I hope you're enjoying the decontainment gently but surely on your side? And especially I hope that the COVID hasn't affected you or your loved ones too much...
Also, just to relax the heavy atmosphere for some of us these last weeks, don't hesitate to share in the comments where you think you're going on vacation this summer (Switzerland or abroad?), it could inspire other readers.
Pause from the blog — necessary to focus fully
I've been having too many things in parallel with the blog and my 3 other "MP Projects" for a few months now (more on that in a second). So, like at the time with the complete translation of the blog in French, I took a step back the last two weekends to admit that I couldn't do everything and that I had to prioritize. I went through some pages of one of my favorite books "The One Thing" (especially lesson number 4), which helped me to know how I was going to return to a more Zen and sustainable mode in the long term.
The reason I'm telling you all this is so you don't panic when you see less activity on the blog until September. Because that's what's going to happen, and it's going to be completely normal. No, I wouldn't have died nor would I have caught COVID (at least I hope not ^^!).
So in concrete terms, expect:
- Not seeing a new post by mid to late September (which will give you time to catch up if you've given yourself the challenge to read all blog posts ;))
- Receive a reply to your comments/emails from me within 2-3 weeks (usually I give myself a maximum of 1 week) — however I reconfirm here that I will continue to reply to any email I receive, just a bit slower than usual
"OK cool MP, you're gonna be less there, so be it. But then what are you going to do with all that free time?! The beach in Thailand? The Grand Tour of Switzerland?! Or did you have something more studious in mind when you said 'MP Projects'?"
Ah, if only! I dream of the Grand Tour of Switzerland! But it won't be this summer. And even less the beach in Thailand...
This summer will be much more studious indeed. Because although the blog is my most exciting project, it should not add to my stress, but on the contrary remain fun. So I said to myself: "Pause your baby, and focus all your attention on these three projects this summer, and when you get back to school you can go back to the daily routine you love that is blogging."
So without further ado, and no big surprise for the first one, these are the three projects that will be my One Thing for the next two to three months.
1. My book project
Initially, I decided to start writing my book "Free by 40, in Switzerland" for two major reasons: the first is selfish and is nothing other than my passion for writing, and the second is the altruism that motivates me to make everyone live more freely and frugally as much for their well-being as for the world around them.
I started writing the first pages last January with the goal of completing a first draft in the fall, and to continue with proofreading, editing, and publication by the end of the year. At a rate of 3-4 hours a week at the beginning, then 7-8 hours more recently, I could see the titanic work it represented. So, as I would like to aim for a publication by the end of the year or at the very beginning of 2021 at the latest, I will make my book my first "One Thing" this summer.
Currently, as the supporters of my "kickstarter" know, I have finished writing chapter 5 in French, and am currently on chapter 6. The English translation is following its course with chapter 3, which was sent to the English-speaking early bird supporters. For the moment, the demand was too low for German for me to pay for a translation for the v1, but once everything is finalized, it is clear that the book will come out in the three languages of the blog, namely French, English, and German.
Anyway, I don't regret to have embarked on this parallel adventure to the blog because one of the supporters of the project — hi JC! — who paid more than the standard price of a book has already benefited from a crazy ROI — 2'100%!!!! — with CHF 931.35 in savings. Per year! That's CHF 12'881 in his pocket every decade to come :) Just for that alone, it was worth it!
So that's it, my goal #1 for this summer: to finish v1 of the book by Monday August 31, 2020 at the latest.
2. Launching my own LLC!
That's the big news to me. It's a dream I thought was reserved for others who know how to generate enough cash to make it worthwhile to start a company. Well, I'm breaking through that glass ceiling, and I've decided to be one of "the others".
For those of you with whom I haven't yet discussed it via email or on Patreon, the story is that my blog hobby (also including coaching and book) will bring me more than CHF 2'300 in 2020. And who says more than that, says that everything above that amount has to be declared to the taxman to not be considered as illegal employment. After having evaluated the option of the sole proprietorships and the limited liability company, the latter won for legal and tax reasons. The result will be a great series of articles on how setting up a company in Switzerland works, which legal form to choose between a sole proprietorship and a limited liability company, and many other subtleties.
But before I can talk about it, I have to go through the paperwork to find out what I'm talking about, including:
- Swiss LLC foundation with a notary
- Entry in the Swiss Commercial Register
- Choosing the best Swiss corporate bank account (as if I already had not enough options of Swiss banks to test for my personal finances ^^)
- Verify that it is indeed more fiscally advantageous (in terms of capital gains) to invest my profits via the limited liability company rather than paying me a salary that I then invest myself
- Look at how to invest as a company (apparently it's possible via Interactive Brokers but I have to take the time to read all the fine print...)
