This is the last monthly review for 2013. An annual review will be posted later.
December was the first month in which there is no employment related income hitting the bank account - something that I am still getting used to. At the moment, it looks like I will get a small adjustment in late January or early February.
December was a poor month for my investments. Net worth fell due to the combined effect of flat to slightly lower equity valuations, adverse FX movements (primarily the AUD), a small transfer to Mrs Traineeinvestor and living expenses. Accrued dividends, rent and interest payments were not enough to swing the balance sheet back into positive territory.
Here are the details:
1. my Hong Kong equity portfolio was more or less flat. During the month. There were no sales or purchases this month. I hold shares in CMR which is currently suspended following an attack by a short seller alleging fraud. I am currently assuming a 100% loss on this position;
2. my AU/NZ equities declined - mostly due to my largest position Westpac falling;
3.my equity ETFs were fractionally down in line with the local markets. There were no new purchases;
4. my commodities appreciated marginally. Silver is my only position;
5. all of my properties were occupied with all tenants paying on time. There were several minor repair bills this month and will be at least two more in January (all related to buildings which received notices for a mandatory window inspection). One tenant has given notice to terminate her lease effective mid-February. Two properties are debt free;
6. currency movements were negative, with a material fall in the AUD;
7. my position in bonds remains small. Some RMB bonds matured and I have purchased some PRC sovereign RMB bonds;
8. expenses were moderate with the usual Christmas spending on gifts and meals and a trip to New Zealand.
My cash position rose slightly. I currently hold 56.1 months of expenses in HKD cash or equivalents. The IShares RMB Bond fund is included a a cash equivalent. This is above my target floor of 24 months.
For the one month period, my net worth fell by 0.26%. The year to date increase is 14.84%. This means that my mark-to-market investments have appreciated this year.
Note 1: my calculation of cash and near cash needs to be revised.
Note 2: my net worth calculation includes accruals for long term expenses such as tax, holidays, home repair etc. At the moment, it appears that I have over provided for both tax and holidays. I will make an adjustment at year end.