17# My Monthly Financial Independence Update

The Quick Takeaways

This month savings rate: 0 %

Passive Yearly Income (5 % withdrawal with taxes): 16.900 DKK (2500 $)

% change since last month: + 0,4 %

So What The F#ck Happen This Month?

  • Stock Market went up, networth went down
  • Going to France
  • Train, eat, sleep and repeat

Spending, spending and more spending

We all know the this simple equation for wealth building:

Spending < Earnings

It is simpelt. But very effective.

I’m doing the direct opposite at the moment. Having no income at all, and spending a ton of money. In many years I have known where my money went. But the last month. I feel like I have spent about a 1000 $, when I have spend closer to 3000 $.

And because of that. I’m going to track my spending. I know many people who has tracked their spending. I have done that myself. But it has been done automatically with apps that uses your bank transactions.

But I don’t feel like you get emotionally attached to that transaction, the same way as if you do it manually.

So that’s where I found the Kakeibo method (pronounced Kah-Keh-Boh). Long story short. Is a simple money management where you write spending and earnings in hand.

I will make a complete blogpost about it someday. So I won’t cover the topic to much now.

“Je Vais A Paris!!!”

In best google translate style.

I’m going to France! And it is not completely random that I have chosen France. The thing that shouldn’t happen, did happen.

When I was back in Denmark, and preparing myself for my mini retirement. One of the biggest bullet points on my “Not-To-Do-List”. Was NOT to fell in love with a girl. And that went perfect back in Denmark.

But then I went away for the first part of my mini retirement. Which was two months in Indonesia on the boat (Orbit) as a skipper trainee. These two months was super awesome.

I got to:

  • To know the boat quiet good (Thanks to Mathias, the current skipper).
  • Get four new diving licenses and become a PADI Divemaster.
  • Get the experience of being on a yacht for two months.

But another thing happen as well.

There was this girl. And without going into to much details. Let’s just say I can’t stop thinking about her. Guess what?! She is currently doing an exchange period with her studies in medicin in……… (Drum roll please)

France.

So I have decided to spent 1500+ $ on a ten day trip to Paris and Lyon.

I think the money is going to be well spent.

Cebu Is Gooooood

My days are looking pretty much the same everyday.

They look something like this:

  • Sleep as long as I can. Do some writing/reading/meditating or anything else productive. I might watch too much YouTube though.
  • 1 PM – First Jiu Jitsu training session
  • 4 PM – Eating (Doing OMAD at the moment)
  • 8 PM – Second Jiu Jitsu Training

I love having nice and quiet days. And I think it is the most perfect way I can prepare myself for the six months I’m going to be at sea.

I will be leaving for France the 13/2, and come back here to Cebu the 24/2.

A picture of some of the guys from Patos Jiu Jitsu here in Cebu.

I’m really bad at taking pictures. (Working on that habit)

But for some reason I manage to do an instagram story or two. So if you want some footage of my (currently) mini retirement.

Go and follow me on instagram:

@LouiLam

Set Your Kids on FIRE

I’m sitting here in a café in Cebu – Philippines. Trying to look cooperate in my beige wife beater. Sipping the least expensive coffee on the menu (1 $/cup). While I’m scrolling through the investment platform I use.


I’m doing that because I need to open an investment account for my good friends new born child.


This is the fourth time I’m doing so. Whenever one of my good friends are having a kid. I will be the “financial uncle” who helped their parents not to fuck up their financial future.

FIRE… My Kids?! NO!!!!!!

Oh yes. And here is why.

Your kids are not going to worry about money from when they being born till they gotta move away from home.

Well yes. They might start to “worry” about money when they become teenagers. But that will only concern 15 $ for a couple of beers they can hammer. When they have told you they were going to watch some movie at their friends place. (Yes, I have done that)

So from when a kid is born. We have 20 years of undisturbed investing. Which is a good long time span to invest in stocks.

My Mom Tried to Set Me On FIRE

The biggest risk is not taking any risk

Mark Zuckerberg

My mom did the best thing she thought she could do.

