Automatic DIY investing in Germany with Wertpapiersparplan

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Woo hoo! I set up a Wertpapiersparplan through my comdirect Depotkonto, and have invested my last 3-months worth of pay cheques kosten handeln frei. :mrgreen:

Sorry for the Denglisch!

What I mean is that I’m investing every month now, automatically and without transaction fees!

My investment strategy changed from dividend stocks to growth stocks, because I don’t need the dividend income right now and would rather not be troubled with taxes.

I feel so relieved to have landed on a plan and to finally have it all set up. There’s not a lot of English-info out there for DIY investing in Germany, and it felt daunting to get everything up and running. But now my systems are in place it will be easier to keep at it.

This also means that I have 100% of all my euros invested in stocks. That’s my entire savings from having worked in Germany for the past 3 years. 🙂

My dear husband is not very excited about the stock market, but he looks after all of our expenses so that I can invest my entire pay. Ideally I would like him to invest in something, rather than just keeping cash. But I’m not going to pressure him (even though he thinks I’m pressuring him!), because he has to want to do it himself. I think through time, he will warm up to investing after following my journey.

It feels pretty luxurious for me to invest everything I have, and not have to care about the bills. Talk about lifestyle inflation. 😎

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Back to investing

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Back in June, I stopped buying Vanguard’s All World Funds (VWRL) and haven’t invested in anything since.

Now I’m back to it and have signed up for an automatic savings-investing plan with comdirect. I think it’s called Wertpapierplan, and my first transaction will be September 1st!

comdirect’s Depotkonto platform is complicated (for me) to use, but has some neat features. You can create a schedule to buy ETFs at certain set times during the month, and they waive transaction fees! There’s a list of 75 ETFs that you can buy through Wertpapierplan.

I’ve chosen these 4 ETFs to replace my beloved VWRLs:

  • COMSTAGE S&P 500 UCITS ETF – TER 0.12%
  • ISHARES CORE MSCI WORLD UCITS ETF – TER 0.20%
  • COMSTAGE DAX TR UCITS ETF – TER 0.08%
  • COMSTAGE STOXX EUROPE 600 NR UCITS ETF – TER 0.20%

Thanks to Richard from Banks Germany who set me on this path!

I’ve been thinking a lot about whether I should continue to invest 100% of my income, or if I should keep some money liquid in case we need it for Martin’s alternative cancer therapies.

But I’ve decided to proceed with our investing and FIRE plans. It makes me feel good, and anyway we keep way too much of our networth in cash. We have a lot of problems, but money is not one of them.

So, here’s towards the future!

On track = less fights (hopefully!)

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Finally, we closed my Deutsche Bank Girokonto, Sparbuch, and MasterCard today! Basically, all my accounts with DB.

Although I had a good run with DB, I didn’t like having to pay for services that I didn’t use.

I much prefer the free online accounts that we’ve opened earlier this year.

We use comdirect for our joint account, Mr. German uses DKB for his personal account, and I use ING-DiBa for mine. We’ve talked about downsizing our personal accounts too, and only using the joint comdirect. But so far we feel comfortable keeping our personal accounts open and doing our own thing in there. One day we’ll consolidate but right now, our system is working well for us.

My ING-DiBa has a balance of 0 EUR! Which I’m very proud of because I sent all my cash to CapTrader to buy VWRLs!!

This is probably a very boring post but just wanted to say that I’m very happy with our progress!

We started off the year stressed out, when I announced I wanted to retire early and completely caught Mr. German off guard. Here Mr. German thought we were doing great and living well already, yet I was suddenly so displeased.

As we live in this fair country of his, I needed his help to get us set up. This caused lots of tension and wasn’t so fun. I cried a lot, Mr. German was at wits end a lot, and in general we argued a lot.

It doesn’t help that we’re both stubborn first born children, who happen to want our own way all the time without compromise. Fun times!!

But we needed to get over that hump and I think we have. There will still be hiccups I’m sure, but things should be smoother sailing now. At least from the administrative point of view.

Vielen Dank für die Hilfe, meiner lieben! ❤

FIRE progress: getting the spouse on board

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On the surface, not too much has happened on the FIRE (financial independence, retire early) front over the last few months – asides from getting richer every pay cheque due to our well-paying STEM jobs and low expenses. (I share my own contribution on my monthly savings page).

But structurally, things are changing in our lives as well as in our mindsets.

Merging our finances!

Mr. German and I have finally opened our first joint bank accounts with the free, online bank comDirect.

We are still setting things up, but are planning to pool our savings here, pay our expenses, and set up a tax sheltered investment account for our retirement.

I’ll admit that we are so used keeping our own accounts, that it feels a bit weird to merge. But I think over time, this method will work well for us.

Simplifying slowly

Between the 2 of us, we have 5 bank accounts opened here in Germany! It gets confusing at times. So we’re planning to close the 2-fee accounts we hold with Volksbank (his) and Deutsche Bank (mine), and keep our 3 no-fee online accounts with comDirect (joint), ING-DiBa (mine), and DKB (his).

Before we merge everything completely into one account, we’re going to see which one makes sense to keep and which one makes sense to close. Or maybe we’ll keep all 3 opened and designate them for certain things (i.e. a vacation fund!).

This kind of administrative stuff takes a long time to do here in Germany. It’s a several month process (at least it feels that way!) rather than something you can do over a week. At least things are rolling on this front, which helps to alleviate my type A stress by a lot. :mrgreen:

Giving real estate a break

After all our excitement with buying property, we’ve kind of cooled down about it and have decided to walk away from the cute little flat we were seriously considering.

In the end, it just didn’t feel right and we noticed we were making excuses to psych ourselves up rather than being genuinely excited or interested in becoming homeowners.

It doesn’t mean we’re completely out of the game, but we want to take a step back for now and see where our priorities lie.

Mr. German gets on board with early retirement

Mindset wise, Mr. German is coming around. 🙂

He is completely new to FIRE, and has been startled by it (my fault!).

I completely inundated him with excited chatter and spreadsheet calculations over the last 2 months. Actually, Mr. German is the reason why I started this blog – so that I could write about the personal finance (PF) things I’m planning to do, and he could be read it at his own time and pace.

If your spouse isn’t already interested in PF, it’s not a good idea to just puke out financial info at them at avalanche speed (so I’ve found!)

People need to come into it on their own, if they come into it at all.

In our case, Mr. German was interested, just not as interested or excited about achieving financial independence as I am. And definitely not as extreme (as I tend to be!).

He also wasn’t happy about me getting all stressed about it, so I’ve learned to calm the f*@# down too, and not stress us both out so much especially when we are already on track.

Now, it’s safe to say that Mr. German is also slowly getting more and more into my scheming, and this will set the path for a smoother, joint planning for our early retirement goals.

So, while not much has changed net worth wise, it feels like so much has changed! :mrgreen: