Letter to my readers – 2016: Half year review

Dear reader, fellow DGI,

Half of 2016 is already behind us. Wow time really flies. So here is my half-year review letter to my readers. Lets see what the first half of 2016 brought. Just as a reminder, see my blog post for my 2016 goals.

Why do I do a quarterly review, you ask. Well there are actually a couple of reasons (besides because its fun to write). By doing my own review periodically it will help me understand whether I’m on course to meeting my goals, or whether I need to change my strategy or tactics.

It also helps me to stay focused on actively managing my Vrijheid Fonds. And I believe it helps me, through reflecting on the past, to be a better DGI.

So lets take a look at my five goals for 2016.

  1. Receive €2,350 € 2,600 in dividends during the year of 2016 (Updated)

In the first six month I received € 1,271.84 in dividend income. Normally the first half of a year is the biggest half-year in dividend. I’m happy with this amount of passive income. I managed to have an increase in dividends every month in comparison to last year. In my Q1-letter I already told that I smashed my original goal and set up a challenging new goal.

At this moment my projected dividend income for 2016 is € 2,472

Okay lets look at the changes in my Vrijheid Fonds in the first half-year:

As you known, a part of my Vrijheid Fonds consists of mutual funds. These must be funds that will give me some nice yield, have a low beta and have low costs (TER). I call it my little “safe-haven-to-sleep-well” of my Vrijheid Fonds. This gives me a secure feeling. And that’s why I buy mutual funds. In the beginning of this year I did some remodeling of my little “safe-haven-to-sleep-well” 😉

With some math and Pollie-magic 😉 I took an intense look at the return on investment for my remaining mutual funds. I was not happy with the results. After selling one of my long held mutual funds, I bought another mutual fund and averaged down on another. For some background info, take a look at this blog post about my mutual funds.

And in June I bought a new mutual fund for my little “safe-haven-to-sleep-well ”. I bought Kempen European High Dividend Fund

Furthermore I averaged down twice on OHI this year. My first purchase for averaging down on OHI was in the beginning of April. And after my renewed analysis of OHI in June, I bought some extra shares of OHI.

And last but not least: In the first half of 2016 I have donated about €2,530 of fresh capital in my Vrijheid Fonds.

If I take a look at the rest of this year, I project at least 3 new stock purchases of about (€ 1,200 or $ 1,500) in 2016. If these purchases have a yield of 3% and there will be more dividends increases this year, I believe my new goal will be really challenging. But hey you need to set your goals high to reach the sky ;-).

For my Vrijheid Fonds there are two risks that need to be mentioned. First there is the euro/dollar exchange rate. And second the Brexit misery over here in Europe. At time of writing this letter, the Brexit misery is just started. So it is hard to say what the exact influence will be.

Grade: Passed and update!

  1. Save 40% of my net income in 2016, averaged monthly

As I told you in my 2016 goals Post, I want to save 40% of my income from my day job. This is a high percentage, but I think it will be possible.

Regular visitors of polliesdividend.wordpress.com know that we were saving for some home improvement. And luckily we have a new bathroom now. As you can imagine a lot of cash was going that way. Now all the bills are paid and we need to save some more for new home improvements (does it ever stop?).

And of course we pay ourselves first every month after we receive our pay checks (practice what you preach 😉 ). The family savings account is used for holidays, (medical) insurances, emergency fund, etc. Just the normal things!

We also have a college fund for our kids. This is a separate account, with mutual funds. And you guessed it; this is for putting our kids through college when they are older.

In the first half of 2016 I have saved a total of 41% of my net income. Yeah, I’m well on my way to achieve this goal

Grade: Passing!

  1. Invest a total of € 6,000 new cash

In order to let my Vrijheid Fonds grow, it needs fresh cash. In the first half of 2016 I added € 2,530 of fresh capital. I’m certain that with these donations the year-end goal will be achievable. Especially because in December I normally get some extra’s which I will be donating to my Vrijheid Fonds. For now, I’m well on my way!

Grade: Passing!

  1. Write a least 100 post on Polliesdividend!

I really start to like writing my investment decisions down. This first half-year I wrote a lot of post. And looking back on them I can say, it really helps me to make better decisions. And gives a nice overview of my journey. And what really brought a smile to my face, were the numerous feedback I got from you, my dear readers.

This will be my 49th! post this year. Okay, I think I will achieve this goal. It will be hard balancing my time between my family, work, blog and friends. But for now, I’m very happy and proud of myself.

But before we go off to my last goal, first lets take a look at the statistics of my website:

  • Number of views: 15,075
  • Number of visitors: 5,778
  • Number of comments: 218

These numbers show a really great progress in relation to last year. Yippee I’m happy!

