Sunshine questions

Saturday morning I received an award  from Jason, over at Islands of Investing. I had read about those rewards that bloggers can give to each other. Receiving one myself was the last thing I expected. I happily accept the reward and the thinking that comes along with it. So, lets gets started!

It seems to be nominee weekend… I got another nomination from the moneymine. So, Nick, thx for the nomination.

I will answers both series in one post and pass on the sunshine myself to other bloggers.

  • If I gave you $2 million dollars right now to invest, what would you do with it?

Do I get to keep the money, or do I have to give it back to you? Either way, I would use this to set up decent streams of passive income. The type of streams that should last a few generations, so my kids and grand kids will still remember the day Jason gave us the $2 million dollars.

First, I would set aside money to pay off the mortgage in full as soon as we can without tax penalty. This is Belgium, don’t ask…

The rest of the money will be split in three

Dividend portfolio: Investing equally in 30-50 dividend stocks. The dividend income would be part 1 of my income. I start dreaming already

Real Estate: Hoping to buy a complex that can hold 2 or 3 rental units in my town. This would diversify the dividend income stream.

Index investing: Further diversifying the portfolio by buying a 50/50 mix of global stock market and global bond market. The plan is to let this grow, grow and grow. A yearly re-balance would be enough here.

This is actually not so different from my long term plan.

  • You have the chance to travel back in time to re-live one day or event in your life – what will it be?

This is actually a more difficult question, as I would like to pick more than one. There have been some really joyful days in my life that I would not mind re-living. Either with friends or parents on road trips, or getting to know my wife, getting married,… .

I think I will cheat and pick 2 days: the 2 days my kids were born. It might sounds like a corny story, but I consider those 2 days the 2 days with the biggest impact in my life. What surprised me even more, is that the second birth is as amazing as the first one.

  • When you hit financial independence, you’ll be able to do whatever you want – but in the meantime, what does your perfect weekend look like?

A perfect weekend requires some of the finest ingredients. Only a skilled wizard can compose it. Let’s give it a go.

It would start on Friday’s looking back at the work I did that week, both at work and at home. All is done, no loose ends that can interfere with the joy of a perfect weekend.

Then, there is time to spend quality time with the wife and kids, gathering some experiences that will form core memories (the idea comes from an awesome movie: inside out. ) It is all about experiences that we buy, just having fun and doing exciting items. Like swimming, including some pool slides that the 3 and 5 year old really like.

Next to family, meeting up with friends and planning a roadtrip or day out would be cool.

Throw in some good food, a few Belgian beers and we are all happy!

  • If you could be the best in the world at something, what would it be?

Photography! I would love to be the best photographer in the world. The story you can tell with one picture, it is just amazing. And the travel and experience opportunity that you get from being a photographer.

At least, I give it a try. It is my hobby, or better, it used to be my main hobby. With the kids needing a lot of care, it somehow moved to the second place. But I have good hopes to start again after the summer/next year with taking more pictures.

  • If you were stuck on a deserted Island for the next year (somewhere far more desolate than the Islands of Investing!), what are the three things that would get you through?

Tough question… Never saw this as an option… I will let the pragmatic me take this question.

What would really drive me crazy is being hungry or thirsty, and having no human interaction. So, that would form a good starting point. From here, I coma to the following 3 items

Tools to make hunting and cooking tools.

Someone I can have good talks with, make some fun, laugh at the situation, be serious when needed: my wife

A survival guide on what not to eat and drink.

These are the bloggers I would like to nominate

Pollies dividend: a dutch blogger in a very similar situation as me. He is about to start a series on teaching finance to kids. I look forward to that.

stalflare: a globetrotter now Italy based, also a fan of photography.

Dividends are coming: A fellow Belgian blogger that uses DGI. It is good to see what happens in that part of the investment world.

These are my questions for you

  1. What is the one item you know you need to do but you never do because of a lousy excuse?
  2. Where would you like to live for year or two?
  3. What skill would you like to master in the next years?
  4. How much Financial independence do you discuss with your friends?
  5. How free are you today?

And here are my answers to Nick.

  • What is your best productivity -or- creativity hack ? Pick one!

For me, it is keeping both my personal and professional mailbox clean. This way, I have an overview of what I still need to read and process. It also avoids that you miss out on things due to 451 unread emails… I basically take the same approach as Nick

Update later on Sunday: Seeing this question actually pushed me in a summer clean up of my personal mailbox. I am almost at my target amount of emails. The professional is following later this week.

