2016 was an interesting year. From a financial perspective it was neutral. We ended the year with the household net worth up 3.7%(1). Net decreases in emerging market equities and declines in the AUD/NZD v USD/HKD were more than offset by net cash flows from properties, equities, bonds and two part time incomes and a small increase in the values of our Hong Kong properties (2). We are 14.0% higher than on my retirement at the end of September, 2013.
Cash flow from investments was close to record highs in spite of having to do at least one renovation.
Liquidity is currently high and gearing has fallen to 7.8% of total assets (from 11.4%). Unless we take out new loans, it will continue to decline as mortgages are repaid.
Of the non-financial matters, 2016 saw me complete a very slow marathon, start another degree, finish and self-publish my first novel, start a second novel and get laid off. We did more travelling than usual and, finally, Mrs Traineeinvestor started a new full-time job late in the year.
On the whole, it was a very good year for our household.
(1) this differs from the 2.3% increase reported in the December, 2016 Financial Review because of (i) inclusion of Mrs Traineeinvestor's assets and (ii) inclusion of increases and decreases in the mortgagee values of Hong Kong real estate.
(2) only properties which have an HSBC online mortgagee valuation are included. Two Hong Kong properties are not listed in the on-line service and are valued at unsolicited offer prices made several years ago and which are now much less than current market values.