The Churchill factor

I have read the book The churchill factor by Boris Johnson. I somehow never read a biography on Winston Churchill before. When you go to the bookstore and view the enormous amount of books about Churchill I never could pick one.

Until now, and it’s been a very good choice. He writes about his success and failures. He was not very popular most of his political career and made many mistakes, mostly because of the fact he acted more than others.

Lot’s of nice anecdotes are described and when you finish the book you get the feeling you know Churchill not just the facts but the person he was.

A very inspirational man and one who never gave up fighting. A must read.

Winston Churchill


This weekend we have been visiting Ghent, a very nice city. Not to big but lots of nice neighbourhoods. We were staying at the Big sleep B&B. Very nice old house with large rooms and a swimming pool in the garden. I didn’t pack any swimming gear unfortunately. It’s situated near the city’s historical centre, which you can easily walk.

We mostly wander around a city and decide what were we go as we go along. Walked around the old docks, checked the St Bavo’s Cathedral. We ended up walking towards a nice record shop and in the same street there was an old Begijnhof. Nowadays a lot of artist live there and they were showing their work in their homes.

Some nice art, but as always too expensive for me. Near our B&B there was an Sicilian restaurant, one of the best in Ghent apparently. On a Saturday night it was advised to make a reservation. We decided to try anyway, luckily a table was available. The food and wines were excellent. So if you go to Ghent , be sure to eat at Il mezzogiorno. , afterwards a few drinks at a local bar. Maybe a bit to late but what an excellent day!

The next day we were greeted with an very good breakfast and very nice weather. Sunshine and 21 degrees. Nice ! We decided to take it easy and just stroll around the city and stop as often as possible to sit and enjoy the sun and a good book. Very enjoyable day all round. There is a lot more to be seen and done in Ghent. Much more than we did. But it’s also a good place where you can avoid the big crowds and just have a relaxing weekend.

My plan

Ok so after reading, reading, surfing on the web and finally some more reading I decided on a plan. For now I will keep it simple. I will try to save as much of my monthly income as possible. for the first few months I will aim at 50%.

The 50% will be divided by 3. The sums will be deposited on a savings account, paying of the mortgage and an investment account.

Given that I can only pay of 10% a year on my mortgage and since I have already been doing that for a while, I am almost there. I will continue to save so I can pay off a big chunk in the beginning of next year.

Saving one third seems a bit much I agree, but some cash at hand for emergencies and given the fact I lack in investment experience this will do for now.

The investment part will be my pension fund. I will only invest for the long term. Dividend paying stocks that have been doing so for a long time.
Well that’s it. The plan.

City Athletes – David Kung Fu

Sometimes I simply look at vimeo video’s. There are a lot of cool ones, and from time too time I will post a few here as well. Justin Steele has made a cool series about city athletes in New York. This one features David Kung Fu. Excellent video. He has a few more in the series which are cool as well. Check them out.

City Athletes: David Kung Fu from Justin Steele on Vimeo.

Now what, step 3

After thinking about my retirement plan some more , I started to look around the internet and found some interesting websites. One of them was Mr money mustache

It’s a blog and community on reaching your retirement, i.e. being financially independent as soon as possible. Well that’s interesting. Started with the first series of blog posts and got a bit carried away reading. And thinking, what if this actually works. What if I can generate nough passive income to work a day or two less. Finally I’ll be able to train more, run more races and even do some more travelling.

Ok ok hold on, not so fast. The basic idea is to consume much less, and cut your montly cost base. But hey I like consuming. Maybe I don’t buy as much unnecessary crap as most people, but I do enjoy a good restaurant, night out and a bit of luxury now and then.

I continued reading and found more interesting info. It is possible to reach financial independence between 5 and 7 years. That’s very fast indeed.

I already started but with a much longer time frame in mind, what if this is possible for me. I think I am going to crunch the numbers a bit more.


Yesterday we went to see the comedy show by a group called “Oeloek”. It was the last show and it was recorded for dvd and TV. Which means that we will be visible since we were on the front row.

I had never seen them, the start was a bit slow but after 10 minutes it picked up speed and it got funnier and funnier. It’s a bit of an absurd kind of humor. Which I like a lot.
They used the few set pieces in a very clever and cool way. Unfortunately it wasn’t sold out. Which is something they definitely deserve.

So everyone (Dutch speaking , otherwise you wouldn’t understand the jokes 😉 ). go and see them when they will play the new show. Visit the Oeloek website for more info.

Cello festival Dordrecht

Today I went to the Cello festival, which is held in Dordrecht. We went to see the afternoon show called (f)luister. Two artist played a live show , Maarten Vos and Anne Müller.
First up was Maarten , apart from the cello he had various synthesizers, a Theremin like device , drum machine and effects. Recording his Cello parts and looping them and then improvising with his synthesizers and effects. Very cool ! For some people in the audience maybe a bit too electronic. For me a perfect combo.

Maarten Vos(photo: D. Slot ©)

Check out his soundcloud page, Maarten Vos soundcloud.

Next up was Anne, she was amazing, looping different parts and adding layers to make a composition. I especially liked the last part of the show were she made a bass like loop and added lot’s of cool extra stuff with her voice and tapping on the cello. Very cool indeed.

Found a cool song on soundcloud, a collaboration with Nils Frahm. Nils Frahm and Anne Muller
Anne Muller(photo: D. Slot ©)

Google adsense

Well, I like Google use it a lot. Today I put a google adsense on my page. Let’s see if it generates something. Hopefully enough to someday buy 1 Google share ;).
Or buy some other shares which pay out dividend , since that is not something Google does.

For now let’s see what happens.

Apple dividend & additions to my portfolio.

Ok, so one of my first purchases in my account was Apple. Some time ago I lusted over a new Ipad , then I thought wait, let’s buy a few stocks. Since I don’t really need an Ipad.

This was before I was thinking about dividend investing and so sort. Now the coincidence is that last week I received some Apple dividend’s.

It’s not a lot but he it still beats the interest on my savings account. And I think it’s more fun.

Now I am thinking about getting more serious about my dividend income. I have a few ideas. First one is Shell ( RDSA) , which is an oil company. Since it pays a very nice dividend ($1,50 per year) I am thinking of buying a few shares. The price seems reasonable. Second is Unilever, dividend is € 1,14 per share, and it has most of the top ranking food brands out there. So maybe I will buy some next month.

This is still a work in progress, but nonetheless a fun exercise.

I also bought some Vanguard dividend appreciation ETF’s. Let’s see how that works out. Meanwhile I am figuring out how to make nice graphs and sheets to show you.