She opened an account for me and my sister. Paying 15 $/month to the account. And in 18 years. That money would be around:

(12 months x 15 $) x 18 years = 3240 $

That is not too shabby when you are 18 years old, and need to buy pots and pans for your new place to live.

But what my mom didn’t do. Was to make money do the heavy lifting. And take advantage of those 18 years of undisturbed time.

I was born in October 1990. And I got these money from my mom when I decided to leave home when I was 18. That will be around late 2008.

If my mom would have invested that money in a 100 % world index portfolio. I would have had 5200 $. And that is with the financial crack in 2008. The year before I would have had about 7000 $ to my name.*

The worst 20 year period to invest in stocks the last 50 years was from 1989 to 2009. So despite investing the worst 20 years. My mom would still have a 5,7 % annual return. AFTER taxes and fees are paid.*

It is Not The Parents Fault

The sad thing is. Alot of people are doing this. With the best intentions. They are doing it because nobody has told them that there is a better way to give your kid a head start.

And that is why I’m writing this article.

What you have to do is:

  1. Just do what you normal would. (Like my mom for example)
  2. Transfer them to an investment account
  3. Find the cheapest and broadest diversified stock index portfolio (Preferably an environmental one)
  4. Invest in that

It was a coincidence that I was borned in the worst time to invest in stocks. If I was born in 1974 and my mom would have started invested there. The annual return would have been 12,3 %. (After fees, taxes and inflation*)

Then the 15 $/month would have turned into:

12,150 $ (After fees, taxes and inflation*)

That is almost 4 times more money, than if she just had kept them in cash. Or about 9000 $ just left on the table.

Set Your Kids on FIRE (With Gasoline)

We can take it even further.

Imagine if we swapped that 15 $/month out with 50 $/month instead.

Yes, that would be an awful lot of money your kid will end up having. But who says that these money is for the kids?

Well it is. But if we did saved up 50 $/month on a seperate account for them. We could withdraw from that fund, whenever they had an expensive birthday or similar. It would just be like saving up for the 15 year old birthday.

Let’s take an example.

If we had a kid 18 years ago, and we managed to save and invest 50 $/month from the day it was born. Their account would look something like this*:

If our kid had an account like that. We could easily withdraw a couple of 1000 $ here and there, without it meant that they didn’t have any money when the turned 18.

*Ifa.com

1:1 Coaching

Have you read about all this FIRE thing. And still are confused where to start?

Or do you just need a mentor to along your journey?

That is why I have started the 1:1 coaching. I walk the talk. And as I write this I’m in the middle of my mini retirement.

Check the whole thing out here on this site, and feel free to write me questions. Or if you just want to say hello.

16# My Monthly Financial Independence Update

The Quick Takeaways

This month savings rate: 0 %

Passive Yearly Income (5 % withdrawal with taxes): 17.400 DKK (2680 $)

% change since last month: + 1,7 %

So What The F#ck Happen This Month?

  • Enjoying Indonesia
  • Four new diving licenses
  • Selling shares!!! (Not enjoyable)
  • Still working on the mobile writing habit.

Indonesia, What a Blast!

I have now been in Indonesia for two months. And it has been a blast.

Even though I feel like I have sailed a lot back home. I have never had the experience of sailing with 8 other people I don’t know.

When you live with 8 other people on a boat there is 15 m long, you will be tested constantly. People who think they might be the most patient people, suddenly see that they might not be that patient after all. Which can fuck up some people’s thoughts about themselves.

And small problems can become the end of the world. This morning one of the girls grabbed an empty milk from the fridge, and she bursted into tears because she couldn’t have her cold milk on her morning cereals.

That is the beauty about sailing.

Because on the other side. We sail during the night. With a sky so full of stars I have never seen in my entire life. And the moon shines so bright that it doesn’t seem like night. And when we anchor the following day. It is the most lovely blue coloured water, with white sand beaches with palm trees, we can climb if we want a coconut to feast on.

Sailing is the highest high and the lowest lows.

When all of your clothes is wet (including your bed). And stuff starts the break on the boat. You have had the hardest night sailing. You ask your self why the fuck you are doing this.

