, you agree to hold me harmless from any ramifications, financial or otherwise, that occur to you as a result of acting on information provided on this blog.

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