Friday, January 05, 2007

2006 - A quick (and slightly late) review

My review of 2006 is slightly late - I had to wait for some statements to arrive by snail mail to update the balance sheet and to recover from holiday.

In short, 2006 was a great year from a financial perspective.

The strongest financial performance came from my job. The working hours were insane (and I paid a price for them in other areas of my life) but I was appropriately compensated. Savings were strong (close to 40% of pretax income) in spite of some blow outs on the expenditure front (some expensive wine which I occasionally pretend is an investment, a nice painting which I do not delude myself has any investment value and a couple of great holidays with the family).

The property portfolio (which is ultimately intended to provide about half of my retirement income) was expanded. Rental incomes grew in line with expectations. The negative was that vacancy rates were higher than both expectations and previous experience. This may have been partly due to leases expiring close to major public holidays (when the leasing market is traditionally soft). In any event, I have decided that it would be prudent to increase the final size of the property portfolio from my previous target (but only by one property).

My investments in equities (mostly unit trusts) did well on the back of boyant global equity markets (especially emerging markets). The only negative was a thankfully small investment in a Thai equity fund which currently shows a loss of about 7%.

My investment in silver was, in percentage terms, my best performing investment with a return of about 42% over the year.

All in all a great year. I am already having fantasies about bringing forward my target retirement date - a good contrary indicator.

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