It can change so quickly with the most beautiful anchoring spot. A freshly caught tuna on the grill. And you are about to go on the second (or even third) dive of the day where you see manta rays, sharks or even whales. Then it just feels like you couldn’t live life more than you are doing right now.

4 Diving Licenses in 45 Days

Even though the last two months has been so awesome. They have also been quiet tough.

Some of the days have been four dives a day, with the first one at 5:30 in the morning.

And in between dives I would do some repairing on the boat with the skipper onboard (Mathias). Plus I might do some cooking for nine people to feast on. So some of days has been without a break from early morning, to midnight. Even when I’m only doing awesome stuff, I can be really tired some nights.

But today I became a PADI dive master. Which means now have the following licenses:

  • PADI advanced
  • PADI rescue
  • PADI deep speciality
  • PADI dive master

I’m out of $$$

I have invested since 2014. And I have never ever sold a share in order to get some money to spent.

The other day I had sell shares worth of 50.000 DKK (7000 $).

I won’t lie. It did hurt to do so.

I had to do it because I still had 20.000 DKK (3000 $) in leverage. But the company change their ratings on their loans for investing. And it wouldn’t be beneficial for me anymore to have that leverage.

The second reason I had to do it is because I’m out of money.

I’m leaving Indonesia in a couple of days from now. Where a girl I met here on the boat, is going to join me for a couple of vacation days in Malaysia.

After that I will leave for the Philippines where I’m going to do jiu jitsu for two months.

And I do not have a single penny on my account.

So the last 30.000 DKK (5000 $) is going to be spent on my Malaysia trip and the Philippines. Hopefully the money will last.

Habits Will Shape Our Lives

And I’m still working on my “writing on my mobile habit”.

The phone I got for free was my sister’s old iPhone 6. After two months of being at sea that phone is about to die. And I blame the condition of that phone for why I haven’t kept up with my writing.

So in Malaysia I did the thing I probably hate the most.

Shopping.

And I bought myself a new phone. I will never pay what an iPhone phone costs. So I ended up with Samsung phone, it was cheap, and an insanely upgrade for any phone I ever had.

My writing habit will be to write at atleast 50 words every morning. Which can end up in 2-3 blog posts a month.

So stay tuned.

15# My Monthly Financial Independence Update

The Quick Takeaways

This month savings rate: 0 %

Passive Yearly Income (5 % withdrawal with taxes): 17.000 DKK (2600 $)

% change since last month: – 2 %

So What The F#ck Happen This Month?

  • Leaving Denmark in order to start my mini retirement in Asia
  • Spending many $$$
  • Figuring out how I’m going to write

My Mini Retirement in Asia

My second part of my mini retirement has officially started. I have been looking so much forward for this trip. But it is also the part that scares me the most.

At the moment I’m in Indonesia. I’m here as a co-skipper on the boat Orbit. The main skipper is called Mathias, and he has went to the same school as me. So we know a lot of the same sailor people.

Mathias is the bomb. And I’m taking some weight off his shoulders by doing some of the repairing on the boat. We have spent the last 7-8 days in the marina of Sorong to do some repairing. We do whatever we can in order to leave as fast as we can.

My timeline for my retirement looks like this:

  • 2 months in Indonesia as a co-skipper.
  • 2 months in boracay (Philippines) training Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
  • 6 months as a skipper in the Philippines, Indonesia and East-Timor.

Spending Money Is Awful

Even though the only thing I’m going to pay for is the two months in the Philippines where I’m going to be on my own. I still had a lot of shopping to-do before I had to leave Denmark.

I hate shopping.

It is the worse thing I know. Walking from store to store. To buy loads of shit that I feel like I’m not going to use. On top of that, I feel the inner environmentalist in me screaming.

I don’t do budgets. So I really don’t know what I have spent my money on. But I have been spending 3-4000 $ the last month, in order to get ready to leave Denmark for 10 months and being a skipper.

