Friday, May 20, 2016

For those contemplating early retirement

This is such a good article about early retirement it's worth revisiting every now and again to get a reminder of the need to keep busy and mentally/socially/physically engaged once you leave the work force.

While everyone is different, for many (including me), planning a degree of structure into my days is a must. Goals matter in part because I didn't retire from my job - I retired to a different lifestyle and to priorities that were different from earning money. I didn't retirees I could sit on my butt watching TV and eating junk food all day.

Philip Greenspun Early Retirement

Monday, May 02, 2016

Financial Review - April, 2016

April saw a modest appreciation in net assets with small gains across all relevant asset classes - enough to tip the portfolio back into positive territory for the year to date.

Here are the details:

1. my Hong Kong/China equity portfolio appreciated slightly;

2. my AU/NZ equities appreciated;

3.my equity ETFs rose slightly (India, Vietnam, Hong Kong and China) in line with the local markets;

4. my position in silver appreciated;

5. all tenants are paying on time. We are back to full occupancy with one tenant agreeing to a small increase in rent for a new lease. One building will be subject to a lengthy renovation exercise. My tenant has agreed to tough it out in exchange for a significant discount on the rent (which is better than a lengthy vacancy);

6. the NZD and the AUD were flat against the HKD/USD;

7. my position in bonds remains small but I have subscribed for some corporate bonds which will appear in the portfolio next month;

8. expenses were high with the cost of a long weekend for the family in Bangkok and the acceptance fee for another degree programme being paid;

9.there were no transfers to Mrs Traineeinvestor.

My cash position fell slightly due to the higher expenses. I currently hold 34.5 months of expenses in HKD cash or equivalents.

For the month the portfolio rose 0.62 percent and the year to date increase in 0.21 percent.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Financial Review - January, February and March, 2016

Apologies for the lack of updates. No real excuse - just giving priority to other matters like getting my novel "finished" and sent a professional copy editor.

January was a terrible start to the year with the portfolio down by 5.84%. February saw a small recovery of 0.35% and March a much stronger 5.11% increase. For the year to date, I am down 0.4%, which is less than difference between expenses and my part time income.

Here are the details:

1. my Hong Kong/China equity portfolio is still below where it was at the beginning of the year. I have added shares in HSBC (HK:5), Swire Pacific (HK:19) and Rosedale Hotels (HK:1189) and sold my shares in Herald Holdings (HK:114);

2. my AU/NZ equities appreciated. I purchased additional shares in Fletcher Building (NZX: FBU);

3.my equity ETFs fell slightly (India, Vietnam, Hong Kong and China) in line with the local markets. I sold my interests in the Vietnam ETF at a loss;

4. my commodities are about flat for the year. Silver is my only position;

5. all tenants are paying on time. We are back to full occupancy with one tenant agreeing to a small increase in rent for a new lease. The US rate rise has had no impact on Hong Kong mortgage rates;

6. the NZD and the AUD are currently flat against the HKD/USD;

7. my position in bonds remains small;

8. expenses were moderate for the first three months of the year. I expect expenses to be higher with high travel expenses in July and December and, possibly, some tuition fees starting later in the year;

9.there were no transfers to Mrs Traineeinvestor.

My cash position improved slightly due to low expenses. I currently hold 35.0 months of expenses in HKD cash or equivalents.