  • What is the coolest place you’ve ever been to?

There are so many nice places to go to and visit. Is it the jungle, a city, a concert,… tough one… And actually a good excuse to go through some photos from past travels and adventurous.

After some thoughts, I will go with a visit to the cerro negro. (It was not that expensive years back! we also used public transport and a local guide). Getting up really early in the morning, taking the bus, walking through black sand with green everywhere…amazing. Once on top, we ran down like little children, in total freedom!

  • Describe one of your long term goals (10+ years ahead)

My goals are described on the blog. I will zoom a little more on one: show the world to my girls. For me, this is an important goal, not just a goal, but a multi milestone goal. Starting 2016 or 2017, my wife an I want to start to show the world to our girls. We both like travel and discovering new worlds and cultures, we want to pass on this to our kids.

So, why wait? We want them to realise what they do, where they go, so that they remember the journey and the country. In the mean time, we show them Belgium and just 2 weeks ago took them to their first festival.

  • What book, blog or podcast have you enjoyed recently?

The book that I am enjoying right now is “one-page-financial-plan”. The reason that I enjoy the book so much is that it allows me to have an in depth conversation with my wife on the FIRE subjects. We clarify the why we invest, what we want to achieve. It also allows me to explain the plan I have to her and to make sure we are aligned on the investments we make.

Blogging about it is one thing, but being able to share it with my wife is even better

  • What side hustle are you already or plan to be involved in to make more money?

This is actually an questions that makes me uncomfortable… The answers is none, nothing, nada.

On a lot of blogs, you read that people side hustle to set up alternative streams of income, preferably passive. For now, this is not on our agenda. But, having one would help in reaching our goal faster.


10 thoughts on “Sunshine questions

  1. Thanks for the nomination! Honestly I have no idea who I should nominate so I’m just going to leave the answers here 🙂

    1) What is the one item you know you need to do but you never do because of a lousy excuse?

    I can think of several things. For example, there are still a ton of small tasks I’m not looking forward to do but for some reason I always invent something else to do first.

    2) Where would you like to live for year or two?

    Hard question and two years is a very long time. I like a small break every now and again but there’s just no place like home so I think I’d just stay home for two years 😉

    3) What skill would you like to master in the next years?

    In the short term I’m looking forward to learn more about financial analysis and investing, I have a number of books on my e-reader I’m working myself through. Unfortunately, I often come to the conclusion that the more you learn about something, the more you realize how little you know.

    4) How much Financial independence do you discuss with your friends?

    Very little, investing or stocks are topics that rarely come up and I don’t feel the need to discuss it with friends. Belgians are very reserved about finance and investing in the stock market is still quite unpopular versus other investments like real estate.

    5) How free are you today?

    Money is a limiting factor of course but outside of that I’m reasonably free.


    1. Hey DAC,

      thx for taking the time to answer.

      I have the same feeling about the average Belgian: finances are not to be discussed openly. Good that there are blogs to get some insight on what others do so we can learn from each other.


  2. Double nomination, nice!
    Cerro Negro does indeed look like a unique and wonderful place, I’ll add this as another reason to visit Nicaragua. Which such tip, your girls are lucky to have a dad like you who wants to take them places!

    Don’t worry about the side hustle, I am looking for one myself. I find it so motivating to read how people can be creative about it, I had to ask 🙂 Although, even if it doesn’t generate income (yet?), I would still consider blogging a side hustle: it’s a lot of work and a better investment of time than watching TV.

    Thanks for all the candid answers and keep up the good work on the blog!


    1. I could indeed consider the blog as a side hustle. It does not generate income, and it is not on the radar… But it is a good investment to develop some skills like writing and deeper insight in the PF world


  3. Enjoyed reading this post! As we’ve discussed before, you seem to have a well-balanced plan for financial independence, and your vision of what you’d do with $2 million makes a lot of sense. Also enjoyed learning that you’re interested in photography! Do you have photos you could share on the blog?


  4. Loved reading this. I like that you’d split the $2 million between DGI stocks, real estate, and index funds. With diversification like that you’re man after my own heart! Neat idea passing the questions around.

    Also, cerro negro sounds awesome. Visiting an active volcano is on Mrs. Dragon’s bucket list, and that one sounds pretty awesome. Thanks for an interesting read.


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