Top 5 bog posts:

  1. 3 important dates for dividend investors
  2. Watch list May 2016
  3. When do I reach FI? – Post 2016
  4. Reinvesting my dividend
  5. Shell update (Unaudited)

Top 5 countries from which people read my blog:

  1. USA
  2. Netherlands
  3. Germany
  4. Spain
  5. Sweden

All in all it is been a good half-year for Polliesdividend.wordpress.com.

Grade: Passing!

  1. Invest in my self by following a course or webinars.

Stephen Covey called it Sharpen the Saw. I think it is important to keep educate yourself. And of course maintain good health.

For my physical sharpening I have been going to the gym (almost) two times a week. My mental sharpening I did by reading four books and numerous articles on blogs on the Internet.

The first book was an autobiography of a Ukraine soccer player and his career in the Netherlands. The culture difference between our countries is very big and gave some nice reading. It is a book about personal goals, leadership and working in different countries.

The second book I read was “The richest man in Babylon”. You can read my book review in this blog post over “The richest man in Babylon”.

The Third book I read was “Rich dad, Poor Dad”. You can read my book review in this blog post over Rich dad, Poor dad.

The fourth book I Rad was “How to retire early”. You can read my book review in this blog post over How to retire early.

And of course I continued to read blogs of fellow DGI’s and articles on Seeking Alpha. This gave me new insights on some investing issues. What a present for me it was!

Grade: Passing!

Key Statistics Vrijheid Fonds:

Some key statistics on my Vrijheid Fonds for the first half of 2016:

Net Value: € 72,090
Growth Net value (from 1/1/16): 8.41%
Fresh Capital: € 2,530
Dividend Income: € 1,281.68
Number of stocks: 23
New addition: Mutual Funds, 104 stocks of OHI, 12 RDSA (Drip) and 2 UN (Drip).
Number of dividend increases: 13
Number of dividend decreases: 1 ;-( (BBL Slashed is dividend)
Percentage Dollar stocks: 53%


Mini crash
The first quarter of 2016 was a very rocky ride. In the first two weeks of the New Year, the indices dove down hard! Especially in Beijing, where the stock trading had been stopped by the authorities a couple of times. The Yuan reached it lowest point in 5 years in the second week of 2016.

On Wall Street we saw the same red numbers on the screens. It took almost 3 month to come back to the levels of the beginning of the year. It was a nice ride, with some great buying opportunities. Unfortunately I did not have some fresh capital to invest and let this opportunity go by ;-( .

Terror Attacks
Furthermore we had the terror attacks in Belgium, which had of course a huge impact in Belgium, Europe and also here in The Netherlands. What is the world coming to?

Oil prices
The oil prices are still very low and this affects all major oil companies. All the major oil companies have announced that their dividend is safe (for now).

And most commodities prices were still low. This was one of the reasons why BBL slashed its dividend.

On June 24th a small majority of the English people voted to leave the EU. After the announcement of the results of the voting, we saw a sharp decline of the British Pound, a big drop world wide in the sock markets and a sharp rise of the gold price. Furthermore a lot of money was transferred to saver investments (bonds from stable countries e.g. The Netherlands and Germany).

Of course all this gave great buying opportunities.

I read a lot of articles on what will happen. But the experts do not agree with each other. So I can’t tell you what the effects on the long term will be. We just have to wait and see.

Researching companies
When looking back on the first half of this year, I saw that I only researched two companies with my Pollie-Code (MMM and OHI). Shame on me! This is way to little!

I think it is important to constantly keep looking for new companies. And by doing this I know I will learn something new. So in the second half of 2016, I will do more research on companies.

Well, things are looking pretty good. I’m will be passing all my five goals, and I adjusted one goal.

How about you? How are you doing with your goals for 2016? Passing or failing?

Thanks for reading!



4 thoughts on “Letter to my readers – 2016: Half year review

  1. Thias @It Pays Dividends

    Pollie – Great first half of the year! You are killing it on the savings rate and dividend goals! Keep it up and you’ll blow past those as well!

  2. TheKitchenator87

    Hi Pollie, what a great read. You are on the right track to having a really nice portfolio.

    Yesterday I discovered this blog in all its glory. I used to be a dividend mantra reader before it went to the trash. Its really nice to read experiences from another Dutchman like myself. I started this year with dividend investing at the age of 28. I have only 5K invested but hey every small bit helps. I hope to invest around 5-10K a year and grow from there.

    Ill keep reading your blog for advice on the matter.

    Long in ING | DIS | UL | KO | JNJ

    Sorry for my grammar.

    1. Polliesdividend Post author

      Hello Kitchenator87,

      Thanks for stopping by and you kind words. And glad you enjoy my blog posts.

      I also enjoy reading fellow Dutch DGI’s post. You’re still young, so enjoy life and invest as much as you can! Every euro you invest when you are young will have the opportunity and time to grow. So you have more time for your snowball to get rolling.

      Your portfolio looks great.!

      Keep up the good works and drop in from time to time to let me know how your investment are going.



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