Writing Without a Computer

Yes I do have have a computer with me. But it is hassle using it. It requires so much more time to charge than my phone. And I’m quite busy all day fixing the boat we are going to sail. So I’m trying to develop a new habit of writing on my phone. It does go a bit slower. But I don’t have to sit down at a desk, and figuring out where I’m going to power my nearly 10 year old MacBook.

By writing on my phone I can do it on the go. I have set my phone up so that the first screen I see when the mobile is open, is writing related apps like WordPress, google docs and mailchimp.

I hate being a slave to the mobile. Interacting too much on social media and stuff like that. And from the moment I got a phone again. I can feel how much useless time I’m spending on it. So if I instead can spend time writing on the phone. I should be able to keep this blog running. Even though I might be 100s of kilometres away from shore.

I’m excited about trying to write 95 % of this blog on my phone!

See Photos of My Trip

My friend Jacob from jiu-jitsu gave me a crash course on how to make instagram stories. So I’m getting pretty good at taking some footage, and share it on instagram.

If you want to see what I’m doing on this long trip, you can go and check me out here:

@LouiLam

And I’m Off!

This the day that I will be leaving for my 10 month long mini retirement in Asia. The last couple of days I have been racing around town to find stuff that I need for the trip. Visiting doctors. Saying “See-ya” to friends and family.


The previous week I ended up in hospital for five days, because I had an infected knee. So know I will be leaving my home country Denmark, while I’m still on antibiotics, but I don’t worry to much about that. Being at the hospital didn’t make the previous days less stressful. My time schedule was already quite ambitious. So staying in bed for five days was far from ideal.

Doing Stuff That Scares Me

For a long time I have been excited to go on this trip. But for the last month is has scared the shit out of me. I often find myself doing stuff that I get so freaking nervous about, and like everyone else. I hate being nervous. But I have come the conclusion that it makes me feel alive.


I was always super nervous when I rowed, but I ended up doing that for 10 years.


Now I find myself competing in brazilian jiu jitsu. Which is even more terrifying than rowing. Because your opponent will try to choke that shit out of you.


And in four months, I’m going to be a skipper of a boat. Sailing in countries I haven’t been in before. With people I don’t know. It scares the shit out of me.


But proving that you can beat the other guys in a rowing boat. Or choking the other guys in BJJ. Or sailing across oceans you haven’t been sailing before. Is to prove to yourself that you are capable of doing things that you didn’t think was possible. And if that doesn’t make you feel alive. I don’t know what will.

Blogging With No Internet?

This blog will be the main place I will make updates on my mini retirement. But there will be periods where you will find me several nauticals miles from shore. Which means. I won’t have any wifi.
Besides that! I will do my very best to keep this blog updated.

Podcast: FIRE

The other day a podcast episode got released about FIRE. Lots of awesome danish people are in it, including myself.

The podcast is made by four really awesome radio/podcast students named: Daniel Sarto Lassen, Marie Kildebæk, Martin Broch & Leo Peter Larsen

You can check out Leo’s soundcloud page HERE

Or you can listen to the podcast episode by clicking play below. (It is in danish)

14# My Monthly Financial Independence Update

The Quick Takeaways

This month savings rate: 0 %

Passive Yearly Income (5 % withdrawal with taxes): 16.800 DKK (2550 $)

% Change since last month: 0 %  

So What The F*** Happen This Month

  • 1 Month till I leave for Indonesia
  • Got a mobile again (sadly)
  • Leaving for Croatia

Clock is Ticking

The airplane ticket is booked for the 29th of October.

That means there is less than a month till I will be leaving my home country Denmark. In order to sail and dive my ass off down in the pacific ocean for 10 months.

There was a little misunderstanding between mOcean and I. They had me booked two months onshore, so that I could go for the diving instructor education. But I had to pay it out of my own pocket. Which is an expensive education, and I don’t know if I will ever use the instructor role again.

The schedule will look something like this:

November & December 2019:

I will be joining Orbit (the boat) in Sorong, Indonesia. In order to learn everything about the boat from Mathias who is the captain now.

Sabrina (the diving instructor onboard) is going to up my game as a diver. And making sure that I have 80 dives in a safely manner.

