Today is the 15th of March, meaning it is my 'peildatum', the day I check all the places where I have some money or investments and record them in my spreadsheet. I also make a little graph to make my "progress" visible. I usually like doing this, but this time I dreaded the moment I actually had to look at the numbers and see what damage the corona virus did to my investments. So, far I lost quite a bit on my investments, but not as much as I expected. However, the end is not in sight so I expect more losses in the coming months. Thankfully I've read many books and blogs on the subject of financial independence to know I should not sell, because then I would actually loose money. Just 'Keep calm and stick to the plan'.
This major crash of the stock markets did give me a whole new perspective. Apparently, I was too focused on the value of my investments. I thought of it as actual money while in fact these stocks are just digital pieces of paper that hold value rather than actually being a currency. So, in that perspective, I didn't loose anything (unless I sell), because I still have the same amount of VWRL, VEVE, VOO, VUSA, VTI and VT stocks. Their value has gone way done, so now they're cheaper to buy. I can now buy more stocks to better secure my future. I plan to quit my current "job" and do something different in about 3 years from now. I believe (and hope) the stocks are then high again.
At the moment I am very concerned about the virus. It spreading rapidly here in Europe and I'm afraid it will interfere with my travel plans. Soon, I will go on a vacation to Japan and I really hope they will not refuse us entry by that time. I also hope our travel party (my friend Pieter, my girlfriend and I) will not get infected in the next 10 days. We probably won't die from it, but it would surely cancel our trip to Japan. A trip we've been planning for almost a year now.
My current client has told us we should now all work from home until March 31st. Because I'm an IT Engineer, that is not a problem for me. I've set up a workstation at home, so I can continue my work from there. This does carry a few benefits. Now, I don't need to ...
- ... get up very early for work
- ... go to the office
- ... get dressed for work
This measure is to prevent most contact with other people and hopefully stop the virus soon.
The city of Utrecht (where I live) is now a bit more quiet than usual, but certainly not deserted. I stay at home during most of the day and occasionally I go out for grocery shopping. For some weird reason people are all buying toilet paper. Thankfully, I've already installed a watergun, which is typically used in South East Asia, so I don't really use a lot of toilet paper. I like it, because it's more hygienic.