marc2Hi. My name is Marc. Welcome to my personal journey to financial freedom and early retirement!

Most people dream of a time when they can quit their day job and pursue what they truly love. Yet, when you ask young(er) people about retirement, they tune out, equating “retirement” with “walkers and canes”. Retirement is not about being old. It’s about no longer being dependent upon your time and labor for money. Retirement is financial freedom. Some people are able to retire in their 30s, 40s or 50s. The truth is, if you’re determined and start early enough, retirement can happen sooner than you think.

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I recently turned 50. Not that young anymore and a late starter as far as ‘retirement planning’ is concerned, but I believe it is realistic to retire before i actually hit the big 6-0. Where I live, the current retirement age is 68, but I am not going to wait and hope it is still 68 if I am lucky enough to get there.

On these pages I will take you with me on my personal journey towards early retirement. It is not going to be an “easy 10-step program with guaranteed success and buy my book” kind of thing. I will be fully transparent. Show you my good decisions, but also the bad. If you follow me (you can subscribe at the bottom of this page), you will hopefully get some inspiration for your own personal journey.

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Journey v. goal

The journey, not the arrival matters. –T.S. Eliot

That quote expresses how I feel about this. Although the arrival does matter – I do want to retire before I hit the big 6-0 – it is the journey that ultimately drives me. Investing my money and letting it grow is a passion that gives me the energy and perseverance to keep learning, improving my skills and ultimately reach my goal. Financial freedom and early retirement.

But in order to steer in the right direction, I need to know where I want to go. What exactly does financial freedom mean to me? At what point have I achieved it?

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My investments were kick-started by joining my current employer (IT sector). The compensation package included RSU’s (restricted stock units) that will vest over a 4 year period (from 2016 to 2019). I also joined my company’s ESPP program (employee stock purchase plan), which enables me to obtain company shares against a discounted price.

This is all great, but too risky in the long run. I need a more diversified portfolio. On the portfolio pages you will be able to see how this diversification strategy is going.

Portfolio value, updated September 2018


Diversification ideas

My strategy is to have an ever larger percentage of my portfolio value invested in other schemes than company stocks. I will not stop the ESPP program as it is very profitable as we speak, but when I get close to my (early) retirement date, I don’t want to rely on the stock value of one single company. Here are some ideas:

  • Keep the company ESPP program running
  • Invest in loans on crowdlending platforms
  • Invest in shares (other than my company’s obviously)
  • Invest in real estate

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Investment history

Without investments we’ll get nowhere and keeping track of them is paramount to understanding the performance of the portfolio. What investments were good and which ones were bad?

Investment history

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