January & February 2020

For now I think that I will go to Boracay in the Philippines. They have an awesome fighting club, where I can live and train brazilian jiu jitsu for only 500 $/month. And it is not to far away from Carmen Bay, where I’m going to jump back onboard on the boat. Hopefully a friend from my BJJ club will come and join me.

March to September 2020

I’m going to get the title as the captain of Orbit, along with my friend Sabrina which is going to be the diving instructor onboard.

We will be diving, and do a bit of sailing in the Philippines before we hit back to Indonesia again where Kasper and Anders will take the boat for more adventures.

My dad has just booked a trip on the boat. So he will be along for the last two months of the trip, which I’m super stoked about! Thanks for that dad!

Call or Text Me!

So the other day my sister gave me her old phone. (Thanks Luna!)

I can already feel how much time I end up spending on it. Which is a pity. But when I’m going to be in asia for 10 months, I find it a bit nice to have a mobile phone along with me.

Inorder for me to think it is nice to get a phone again, I think that you should be able to contact my directly on that. Call or text me if you have questions on FIRE or just want to say Hi!

My number is +45 71792322

Hallo Split!

I sit in my room in Split, Croatia writing this blog post.

We are 13 people down here from Oure Folk Highschool. In order to learn how to manoeuvre bigger boats.

Tomorrow we will onboard three boats. One 45 foot, and two 48 foot Jeanneau Sun Odyssey from 2014. Which is going to be awesome. I don’t think I have ever sailed so new boats before!

Video Interview for Pernille Wahlgren

One of the awesome things of chasing FIRE is that I get to meet a lot of awesome people. One of them is Pernille Wahlgren, who is one of the most badass financial independent woman I know.

She asked me if I wanted to do an interview for her online course.

Here is a teaser for the 20 minute long interview on her online course. (Unfortunately it is in danish).

You can check her out at: pernillewahlgren.dk

13# My Monthly Financial Independence Update

The Quick Takeaways

This month savings rate: 0 %

Passive Yearly Income (5 % withdrawal with taxes): 16.500 DKK (2500 $)

% Change since last month: 5 %  (26.000 DKK / 3.800 $)

So What The F*** Happen This Month

  • I have stopped leveraging my stocks
  • Competing at my first BJJ competition
  • Simplifying my monthly updates

Quitting My Leverage

The main reason for why I’m quitting my leverage is the following:

Be fearful when others are greedy, and be greedy when others a fearful.

Warren Buffett

But isn’t that market timing Loui?! You might think.

Sort of. The thing is I can feel I start worrying about having 200.000 DKK (32.000 $) of leverage, while I’m not earning any money. I fear going away for my sailing trip, and during that period a recession will hit. Then I need to pay attention to my portfolio while I’m in the middle of paradise. Which is not something I strive for.

The other things is that I have had +30 % ROI this year which is the equivalent of earning + 100.000 DKK ( 18.000 $). So instead of being greedy when things are going great, I start to worry.

Then Nordnet has turned up the rates from 1 % to 2 % for their investments loan. Which is also something I dislike. They could suddenly turn the rate from 2 % to 5 % while the stock market plunge. That would be a risk I was willing to take if I had a job. But not know where I don’t have any steady income.

I’m not completely done with leveraging, but until I have a new job there won’t be any leverage.

BJJ Competition in Dublin

I have found a new love for a sport named Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

My old coworker Steffen broad me along for class after I got kicked out from the national team in rowing. I never thought that a martial art would be something I would find fun. But I’m madly in love with this new sport.

I love it because it gives your ego a reality check. Whenever you feel that you are getting better, there is one who is better than you, whooping your ass.

In BJJ you don’t kick or punch each other. You try to choke, or “break” an arm or a leg. And because of that we are sparring 100 % at each training session. Which is super fun.

Last weekend I went for my first competition in Dublin. Despite losing my two fights, I thought it was fun, and I have learned a lot.

Monthly Updates – Less is More

I have decided to give the monthly updates a little brush up.

The only “quick takeaways” there will be is the very essential ones.

