Friday, February 29, 2008

Monthly Review - February 2008

February saw continued volatility in financial markets. In contrast to January (when many of my mark to market investments declined), most of my investments increased in value during February.

Here are the details:

1. my actively managed funds recovered some of their losses. All except Vietnam (which continues to plumb new depths) showed reasonable gains for the month. I currently have investments in actively managed funds investing in Thailand, Taiwan, Vietnam, Eastern Small Companies and European Small Companies;

2. my equity ETFs appreciated. I currently have exposure to Hong Kong only. I added to this position during the month;

3. my residual equity portfolio rose slightly;

4. my commodity investments rose during the month. I currently have exposure to silver, a commodity ETF and lean hogs ETC. Sliver and the commodities ETF gained during the month. Lean hogs declined. I purchased small positions in platinum and nickel at the end of the month;

5. my properties are all fully rented and tenants are paying the rent on time. I have both a positive cash flow and a surplus of income over expenses (which represents an increase in net worth). The cash flow and the surplus have benefited from recent cuts in interest rates;

6. a weaker US$ was positive for the portfolio.

Investment movements this month were purchases of (i) HK Tracker ETF (ii) notional platinum and (iii) nickel ETC.

My income was at the high end of expectations this month. My spending was quite low this month and the resulting savings were a good supplement to the gains on my investments. However, I have concluded that I need to increase the monthly provision for future tax payments (in spite of the tax rebate and future tax reductions announced in the HKSAR government's budget) and that increased provision is reflected in the results for the month.

The end result was an increase in net worth of 2.3% for the month and a year to date increase of 2.8%.

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