Life Update (Where the Money Went)
Our August Nomad Income Report shows a nice rebound from our July drawdown. We spent the month in Zagreb and lived like locals. No big trips or crazy adventures, just exploring the city a bit and meeting up with other nomad families. Months like these help us stay grounded and feel normal. After all, this isn’t a vacation or a bucket list trip.
So here it is, our August Nomad Income Report.
August Nomad Income: Trading
$2,393.94 in realized gains for August, which is a decent rebound from last month. At 27.9% returns for the year, we have beat the market by almost 600%. Not bad, but this is still behind my goal of 1% returns per week (or 43% year-to-date).
Similar to previous months, August’s gains came exclusively from Gold ETFs. I held a sizable short position in Amazon, but I missed my initial price target by not setting a limit sell order and held onto it into August. Having traded primarily gold over the year, trading stocks along side of gold was not only distracting, but it also limited our gains.
When I’m trading gold, I’m tracking key economic events like non-farm payrolls or statements from grandma Yellen (Federal Reserve Chair) and following news that can have an impact on gold. Trading stocks adds a new layer of events and news to follow and in many cases I find it boring. If you trade gold, you follow geopolitical developments, world events, etc. When you follow a stock, you read news about share buy-back programs, product advances/faults of competitors and new product launches. The latter just isn’t my cup of tea, I guess.
The volatility of gold, and especially the leveraged ETFs, provides a wide enough spread each week to swing trade. Swing trading is entering a position for between 2 days and 2 weeks, which differs from day trading, in which you enter and exit a position within the same day. Stocks generally have lower volatility than the leveraged ETFs, and positions may require weeks or months to move to a given price target.
The day of this writing is a good example of a situation in which holding a position in a stock longer would have limited gains. Yesterday, I decided to cover my short on Amazon at a loss. Today, Amazon dropped 0.51% and had I not covered the short I would have gained $102. However, I invested the funds from the short in a leveraged ETF that was betting against gold going down and realized $670 for the day.
Overall, I’m happy with the way trading has been going and now I’m in the strange but fortunate, position of deciding if this will become my life pursuit. Mark Cook, a well known trader of 26 years, says in his seminars that trading is the best profession out there because it offers three freedoms – financial freedom (infinite earnings potential), boss-freedom, and location freedom. Given our nomadic lifestyle and my 14 years of trading experience, consolidating some of our projects and focusing on leveling up my trading seems like a no-brainer.
August Nomad Income: Miscellaneous Income
Blogging: $1 – Clicking the “Shop on Amazon” link at the bottom of any page before you shop on Amazon will give us a small commission. *wink*
BigStock: $1 – The seven stock images I uploaded in December are still cranking out some dough. 🙂
Writing: $0 – Sarah’s is getting her submission pipeline back up and running after being out of commission for three weeks. One of her stories titled “Please Do Not Delay” was published on Necessary Fiction. This was one of my favorites of hers! I’ve always preferred Sarah’s gritty, almost Charles Bukowski style, pieces.
Nomad Income: $2,396
August Nomad Expenditures
Accommodations: $675 (This covers one month of rent and utilities for a modern two bedroom apartment located 3km from Zagreb city center.)
Transportation: $79 (Includes taxis and uber rides into town, tram tickets and uber rides to/from the dentist.)
Cigarettes: $53 (I’m still smoking..yup)
Child Care: $641 (This one is still a bit surprising given that it’s the same as our monthly rent. We’re used to paying rates equal to a third of our monthly rent. Ouch!)
Charity: $80 (Donated to Save the Children for International Humanitarian Day)
College Debt Repayment: $100 (Sarah has one small college loan left to repay in installments.)
Entertainment: $13 (We had a few outings at the nearby parks. The cost hear is usually ice cream for the boy and coffee for mom and dad.)
Gifts: $12 (We bought a couple more toys for Spencer. He now has a collection that may be little difficult come move time.)
Groceries: $512 (We’ve started to track our spending at local stores verse large chain grocery stores. In August, we managed to buy local 58% of the time and our grocery bill surprisingly dropped month over month.)
Health & Beauty: $297 (This covers a trip to the dentist where Sarah and I had check-ups, x-rays and I had two fillings with anesthesia. This also includes deodorant, nail polish remover and few other health and beauty products.)
Restaurants: $354 (We spent a little more this month, but we had lunch with a few nomad families and have been working a bit more at the cafes.)
Supplies: $154 (This is kind of a catch-all category for random things we need for travel. This month was an apple charging cable for my computer. That’s two Apple chargers in two months – come on Apple!)
Vacation: $0 (Nothing exciting this month.)
Nomad Expenses: $2,870
Net Savings: -$474
So, we’re still in the red for August given our trading income and higher than anticipated expenses. However, our business income is starting to pick up and when added to the income shared publicly, we’re in the black.
This is a big milestone for us! When we set out, our strategy included three income streams – trading (short-term and highly volatility), private label and nomadica (medium-term and low volatility) and property (long-term and stable). Having tested our short and medium-term income strategies, we’re feeling more confident in our ability to sustain the lifestyle we’ve chosen.
August Nomad Income: Business Update
Again, we’re waiting a year to decide whether we’ll share our business financials publicly. In August, I started sending a newsletter to Nomadica subscribers. The newsletter features further updates from Sarah and I, sometimes a product that we recommend for making travel easier, and clever travel hacks we’ve learned along the way. We restocked some categories in our store and sales on our fair trade scarves have started to pick up as we’re going into fall. Our business expenses were minimal in August.
If our August Nomad Income report was your first layover with us, you may want to check out our other Income Reports.