This Month Savings Rate: Is how big of percentage of my salary I have saved. Since I’m not working at the moment, I’m not able to save anything.

Passive Yearly Income: Is the amount I’m able to take out of my portfolio yearly. I think the 4% rule is quiet conservative. And that’s I why I have chosen to go for a 5 % withdrawal rate. And then I subtract 33 % to taxes. It is a very arbitrary number, since our taxation system in denmark is quiet complex.

The equation would look something like this.

(Total Portfolio Value x 0,05) x 0,66 = Passive Yearly Income

Change Since Last Month: Is how much the portfolio is up or down since last month.

Going Outside of the Tribe

The more I look around, the more I realize that we might be on of the biggest tribe animals on this planet. Going outside of the tribe, and being a lonely wolf, can be scary.

Being a part of a tribe was a good thing back in 10.000 BC. Because the only thing we were worrying about was the following:

  1. Will it kill me?
  2. Can I eat it?
  3. Can I fuck it?

Our brains still has this way of thinking. That’s why we end up following the tribe. Because it will be easier to kill, eat and raise a child if we are in a tribe out in the nature, trying to survive.

Things Happens Outside of the Tribe

The thing is. If we follow a tribe, our lives will end up like the tribe. Which would be awesome if we daily feared for our lives. The tribe would have our backs.

But in a modern society, where tigers are locked up in cages at the local zoo, our meal is just around the corner and the kid is at the kindergarten. There is no reason to be a in tribe.

The modern (average) tribe will do the following:

  1. Get an education
  2. Have some student debt
  3. Work from 9-5 for 50 years
  4. Have some kids they don’t have time for
  5. Eat +3 meals a day, and be overweight
  6. Get divorced

And the tribe do so, because that is how we define a prosperous life.

If we step outside of this tribe, new windows will open. But the entire tribe will tell you how the tiger is going to kill when we are on our own. Because that is how our brain works.

How I Step Outside of the Tribe

Here are 4 things I do, which is “unusual” for the tribe.

Not Having a Mobile

I have never been more present social than I’m right now. And that’s because I don’t have a mobile.

The thing is. The people who are closest to me, is getting more and more pissed about me not having a mobile. Because they can’t contact me when they feel like it. They do not pay attention to how I devote 100 % of my time to them, whenever I’m with them.

That is called Loss Aversion.

Loss aversion is the fact we find it more painful to lose 100 $, than the joy of finding 200 $.

People are hardly noticing me not looking at my mobile every 10-15 minutes, but are super pissed about that one minute every 14 days that they can’t get in contact with me.

And that is why “the tribe” is keep telling me to get a mobile.

Eating 1-2 Meals a Day

Eating is a very social thing. Whenever I tell people that I’m not having lunch today, they are about to fall down from the chair.

If we say that we spend around 45 minutes prepping, eating and cleaning after each meal. We then devote 2 hours 15 minutes consuming calories each day.

Eating less frequent is one of the most awesome habits I do and has several benefits:

  • Saving time = more productivity
  • Saving money
  • Eating healthier
  • Eat as much as I like
  • Drinking more water
  • Clearer skin
  • Staying healthy and lean

Saving + 50 % of My Income

When I tell people about me chasing FIRE. People often understand it. But will never try to do it themselves.

I’m still trying to figure out what they are fearing. The conclusion so far is that people is so scared of stepping outside of the tribe. Just the thought of “losing” money in the stock market, is enough for them to stay in the comfort zone, and not leaving (just for period) a job they don’t feel like.

And they focus more on the “Spending less” than they focus on the “Do what you want” part of the equation. Which again is a Loss Aversion thing.

My mind can’t grasp the idea of people showing up at a job for 50 years if they could do whatever they felt like. If we could cherry pick activities without worrying about our finances, I can’t imagine that we would live the way we do now.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t think that people will do well sitting in hammock. But the solution is not how we are living our lives now.

Minimalism

The ambition of not wanting to own stuff is still super weird to many people.

It seems like there is an equivalent of how many things we have and how happy/successful we are.

Which is not my reality.

I believe in presence and empathy, which can be done for free without gifts or other stuff.