Happy birthday dear blog!
You give me great pleasure when I feed you with content and maintain your features and other servers.
And that’s without mentioning the value of the information you make available to the Swiss!
New design for 2023
It was well worth a birthday gift worthy of your loyal service: a new design for your 9th birthday! 🎉
For you reading this, the previous design was fine with me. Except when the idea of launching a limited edition of a certain credit card with a “by MP” design, I needed some visual identity elements.
One discussion led to another with my designer… and here we are in the second half of 2022 with drafts of a new design for my blog.
I hesitate… a new project that doesn’t take only 1-2 weeks, especially considering all the content to migrate… in 3 languages…
But hey… the potential new design was too gorgeous. And I liked the idea of having a real identity in terms of logo and everything.
So I took the plunge!
And as I didn’t want it to reduce my writing time too much, I also decided to delegate the code part of the new site. Not easy for a geek ;)
But here we are, after several months of work, the new design is online!
Don’t hesitate to tell me if you see any mistake on mobile or computer.
And once again a happy 9th birthday to you my dear blog! <3
Let’s move on to the more usual sections of my annual review.
Retrospective 2022 of the blog
Like last year, I start with the projects around the blog before concluding with this latter.
My book: “Free by 40 in Switzerland”
I just looked at the sales figures.
And what a great news: we’re approaching 2'000 copies!
1'976 to be exact :)
Another 1'000 copies in circulation to spread the good word about FIRE, and I will finally be able to add the “Bestseller in Switzerland” label to gratify my ego ^^
Much better than my ego, it makes me feel good to see that a project launched in 2020 still has so much impact on the lives of readers 3 years later:
So a big thank you to all of you who have and are supporting me with this project.
“Swiss Investor” program (in 3 languages)
“Good news Marc: I just finished creating my account at Interactive Brokers *!! On the other hand, I haven’t made any transaction yet for fear of making a big mistake…”
I was receiving this kind of message regularly until the end of 2021.
The readers of my book and of the blog went as far as creating their brokerage account, and found themselves psychologically blocked when buying their first global ETF on the stock market…
This is what motivated me to launch my “Swiss Investor” program early 2022 in French.
Due to the demand from English and German speaking readers, I spent several months getting it translated into English and German.
It has now been open for registration for several months, and the feedback is enthusiastic.
Especially the screenshots - which I ask for in the last chapter - that the participants send me at the end of the program with a certain level of emotion and pride!
“Swiss Real Estate” program (in 3 languages)
Investing in real estate in Switzerland has always been on my list after real estate in France (interesting, but not great fiscally and not next door).
Then, in the second quarter of 2022, I finally managed to find a solution to get rid of my pillar 3a linked to a life insurance.
The consequence: we were also able to change our mortgage partner for our main residence.
With the side effect that we were able to release cash (with the condition to dedicate it to a real estate project) following the revaluation of our real estate and also thanks to the taking into account of our VIAC 3rd pillars invested in the stock exchange (no other bank than VIAC/WIR bank usually accepts that!)
Therefore, we could not let all these tens of thousands of Swiss francs sleep on an account…
So Mrs MP and I decided to invest in real estate in Switzerland.
And from then on, everything went very fast with a project of rental property signed in September, but with some surprises, thus postponed of a few months (one passes at the notary suddenly!)
I took a maximum of notes during the whole process.
And all this became the “Swiss Real Estate Program”, launched at the end of September 2022 in 3 languages!
I knew that many of you were interested in rental real estate in Switzerland, but not to this extent!
The launch was a great success.
Thanks again to all the participants so far for your trust.
Closing of Patreon account for integrated newsletter solution
I had created a Patreon account a few years ago so that readers wishing to support my blog could do so via a monthly fee, in exchange for regular exclusive content.
But as time goes by, I’m trying to reduce the number of platforms I use in order to have as much time as possible for what I like most: writing articles.
So I changed the system, and also redesigned the exclusive content to simplify it.
I let you discover all this by clicking on this link if you are interested.
The only flaw of the new system is that it’s a minimum of CHF 5 (USD in fact, but soon in CHF base currency) per month, while I would have liked a little lower. But then, I bypassed the system with this proposal:
- CHF 5/month for those who want to support me in a one-shot mode (you register and then the following month you cancel)
- CHF 29/year for those who want to support the blog and the forum on a longer term (which comes to CHF 2.42 per month)
Let’s move on to the star of the day: the blog!
Happy ninth birthday again by the way 🎂
“We want numbers MP, we want numbers!!!” I hear the geeks and voyeurs that we all are a little bit screaming.
Here are the blog stats (including revenue and profits!)
As we are in the voyeurism that serves no purpose in a side-business, except to satisfy the ego, here we go for the number of page views on 2022:
Newsletter: +13% growth
4'694 subscribers at the end of 2021, and 5'260 subscribers at the end of 2022.
But above all, it’s the opening rate of my newsletters that interests me the most, because it shows me the interest (or not!) of the readers of the blog. And 2022 was really a great year, because the opening rate went from 65% to 71%! Thanks to you for your trust.
The 2% growth in page views is pretty normal. If time allows, I should be able to publish a few more articles in 2023, and thus increase this metric.
On the other hand, it’s interesting to see the 174% gain in visitors. By investigating a bit, this peak happened mostly in December, when the Blick published an article on the FIRE movement.
The pace was quite good with 37 blogposts written in 2022, compared to 32 in 2021.
Nevertheless, I did some shorter ones to quickly answer recurring questions from readers. This format is nice and a nice change from the rhythm of in-depth articles.
