Investing in the future and present

I started investing around 2006, following the recommendations of my bank at the time. A bit of hit and miss with single stocks from the 20 largest danish companies. I left with a small plus and didn’t look back for close to 10 years.

A colleague kept talking about investing in these small biotech and pharmaceutical companies that suddenly skyrocketed. He talked about one company Veloxis Pharmaceuticals [CPH: VELO] (I still have a bit of love/hate relationship with it) which I bought after opening a trading account. I had a 200% gain in mind and when that was achieved I timed and sold my favorite stock like I was the lovechild of Gordon Gekko and Neo from the Matrix. A venture into other stocks quickly diminished my new plan to become a day trader and retire from the rat race. I thought maybe small pharma was my area and returned to a VELO stock that had lost 50% of its value since I sold. However this time another drop left my investment waaay below my initial entry. This stock sucks!

I was determined to learn about investing and picked up the book “A random walk down Wall Street” (Short recap from Prometheus Ed). If the majority of professional portfolio managers with +40 hour work weeks honing their skills in trading can’t keep up with index fonds, how could I?

Following company strategies gives me some satisfaction and sharpens my knowledge in business administration and leadership. So I kept a few larger and somewhat transparent companies single stocks while putting monthly savings into index fonds. A few drops due to scandals with money laundering and massive short selling left me reevaluating whether my wish to follow business strategy with a monetary incentive was worth the risk. Not really…

I’ve skimmed through a few of Tony Robbins books (I like his energy and videos, but his written work has lost me before the final pages) but his work in finance has really caught me “Money Master the game”. Perhaps I’m more focused, but I appreciate the slow start and build up, even though more than a few of the tips target the american system.

My current portfolio consists of 3 danish index fonds reflecting the European, American and Japanese stock markets. I have earmarked 15% of my monthly paycheck to stocks as a minimum but usually transfer 30% when the next paycheck is closing in. While a modest share of only 33% of my income after taxes goes towards our household expenses, we often find ways to spend the rest on foods, clothes and activities. Which was the main reason for my Zero spending challenge.

I find myself quite motivated for investing especially when going through different scenarios of saving and investing on something like FIRE Calculator. But that fluctuates with a fair correlation to my motivation at work.

Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it … he who doesn’t … pays it.

Albert Einstein

I put our daughters children savings accounts into accumulating index funds due to danish tax benefits. So I expect to give them a good start on adulthood as well as a tangible example of what compound interest. Similar to the marshmallow experiment shown below. Which I’m a bit hesitant to do with our oldest, who has both her fathers patience and sweet tooth.

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