Oh, yeah, and one more thing. You may ask, "But why hasn't he started his business yet if he knows he's already exceeded the legal limit of CHF 2'300?!", and that's a good question. The answer is quite simple: until last May, I thought I was gonna go the sole proprietorship way to keep it simple. But I learned a lot of things that made me change my mind. Nevertheless, to set up a LLC in Switzerland, you need to bring in CHF 20'000 as initial capital — which you can withdraw quickly afterwards to cover expenses, but then you still have to have them ready at some point. And since I invest all our savings monthly, especially with the last March stock market sales, well, I simply didn't have them. Or rather, I had them but they were our reserve in case of a hard blow or for the next bills to come. That's it, now you know the whole story :)
Objective #2 for this summer: to create my company in Switzerland by Monday 31.08.2020!
3. Live test of my first product "by MP" (pilot)
If the 4% rule (aka 25x your annual expenses method) to calculate your FIRE amount is too imprecise for you because it is based on approximations and relies too much on US data, then there are two of us!
This is what pushed me to have my Swiss FIRE planning detailed and certified by a professional financial advisor in 2015, taking into account our Swiss specificities such as taxes, the pension system in Switzerland (LPP, pillar 3a, etc.), my mortgage, and many other things.
And so that's how I arrived at my exact FIRE target amount of CHF 2'156'000, as well as the precise date on which I could retire early in Switzerland.
So I've been working in parallel with the blog for 5 years to find a solution allowing me to offer this product myself to the blog's readers. But at a cost at least divided by two or even three. And all certified by someone with a financial planner's Federal Diploma of Higher Education.
As I don't have the video presentation yet, I explain the process below:
- You fill out a form with all your personal financial information (about 10 minutes)
- You click on "Generate my certified Swiss FIRE planning"
- A few days later, you receive in your mailbox a PDF of two A4 pages with your Swiss FIRE plan validated by a financial professional
In order to stay reasonable with my schedule (and to enjoy our family holidays as much as possible), I set myself the following objective #3: to test the pilot project from A-Z in real conditions with an interested reader so that he receives his certified Swiss FIRE planning before Monday 31.08.2020.
My summer checklist (in case you get bored on the beach this summer!)
In addition to writing this blogpost so you don't worry about me (gosh, that guy who think he's the center of the world!), my goal is also to commit to you so you'll ping me if you see me writing a lot of blogposts while the task list below doesn't move forward :)
So, in case you're bored this summer on the beach of Lake Zürich, Neuchâtel, the Quatres-Cantons, or Lake Geneva, I've prepared my summer checklist that I'll keep up to date as I go along. Don't thank me, it's a gift :D
Objective #1: v1 of my book is completed
✅ Chapitre 1: Arrêter de travailler à 40 ans en Suisse
✅ Chapitre 2: Faire face aux rabat-joies
✅ Chapitre 3: Crée ta future vie
✅ Chapitre 4: Économiser sur les petites choses
✅ Chapitre 5: Les économies impactantes
✅ Chapitre 6: Le club des trois
✅ Chapitre 7: Accrois tes revenus le plus possible
✅ Chapitre 8: Investir, ou comment les billets copulent
✅ Chapitre 9: Fais travailler l'argent de ta retraite aussi
✅ Chapitre 10: Prépare ta vie après la retraite
☐ Appendix — Trucs utiles
And the same goes for the English translation:
✅ Chapter 1: Stop to work by 40 in Switzerland
✅ Chapter 2: Coping with naysayers
✅ Chapter 3: Create your future life
✅ Chapter 4: Save on the small things
✅ Chapter 5: Impactful savings
✅ Chapter 6: The Big Three
✅ Chapter 7: Earn the more you can
✅ Chapter 8: Invest, or how money notes have sex
✅ Chapter 9: Put your retirement money at work too
✅ Chapter 10: Prepare your post-work life
☐ Appendix — Useful stuff
Objective #2: my LLC is founded
✅ Find the cheapest Swiss bank for the capital deposit account (i.e. account for founding a company) to store the CHF 20'000 until signature at the notary's office
✅ Find the cheapest Swiss bank for businesses (potentially different from the one in the point above)
✅ To have the CHF 20'000 of initial capital necessary to create a limited liability company + the CHF 2'000 of notary and Swiss commercial register fees
✅ Send the CHF 20'000 to the consignment bank account
✅ Signature of the incorporation deed of the LLC at the notary's office
✅ Deposit the deed in the Swiss Commercial Register
✅ Have the CHF 20'000 transferred from the consignment account to the chosen business bank account, then request the closure of the consignment account for company setup
Objective #3: My pilot product "Certified Swiss FIRE Planning" is tested in real conditions with an interested reader
✅ Send the detailed presentation email of the first "By MP" product to a dozen of long-time readers and blog patrons
✅ See if a reader expresses interest
☐ Get all his information
☐ Start the process
☐ Send the FIRE planning result (and have a little videoconference to see if he has the same smile on his face as me in 2015 in front of so much Swiss precision)
On that note, all I have to do now is wish you a great summer and take care of you and your family. We talk to each other via email and/or comments from time to time, and we'll meet up in September at the latest with new blogposts.
And you, do you have a busy summer or a relaxed one ahead?
PS: with the success that my book "kickstarter" had this spring, I reopened 5 places for each tier (15 places in total). If you are interested, just write me with the subject "MP book kickstarter" in order that your message gets prioritized in my mailbox. First come, first served!