But, I must say: I still prefer the in-depth articles :)
Ditto, I thank the readers who alerted me when I started to talk too much about tools to earn a few dozen francs like Rabattcorner, vs. talking about longer term topics.
I’ll take good note.
As well as the desire of some to get a good dose of motivation from my “Net Worth and Savings Rate Update” articles which seemed less interesting to me, but which seemed quite useful in the end for some on the way to financial independence in Switzerland.
In conclusion: I welcome any feedback on the content and direction of the blog — as long as it is constructive!
In 2022, the blog was featured 3 times in the following media: Bilan, Raiffeisen Magazine, and Blick.
The interesting point is that this is the second year in a row that an established Swiss bank has talked about financial independence (last year it was UBS with its youth blog). Proof that the subject is becoming more and more mainstream among the new generation? We’ll see in a few decades :)
If you are a journalist or a member of a community (such as a university newspaper or any other media), contact me via media[at]mustachianpost.com if you are interested in an interview on the topic of financial independence in Switzerland (aka FIRE). And we’ll gladly talk on the phone.
Blog income and expenses
Ah, here we are, we’re getting to the crunchiest part for us monetary peeps :D
As last year, I give you this note that I find important:
One of my reader buddies recently asked me:
“But Marc, aren’t you afraid of making people jealous? And that some people won’t come to your blog anymore after reading this article?!”
I replied: You, are you jealous when you read these figures?"
“Well, no, clearly not. On the contrary, it inspires and motivates me to talk to another Swiss entrepreneur who thinks the same way I do!”
So my answer was: “That’s it! That’s exactly why I’m so transparent: to inspire readers. To bring them value. And the benefit of this strategy is that the ones who stay are the people I want to talk to and who in turn inspire me (i.e. not the jealous ones)!”
Enough blabla, let’s get to the numbers!
Two comments this year:
- I am very grateful for these numbers, and for not giving up on this blog project for the first 4 years
- The high expenses in 2020, 2021, and 2022 are the result of re-investing profits in projects like the creation and translation of my two programs or the new site design. As Warren Buffett says so well: dividends should be paid when there is really no more option left to make the cash available to the company work better ;)
Since 2020, I am re-inserting this paragraph so that newcomers are aware of my policy on this subject:
“Profit is tied to the topic of ethics. In other words, how not to fall into the “make cash at any cost with the blog”, and end up losing readers one by one.
Because let’s be clear, I’m the first one to unsubscribe from a blog if I start to see that the opinions become biased by money.*
So this topic is very close to my heart and that translates into things like:*
Clearly telling one of the banks I recommend that no, they won’t have exclusivity on my blog, because it’s all based on my honest comparisons (which they understood very well)
Keep recommending Interactive Brokers * as the best online broker for a Swiss investor. And this even though I get much less affiliate commission than with other online brokers in the market
Don’t accept any sponsored article (I get several requests every month!) because first, it’s never adapted to Switzerland, and second, it would denaturew the blog
To mention you in a transparent way the affiliation links so that everything is clear between us (if it happens that I forget, don’t hesitate to point it out to me — there I can get better in 2023 because I missed it too many times in 2022, sorry!)
To not judge or religiously push my choices, like when a reader tells me that he/she will stay at the Raiffeisen because it’s profitable with all the museums he/she can visit for free every year with his/her family. And on the contrary, these exchanges inspire me with food for thoughts
Never sell the email addresses of the readers registered to the newsletter
And, finally, even if it seems so obvious to me, only recommend tools and services that I use and have tested myself on a daily basis”
And we won’t forget our dear Swiss FIRE community who meets on the forum.
Here are the updated statistics of this latter:
I would like to take this opportunity to thank again our two moderators Julianek and Bojack for their involvement which makes the forum a quality place. Even more so with the heated discussions that took place in 2022. THANK YOU!
Outlook for 2023
Enjoy this 80%!
I already told you how my first Fridays at 80% were a blast.
Well, I can confirm that it’s still a fantastic time!
2022 was in the name of “balance” in order to reach a certain serenity between family, job, personal projects.
2023 will be in the name of fulfillment by taking full advantage of this 80%, spending my Fridays writing blog posts, analyzing real estate opportunities, or having fun with the optimization of my blog’s performance.
I’m thankful for this situation. But as they say: “We have the life we create for ourselves!”
Automate as much as possible to focus on writing
The redesign of the site also involves a change of engine behind the scenes.
My goal with this is to move away from my geeky setup to a content editing tool that is more understandable to the average person.
Especially my German translator, who also does the proofreading!
All this should allow me to automate a lot of things in terms of publishing, and thus to free up as much time as possible for my primary passion: writing :D
Launch of the “Real Estate Program” for France
I also plan to launch my rental property program for the acquisition of property in France.
I know this market well after having acquired a first rental property in 2019, and a second building in late 2022.
But I’m not putting any pressure on myself, and plan to release it in the second half of the year. But it should be OK, because I already have a good base of slides structure with the Swiss version.
Thanks to you <3
Finally, I end this ninth anniversary celebration with you, dear reader, without whom this would be meaningless and non-existent. THANK YOU, sincerely!
Here we go for another year!
* This symbol indicates where my post contains affiliate links. If you follow one or more of them, you won’t see any difference compared to a standard link — but the blog will receive an affiliate commission. Thank you for this. As usual, I only write about and review things that I use in my daily life, or that I trust.
(header image credit: pexels.com)