What is passive participation

What is the madness about passive income? (Participation in the blog parade)

“Another blog parade on the subject Passive income …“

- That was my first thought when I recently read the call for the blog parade on this very topic on Mission Rendite.

It felt like only recently (well it was a year ago) that Vincent called for a parade on the subject. Back then, too, I participated: The pursuit of passivity (blog parade Passive Income).

In addition, at the beginning of last year I published a series on the subject of “Passive Income” with “My Financial Freedom”. This topic is really not under-presented in my blog. Still, I decided to tackle this issue again. For the following reasons:

  1. Passive income is too often mentioned in the same breath as financial freedom.
  2. Financial freedom is as the The buzzword in the financial blogger and investment porn scene is now pretty badly worn out and (in some cases) rightly discredited.
  3. In the meantime, I find it extremely important to separate these two buzzwords.
  4. My mind has probably changed a bit since last year too.

So, let's go.

Passive income! = Financial freedom !!

It is often read that passive income is the only way to become financially free. It is suggested that everything must be done to escape the evil evil hamster wheel.

Two sentences and already at least three mistakes.

  1. Passive income is far from the only way to go. Lottery winnings, inheritances or just a mega salary do it just as well.
  2. Such a passive income does not come by itself but mostly only through hard work. I.e. passive income is not the way, but rather a side effect.
  3. If you're a hamster, a hamster wheel is a pretty cool thing. Just because a lot of people don't feel like nine-to-five doesn't have to be the case for you.

Financial freedom is not achievable.

To me it often seems that the motivation behind financial freedom is not the security and flexibility that you might gain with it, but essentially that the current job is not that great at the moment. And there are many other options than struggling to find financial freedom: changing jobs, self-employment, retraining, ...

The concept of financial freedom has recently been sharply criticized, among others by Gerd Kommer. And partly rightly so: if you expect, with you normal Salary and one usual To be able to ever achieve financial freedom is mathematically wrong. That is only possible by either the salary above average or the standard of living more frugal is. Or preferably both.

An estimated 80 to 90% of the German population can put their make-up on this goal if they are not prepared to make serious changes.

The only question that arises is: Is that bad? Is it bad not to achieve financial freedom? - I say no!".

There are many other ways to live happy and fulfilling lives. And there are a great many ways one can die miserably in the pursuit of financial freedom. And what really matters is living a happy life.

And financial freedom is certainly not a prerequisite for this. Still, I think passive income is good and important.

Passive income, sometimes not black and white

If you see passive income in the context of financial freedom, there are two possible states: Either it is enough or not.

But what if we saw passive income as a nice extra income to active income? Then annual dividend income of 1000 € per year is no longer just a bad joke (because nobody can live from it), but it is a nice annual bonus on top, an extra vacation or a new MacBook every three years for free. Cool right?

Passive income creates opportunities, freedom and flexibility. And that long before one would speak of “financial freedom”. At first you may only be able to afford an ice cream, then at some point a weekend trip. Later you could allow yourself not to work for a month a year or just half-time all year round. There are many shades of gray between black and white and also many colors around them.

Every extra euro makes life a little easier, gives a little more security and flexibility. And you can already enjoy these advantages when financial freedom is still miles away or even inaccessible.

Why are we doing this

With all the preoccupation with passive income and financial freedom, it makes sense to sometimes take a step back and think about why we are actually doing this.

Financial security? Fill the pension gap? More flexibility? Income diversification? Never work again?

Oh well. Security is very subjective. But you may feel safe enough when you have enough reserves not to have to work for a year or two. Officially, this has nothing to do with financial freedom. You don't need passive income for this either.

And fill the pension gap? Completely different from financial freedom. If I have a gap of 50% and a savings rate of 50% as well, then I have no pension gap. And not because I save so much (I could just as easily burn the money), but because I don't need it to live. In addition, if I had a pension gap of 50%, I would only have to passively pay 50% of my income so that I can fill the gap.

I can also achieve more flexibility if I have something on the high edge or something little one passive income.

Income diversification is a valid point. But even there, many small sources are better than one large one. And theoretically, several of them can be active.

Never work again. Well, there is (almost) no way around 100% passive income. But first of all there is hardly any and second: who wants that?

Overall, the concept seems Financial freedom often seen as a kind of fully comprehensive insurance for the future. Insurance that covers all eventualities. But here's the thing: 100 percent security is an illusion. You'd rather find a happy medium that is for you fits.

Back to Topic: My passive sources of income

But back to the topic: This is about passive sources of income and of course the financial fish also has some of them. They are by no means as big and diverse as some old hands, but the trend is right.

There are currently:

  • Dividends,
  • Rent and
  • Affiliate Income

Dividends

I am currently investing more in individual stocks that already pay a good dividend or that will pay a good dividend in the long term. Distributions are currently being reinvested mercilessly, but of course I can change that at any time.

Rent

Lately I've also had a small monthly cash flow through my first condominium. Further real estate and thus rental income can follow when the times are favorable.

In addition, I also rented web space for a while and thus also had a small passive income. However, there were also some risks and ultimately active expenses, which is why I reduced this.

Affiliate Income

Also a small post, but a few links on this blog even make me a little money. However, I am currently investing a lot of time in the blog (and I do not plan to change this). Therefore, one can only speak of passive income here in quotation marks.

miscellaneous

Strictly speaking, income from P2P and other regular investments also count as passive income. Theoretically also interest on the overnight money account (Haha!).

At the moment, however, I always hide these sources, as they somehow run away in isolation and normally no money ends up in my account. But of course I could easily change that.

Conclusion

I notice that my relationship to the topic of financial freedom, but also to passive income, has meanwhile become somewhat more differentiated. Both are good concepts in themselves, but on the one hand they should be viewed independently of one another and on the other hand they should also question their meaningfulness in one's own personal context.

And which passive sources of income work best for you?

Tobias, 30, is a financial blogger, software developer, digital nomad, entrepreneur and winter refugee. On his blog he writes about his personal development, his travels and the relationship to finances. It inspires tens of thousands of readers every month and gives them the basics they need to take their finances into their own hands.

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